B2B marketing is a lot different from the B2C variety. The investment is larger, and it often requires buy-in from several individuals within a company.
Therefore, it’s crucial to incorporate the practice of building long-term relationships with your target audience. This lead nurturing process is an effective way to turn prospects into sales qualified leads.
As you navigate these strategies, it’s imperative to track your progress. Set key performance indicators (KPIs) and study analytics closely. This, in turn, will enable you to identify insights: Is what you’re doing working? Does anything need to be modified?
To find the most impactful insights, you need to measure the right B2B marketing KPIs.
Marketing KPIs are metrics that track the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. But you can’t treat all KPIs the same way. Each campaign has different goals.
For example, you may be trying to increase traffic to your website, get people to download a lead magnet, or upgrade their existing services account, to name a few.
Therefore, in order to know which B2B marketing KPIs you should be tracking, take some time to first identify the campaign goals and the timeframe to accomplish them.
While which KPIs you track will vary depending on your specific campaign goals, there are several items you’ll want to consider when narrowing down the metrics to track.
1. Website Traffic
One of the most important KPIs is website traffic. You could be writing the most helpful, relevant, and useful content, but if your target audience is not finding it, it will never be effective.
In addition, it’s important to know the source of this traffic. This can include organic searches (e.g., they make an industry query on Google and one of your links pops up). Web visitors could also reach your site through social media, marketing emails, PPC ads, and backlinks.
2. Marketing and Sales Qualified Leads
A lead is any prospect/potential customer who has directly engaged with your brand. You can gauge lead quality by whether they have submitted a form on one of your landing pages or reached out to you for additional information.
If they are further along and have their credit card in hand (e.g., they’ve requested a demo or scheduled a call with your sales team), they are a sales qualified lead (SQL).
3. Lead Conversion Rates
Your lead conversion rate is the ratio of leads to the total amount of people who visit your website in a given timeframe. To calculate this rate for your website, simply divide the number of leads by the total number of visitors, then multiply it by 100.
This number gives you key insights into important questions. How many of your leads are taking a desired action? How effective is your messaging in enticing people to convert?
4. Customer Acquisition Costs
The adage “it takes money to make money” exists because it’s true. However, this expenditure needs to be within reason. How much are you spending to acquire each customer vs. how much revenue are they worth?
To determine this, divide the costs spent on the marketing campaign by the number of new customers you acquired as a result.
5. Lifetime Value of a Customer (LTV)
Measuring the lifetime value of a customer enables you to determine, on average, how much you can earn from a customer. You can measure their LTV by measuring the revenue generated by each customer against the average profit you’ve made from that relationship.
Measuring this metric will help you make informed decisions as to your marketing budget and help you forecast future costs.
6. Landing Page Conversion Rates
Landing pages are where prospects land when they click on one of your ads, banner, or any other type of promotional material. They’re created with a sole purpose: To convert leads.
For this reason, they don’t have anything that may distract the visitor or entice them to go elsewhere on your site — no navigation bar, no links, no other ads or promos.
To calculate this rate, divide the number of visitors who took the desired action by the number of people who arrived at the landing page. If you wish the results were higher, test different elements (one at a time) to see if they yield better results. This could be the form itself, the calls to action, or the format and/or colors of the page.
7. Customer Retention
Customer retention should always be on your priority list. This is because (a) it speaks volumes about customer satisfaction, and (b) the costs of keeping an existing customer are lower than getting a new one. They’re also a great source of referrals; and to this day, word of mouth is still one of the most effective forms of marketing.
To determine this rate, look at how many new customers you’ve acquired during a specific timeframe (say, per quarter), then subtract the number of new customers your business acquired during this time.
If you’re not happy with the number, you can improve it by deploying customer satisfaction surveys, asking your customers for feedback, and look for ways to improve the customer experience, such as making it easy to reach you, being proactive about resolving potential issues, and exceeding their expectations.
8. Marketing ROI
Everything in business is about ROIs. To calculate the return on investment on your B2B marketing campaigns, subtract the marketing costs from the growths experienced from the campaign. Then divide this number by the marketing costs.
In addition to the main KPIs you want to consider tracking, you should also include subcategories, based on the type of campaign. If you’re looking to improve your website’s performance or whether an content marketing campaign is yielding desired results, take a look at the following metrics:
1. Website Views
Your website is often your presentation card. It’s your best chance to make a great first impression by showcasing how you can offer a lot more than your competition — whether in products, services, customer service, or all three.
Therefore, your website is one of your most effective tools to attract people to your business, and eventually convert them into customers.
2. Time on Page
The time a visitor spends on a webpage is important because it shows you how helpful your content is for your target audience. However, many businesses struggle to keep visitors engaged on their site.
There are several reasons why the average time spent on a page may be short. These include irrelevant information, a page that’s too busy or confusing, or a slow-loading page (and this includes computers, tablets, and smartphones, which is one of the main reasons you should always implement a responsive design on your website).
