Marketing is based on 2 fundamental steps: action and reaction. Any marketing professional knows that decisions should not be made without a prior analysis of the actions taken.
“Information is power”. The information is needed to convert anonymous users into customers in a more effective way. It is able to offer them added value that will make them fall in love with your brand and recommend it. Without adequate information it will be almost impossible to achieve our objectives.
Having detailed information is essential in Inbound Marketing given the nature of this methodology. Let’s not forget that we are targeting specific people and not a huge mass with superficial segmentation. We will not be able to do our work if we do not know in which phase of the buying cycle our audience is, how many and who are our visitors, leads and customers. If we do not know these data, how can we offer them valuable content that will allow us to guide them through the purchase process?
Having this clear (that the information is necessary and indispensable), there are 3 practical tips on the monitoring of our actions that we must burn with fire in our brains:
1. Focus on your goals when monitoring
Before analyzing any measurable aspect in marketing, ask yourself: what do I really need? We must be clear that monitoring and analyzing our actions requires a lot of time and effort. Therefore, it is necessary to set specific objectives and not go blind when measuring our results.
The ideal is to apply the SMART method when establishing objectives (ie, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic objectives in a given time). For example: “In 3 months, our number of visits must grow by 10%” or “We need to pass to the sales team X monthly leads”. Keeping these goals in mind, analyzing your results and optimizing actions will be much easier.
2. Monitor the appropriate metrics
Why is my range so low? How I got that peak of visits on my website? What is so special about that tweet that has been shared so much? It is in these types of questions that the true power of monitoring our contents lies: the right questions will give us the answers we need. But there’s more! We must interpret these answers appropriately.
In the first place, it will be useful to know what the potential scope of our contents as a whole is. That is, our owned media. For this we can use 4 global metrics that we must keep in mind at all times:
- Number of subscribers (blog + email + RSS)
- Number of followers in your social networks
- Number of backlinks pointing to your web
- Keywords that generate web traffic from Google
These 4 metrics are essential to understand the ability we have to disseminate our content, both through our website, our profiles on social networks and our emailing actions. A large scope will mean attracting a greater number of visitors who, at a given moment will leave us their data and will become leads. At least at this point we will have achieved one of the main objectives.
In fact, perhaps the master metric within the Inbound Marketing methodology is the conversion ratio that relates the number of visitors to the number of leads obtained.
Conversion Ratio = (leads / visits) x 100
Although the conversion ratio is vital, the important thing is to divide the different phases of the Funnel with its corresponding conversion ratio. That is to say:
- Conversion rate of visits to leads.
- Ratio of conversion of leads to qualified Marketing leads (MQLs).
- Ratio of conversion of MQLs to qualified sales leads (SQLs).
- Ratio of SQLs conversion to sales.
This ratio measures our actions as a whole and it is key that we always keep in mind that we should always be optimizing it.
In our case, it is the content that will allow us not only to attract “quality” visitors, but also to guide them through their buying cycle (Lead Nurturing). That is why we must go deeper and analyze some key metrics that we use in the different tools we use.
There are 2 metrics in relation to our blog that will help us assess if our website and its contents are really interesting for our audience.
First of all, we must know if we are growing. For this, we will calculate the MaM Growth Rate (month to month):
Growth Rate MaM = ((month 2 – month 1) / month 1) x 100)
This growth must always be compared with the previous year, to check that we compare with common data.
At the post level, one of the most interesting metrics that define the degree of interest that a content has is its virality ratio, understanding virality by a multiplier of visits, not by the last action of Mannequin Challenge.
Virality ratio = (total shares / visits of the post) x 100
By carrying out a study of the ratio of each article we can deduce which themes and formats are the ones that work best when it comes to spreading our contents through the network.
However, this metric measures the noise and not the impact of a content, so we must take it with tweezers. That is, it does not measure the usefulness or value that our content generates in our audience, so we must complete its analysis with other metrics that measure its impact. Between them:
- Comments generated.
- Bounce Rate.
- CTR to its corresponding CTA.
- Number and frequency of visits.
The distribution of our content on social networks is an indispensable source of web traffic. As a fundamental metric, the number of our total reach is very interesting. But if we take a step further, the metric that works best when it comes to knowing the value of our publications is the Interaction Rate:
Interaction rate = (Total interactions / scope of the publication) x 100
This analysis is very effective when it comes to drawing patterns on topics, formats or even the tone of the publications that work best in our channels.
The CTA is the gateway that a visitor will have to open before voluntarily providing us with their data and becoming a lead. That is why the call to action must be attractive enough to encourage the user to leave their data in the consequent landing page. To measure that attractiveness, we will look at your CTR (click-through-rate):
CTR = (# clicks / visits) x 100
This value will give us a clear vision of whether the call to action is effective or not. Use the A / B tests to optimize the CTA and find the one that best optimizes your results. Or, if you have a lot of traffic, use multivariable tests.
Once we have attracted the audience to our landing page, we must assess if we are adequately capturing the attention. If we are able to attract them but do not convert into leads, something fails. To assess it, we need to know the conversion ratio of contacts:
Contact conversion ratio = (lead / visits to Landing Page) x 100
The campaigns we carry out are fundamental in our Inbound Marketing strategy since it allows us to guide and qualify our leads. Again, to measure the effectiveness of our shipments we can look at the opening ratio, that is, the percentage of open emails over the total sent.
But even more interesting is the CTOR (click-to-open rate) or the percentage of emails that have received a click on the total of open emails. That is, from the subscribers to the mail, how many are really interested in its content.
CTOR = (# clicks / # opens) x 100
If your opening rate and your CTOR is very low, you should look for alternatives because they are clearly not being of interest or useful to your subscribers, or perhaps it is not the channel to connect with them.
3. Use the right analysis tools
Using tools that allow you to have all information immediately and visually is essential to do a good job and save time. Keep in mind that monitoring and analysis is a task we perform almost daily, especially in social networks, so you should not spare resources to surround yourself with the best tools.
Fortunately, integral Inbound Marketing tools such as HubSpot, Marketo or Eloqua are specially designed to show in a very intuitive way all the necessary data to be able to analyze the metrics previously described.
You can also take advantage of solutions such as Google Analytics, Buffer or Twitter Analytics, tools that will allow you to quickly and reliably obtain a large part of the metrics that you will need to be able to analyze and draw conclusions about your content strategy.