Whether you are new to inbound marketing or are already at an advanced stage, there are many indicators that allow you to assess the performance of your actions online today. However, what are the main KPIs – Key Performance Indicators – to follow in a b2b inbound marketing strategy? Why define KPIs and how to interpret the results? Today we are answering all these questions.
Why define KPIs in your inbound marketing strategy?
Analyze the impact of your inbound marketing actions thanks to KPIs
As part of your inbound marketing strategy, you have implemented and continue to deploy actions to generate more qualified leads. Optimization of your website, creation of articles for your target buyers, creation of new landings pages… How do you know if what you have put in place is effective? Or on the contrary, if your strategy needs to be reviewed?
By embarking on inbound marketing, you owe it to yourself to set yourself SMART objectives – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and time-bound – and thus regularly monitor the KPIs associated with them. These objectives and KPIs are to evolve over time and according to your level of maturity in inbound marketing.
If the traffic and the number of leads generated are good indicators to start, over time you will be able to follow more precise KPIs by monitoring. For example, the different conversion rates of the internal pages of your site. The interest is to allow you to continuously analyze the relevance of your actions and to adapt yourself accordingly. It is not necessary to follow dozens of KPIs as soon as you set up your first inbound marketing actions. A few to start are sufficient. Testing and agility must therefore be your new guideline because the purpose of KPIs in Inbound Marketing is to allow you to identify the most efficient actions with your target.
What tools to use to measure and analyze your inbound marketing KPIs?
For optimal monitoring of your KPIs, we recommend that you be rigorous, regular, and centralize all the information collected on the same medium. To get started, you can track conversions via Google Analytics and use Excel as a reporting tool where all your data will be centralized. You will thus have a global view of the items analyzed, of the evolution of performance, both positive and negative, and you will therefore be able to adapt your strategy according to the needs that emerge from the figures.
By setting up a marketing automation tool, you will have a space centralizing all the results relating to your inbound marketing actions. Connected to your site, the marketing automation tool centralizes all the data relating to visits and behavior on your site in relation to the content offered and is an excellent way to measure your performance over the long term by keeping a history of your results.
The different types of inbound marketing KPIs by type
Visibility, traffic, and conversion KPIs
SEO positioning on your main keywords
Any business, B2B or B2C, aims to position its site among the first Google search results on the most strategic queries for its activity. For this, it is essential to include SEO in your inbound marketing strategy. In terms of KPIs, it is interesting to monitor your positioning on your main keywords. With keyword tracking tools like Google Analytics, Search Console, Ahref, etc, you will be able to determine the relevance of the keywords used. Compare your results to those of your competitors and thus improve your SEO positioning.
The number of visits
If there is one piece of data to follow when you start inbound marketing, it is this: the number of people who visit your site and who therefore access the various content that you offer. In addition to measuring the evolution of the overall traffic of your site, it is interesting to follow the detail of visits by pages and articles. Whether it is to optimize the SEO of a page in lack of visibility or to integrate new conversion levers on a highly visited page, the analysis of your traffic is a mine of information to adapt the content that your target is looking for.
Sources of traffic
Organic search (SEO), paid search (SEA), publication on social networks, emailing…: It is always useful to know how visitors arrived on your site. The possibilities being multiple, you have every interest in knowing which acquisition channel works best in relation to your target, in order to capitalize on it even more.
Duration of visit
It is interesting to know how long your visitors stay on your site. If a large number of people stay for very little time (less than a minute or so), it means that the page he/she is viewing does not meet their expectations: content not relevant enough, design not attractive, lack of Calls to Actions… Keep an eye on this data and take corrective measures in case of too short visits.
The bounce rate
The bounce rate represents the percentage of people who visited a page and left the site immediately after. This data can be useful for identifying pages with low added value. However, this data must be moderated: if a page is very complete, lists all the information that may be of interest to the visitor, it is therefore logical that he leaves the site after having browsed the page. This metric can therefore be associated with that of the visit duration: if a page has a high bounce rate and a high visit duration, nothing to worry about. For example, the average bounce rate of a content site is between 40 and 60%, a landing page between 70 and 90%, and a sales site between 20 and 40%.
The conversion rate (s)
Calculating conversion rates on your site is a good way to measure the relevance and quality of the content you offer. It is all the more relevant to closely monitor the conversion rates of your landing pages and your Call to Action, the main objective of which is the conversion of suspects into leads or even leads into prospects. If a CTA doesn’t look appealing and has a low click-through rate, experiment with changing the design, wording, and placement on your page.
