Key Performance Indicators for a Revenue Based Inbound Marketing Plan
CEO's care most about revenue growth, gaining and retaining customers and other key performance indicators like EBITDA (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization). When you relate what they care about to sales and marketing efforts it becomes pretty clear that bottom of the funnel metrics: lead-to-customer conversion rates, ROI of marketing sources, channel performance and revenue gain is what gets their attention.
Effective CEO's tend to get more of what they focus on. In main part because they lead marketing to direct strategies around actions that deliver bottom of the funnel results. Marketers squarely aligned with the CEO's revenue focus for example, know that the better their key performance indicators are the greater their capacity for productive, increased attainment of goals.
Inbound marketers for example know that lead growth, an important bottom of the funnel metric, increases with hitting certain targets relating to indexed pages, ranking keywords and inbound links. And, smart inbound marketers will develop action plans designed to hit these important performance targets.
Steps to Creating an Inbound Marketing Plan Around Key Performance Indicators
The process leading to setting key performance indicators that support a revenue based inbound marketing plan is not that difficult. I suggest the following steps:
- Begin with establishing a new monthly revenue goal for your inbound marketing channel.
- Determine how many new customers, leads and traffic you need to support your new monthly revenue goal. Use our Inbound Marketing Traffic Calculator for this step. (Clicking that link will let you download the free excel based calculator.)
- Take inventory of current performance on key metrics such as:
- Number of Google Indexed Pages.
- Number of Keywords Ranking in top 100 Pages of Google.
- Number of Blog Articles Published.
- Current Reach from Social Media Accounts.
- Number of New and Returning Website Visitors per Month.
- Number of Leads Generated from Website each Month.
- Number of Lead Conversions (New Customers) each Month.
- Compare and benchmark the data collected in #3 above (especially items 1-3) with corresponding customer performance date from HubSpot's report on "The State of Inbound Lead Generation." (Link opens new window and downloads the PDF report.)
- Set a goal, objective, strategies and tactics for each key metric like I outlined here in A Format for Setting Targets and Tactics.
- Start working your plan and make continual, persistent progress towards it every day.
- Create a simple but useful calendar or spreadsheet to plan and record your activities and your progress.
Tips and Other Key Performance Indicators to Measure
Obviously you're in this to generate revenue by converting visitors into leads and customers. But, you can't have sales with leads. And you can't get leads without traffic. So be focused most on what you need. Perhaps you need to focus more on the top of the funnel? If so, look at ways to generate more awareness traffic to your Website. Consider a highly-engaged social media action plan, or a Pay-Per-Click campaign. Do you have an opt-in email subscriber list? Use that to help drive traffic and greater awareness to your site. And, of course start a blog or start blogging again on a regular and consistent basis! Stats show that companies who blog vs. those that don't get 55% more visitors, 97% more links and 434% more indexed pages.
Other key performance indicators that can help measure inbound marketing progress can include (in each case I show where to find these metrics for HubSpot customers):
- Number of Blog Subscribers. Both via RSS and Email. (Analyze > Blog Analytics)
- Number of Blog Comments and Most Popular Blog Posts. (Analyze > Blog Analytics)
- Reach of Social Media Followers. Track total reach, monthly change, yearly change to date. (Analyze > Reach)
- Performance Against Competition: Website Grade, Blog Grade, Number of Indexed Pages, Number of Keywords Ranking in Top 100 of Google. (Analyze > Competitors)
- Number of Inbound Links. (Optimize > Link Grader or > Page Grader)
- Monthly Visits by Traffic Source. (Analyze > Sources)
- Leads and Customers by all Sources: including social media, email, PPC, etc., and other marketing events. (Analyze > Sources)
- Number of Page Views. This will help show your most popular pages for placing calls-to-actions which link to lead capture landing pages. (Sources > Visits by Page)
There may be other key performance indicators and metrics you'll want to plan and measure. The ones you choose all depend on your main goals and current situation. Just start at the bottom of the funnel where your CEO lives and work your way up to make it happen.
So, what's your inbound marketing plan look like?