[tweetmeme source=”rhondahurwitz” only_single=false]Smart marketing is all about creating a PROCESS that you can repeat over and over, not a series of one-off, “hope and pray” tactics.
It goes something like this: with each new marketing effort, you measure results. Then, you put more money into the strategies that work, and less into what doesn’t. Shampoo, rinse, repeat.
8 Diagnostic Questions Every Online Marketer Should Ask
Assuming your messaging and product are on target, let’s start with the basics of online marketing:
- Is your website getting traffic?
- Are you ranking for the right keywords?
- Where does the right traffic come from?
- Which offers and content are converting well?
- Which offers and content are not converting?
- Are you building your list?
- Do you have an automated process to continue to market to warm leads that enter your sales funnel?
- Do you have an easy way to integrate all the pieces, look at the data on an ongoing basis, and make improvements to maximize ROI?
If you can answer “YES” to each of these questions, excellent work! If you can’t, I’ll bet that it’s because you don’t have a process to easily measure and track these metrics.
Inbound Marketing: Test, Test, Test
Testing to see what works best is smart marketing. Occasionally, test results can be a complete surprise. Once, I tested several ads for an education business, and the ads that showed struggling students did much better than the ads with smiling, successful students. Looking back, it is obvious why … we needed to appeal to stressed out moms … but I digress.
Should you implement a 30- day free trial of Hubspot? Maybe, but before you go into a test, know this: it takes 4-6 months, by their estimation, to impact marketing metrics. While it would be cool to see a lift in the first month, be prepared for a 6 month investment of time and money to truly test how their product works for your business.
Here’s What A Hubspot Trial Would Look Like:
Let’s take it step-by-step:
1. Set up analytics: install hubspot tracking code on your website.
2. Design a trial experiment: for instance, build a few landing pages with offers designed to convert visitors to leads. (note — Hubspot’s landing page tool doesn’t require programming skills). Ebooks or other content oriented to what your prospect is searching for makes a compelling offer.
3. Set up lead tracking for your landing pages: if possible, add strong CTA’s (calls to action) to your website homepage, PPC ads, an email blast, blog articles, etc. to further publicize your offers.
4. Drive traffic to those pages, using PPC, email, and/or social media, and measure how many leads come from each traffic source
After these elements are in place, you have a viable test. You can begin to see what offers, landing pages, keywords and channels are performing. But just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, you really can’t test Hubspot’s capability to transform your marketing in just 30 days. For instance, you could also use Hubspot to:
1. Configure lead nurturing emails
2. Do keyword research
3. Set up social media monitoring
4. Help you start blogging,
5. Integrate with your CRM (if you are a Salesforce.com customer) …
6. Tie in your Facebook page, if you have one … and more.
Your Inbound Marketing Challenge
In the pre-online world, a famous advertiser once said, “50% of the money I spend on marketing is probably wasted … problem is, I don’t know which half”.
Back then, advertising and marketing required a leap of faith. Now, we can look at how our online marketing activities translate to website traffic, leads and sales. So, here’s your marketing challenge: how will you use inbound marketing technology to gain a competitive edge?
Any questions or observations? I’d love to hear from you. And, here’s a recent Hubspot slideshare on inbound marketing, to get you started.