So, you’re happy with your inbound marketing performance? You have created a content factory in your business that delivers the right mix of content delivered at the perfect frequency to engage your target buyer personas and bring them through your marketing funnel? Congratulations!
You will have a sense that the implementation of your strategy is working because the outputs are both overt and significant. Quite simply, your sales department is in love with your marketing department at last.
Sales can report:
- More qualified leads (the type of people they want to sell to) coming to them and ready to buy
- The sales cycle is shorter, as these prospects have been moved further through their buying process by the time they engage with the sales team
- More objections have been handled in advance and pain points have already been mitigated to a greater or lesser extent
- The prospects understand your company’s positioning in the market place and how you differentiate from the competition
- They actually understand your proposition and don’t view the sales team with suspicion for trying to convince them to buy because they have researched and validated your offering under their own steam and have come to you when the time is right for them; when they actually have a need to be met and budget to deploy
All of this means a wider lead funnel, fuller sales pipeline, increased revenues, more clients and ultimately greater market share.
It’s a compelling story for your business and one that you can literally become the author of, with commitment, dedication and consistency as long as you are able to communicate your value into the market place.
But how do you really measure and improve your inbound marketing performance at a granular level to ensure continued, optimal results?
Metrics to measure your inbound marketing performance
There are a number of key metrics which you will need to measure the impact of on a regular basis to ensure you are driving constant improvement.
These metrics will help you learn what is working and what isn’t, so that you can maintain momentum and ensure you keep filling the top of the lead funnel.
Your website is the hub of your business. It’s not only your shop window but also your showroom and should be your hardest working sales person. Install Google Analytics and other software such as heat-mapping (try CrazyEgg for example), to provide the data you need on your website performance and activity.
According to Search Engine Journal, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), inbound leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate.
Inbound leads are typically those that have come from someone searching for a term to research a subject, digesting the relevant content, which informs and educates them and then responding to a call to action.
So what are the key metrics that you need to measure your inbound marketing performance in order to keep winning?
- Traffic - Increased traffic (unique visits) to your website. This is a basic measurement of more people visiting your site. It shows you are being found more in the organic search engines
- Bounce rate - This is the percentage of visitors who leave your site after visiting the first page (or after a session timeout which is typically 30 minutes, should they stay on the page they arrive at and leave their browser open)
If this number is high, it shows they are either in the wrong place or don’t like the look of your site so don’t wish to visit further pages. For a B2B website, anywhere between 25%-55% is normal and a 40% bounce rate is average. A high bounce rate may show that you need to perfect the user experience (UX) on your website to help the customers get what they want.
- Average page views - This helps you to understand which pages are performing and which are not being viewed, as a percentage of your overall traffic. It is a measurement that helps you to determine if people are responding to what you offer on your site.
- Conversion rate - This is how you measure the overall marketing leads generated from your website (visitors who make an enquiry/ fill out a form/ take an action).
A conversion can be whatever action onsite that you define – such as downloading a whitepaper or signing up to a newsletter. However, we recommend that conversions have a financial implication and are best measured when focused on leads filling out a form to enter your sales process.
- Visit-to-lead conversion rate - This is a self-explanatory measurement of inbound marketing performance. How many of your visitors are taking the actions you want them to?
To improve your conversion rate, you can either increase the number of visitors through your inbound marketing process; improve the focus on the quality and type of traffic you are attracting (better channel management) or improve your Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO).
By looking at these metrics in the round you can also analyse your traffic, leads and conversion rate by source; content type, organic search, website referrals, email, PPC (Pay Per Click), social media platforms and email marketing.
If you are also utilising offline marketing, be sure to include a way of tracking lead source such as setting up a special telephone number for calls produced from a certain activity like direct mail.
Once you have a good understanding of the above key metrics, your next step should be to dissect these into your individual campaigns and specific content outputs.
Take into consideration the channels you used, the timing of your campaigns and the segmentation of your audience groups and evaluate these individually against impact.
Taking the necessary actions to improve your inbound marketing performance will allow you to judge the effectiveness of your inbound marketing strategy and its impact on your bottom line.
It is the key to enabling continuously enhanced results. We hope we've answered your question; "How do you measure Inbound Marketing", thanks for reading!