With 500,000 currently active podcasts, it is fair to say that we’re now way past the “just publish great content and listeners will come” phase. Of course, there are still exceptions, but by and large, success in podcasting now relies on a well-oiled marketing machine. We’ve noticed a trend of increased sophistication and specialization within podcast growth teams, whether in-house or at top-tier podcast marketing agencies.
These teams need the right tools to succeed. Podcast campaign naming conventions are one of them. Since we have recently released our promotion analytics feature, we thought it would be a good idea to create a comprehensive write-up on the topic.
Table of contents
What is a campaign naming convention?
We can’t answer that question before defining what campaign names are and their purpose. In the marketing world, when you launch a promotional campaign, it is customary to give it a clever or impactful name to rally the team behind the objective. The name can also be more prosaic and simply describe the campaign’s goal, target group, and timing.
Here are a couple of examples:
- Value for money campaign
- Operation Soccer Moms
- Black Friday sale
- June pride
That’s mostly fine for offline multi-channel campaigns, but with the rise of online marketing, the number of channels, targeting options, and optimization strategies went up exponentially. This created a need for a more standardized way to name marketing campaigns. This is what a campaign naming convention is.
A standardized way to name campaigns that:
- Includes all the information one wishes to keep track of about campaigns and listeners acquired.
- Is understandable by everyone on the team because everyone uses the same system
They also need to be relatively short. Why? Because campaign names are used in ad platforms such as Meta Ads, Google Ads, or X, like in the example below:
As you can see, the space allocated to the campaign name in the interface is a lot like the student room of my early 20s, not very large. If you don’t want to scroll to the right like a maniac when editing campaign names in your ads manager, keep them under 40-45 characters.
Before I show you how to create a proper campaign name, I want to drive the point home on why naming conventions are so important.
Why use a campaign naming convention when promoting your podcast?
We’ve now established that a campaign naming convention describes a pattern you follow systematically when naming your marketing campaigns. But what’s all the fuss about?
Let’s look at a couple of examples of badly named podcast promotion campaigns:
- Instagram October 2023
- PR push
- Awesome podcast name – IG
- September test
Why are they bad? Because they all lack one or more important pieces of information, be it the podcast name, channel, or start date. Using a naming convention is like using a checklist to ensure no key data point is missing.
The campaign names above might make sense to the marketing manager who created them, but they are not transparent to other people on the team. Especially new joiners who lack the context. Even worse, as time goes by, the meaning might start eluding the person who came up with the names.
- What podcast was this campaign promoting again?
- Why did I mean with that abbreviation?
- What was I trying to find out with this test?
It’s a bit like struggling to decipher hand-written notes you jotted down in haste. We certainly don’t want that to happen with your campaign names. They are the key to bringing clarity to your data and making the right marketing decisions.
If you use a proper naming convention, you can filter and group your data according easily in the ad platform. You can do things like:
- Analyze the performance of all campaigns that ran in the US (and only the US).
- See how much you’ve spent on test campaigns this quarter.
- Compare the click through rate (CTR) of all prospection and retargeting campaigns.
And much more.
By the way, when I say campaign names are the “key,” I mean this quite literally. If you are familiar with data wrangling, you know that to join the data from two different tables, you need them to have a column in common. That column is called a “key”.
If you want to calculate the cost per podcast download of a campaign, you need to combine the campaign data from your ad platform data (such as cost, impressions, clicks, etc.) with the download data reported by Voxalyze.
Now, you might be wondering: how do campaign names end up in my download data to begin with? The answer is UTM parameters. By adding the campaign name to the UTM parameters of the target URL in the ad platform, the user session and the subsequent download will be associated with the correct campaign.
For more information on this topic, read our article on podcast attribution.
If you want to start tracking your podcast promotion campaign and understand how your listeners find your show, create a free account.
The dos and don’ts of campaign naming conventions
This section is a helpful recap of points mentioned earlier in the article, enriched with more tips and best practices.
- Keep the campaign names under 45 characters. Use abbreviations.
- Include every relevant data point you want to track about your campaign and user: podcast, target geo, starting date, medium, source, channel, etc. Be as thorough as possible from the start. Changing your naming convention involves time-consuming data cleaning.
- Link elements using “_” (underscore)
- Use unique names for each campaign.
- Make sure the team sticks to the naming convention.
- Regularly do quality assurance to control that this is the case.
- Maintain a list of shared, standardized references. For instance, the abbreviation of a country should always be the same. The same applies to channel names, etc. For example, Instagram should not be abbreviated as “IG” in one campaign and “IGM” in another. This will prevent you from grouping the data correctly in Voxalyze and require your data analyst to change the SQL query to group the data in your database.
- Make it easy for them and create a campaign name builder (see freebie down below).
- Use special characters in campaign names.
- Mix upper case and lower case. Case sensitivity can cause issues when wrangling data.
- Use “-“. It can break functions like RegEx matching.
Free template: get your naming convention builder
To simplify your work, I’ve developed a Google Sheet that puts together campaign names for you. You just need to select each element from a drop-down menu. Alert messages create guardrails to avoid mistakes.
Click here to get access!
Do you want to start tracking your podcast promotion campaign and understand how your listeners find your show? Create your free Voxalyze account.