Rankings Schmankings: How Does Your Inbound Marketing Stack Up?
Last week, I had the privilege of visiting 10 college campuses. At each one that I visited, administrators were aware that the U.S. News and World Report College Rankings had recently come out. They also knew whether their institution was above or below last year’s ranking as well as where competitors ranked. Many were thrilled while others expressed disappointment. Why do we care so much about rankings? Because, we are the society of “how do I stack up.” From our golf handicap to our Klout score, we care because we are inherently competitive and conscious of how others perceive us.
As we think about rankings, we are really thinking about measurement! We want to know how we "measure up." “If you can measure it, you can improve upon it,” Lord Calvin uttered this, and it is one of my favorite sayings. So, how do we measure our effectiveness in relation to inbound marketing?
According to Wikipedia, inbound marketing is based on the concept of earning the attention of prospects, making yourself easy to be found and drawing customers to your website by producing content customers value. Blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, enewsletters, whitepapers, SEO, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing are considered inbound marketing. In contrast, buying attention, cold-calling, direct paper mail, radio, TV advertisements, sales fliers, spam, telemarketing, and traditional advertising are considered “outbound marketing.”
As we think about Inbound Marketing, there are three key areas to measure:
1.) Top of the Funnel is all about promotion and attraction - A Well Lit Storefront! Creating, optimizing, and promoting content is the key to the top of your recruiting funnel. A good job on the top of the funnel = more web site traffic and leads.
2.) Middle of the Funnel pertains to nurturing the interest of those who have visitited your storefront (prospects) and converting them (getting them to request more information or even fill out an application). This is accomplished by using landing pages, crafting blogs, using conversion forms, email marketing, and social media.
3.) Bottom of the Funnel refers to converting those interested leads, inquiries, and applications into enrolled students. At this point, you can accurately measure the ROI of your marketing activities to determine what is working. If you can’t measure the effectiveness of your campaigns, you need to implement techniques to help you measure. Implementing and analyzing analytics on your web site is the key to measuring the effectiveness of the bottom funnel activity.
If you would like more information on inbound marketing, please refer to this inbound marketing presentation as well as one of the best tools in the marketplace, the Hubsopt Marketing Grader, which will provide you with a score on a scale of 0 to 100 in addition to recommendations on how you can improve and "measure up."
Questions for you:
In what parts of the funnel are you performing effectively?
What parts of your funnel need improvement?