If your website visitors consistently leave a webpage soon after visiting it, look into ways to improve the user experience (UX). This can include easier to consume content (such as making it scannable, or incorporating videos and/or infographics), more white space, and consistent layouts.
3. Bounce Rate
The bounce rate refers to the percentage of website visitors who leave a page soon after entering it, without clicking on any links or or taking any other type of desired action. It provides insights about the ease of navigation of your page. It’s also an indicator of how relevant, useful, and/or interesting they find your content.
Not only is this metric important to determine whether you need to modify your content, it also has an impact on a website’s ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). The higher the bounce rate, the lower the ranking.
4. Search Ranking
There’s nothing that can guarantee that you will end up on Google’s first page of search results. However, there are many search engine optimization (SEO) best practices you can implement to increase the likelihood of such a position.
You can also increase the likelihood of some of your pages ranking by developing inbound marketing campaigns, since with every new content asset you publish (while implementing SEO practices), you’re creating a new page that Google crawls and indexes.
5. Clickthrough Rate on CTAs
The clickthrough rate refers to the number of people who click on your calls to action. The reason why you want to keep track of this is because these buttons are instrumental in lead conversions. This includes CTAs on each of your webpages, as well as on pay-per-click ads.
Keep in mind that what’s considered to be a good rate will vary depending on your industry. If they’re still low based on your area, look into A/B testing different elements, such as color, size, font, shape, placement, or wording — and make sure to test only one at a time.
If you’re going to launch an email marketing campaign, you’ll want to focus on metrics that are specific to this type of communication. Pay attention to these KPIs:
1. Open Rate
The term open rate refers to how many people are opening your marketing emails. There are several reasons why they may not be doing it: you send them too frequently, you send them irrelevant content, your subject lines are boring, or you’re emailing an abandoned email account (e.g., the kind people usually only keep for junk email they never plan on reading anyway).
The first thing you need to do to ensure that you’re emailing active accounts is to scrub your email list. This will also eliminate duplicates, email addresses with typos, and closed accounts. This action alone should increase your open rate.
Next, you should A/B test your subject lines. Sometimes, what you originally thought was brilliant is not enough to pique your readers’ interest. And that’s ok. Most of what you do in marketing is trial and error. But you won’t know unless you’re tracking it.
2. Clickthrough Rate
An email clickthrough rate refers to the number of readers who are clicking on your marketing emails’ calls to action buttons. This is a good indicator about whether your email content is compelling, or whether your CTAs are effective.
If your clickthrough rate is satisfactory, keep doing what you’re doing. If it isn’t, test only one thing at a time, so that you can pinpoint exactly what isn’t working.
Try doing A/B testing of the CTAs first, since that’s easier to modify. If they improve, voilá. Problem solved. If they don’t, try fine-tuning your content or segment your contacts list better to ensure that your recipients are receiving information that’s relevant to them.
3. Unsubscribe Rate
These are the people who no longer want to hear from you. Make it easy for them to unsubscribe. Don't make them jump through hoops.
Not only are you required by federal regulations to let them unsubscribe from your lists, failing to honor their opt out requests can result in your marketing emails getting reported as spam on a regular basis. Get this enough, and they’ll start arriving directly at people’s junk mail folder — in turn decreasing your open rates.
Finally, no modern marketing campaign should ignore social media. You don’t have to have a presence in every single platform.
However, your market research should include taking a look into those where your target audience spends their time. And when you develop social media campaigns, keep track of the following items:
How many people have seen your post? Your social media reach includes everyone who has seen your content either directly from your posts or through paid ads. The bigger your reach, the more your brand awareness you get.
A good way to increase your reach is to fine tune your target audience when you post ads. You should also post consistently, and ensure that what you’re sharing is high-quality content your audience will find relatable.
Other tips include looking into the best times to post based on your ideal buyer, as well as the type of platform you’re using. And finally, pay attention to trending hashtags so that you can use them and get more eyes on your content.
While the number of followers may seem like a superficial issue to certain demographics, having a high number of them is a powerful tool you can leverage to expand your reach and increase your social media engagement.
Your number of followers is also a good way to measure the interest in your content. And the more people follow you, the higher the likelihood of getting your content shared.
3. Social Media Engagement
This includes, likes, comments, and shares. Even negative comments can bring you insights as to what your audience wants. Taking the time to answer them thoughtfully lets them know that you are paying attention to what you have to say, and lets others know that you care about providing a positive customer experience.
You can track all of these communications by using social media management tools that will notify you whenever someone posts a question or mentions your business. You can also track industry-related trending hashtags so that you can include them into your posts to increase your reach.
You’ll also want to keep an eye on the conversations going on in posts using these hashtags so that you can create related posts that foster conversation and bring people to your page.
Leverage B2B Marketing KPIs to Grow Your Business
As you can see, deciding which B2B marketing KPIs to track requires a lot of careful consideration, depending on the goals of your marketing campaigns. However, the common denominator always remains that you do have to make a list of metrics to track so that you can ensure maximum success.