The number of leads generated
Beyond traffic, the purpose of an inbound marketing strategy remains the generation of (qualified) leads. A lead is no longer a simple visit to your site, but a person who has shown some form of interest, by filling out a form or subscribing to a newsletter. It is important to measure not only the evolution of the number of leads generated but also their origin.
KPIs relating to emailing
The open rate
In B2B, it is estimated that an open rate is satisfactory around 20-25%. It is recommended to closely monitor this indicator, in particular, to know what type of email subject is working well or which sender to enter in your emailing. Be careful, however, depending on the type of content sent, the open rate may vary greatly. An appointment confirmation email, for example, will have a much better chance of being opened than a marketing email: you must therefore keep this notion in mind when analyzing the results of an emailing campaign.
The click-through rate
The click-through rate corresponds to the number of people who clicked on a link, a Call-to-Action inside the email, compared to the total number of people who received the email. In B2B, the average click rate is 3.5%. This data makes it possible to identify whether the content sent is of interest to the recipients. A low click-through rate can be explained by irrelevant content, poorly targeted recipients, or poorly positioned links and Call to Action inside the email.
The unsubscribe rate
This fact can be painful to note but is capital and in direct link with the previous point. It is indeed required by law to integrate an unsubscribe link in any of your emails in order to leave your recipients free to continue to receive your content or not. It is therefore important to follow this metric because a large number of unsubscribes can mean that your content is not relevant to your recipients or that it is necessary to reduce your frequency of sending emails.
Define Key Performance Indicators for social networks
The size of the community
This is a simple and relevant element to follow because it is representative of the interest shown in your brand. Indeed, the more your number of subscribers grows over time, the more your content is of interest. On the contrary, if you see a decrease in the number of your community, it means that you should revisit the content shared on your account, which does not meet expectations.
The larger your community, the more potential prospects you gather to whom you demonstrate your expertise on a daily basis. Your presence on professional social networks is therefore perfectly in line with the logic of traffic generation and a search for qualified leads. It is therefore very interesting to grow your community with a view to social selling. Especially if you involve your salespeople in this process.
The engagement rate
The engagement rate is the number of people who like, comment, share your content compared to your total community. Once again, the higher the engagement rate, the more your content will interest and encourage sharing. However, a community that shares little does not necessarily mean that it is not interested in the content that you offer.
Define your acquisition costs
Following different KPIs is interesting for adapting your strategy over time, but if there is one that is essential and that every company should know and especially measure: the cost of acquiring a customer. It’s about knowing how much you can spend on marketing (and therefore inbound marketing) to acquire a new customer. To calculate the CAC, just add all the investments made and divide this sum by the total of customers acquired.
This calculation also works for leads. You just need to replace the number of customers acquired with the number of leads generated by your various investments in inbound marketing. Once you know how much you are going to have to spend to obtain new customers, it is interesting to refine this result by breaking down the expenses by acquisition channel (blog, social networks, website, etc.), and the number of customers or leads generated on each of them.
Thus, you will be aware of your ability to acquire new customers on each channel. And to capitalize on the most profitable ones. Even if it means giving up some which cost you more than what they bring back. In this way, you will gain in profitability and see your CAC drop.
Lead acquisition cost: Lead acquisition cost = Amount invested in marketing / Number of leads generated
Customer acquisition cost: CAC = Total investments in customer acquisition / Number of customers acquired
Finally, we cannot talk about acquisition cost without addressing the notion of Customer Lifetime Value (also known as LTV, Life Time Value ). The Customer Lifetime Value represents all the benefits generated by a customer throughout his commercial relationship with the company.
This KPI is calculated as follows: Average turnover per customer over the month x 12 x average lifespan in years.
Knowing how much a client will earn you on average and over how long will therefore allow you to refine your business strategy. In order to know how long at least a client must stay to be profitable and generate profits.
Now that you know the main KPIs that can be useful to you in setting up and monitoring your inbound marketing strategy. It is important to remember that it is not necessary to select dozens of them. Only a few will be useful to you, which correspond to your objectives and your needs. And which you can subsequently change over time as your project progresses.
In addition, measuring KPIs is not enough. The whole point is to adapt your strategy and constantly perform new tests, depending on the results observed. It is also important to keep in mind that inbound marketing is a long process to put in place. We should therefore not expect to have very different results from one week to the next. Arming you with patience and method,