Every inbound marketing blog has a list of the things you need for a successful inbound marketing strategy. Create a curated blog, update social media regularly, create infographics and videos, be innovative. There is certainly a formula, but how do you know if all that hard work is paying off?
The thing about Inbound marketing is that it takes time to bloom. You can plant a million seeds, but without patience, maintenance and consistency you’re not going to generate results. In the same respect, immediate results are easy to anticipate when you’re putting a lot of time and effort into these strategies, but you must be patient. At the end of the day, though, it’s worth it.
Fortunately, just as there is an inbound marketing formula, there is also a formula for tracking your progress. No matter what your result tracking strategy is though, the first step is to set goals for yourself and your organization. If you’re brand new to inbound, this might be hard to do because you don’t have the history to evaluate where you currently are in the spectrum, but everyone must begin somewhere.
Try to evaluate where you are now, and then develop a realistic goal based on where you believe you’d like to be in the next month, sixth months and year. How many leads does it take to generate a lead, how many leads does it take to generate a sale and how many sales do you want to have each month? From there, you can begin planning and organizing your strategy in a way that can be tracked and measured with time and the right resources.
Tracking Your Progress
If you’re using inbound marketing software like Hubspot, seeing your progression is very easy. You’ll be able to generate reports that are time, subject and/or campaign specific. You can see each and every piece of content that you create, like blog posts, landing pages and e-mails, and how they’re performing over time.
Hubspot makes it simple to be honest about your progress, and it also makes it easy to automate content so that you can start to bring more leads in every day. You’re also able to integrate Hubspot with CRM software, like HubSpot's CRM or Salesforce, which gives an extra tool to teams that are specifically looking to grow their businesses.
What Drives Your Efforts
Your inbound strategy should be data driven, and that’s the key to being able to continue tracking your success. One of the main things I’ve mentioned in this post is dedication. You have to keep up with your own strategy in order for it to work, and that also means changing things up when you see that something isn’t working.
Staying on top of your metrics and the progression of your goals is just as important as making goals. You need to monitor your metrics, open rates, visits and leads. If you don’t see them increasing within a reasonable amount of time, start posting more, use Googles handy Keyword Tool to build topics around your brand or simply find new ways to do things. In order to get results you’ve never had, you have to be willing to do things you’ve never done.
You will know that your inbound marketing efforts are making a difference when you see that you’re gradually needing to make less and less changes. What you’re doing is working, so there’s no need to reinvent the wheel!
Who is Your Customer
There is often a big difference between who we think our customer is and who our customer really is. This can be a very tricky thing to overcome. However, once you’ve nailed it, it’s smooth sailing. Identifying your customer is definitely at the top of the ‘inbound strategy design’ list. It’s incredibly important, and it’s also a very helpful tool for understanding the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Oftentimes, marketing teams will notice that they have a lot of leads coming in but they aren’t the kind of leads that are going to close. Why is that? Perhaps their keywords are slightly off so they’re only attracting businesses without the revenue available to purchase their product or service. Maybe they are drawing in the wrong person at an organization; someone who isn’t able to make a final decision. Whatever the case may be, once you see the right kind of leads coming in you know you’ve hit the jackpot in content creation. Whatever you’re doing, keep putting it out there because you’re bringing in the right kind of people.
What all of this really amounts to is three things: an increase in visits to your website, an increase in the generation of new leads and more customers. When you see these numbers rising, and with the right amount of passion and perseverance they will rise, you know you’re one step closer to achieving the results you want.