image credit: bradhoc/flickr
For small business marketing, measurement is one area of inbound strategy that can’t be neglected.
Analytics and reporting aren’t reserved for big companies with massive budgets for data. With the right marketing tools, companies can shift measurement into a regular part of marketing strategy.
Marketer John Jantsch writes that trying to do inbound “without metrics” is like playing roulette. Sure, you’ll occasionally win, but you’ll accrue some real costs in “wasted money and lost opportunity.”
Marketing Metrics and KPIs for Agility
For the vast majority of small businesses, marketing budgets are a limiting factor in campaign and outreach development. Each month, you have a certain amount of funds that can be allocated towards content, email, social media, or other marketing activities.
By measuring on a consistent basis, you’re able to develop an agile stance. By understanding the marketing activities that are driving results and your recent failures, you can continually adjust your inbound marketing strategy for the best returns.
Picking the Right Metrics to Measure
It’s easy for marketers to get lost in metrics. Ultimately, it’s important to understand the difference between “vanity” metrics and measurements that contribute directly to your company’s return on investment (ROI). In this blog, we’ll address metrics that matter, with a particular focus on listing sales-driven metrics first.
Ultimately, your boss wants to know the ROI of your inbound marketing efforts. To measure the sales value of your campaigns, you need to “close the loop” and understand the impact of your marketing on company revenue.
In addition to evaluating the dollar value of your new sales compared to marketing spend, marketers must consider their buyer’s journey. If it takes your average prospect four months to complete a purchase, it’s important to account for this delay between lead conversions and sales.
However, with the right marketing tool, you can connect your new customers to individual marketing campaigns, keywords, social media posts, and blog articles, to truly understand your wins.
1. Closed loop analytics: Customer conversions, analyzed by marketing source.
For many marketers, generating qualified leads is a challenge. A high website visitor-to-lead conversion rate indicates that your content marketing efforts are on-point, and your conversion pathways are optimized.
However, lead generation results don’t tell the whole story. If your company is generating a large volume of leads but poor sales, you may need to refine your strategy. Quality of leads matters even more than lead quantity. The following metrics can be a tool for determining the strength of your lead generation efforts.
2. Visitor-to-Lead conversions: The percentage of total website visitors who convert into leads.
3. Lead sources: The sources of your website visitors who become leads.
4. Conversion assists: Content that a visitor engages with immediately before converting into a lead.
Engagement metrics can reveal the strength of your content’s ability to appeal to your target audience. If your content is driving traffic from search engines and social media, you’re probably generating more leads and sales.
Engagement metrics don’t always indicate high ROI. You may be attracting the wrong types of visitors entirely. However, if your engagement, lead generation and sales metrics are all increasing, it’s a sign that your inbound marketing strategy is optimized. Evaluate the following metrics regularly.
5. Visits: Total site visitors.
6. Bounce rate: The percentage of "single-page" visits to your website.
7. Crawl rate: The percentage of multiple page visitors to your website.
8. Time on site: The average length of a website visit.
9. Comments: Average number of comments per blog article.
10. Email open rates: The percentage of emails sent that are opened.
11. Re-conversions: The percentage of existing leads who download a second lead generation offer.
For small business marketers, it’s important to stay focused on a handful of inbound marketing metrics that matter. By measuring your content’s ability to attract and convert leads and customers, you can ensure your limited marketing budget is making the biggest impact possible.
What are the most important inbound marketing metrics at your organization?