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IntroducingHow to Set Up UTM DynamicTracking For Facebook Ads

Facebook Dynamic tracking will help you gather data on how well each ad is performing so that you can use it again in the future or stop using ads that aren't converting.

Last Updated: April 22, 2024

Joel Woolhead
Joel Woolhead
Founder, Data Scientist
How to Set Up UTM DynamicTracking For Facebook Ads

How to Set Up UTM Tracking Dynamically For Facebook Ads to measure which ad performs to optimize effectively again.

In this video we are going to cover DYNAMIC utm sets, query strings, naming conventions and optimization months after the iOS14.5 update and how I get over 97% accuracy with my ads.

Facebook Ads affected by APPLE update

Facebook ads are being impacted by a recent update from Apple which has stopped some of Facebook's tracking capabilities. This new policy from APPLE in update 14.5 allows users to select "Do Not Track" opting them out of tracking on iOS devices. 

This means advertisers won't be able to track conversions via pixel on websites, funnels or stores.

If you have been seeing inaccurate ad reporting and attribution than this is WHY you're missing that important data.

Adoption Rates

When iOS14.5 HIT it almost felt like crickets and the reason for this is adoption rates. Back when the update landed NOT everyone updated or had bought new devices. With something new in operating systems many hang back for the bugs to be well destroyed...

On release iOS14.5 adoptions rates were as low ass 35% and grew steady in the coming months, to just over 88% in August.


Update 14.5 and above MORE SALES

What you will not believe is, and digging into our enhanced data you can see that since iOS14.5 up to 15.0 we are seeing these devices had more sales accounted for. Yup accurate, now if we think back the advertising world was spewing garbage on strategies to exclude those devices.

What would or did this cost your business?


Future Pixel Tracking


The Facebook pixel is classed as a 3rd party tracking script that stores tracking ID's and sends that back to Facebook server. That is how over the years browsers and ad-blockers have caused attribution is (hence your ads have never-ever been accurate). 

Imagine if 3rd party cookies were permanently blocked by some big-tech, well if we think of it Apple kind of has.

I still do not think this is the end of big-tech control and only the beginning.

UTM Tracking

What are UTM tracking codes?  

UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module and it's a type of web analytics that allows us to see how visitors interact with our website through campaign links. We can then use this information to improve our site.

The UTM is a standard query string set by Google with 5 core key value pairs used for campaign data (but additional data can be added).

The FIVE pieces of data we need are:

  • Campaign Source:¬†The place from which the traffic originates, such as Facebook or your email newsletter.
  • Campaign Medium:¬†This will tell you what type of advertising you're using, such as Cost Per Click (CPC), paidsocial, social media, affiliate marketing, or a QR code.
  • Campaign Term:¬†This is a powerful keyword tracking feature that's available in Google Analytics. It will be your main tool for monitoring keywords during a sponsored AdWords campaign. You can also utilize it in your display ad campaigns to find out more about your audience.
  • Campaign Content:¬†If you're comparing two ad variations during A/B testing, this is a useful statistic that provides information about your ad. You may also utilize it to distinguish links that go to the same URL.
  • Campaign Name:¬†This is to identify your campaign. It's similar to a product or website promotion. An example screenshot of the campaign names you'll see when you go to Traffic Sources >> Sources in the dashboard, which may resemble this one.

When we use the UTM set, we can use parts or all and must define each key in the following table with it's paired value.

Key

Value

Data Type

Comments

utm_source

{{site_source_name}}

Dynamic

utm_medium

paidsocial

Static

Best use 'paidsocial' and NOT 'CPC'

utm_campaign

Use a sheet to plan and store

Static

Optionally use {{campaign.name}}, but be careful on naming conventions refer to query string requirements.

utm_content

{{ad.name}

Dynamic

Limit Ad Names to query string requirements.

ad_id

{{ad.id}}

Dynamic

Attribution Method

adset_id

{{adset.id}}

Dynamic

Attribution Method

campaign_id

{{campaign.id}}

Dynamic

Attribution Method

placement

{{placement}}

Dynamic

Attribution Method

All you need to do add data in and separate each key value pair with a "&" symbol.

Example of using the UTM set would be:

Example

example.com?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=paidsocial&utm_campaign=summer_special&utm_content=X&utm_keyword=Y

When we look at the AdGrit method we would enhance the data even further with ad_ID.

Example

example.com?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=paidsocial&utm_campaign=summer_special&utm_content=X&ad_id={{adid}}

Query Strings


A {Query String} is a key value pair appended to the URL. It simply passes data to one source to a destination. This is powerful for tracking and measuring your ads and your entire marketing campaigns

These {Query Strings} can be used to tag traffic along the customer journey. This helps us understand touch points and campaign insights to make informed decisions.

The key value pair looks like the following

parameter=value

and needs to be separated by the "&" symbol and appended to a URL with a "?" (only 1 at the start.

When we look at the UTM set, each is a key value pair. The "utm_campaign" is the Key and the data is the value. Let's say you had a campaign name in Facebook Ads of "TOF - 97% Tracking" then the key value pair would be:

utm_campaign=TOF - 97% Tracking

BUT, query strings do not use special characters or spaces and will change the values. Hence WHY naming conventions and dynamic tagging is important. 

Next we are going to cover Dynamic Tagging...

Dynamic Tagging

To save time and make our marketing effective we can pass dynamic data to the UTM or custom key pairs in our query string. This helps save time and give us the data insights to make informed decisions.

Facebook provides us short-codes that will pass dynamic values as a UTM set and or custom values into the query string.

With this we can use the following dynamic values:

  • Campaign
  • Adset Name
  • Ad Name
  • Adset ID
  • Ad ID
  • Placement
  • Source

Using the above short-codes when someone clicks an ad that data will be appended to the URL. With this we will have to be mindful of our naming conventions of our campaigns, adset and ads for clean data insights on the receiving app or software (we will cover this later.

Naming Conventions

When we looked at dynamic values in Query strings, it revealed WHY it is important we get our naming conventions correct. What you're about to discover will go against most naming conventions but makes things easier both ends with better insights.

With naming conventions, we can refine what we using in Facebook Ad Manager for campaign, adset and ad or when we monitor optimize naming externally and copy that in. As most advertisers prefer to have detailed naming conventions this is the most popular method.

The TOOLS

When we have our data being passed from Facebook to the Lander (landing page) either a website a funnel or shop. We need to collect this data and we can do this for FREE using Google Analytics.

If we want to get better insights we can add touch-point tagging and pass more data helping us make informed decisions and scale again. This is covered on my workshop (more on this later).

The NEW Shopify Attribution Method further enahnces this by getting Query String Data from the source (if done correctly) while using Ga4 as a back-up.

Visualisation

Data can be shown in reporting fairly quickly using this type of data visualization and we can get quite granular when we pass more than the standard UTM set. Data reporting can be done in Google Analytics and enhance with Google Data Studio.

Optimization

Now we have data being passed tracking and knowing what ads work and their ROAS then we can optimize and scale again with certainty.

All we need is to use that {AD_ID} go back to Facebook search for that ID in ad manager and scale that budget. Any remaining ads we can rename and turn off, this will help Facebook get more data and not fly blind in optimizations with limited data by the Pixel.

How would this help you knowing over 97% accuracy with your ads?

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