Discover where your fans are coming from
It's important to know exactly where your traffic is coming from. Future marketing efforts must be based on past data, and knowing which sources are performing best is essential to effectively managing your marketing budget.
This is why we have created the Channels tool, a part of the Linkfire suite that gives you accurate and detailed data on how your fans are finding your content.
How channels work
Your linkfire campaigns all have a unique URL that you use when sharing them across social media, banner advertisements and other sources of traffic. By specifying each of these traffic sources in your board settings, you can create a channel for each. Now, when you choose to copy the URL for your campaign inside the Linkfire dashboard, you will be asked where you plan to share it. Depending on which channel you select, Linkfire will append two unique characters to your campaign's URL (note 1), identifying which channel the campaign is being shared on.
Now, when a user visits your campaign, the unique channel URL will ensure that the source of their visit is identified correctly. Creating channels for sources such as Facebook, banner advertisements or your own newsletter is a great way of determining which of your marketing efforts are generating the best result.
When viewing the insights page for either a single campaign or your entire board, you will see a section called "Channels". This is where you see the total distribution of where your traffic is coming from. While this is great for getting an overview, you can see more detailed insights by filtering the results based on your channel name. This way, you will be able to see clickthrough rates, geographic locations and even iTunes revenue generated by specific sources of traffic.
How do I create and use channels?
In order to start using channels, first navigate to your board settings. Scroll down until you find the section titled "Channel management". Here you can see all of the channels you have created, and you can create new channels by entering their names in the "Add channel" field. We recommend using descriptive names so you can intuitively reference them later.
Once you have added channels to your board settings, you will be presented with multiple variations of a campaign's URL when you wish to share it. Select the one which corresponds to the place where you will share this particular link. Be careful to use the correct channel variations every time to make sure that your data stays consistent.
You just released a new album, and you're promoting it on Facebook. You want to track exactly which of your pages are generating the best results, so you create channels called "Facebook Artist" and "Facebook Label". You tell the artist to use the Facebook Artist channel variation when they share it on their Facebook page, and you use the Facebook Label channel variation when you share it on your label's Facebook page. Furthermore, you create a channel called "Facebook Ads", and this is the variation you use in your paid advertisements on Facebook.
This way, you will collect data on exactly which of your efforts are paying off the most, and you can adjust accordingly for your next releases.
Try to plan ahead and create all the channels you will need right away. You can always add more channels later, but you risk polluting your long-term data if you do so. The best way to keep your data comparable over a long period of time is if you have consistent and stable parameters for all of your releases.