How good is your inbound marketing campaign? Are you reaching the goals you've established? Is it producing results? Are you attracting and converting leads? These are the kinds of questions you need to be able to answer.
Fun Fact: Almost 35% of businesses cannot or do not calculate ROI in 2013 (HubSpot)
End-to-end ROI for inbound marketing can be difficult to measure, in part because inbound marketing involves a variety of channels and some marketers are unsure how to track them. That said, you should have an idea of what kind of return you're getting on your inbound marketing investment. If you can determine your inbound ROI – positive or negative – you will have a good idea of your overall performance.
Does Your Inbound Measure Up?
For the entirety of your inbound marketing campaign, you should be measuring, testing and assessing what's working and what isn't. That way, you can identify your strengths and failures and use those insights to improve your strategy as you move forward. With that in mind, let's dive into what kinds of things you should be looking at when analyzing the effectiveness of your inbound campaign.
1) Blogs: We talked about the importance of blogs for inbound (link to post) in an earlier post. Monitoring the success of your blog in terms of what posts have been most effective for lead generation, social shares and impact can provide insight on what topics or types of posts to focus on.
2) Cost-per-lead (CPL) and Cost-per-acquisition (CPA): One way to track the success of your campaign is by looking at how much each lead and each customer acquisition is costing you. You can compare these numbers to your traditional outbound tactics and see if there's an improvement. These figures can also be used as a reference point for your future inbound campaigns.
3) Lead Source: From where, and in what volume, are your leads coming? Knowing your lead sources can help you adjust your inbound strategy to focus on areas that need improvement and polish elements that are already performing well.
4) Lead Conversion: This is a simple matter of establishing what methods are producing the highest conversion rates. It could be from email, social media, blogs or other sources, but it gives an idea of what parts of your strategy are producing the best lead conversion rates.
This isn't a comprehensive metrics list, but it's a good place to start if you're having issues establishing what you should be tracking. While it may be difficult to measure ROI if you've just recently adopted inbound marketing, establishing a baseline of your performance can help you track improvements as your strategy becomes more mature.
What kind of metrics do you use to measure your inbound marketing effectiveness? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
This is the final instalment of our 9-part series, The Key Elements of an Inbound Marketing Campaign.
Daniel is a Content Writer at Search Engine People. He is always experimenting with new formats and looking for creative ways to produce, optimize and promote content. He previously wrote for CanadaOne Magazine and helped create and implement online marketing strategies at Mongrel Media.