"What gets measured, gets done..." is a quote that has been attributed to Peter Drucker, Tom Peters, Edward Deming, Lord Kelvin and others. Vince Lombardi was quoted as saying, “if you’re not keeping score, you're just practicing.”
We couldn’t agree more. If you’re not tracking the performance of your company’s marketing programs daily, weekly and monthly then you’re not even close to being in a position to drive your business forward with an inbound marketing program. Stop practicing and get into the game by using marketing metrics and analytics to get smart about marketing.
Data gives you power. The more you know, the better your decisions.
Here are the key performance indicators (KPIs) for an inbound marketing program.
- Website Traffic (total visitors to the site) this month vs. last month, this month vs. this month last year and this month vs. a rolling three month average.
- Conversion rate for the site as a whole.
- Leads from the website this month vs. last month, this month vs. this month last year and this month vs. a rolling three month average.
If you just watched these numbers daily, you could make the necessary adjustments mid-week to keep your program moving up and to the right, month over month.
Here are a couple of other KPIs for you to consider:
- Traffic and leads from organic search
- Traffic and leads from social media
- Traffic and leads from email marketing
- Traffic and leads from direct links to your site
- Traffic and leads from referring sites
This is a more detailed look at where traffic and leads are coming from, but it shows that if you are missing even one of these tactical programs, your results are going to be below expectations. Following these additional KPIs will also highlight if and when one of these individual programs is underperforming.
Content marketing is a huge part of inbound marketing but how do you know what to write about? Easy, look at blog views and identify those blog topics that are getting more views, more shares or more comments. The more your prospects’ community appreciates the content, the more views, shares and comments you'll see. You can also look at downloads and conversions on dedicated landing pages. Make sure each content item and source has its own landing page.
Don’t overlook lead nurturing. Marketing analytics give you insight into which content is driving prospects through the funnel. Today, marketing and sales have to work together to help, guide and educate the prospect all the way through the sales process. Data on lead nurturing gives you insight into which pieces move the prospect and which ones are being ignored.
Finally, make sure you tie marketing directly to new client/customer acquisition. This means you have to go in and tell your marketing automation system which prospects converted into new customers. This is a very important and often overlooked step. It’s great to get analytics on leads, but it’s even better to know where your actual new customers are coming from. Is it organic search, social media, educational content, or referring websites? These critically important insights allow you to double down on the most effective sources and find ways to improve underperforming areas.
Start Today Tip – Do you have marketing analytics installed at your company? While Google offers some data, it's not enough and it's not presented in a format that drives action. If you can't get access to the KPIs outlined above, then consider other options. HubSpot, Marketo, Elequa, Pardot and a host of other marketing software tools all provide similar access to the KPIs discussed above. Test drive one of these for your business today.
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