Inbound Marketing is All About Metrics
Inbound Marketing is an ongoing process that requires daily attention to be successful. There isn’t enough time in the day to stroll into the office between 8:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., grab your first cup of coffee, and then start planning your day - if you want your marketing to be effective.
You must have a plan. Not a strategy. A plan.
Now, before we get started, the content of this article works for both the one-person marketing machine as well as a marketing team. The critical points are going to have to do with choosing the right metrics, channels, and tasks to optimize daily prior to 9:00am so you can maximize your efforts.
1) Get Caffienated Before Work
According to Glassdoor.com the average employee spends 18-22 minutes getting “situated” in the morning after they arrive to the office before they start their first task. We can only assume that getting coffee plays a major role in this time suck and represents 20% of your time prior to 9:00am.
Solution: Grab a Starbucks on the way to work or arrive at the office a few minutes early and get your coffee at work quickly and then dive into the steps below. If you’re going to get coffee at work then you need to account for this time on your daily schedule.
2) Determine What Metrics to Analyze Each Morning
If you’re an inbound marketer then you know how important metrics are, or should be to you’re decision making process. It is critical that you are looking at the most valuable metrics each day to determine what needs to be potentially iterated in real-time and to leave the longer-term metrics review to be scheduled weekly or monthly.
The metrics you choose to analyze should be fluid, especially if your tracking multiple channels like blogs, social channels, and traffic sources. It is also important to keep your core consistent.
3) Analyze Previous Days Metrics
Now that you have chosen the metrics that you are going to review each morning you need to do it. If you're fortunate enough to use a system like HubSpot then you have most everything you need in one portal. This task will most likely take you 15 minutes per day or less.
Example: If you’re a Content Manager or writer you may want to review your previous day’s blog article to see how many social shares, comments, or inbound links were generated. If your article doubled from the average then you may want to create another piece of content to support yesterday’s topic as a follow up to post later in the day.
Everyday when I walk into the office I launch HubSpot and follow the list below…
Dashboard – Since we use HubSpot I get a high level comparison of where we are at with our traffic and leads on a month to date, month over month, or goal-based view. I can also get blog analytics from our most recent blogs as well as new customers in less than 2-3 minutes.
Below is a view of our HubSpot Dashboard displaying Traffic and Leads in a month over month view.
Sources – I check our traffic by source from the previous day. The key sources I am looking at are:
- Social media traffic
- Email (from lead nurturing campaigns)
If there is anything that stands out I can easily click a specific source and sort by specific campaigns or channels to see if we are hitting our goals or if we are not.
Below are a couple of screenshots of our Sources (Traffic). You will notice that the bar graph is color-coded based on the traffic source making it easy to digest with a quick glance.
This Sources screenshot is even more valuable as you can see it displays the breakdown of visitor to lead conversions by Source.
If I want to take a deeper dive into social media channels, which I recommend looking at, daily now I have a full grasp of what channels are driving both traffic and leads. The moral of this story is don’t stop at the top. Dig down a couple of layers to really see what is performing well and what is not.
I would say we are underperforming on both Google+ and Pinterest this month and I need to find out why.
The Dashboard and Sources screenshots above are where I start every day as I review metrics. Based on the information I find the remainder of my routine may change based on the metrics. Keep in mind everyday is a little different from this point forward and you will need to know what do with the metrics as you set up your task lists.
Landing Pages – If we have a new campaign that has been deployed then I will check the landing page metrics to see the conversion rates and how many leads we have in our sales funnel.
I can’t fit all of them into a screenshot, but here are some of our Landing Page metrics over the last week. Since I can track campaigns in HubSpot I will “triangulate” the traffic source individually along with conversion rates below and our goals to determine our success and if we need to make an iteration. This same process is also used for CTA conversions and A/B testing our CTA’s.
Obviously your systems may differ (Google Analytics, Hootsuite, Unbounce, etc). The point is to review your key metrics everyday and use them to make decisions and to plan your day. All to often we see marketers “sticking to the plan” and not reviewing metrics daily, which means there plan usually doesn’t improve over time.
Social Media – Every morning I receive a report that provides daily metrics from our key social media channels (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn). A quick 5 minute review and I can see what is performing well and what is not before I start my daily posting. I will also use the Social Media tab inside of Sources as displayed above. (See screenshots above).
Here is a great article to help you take the next step with social media monitoring efficiency - Social Media Monitoring in Less than 20 Mins Per Day.
4) Schedule Your Day
Now that you have completed your metrics review you can make adjustments to your daily task list. Did you have a CTA iteration scheduled for today? Probably not, but if your running an A/B test and B outperformed A over the weekend by 12% for a new campaign and your behind on your lead generation goals then redesigning A might move to the top of your list.
If you plan on knocking out two blog articles this afternoon and a huge news story broke on Sunday night that is related to your industry that you think can drive traffic and leads, then you probably need to think about adjusting your schedule. News jack that trending topic first thing and write a blog article, then distribute it via social media.
5) Planning. Preparation. Persistence.
I call these “The Three P’s” and they are critical to the success of all inbound marketing professionals. I emphasize the word “professional” here because if you don’t prepare, you can’t create a plan, and if you're not persistent in following your plan and scheduling then you will never be successful with inbound marketing.
There are way too many variables and components to manage, measure, research and execute on without it. I am a firm believer that you must have a system in place and be extremely diligent in managing your own time as effectively as possible to be a great inbound marketer.
Below you will see a screenshot of my Google calendar from last Monday June 9th. You will see that I have implemented a color-coded system and the red is non-negotiable. These times have been blocked for “work time” and “lunch”. I do not schedule over or change these times even for a client, as I know I need to schedule time to actually work. Otherwise my day will get away from me and I will be writing a blog (like this one) over the weekend.
The orange is my second priority. These include meetings with my business partner and COO, my metrics review time prior to 9am, and my social media and content team which is the cornerstone for our business.
This is a long blog article for something that is really simple.
Prior to 9:00 a.m. everyday you need to know your metrics and let these metrics dictate your executional tasks for the day.
The last tip I will leave with you is to plan on Friday afternoon for the following week. Write down the major tasks you need to complete the following week with deadlines and the estimated time for completion. This will relieve a lot of stress over the weekend for you and most importantly on Monday morning as you are prepared for the new week. Now just be persistent in hitting your goals and deadlines.
I would love to hear from you in the comments below.
What metrics do you review each day?
Do you plan your days weekly or daily?