We run into one question from prospective clients over and over again: How do I know that investing in marketing pays off?
We’re glad you asked.
Marketing professionals may not be the ones signing invoices, but they’re certainly responsible for bringing in revenue. The question many business owners have is exactly how much of their revenue can be attributed to their marketing efforts.
First things first: put down the calculator. The benefits of marketing go far beyond the bottom line if they’re strategically designed and executed. A successful marketing strategy will consistently—even increasingly—expand your audience, convert leads, and close sales.
So how can you measure marketing? Here are a few KPIs that can help keep tabs on the success of your campaign and determine exactly how your investment is paying off.
Website Visits and Engagement
Chances are, your marketing strategy will be driving people to your website—for good reason. There are about 3.5 billion Google searches made every day. Chances are that your ideal customer is searching online for a solution to their problem, and you have the solution. It’s just a matter of getting their attention.
If you’ve deployed an effective inbound marketing strategy, then you’ll be bringing in visitors to your website. Measuring your backlinks, keyword use, social shares, click-through rates, bounce rates, and page views is vital to tracking effective marketing.
The more engagement you get throughout your website—visitors clicking from the Homepage to the About page, eventually converting on the Contact page—the more potential customers you’ll have reaching out
Higher engagement, higher click rates, better content, better SEO. The ever-evolving SEO standards may be hard to follow, but PageRank—the algorithm Google Search uses to rank websites in their SERPs—has been consistent in one thing: backlinks.
The more authoritative and compelling your content is, the more likely other people will refer to it and link back to it. PageRank will see that your message has authority in your field, so much so that other people are referencing it in their own work.
That being said, your company blog is one of your most valuable marketing tools.
Content is a fundamental element of any successful marketing strategy. It enhances SEO, establishes your brand as a thought leader in your industry, and generates an audience.
Recording activity and interaction on your different content offerings is vital—just remember that your analytics will be virtually meaningless without establishing reasonable goals. Your SEO should always aim toward clearly established business objectives.
The bottom line: website visits enhance brand visibility, and effective content promotes better engagement.
Ad Campaign Analytics
If you’re interested in lead generation, chances are your marketing strategy will involve an ad campaign.
In terms of ROI measurement, it’s simple: compare the amount of money spent on your ad or sponsorship to the number of qualified leads you bring in.
How can you measure ROI without a dollar amount? You may have brought in 10 leads, but you haven’t closed a sale yet.
Herein lies the value: You can bring in thousands of leads, but if they’re not specifically aligned to your buyer personas, chances are your sales team will be wasting man hours on pursuing deals that were never going to be made.
Be sure to keep track of the number of leads generated through your online ads, and compare the number of clicks to conversions. Your marketing team will bring in the qualified leads, but it’s up to your sales team to close the sale.
Email marketing is one of the sharpest tools in the marketing shed. A 2016 study by the Direct Marketing Association found that email brought in a median ROI of 122%—and it’s hard to argue with those numbers.
Marketing experts know what content, format, and frequency works with your audience. They use a number of metrics to record and adjust their approach to maximize the number of conversions.
Measuring your opens, click rates, and subscribers/unsubscribes shows whether or not your email campaigns are proving effective. Like most marketing methods, engagement is key with email—and these three KPIs can show you whether or not you’re connecting with your lists.
Contacts in Your Database
Every marketer knows that your list is your roadmap. Keeping track of the number—and quality—of contacts in your database is key to effective marketing.
The idea is twofold: marketing that targets and attracts ideal customers brings in more sales. Good marketing builds a better database, and a better database produces better marketing.
Needless to say, maintaining and tracking your contacts is important. Avoid wasting time on the wrong prospects by narrowing down your highly qualified leads through list segmentation, and make them a top priority in your outreach.
Check your contacts daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly based on the size of your market. If you’re trying to bring in 5 new highly qualified leads a month, for example, run contact reports on a weekly basis to be sure you’re on track to achieve your goal.
Social Media Engagement
You don’t have to go viral to create a successful social media campaign, but effective marketing will increase activity across the board on your social media.
With over 3.03 billion active social media users, your social platforms are a valuable asset in generating and nurturing leads. The most effective social media speaks to a specific audience.
Record trends in your followers, connections, and engagement across all of your social media platforms, and be sure to leave a path to your website.
Even if you don’t receive a significant amount of engagement, social media improves brand visibility on a massive scale. Your social platforms give your business a voice and allow you to speak directly to your customers.
A single post can be liked, shared, and eventually end up in the hands of your next customer. You can thank marketing for that lead.
Think of your marketing manager not as a cashier, but a savvy investor. Instead of handing a customer a product and taking their money, they use industry insight and expertise to turn a dollar into a fortune.
Qualified leads may not seem like immediate dollars, but the pay-off is waiting.
Want to learn about how to use technology to measure the right KPIs so that you can use these insights to grow your business? Check out our Growth Stack breakfast event, in Westchester County, NY on March 20th: