Inbound Marketing Part 3: Measure, Analyze, Optimize, Repeat

The Rundown

If you’re implementing the tactics of inbound marketing, you are doing two core activities:
(note: I don’t consider getting found an activity, per se, unless it’s paid search.)

  1. Creating content
  2. Engaging with your community

All that writing, sharing and tweaking your doing, all the conversations, questions and answers you’ve had – they’re all working toward this one thing. That one thing central to EVERY business:

MAKING MONEY.

As advisors, we make money by developing new clients and doing more for existing clients. Because we’re savvy inbound marketers, we earn an audience’s interest first, then trust. Then, and only then, do we attempt to engage them and make the transformation from audience to prospect to client. So…

Measuring

If you’re not measuring your inbound marketing efforts, you’re failing. There, I said it. That’s because you can’t possibly define success or see if it’s your effort that’s creating results. That being said, many might expect an outline of metrics, measuring tools and then the inevitable “ROI talk,” but that’s a book, not a blog post. So we’ll start at the beginning.

We’re going to stick to the basics – the key metrics and tools you’ll need to track your inbound marketing efforts.

Followers, Likes, Shares and Retweets

We like using Crowdbooster (free) to track these social media metrics. These numbers are important because they help you get a better sense of how your brand is being amplified with social media. Over time, you’ll see patterns emerge. You’ll learn what topics and headlines are getting shared more, which are being read more. You’ll also see which articles are being found via search versus social. That will allow you to lean into your winning topics and do more of what is working to grow your audience. Be sure to keep tabs on your top Retweeters and reward them! Simple thank yous, RTs, and shares of their content goes a long way.

Traffic, Source, Page Views and Conversions

Google Analytics (free) can be daunting, but it really isn’t so bad once you get a sense for what the numbers mean and start tracking them over time. Keep an eye out for any spikes or dips on your homepage traffic and look at the Traffic Sources. This will help you know how people are finding your site and gives you a clue about which channels of content distribution are working. In particular, this will show you how your social media updates are affecting your traffic, and what other inbound links, or referrals, you’re receiving from across the web.

Finally, with Google Analytics you can now track conversions with their goals feature. Every Advisor’s website should have a goal and multiple, SUPER obvious ways to click through and achieve that goal. For most firms a VERY short contact form with a simple offer for a white paper or additional information is a good start. Then you set up a “goal” web page (URL) – usually the “thank you” page after the contact form – that allows Google analytics to track new prospects and follow their progression through your site with the visitor flow tool.

Don’t forget Email

One of the most powerful and reliable connections you can make with your audience and prospective clients is through email. One of the very best ways to do this is to offer regular content and then allow for email subscriptions to your blog. You can see what we do at the top of the right sidebar and in the footer of this very post. When someone gives you their email, it’s a higher level of trust and commitment than a simple like or follow. It’s giving you permission to reach out to them. Treat that permission with reverence and you’ll be rewarded.

This is mostly done through a technology called RSS. We like FeedBurner (free) to manage it. Once you’ve set up email subscriptions, be sure to pay attention to the addresses that are subscribing, when they’re growing the most and when your emails are being forwarded the most. This will help you get a solid grasp on what content works, what doesn’t and what type of content leaves people hungry for more!

Next time we’ll take all this data and show you how to calculate your cost of acquiring clients. The magical, mystical and always eye opening CAC.

Want more? Clickity click:

If you enjoyed this article, get email updates (it’s free).  Delivered by FeedBurner

 

Wait! That reminds me to remind you to REPEAT!

This is NOT a one and done, make a tweak or two and you’ll be optimized forever kinda thing. No. You mustn’t forget to repeat.

Did you find that your goal page’s bounce rate was too high? Shorten the form, wait a while – maybe two or three months – and check again. Oh, it’s doing much better now? Great. Throw in a link to that white paper you’ve been putting together and see how it does then. Even better!? MEGA great.

Remember, it’s a cycle: Measure, Analyze, Optimize, REPEAT.

DJ DJ is a freelance writer, hopeful photographer, and social media has-been. He writes to financial advisors about lifehacks, science, technology, business and marketing for Blueleaf, a software that helps create dramatically simpler, more scalable financial advisory businesses. You can find DJ across the web (about.me/djswitz) or you can just follow him on Twitter (@djswitz)!