Written by Raza Kazi
16 | 10 | 18
Considering that it takes around 9 to 12 months for results to actually come to fruition from Inbound Marketing campaigns, it can be tempting to just skip several months ahead and try to create a much bigger report down the line. However, monitoring and reporting on Inbound efforts on a monthly basis is the more efficient method. Here’s why you should be creating an Inbound Marketing report on a month-to-month basis.
It might sound like we’re trying to increase your workload but when you look at the bigger picture, it can streamline your entire team’s processes as everyone will have access to regular Inbound Marketing reports. You need to give content time to bed in and for SEO to take effect. That’s why growth takes as long as it does - and that’s where monthly reports can be beneficial.
Monthly performance reports help you to ensure that you’re hitting your goals every single month. It also helps to show your entire team that your marketing activities are paying off and they are resulting in steady growth over time.
For example, your yearly goal might be to generate 10,000 leads which happens in the nine-12 month mark once it begins to pick up organically. However, your monthly reports will show that in the early stages you’re getting 20-30 leads and you can report back instantly to show that steady growth which is contributing to that end goal. If you’re not getting those smaller leads initially, you know there’s an issue to fix immediately.
Another huge benefit of switching to monthly reporting is that any failures that do arise can be spotted a lot quicker. If they’re spotted sooner, they can be fixed that much quicker too and this informs you and your team on where they need to shift their focus in order to get better results from your Inbound Marketing efforts.
By ignoring reports, issues might pile up which can hinder your growth progress as opposed to helping it increase.
You might even have a CEO who is entirely sold on everything you’re doing, but them, seeing the monthly results gives them the reassurance that they made the right decision to fully invest in Inbound Marketing.
This is opposed to pure silence for months until the next report is available. It might not show the growth you had hoped for because there was a smaller window to implement fixes to any issues your team faced.
Monthly reporting is key from an Inbound Marketing perspective. This is because you can show what you generate from leads and what you’ve done in terms of deliverables every month - such as content - for example. So with monthly reports, you can see how everything your team is doing is contributing to the growth you’re trying to achieve nine months down the line.
This allows you to focus more on what you’re doing right and is contributing towards the growth, and either eliminating or fixing the issues that are stopping that growth.
If you are doing sporadic reports months down the line, for example, then it means you have a much smaller window to act on problems. That can have an overall impact on growth when the nine months are up.
Although you’d still have actual results to analyse, there just isn’t enough time to smartly optimise and continue reaching the end goal as your team might not be able to keep up with that workload.
With periodical reporting every month, you keep optimising and improving along the way. Overall, monthly reporting puts you in a better position to reach your targeted growth as optimisation doesn’t stop. Plus, you can use all of these monthly reports and implement them into one big report each quarter.
It’s one thing to make the switch to monthly reports, but those reports need to contain relevant data which shows you exactly where you’re at in terms of target growth, what needs to improve and what you can continue doing more of the following month to reach those goals.
Make sure you track overall websites visits each month so you can see an increase or decrease in month-over-month traffic. This can range from organic traffic right through to social media, email and even paid traffic. Reporting this monthly gives you a better idea of where the visits are coming from and where you’re falling short.
If your traffic looks to decrease from one month to another, you’ll be able to pinpoint the exact reason why that happened. If there’s no monthly reporting, it’s much more challenging to find out why there was a decrease several months ago.
In your monthly reports, you should also analyse how well or poorly your pages are performing. This includes pages such as landing pages and even blog articles so you can identify which pages are getting plenty of views and are helping to convert leads.
By analysing page performance on a monthly basis, it can help set you up for repeat success on a month-to-month basis.
Linking back to the first point, monthly reports give you a better idea of whether there was an increase or decrease in website traffic - and why. That shows whether or not you’re attracting an audience in the first place. An increase in leads every month shows you’re succeeding as they’re converting on your offers.
Again, if you find that you’re not attracting an audience months down the line, then it means you’ve missed plenty of opportunities to act on that. It also means the window to optimise has been missed and it can be much more challenging to increase leads again.
Perhaps the biggest focus of your Inbound Marketing campaign is the success of your marketing campaigns. The only way the next one can be a success is when you analyse the findings of how the previous campaign performed. In monthly reports, you can see how campaigns performed and the takeaways you can learn from.
If reports are coming months down the line, you’d fail to see which activities had the biggest impact on your previous campaign’s performance and you’d have failed to implement necessary changes in campaigns which followed.
These aren’t the only factors to consider during monthly reports either. Consider reporting monthly on conversion rates, cost-per-leads, your customers and more. Pretty much anything you believe will contribute towards the goal you have set for growth nine to 12 months down the line should be included in these monthly reports.
It can also be beneficial to use a tool to help you track all of this, such as Databox. You can use it to create a monthly dashboard with a live link that anybody with access can view. It’s automatically updated and saves a lot of time when you’re trying to see how you’ve performed each month and if you’ve reached your goals.
Achieving your goals is a team effort, so think of monthly reports as a good time to check in with other teams to see if they have ideas that have worked for them which can be brought into your overall Inbound Marketing efforts.
Again, that’s a lot more likely to happen if it’s done monthly so optimisation can begin quickly to work towards that growth. It’s a cycle that can continue on a month-to-month basis.
A good way to work towards the overall impact and keep your whole team engaged in contributing to that monthly report is by setting smart goals. Here, set long-term milestones that are actually achievable and not look too far ahead to something that’s possible.
This can include deliverables such as writing a set amount of blog posts, having five resources shares, getting featured on a well-known platform, milestones in traffic and more. Just celebrate wins in general.
Share all of that in the monthly report as well as a detailed quarterly report as it’s all contributing to that big goal at the end.
Monthly Inbound Marketing reports are important. There’s no denying that. However, it’s just one of many ways in which you can boost your overall Inbound Marketing efforts. There’s stuff about campaigns, how to approach Inbound Marketing in 2019, the emergence of how important video marketing is and so much more. There’s clearly a lot to get through.
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