Life before inbound marketing probably sounded something like this ...
You get your campaign assets together: print ads, banner ads, direct mail, sales slicks and some pay-per-click ads.
You launch your campaign and let it run for 30, 60, maybe 90 days before getting together to evaluate the results.
You know what you spent on the campaign, but do you know what you actually received from that investment?
Sure, you might know some of the metrics, like the number of people who clicked on your ad or the number of people who landed on your homepage from a PPC ad. But, beyond that, it's a bit of a black hole.
Fortunately, that "wait and see, hope it works, keep your fingers crossed" feeling you used to have is now gone forever. If you’re practicing inbound, you should expect more. Find out how to do it differently.
One of the secrets to inbound marketing is that it requires access to real-time performance data. You’re able to impact metrics today so that you hit your goals tomorrow. I’m going to share how we optimize inbound campaigns to drive results for clients.
Watch The Number Daily
Most marketing automation tools come with an app version for your phone. Download this immediately, and get in the habit of checking out key metrics at least once a day. It’s so ridiculously easy to see how many people are coming to your website, what your sitewide conversion rate is and your total leads this month versus last month – all right from your phone. It’s something that everyone should be doing. This is a great first step toward inbound marketing optimization.
Make Adjustments Weekly
Once you see how your program is performing, you want to get in the habit of making adjustments on a regular basis and then watching the improvements. Schedule a weekly meeting with the people accountable for your marketing, and make sure that upgrades (even if they’re small ones) are agreed to, scheduled and implemented. Then, check back a week later to see if they’ve impacted your results positively. If you make 52 changes – even minor ones – over the course of the year, you’re going to see positive results.
Establish Benchmark Performance Metrics
Setting goals is important, but setting realistic goals is even more important. Once you see how you’re doing, establish that performance as your benchmark and set attainable goals for the next few months. Site traffic can be improved by 10-20% per month if you have the right inbound marketing tactics in play. Leads can be equally improved if you have the right conversion strategy in place.
Measure Against Those Benchmarks
With expectations, you have a perspective from which to make decisions. But, if you don’t keep track of performance, reset goals and challenge your team to perform, you’re likely to be underwhelmed with the results.
Improve Performance Month Over Month
Set goals quarterly and manage them monthly. During your weekly huddles, review performance so that no more than seven days goes by without some type of adjustment being discussed. If your numbers are up and to the right, you don’t have to make any adjustments unless you’re feeling aggressive. But, if they’re not, you have a mechanism to make a change.
Establish Accountabilities And Compensate Accordingly
There is one more element to this that will definitely affect your ability to drive results. You have to make people accountable, and you have to connect their compensation directly to results. Improving website visitors, conversions and leads helps the company grow. The more leads you get, the more sales, revenue and company growth you see. Take a portion of your team’s compensation, and give them the chance to overearn and overachieve once your inbound program hits a performance tier. The better the performance, the greater their compensation. You’ll be amazed at how this small adjustment delivers huge returns.
Tom Peters wrote, “What gets measured gets done.” So, by simply applying metrics, goals and expectations to your marketing, you’re going to see improvement. But, take this one step further by applying an optimization philosophy, and watch your program zoom through the roof.
Start Today Tip – Properly optimizing your inbound program is part process and part science. Setting up the rhythms is the first step. When are you going to be huddling? What are you measuring? What are your goals? Set this up first, and you’ll be halfway there. The science part is a little more challenging. If results fall below expectations, you might need some assistance deciding what to do and when. Unfortunately, this takes experience with optimizing an inbound program, and you only get that after you’ve done it a couple hundred times. Don’t wait too long to call on the experts. The longer you wait, the tougher it'll be to get the numbers back up.
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