Three Reasons Marketers Need to Install a Tracking Pixel on Their Website
You may have heard about the enigmatic pixel, a piece of HTML code inserted into the back end of your website. You can use them on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and they offer brands a number of benefits – here they are in a nutshell:
1. Retargeting, Retargeting, Retargeting
For any social ad we run, we’re at a distinct advantage if we know what stage the customer is at in their relationship with the brand. Installing a pixel means we can directly target people based on the specific web pages they’ve visited, and tailor the content we market to them accordingly.
If they’ve looked at a product page, we know that they are a warmer lead than someone who’s never heard of the brand. At the very least, we know they’re aware of the company and its offering, and that serving them an awareness-focused ad introducing them to the business would be potentially wasted budget.
Instead, we can convince them to go one step further on their journey by sending them a conversion-focused ad with a harder sell around the features and benefits of a product – money much better spent.
Similarly, if a user has visited a certain product area of the website, we know that they are interested in this category of products rather than in another part of the business, and won’t be wasting their time trying to sell them commercial ovens when they’re interested in panini grills.
In this way we are able to segment our audience, and ensure we’re sending out ads that align with the customer needs and expectations in real time – and the more we can do this, the more likely we are to convert them into sales.
2. Ability to See What Happened Next
Often when we send out an ad, we’re restricted to reporting only on the metrics the platforms can provide – clicks, reach, engagements. And while these can be useful in their own right, often we’d like to know what happened next. Did the customer make the purchase, download the white paper, or fill in the contact form? Pixels allow us to see that second step, so we’re in a position to demonstrate more tangible outputs that make a real business impact.
A great example of where this came into its own was the ‘Dunelves’ campaign we executed for Dunelm, where a tracking pixel allowed us to attribute high levels of sales to the social media activity. Thanks to the pixel, we were able to feed back a very healthy ROI of £12 in sales for every £1 spent on media.
3. Insightful (and Free!) Data
This is where LinkedIn stands head-and-shoulders above the other social platforms, in that it offers the ability to see pieces of key information around visitors to your company website. The traffic can come from any source on the web, not just LinkedIn, making it an invaluable tool to access the kinds of people actively taking an interest in your site month-on-month.
The best part is, you don’t even need to spend any money to achieve this. Presumably as a way of compelling brands to rely on LinkedIn, the platform offers such useful information as job title, seniority, location – even company name – of the people visiting your website.
This is also helpful in directing your website strategy. If it’s crucial that facilities managers visit your site, and you haven’t seen a strong visitor number in recent months, you can discuss ways of improving your web content and hierarchy in order to facilitate this. On the flipside, if recent social activity was aimed at getting the attention of managing directors, and you can see an increase in the number visiting in the campaign period, you have another way to demonstrate a tangible impact from your recent campaign.
While there are existing tools that claim to provide such information (at a price), with LinkedIn, we’re dealing with first-party data – i.e. everyone has input all these details willingly into their profiles, so guesswork doesn’t enter the arena.
Offering above-and-beyond information that can really shape your web and social development, tracking pixels are a neat bow in any marketer’s armoury. To discuss the use of pixels in more detail, please connect with me on LinkedIn.
The author: Alex Mansell is Social Media Account Director at WPR Agency specialising in using LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook for B2B brands.