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Are You Ever “Finished” with Inbound Marketing?

Enjoy this guest post from Michael Reynolds is President/CEO of SpinWeb

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photo credit: Folk Media via photopin cc

Inbound marketing is both an art and a science. The technology, metrics, measurements, testing, and goals are the science part of it while the creative campaigns and intuitive ideas are a critical part of the art of inbound marketing.

While the numbers and metrics are very quantifiable, the multifaceted nature of inbound marketing can make it somewhat challenging to tackle from a productivity standpoint.

Let’s face it… there is always more you could do. There is always one more blog post you could write. There is always one more ebook idea to work on. Always one more video campaign. One more social media experiment. One more network to try.

Yikes! Where do you draw the line?

Whether you are an agency partner doing inbound marketing for your clients or you are a marketing pro who is in charge of marketing for your organization, how do you know when you’re “finished?” for the day, week, or month?

Reference Your Goals

Before you get all worked up over whether you are doing enough, take a look at your goals. You may feel like you’re not doing enough but if your metrics show that you are on track with your goals, relax! You’re on the right track.

Naturally, you’ll want to continuously improve your results and nudge your goals higher and higher but this can be done in a manageable way that is realistic and achievable.

Follow your Cookbook

While the results are the most important measure of your success, you also need to be working from a “cookbook” so that you have a framework for your activities. A sample cookbook might contain these activities for a given month:

  • Write and publish 4 blog posts
  • Schedule one Facebook post per day
  • Schedule 3 Twitter posts per day
  • Create one new offer, video, or webinar (could also be per quarter)
  • Review keywords and prune/add
  • Look for opportunities to improve conversions and adjust accordingly
  • Create one new A/B test variation for CTA
  • Newsjack as needed
  • Monthly review with client

This is a pretty simple list of activities that are proven to lead to positive results over time. However, if you get three months in and discover that you are not hitting your goals, then you can go back to your cookbook and make some adjustments.

Traffic not as high as you want? Try doubling your blog post output while slowing down offers. Traffic is high but you leads are down? Spend more time creating offers and optimizing conversion opportunities.

Keep the Customer Happy

If you’re with a partner agency, then your customer is, well, your customer. If you’re a marketing director then your internal customers might be the CEO, VP, owners, board of directors, etc. In either case, you have someone to keep happy.

You might be trucking right along and getting great results but the fact remains that customers like to see activity. Your customer’s happiness index (CHI) is important and you’ll want to include some touch points and look for ways to keep them in the loop outside of your regular monthly meeting.

This is where newsjacking can come in handy. Set up some Google Alerts to keep you notified of industry chatter and ask your customer for feedback on these items to see if they want to take advantage of them.

Additionally, you can look for other ways to move the needle like communicating with their sales teams to see if there are any ways you can help close the loop on leads. Little “extra” things like this are the spices that you add to the mix to round things out and keep your CHI up where it should be.

Work the System and Adjust as Needed

If you use your goals as an ultimate target, follow a cookbook, and keep your customer happy, you’ll have some clear boundaries the can help you define when you are “finished” with your inbound marketing activities.

No one wants to feel like they have to work 16 hours a day because there is always more to do. Use these guidelines to keep yourself in check while achieving the great results that you were hired for. If you see opportunities to tweak, go for it… but always measure and tune.

What are some ways you check the “finished” box for your inbound marketing campaigns?

Michael-200w-leftMichael Reynolds is President/CEO of SpinWeb – a digital agency located in Indianapolis, IN. As an Inbound Marketing Certified Professional with Honors Distinction, Michael regularly blogs, publishes educational industry content, and speaks at conferences around the country covering topics like social media strategies, inbound marketing, and technology.

In addition to his obsession with marketing and technology, Michael devotes part of his brain to ballroom dancing and classical music. Prior to earning degrees in both Cello Performance and Management Information Systems from Ball State University, Michael studied the cello with a real live Klingon and still plays regularly in church and the occasional chamber music gig.

Michael enjoys playing tennis, cycling short distances very slowly on the Monon Trail (usually on the way to Bazbeaux Pizza), traveling with his beautiful wife, and eating lots of sushi.

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