You create great content, add value for your customers and build trust with them.
It sounds simple when it’s said that way, but inbound marketing isn’t necessarily easy. It requires an ongoing commitment to publishing and communicating with your prospects and customers. This can be a costly and work-intensive endeavor.
So how exactly do you measure your inbound marketing ROI? By visits, email subscribers, phone calls, sales, all of the above or some other metric?
Here’s what you need to know about measuring your inbound marketing ROI.
Inbound marketing is not a campaign: It’s not a one-off promotion or sale. It requires your ongoing attention.
Inbound marketing is often a multi-channel endeavor: Like an octopus, you’re spreading your tentacles out in different directions, driving traffic and prospects from many social networks and online platforms. This can make tracking and measuring difficult.
You can’t measure inbound marketing over the short-term: You have to take a long-term perspective with inbound marketing. How long? At least seven months. According to HubSpot, 85 percent of companies using inbound marketing increase their traffic within seven months.
This depends on your goals. But for most companies, pageviews, email subscribers, user registrations and sales will be among their top priorities.
Here are several KPIs that you should be tracking:
But you’ll also be reporting to management, who will likely request:
Tracking most of the above metrics doesn’t have to be difficult. If you’re already using HubSpot or another CRM, you’re equipped with the tools you need. If not, you can also take advantage of tools like Google Analytics.
As we pointed out earlier, tracking isn’t a one-time endeavor. You have to measure the effectiveness of your inbound marketing initiative over the long haul, or you will not gain a clear and cohesive picture of what’s happening with it.
Another important step at this stage is to assign a monetary value to your metrics (but don’t randomly assign numbers to them). For example, how many of your page views are leading to clicks on calls-to-action, and ultimately to leads? Together with your sales data, determine how many of your leads are converting to customers, and examine the lifetime value of your customers. In this way, you can calculate the exact value of a page view.
This metric, however, will shift over time, and it’s important to monitor how it shifts so you can adapt as needed.
Without accounting for costs, we can’t get a holistic picture of how your inbound marketing program is performing. Marketing is an investment, which means there is also a payoff. But you won’t know when you’ve broken even on your investment, or when your marketing initiative is profitable, unless you factor in your expenses.
It’s important to keep tabs on:
This is not a comprehensive list of costs, which will depend entirely on your specific initiative, what channels you’re using, as well as the human resources engaged.
There are different strategies for measuring your inbound marketing ROI. The exact nature of your marketing program isn’t going to be the same as anyone else’s, which means there is a need for a somewhat tailored approach to measurement. Beyond analytics tools and content creation, inbound marketing is a customized initiative.
The key thing, then, is to start measuring. Your process may not be perfect at first, and it may require some tweaking, but this is a far better option than waiting for a manager to ask, “What’s the ROI of this program?” and you’re caught without an adequate answer.