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At Digital Youth Network, we work with dozens of organizations across the nation on numerous campaigns. As DYN has shifted to a more data-centric strategy, the need to monitor the popularity of our campaigns is increasingly important. Sometimes we use Constant Contact. Other times we communicate with end users or stakeholders through one of our numerous platforms. And of course, social media allows links to point to anything from anywhere. This keeps tracking from being simple.

For our Chicago City of Learning (CCOL) messaging campaigns, we created our own url shortener. CCOL is composed of primarily user-generated content from our network of 100 plus organizations and partners. Campaigns point our audience to content such as organization pages, workshops and online challenges.

By creating custom links, message owners can see how many times their link has been clicked. As a content owner, we can see how many times a page has been viewed separately from the incoming links. So we could have a different twitter, handout, and email links that point to the same content. Much simpler to determine what works best for a given audience.

For instance, our most popular link in February so far is a playlist for Digital Learning Day — http://ccol.io/zp8eq

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