As management innovator Peter Drucker famously said: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Measurement is key to long-term continuous improvement in any field.
Drucker’s wisdom is more than a bumper sticker-friendly platitude. It really cuts into the heart of what it means to commit resources to an organization-wide effort.
In this case, inbound marketing is not unlike any other process in the modern business. Performance metrics are key to identifying and improving success.
But unlike many other business processes, marketers disagree on what metrics should be measured and how best to perform those measurements. In fact, one-fourth of marketers lack the skills they need to measure audience data, and more than half don’t even bother.
Some marketers aren’t even worried about making a solid case for improving their inbound marketing campaigns. Their number one concern is filling a dashboard with enough metrics to convince their clients that things are going well.
But that strategy doesn’t lead to long-term growth. Marketers need to streamline the marketing metrics to focus on the most important items of data and to leverage their knowledge towards improving the marketing engine in those areas.
5 Questions to Measure Marketing Success With
In order to accurately measure marketing success, marketers must ask five key questions. The answers to these questions will determine the best way to identify marketing campaign effectiveness metrics and to measure them.
• Are customers, fans, and prospects engaged with the brand?
• How many people perform the action the inbound marketing campaign is aiming for?
• Is organic website traffic improving or stagnating?
• Do high-authority websites link to the brand?
• Is the marketing team efficiently using its time and resources?
Choosing the right metrics gives brands the ability to answer these questions clearly. It also gives marketers the ability to identify the best path towards improving lead generation.
What is lead generation in marketing? The stimulation of users’ interests towards advancing in the sales process. Measuring marketing performance is part of all successful, repeatable lead generation strategies.
How to Measure Marketing Campaign Effectiveness
Marketers have a huge assortment of potential performance metrics at hand. Even a small marketing agency can generate reports that contain more data than any client could reasonably sift through and understand.
This approach simply intimidates clients while testing their trust. Marketers who really want to know how to measure the success of a marketing plan need to identify three high-impact metrics and focus on them.
1. Conversion Rates
It should come as no surprise that the most important marketing campaign effectiveness metrics to measure is the conversion rate. Conversions are what drives the marketing machine. However, it’s important to properly define what conversion really means for the brand in question.
E-commerce retailers may define conversion as a purchase, but that’s not the only definition out there. A B2B agency may define a whitepaper download as a conversion – in this case, it’s a single step in a larger lead generation strategy.
Few metrics can tell as simple a story as website and blog traffic. The more visitors a brand has to its website, the more impressions it makes. The more impressions it makes, the better its inbound marketing efforts must be performing.
The most important thing for marketers to remember here is that there is a difference between website traffic and blog traffic. Measuring these metrics distinctly helps marketers zero-in on exactly how successful their inbound marketing campaigns really are.
Google Analytics Dashboard offers a highly detailed window into traffic and conversion rate performance. Use this tool to examine various date ranges and identify marketing performance over time.
Social media engagement is a major bellwether for gauging audience sentiment. It’s becoming increasingly rare for people to use blog post comment sections, but social media users are all too happy to let brands know what they think.
Use a tool like BuzzSumo to analyze the average number of shares per week and start assessing how that number changes over time. Find out how far the best performing pieces of content go, and the total amount of shares individual items of content end up gathering through their lifetimes.
Improve Lead Generation for Inbound Marketing Campaigns
Marketers committed to learning how to measure the success of a marketing plan need to be able to accurately define what success looks like. The picture painted by conversions, traffic, and engagement need to tell a story that generates value both for the brand and for its customers. When these metrics are combined into a streamlined content vehicle, they will begin to produce compounding results.
Address the needs of potential leads through high-quality content. Talk to one of our marketing specialists to find out how!