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The Power of UTM Parameters in Digital Marketing

Without a doubt, Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) parameters are incredibly important in the digital world. How else would you be able to track the top-performing links in your digital campaigns, where the traffic for your promotional web pages is coming from, or even the effectiveness of your multi-channel marketing campaigns? It all comes down to UTM parameters. 

In this blog post, you'll learn what UTM parameters are, how they help you, and how to use them. We’ll also share best practices for using UTM parameters.

Who are we? Smartcore is your best-in-class B2B food and nutrition marketing solutions partner for smarter digital campaigns that drive business growth – with unrivalled expertise in your prospects. Why smarter? We utilise UTM parameters in all our digital marketing campaigns, delivering to you a detailed post-campaign report. This ensures you achieve greater returns on your investment and time. With us, you can reach your buyers with smarter digital campaigns and achieve real results. Discover Smartcore's 2024 Digital Media Kit.

What are UTM Parameters?

UTM parameters, also known as UTM codes or UTM tags, are snippets of text code added to the end of a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) to accurately track the performance and metrics of specific digital marketing campaigns. There are five types of UTM parameters, as mentioned below. The first three are the minimum requirements for an effective marketing campaign, while the next two aren't mandatory but offer a second layer of understanding your traffic drivers:

  • Source: This parameter identifies where your traffic is coming from. Examples include Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Ads, and organic search engines.

  • Medium: With this, you can find the channels that bring in your traffic. Examples include PPC (pay per click), email, referral links, and social media.  

  • Campaign: Used to trace the marketing campaigns driving traffic to your website or specific landing page. Examples include any campaign you run, including brand awareness, lead generation, or seasonal discounts. 

  • Content: Commonly used in A/B testing scenarios, here you’re able to see the preferred type of content clicked on by your audience. Examples include hyperlinked words and CTAs.

  • Term: Lastly, there is a parameter that helps you track search keywords that drive traffic to your specific web pages. Examples include paying for ‘plant-based’ or ‘cognitive health’ as search terms in your paid Google Ads.

How do UTM Parameters Help Marketers?

Among other key factors, having a successful digital marketing campaign demands strategic insights backed by data. UTM parameters are essential in measuring the effectiveness, impact, and success of your digital campaigns. They provide detailed analyses into audience interactions, allowing you to monitor user behaviours as per the UTM terms, and track and attribute conversions based on those same UTM terms. Additionally, by including UTM codes in your online campaigns, you can find which channels and formats are driving results and which ones may need improvement or more budget. In short, UTM parameters help track online marketing campaigns, show traffic sources, and measure campaign performance, ultimately helping to improve campaign ROI (return on investment).  

Masters in all things digital marketing, our invaluable data, including an extensive global network of over 375,000+ ingredients buyers, data-driven insights, and specialised digital content channels in the B2B food and nutrition industry are what set us at Smartcore apart from the rest. Explore our smarter digital products and packages, custom-created to maximise your brand awareness, generate excellent-quality leads, and deliver greater returns on your investment and time.  

How to use UTM parameters?

Adding UTM parameters to find out the success of your digital campaigns can be done in many ways. Read on for three ways you can do so.

  1. Deciding the success of a promotional campaign
    When you spend valuable marketing resources on a product launch or seasonal promotion, you want to ensure you receive measurable ROI. Integrate a UTM code into your campaign URL to see how many clicks it receives, effectively helping you understand the traffic to your website and telling you whether your audience is arriving from the specific campaign. Say you have a product launch promotion set for LinkedIn. Explore an example for ‘campaign’ below: 


  2. Monitoring the same content across websites
    Another way to utilise UTM tracking codes is to create unique ones for the same piece of content used on different platforms. Say you’re promoting one of your best-selling products through a video advertisement on three social sites – Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. You want to tweak the UTM tracking URL to include the website your traffic is coming from. Explore an example for ‘source’ below:

    → Facebook:
    → LinkedIn:
    → YouTube: 

  3. Analyse links click patterns across marketing channels
    Assess the effectiveness of your link engagement covering marketing emails, social media posts, and other digital marketing channels by tracking clicks using UTM parameters. Say you’re promoting a webinar through different channels – marketing emails, social media posts, and display ads. Explore an example for ‘medium’ below:

    → Marketing email:
    → Social media post:
    → Display ads:

Remember to set canonical URLs for each link to avoid duplicate indexing of your pages.

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Bonus Tips: UTM Parameter Best Practices

In your mission for marketing excellence, follow these best practices to maximise the effectiveness of your UTM tracking URLs.

  1. Create consistent and concise names for your UTM parameters: You want to keep your naming system brief and specific, which will give you clean links. This is best not only for your UTM tracking link management, but also takes up less space.

  2. Use a UTM parameter generator for your tracking links: Trust us, it will make your life a lot easier. There are several free UTM builders, and a quick Google search will give you many options. We recommend HubSpot or Google.

  3. Maintain a detailed list of your UTM links: Organise your UTM-tracked links by creating a reference list for easy access. Opt for online platforms such as Google Sheets. This approach offers a great overview to your entire team of the different links and their performances over time.

Partner with us

The undeniable power of UTM parameters in digital marketing cannot be stressed enough. We ensure the use of UTM tracking URLs in all our smarter digital campaigns. This allows us to track every campaign we run for our clients. Not just that, we deliver a detailed post-campaign report. So, if you’re launching a new ingredient or product and aiming to promote it to relevant buyers, determined to maximise your brand’s global awareness among your buyers, interested in establishing thought leadership within your industry, or ready to grow your business into new global markets, partner with us. Our smarter digital campaigns with measurable ROI enable you to reach your buyers at every stage of their online customer journey, giving you greater returns on your investment and time.


Explore some of our success stories to see how we’ve helped other businesses reach their buyers with smarter digital campaigns. Contact us today to learn more about the smarter solutions we offer and the challenges we can address for your brand. Get in touch with us here.



Serena Warren

2 February 2024