Charlie Sheen’s meltdown during the Summer of 2011 was entertaining, in a grisly sort of way, but did leave us with such one-liner gems as: “Tiger Blood,” “Adonis DNA,” and “Winning!” It’s his last one-liner that got me thinking – how does Charlie Sheen measure “winning?”
While I actually have no idea how Charlie measures his efforts to determine wins and losses, I couldn’t help but think what great advice he was giving to inbound marketers – you need to measure everything to determine what works and what doesn’t work.
When you begin inbound marketing for your school make sure to work backword from where you want to end up with regard to the metrics that are important to you. While we do track and measure things like conversation rates, sources, leads, and views – ultimately those inbound marketing metrics are just a proxy for inquiries, applications, and visits. Don’t be like Charlie and loose sight of the big picture while you get bogged down in the minutia.
Measure At Intervals
We’ve found that it’s most effective and efficient to measure your inbound marketing metrics monthly and compare them month over month. The month interval seems to be enough time to let your inbound marketing strategy, and changes to that strategy, have an effect or not. On the other hand, we measure our admission statistics each week and compare then compare to last week as well as to the corresponding week from last year.
The point is to select metrics that are important to you and then select a time interval that also works for you and keep track of those statistics each week. If you aren’t doing this already you’ll be amazed at how much you can learn by simply tracking and comparing your efforts.
Drop The Bad
Unlike Charlie Sheen, who has Adonis DNA, and as a result, has no weaknesses, your inbound marketing efforts will have techniques and content that work and some that doesn’t work. The whole point of measuring, tracking, and comparing your efforts is to determine what works and what doesn’t work – then dropping what doesn’t work. The beauty of inbound marketing is that you will now have data to make these decisions as opposed to outbound, or traditional, marketing where measuring was difficult at best. You’ll also have the ability to calculate a legitimate return on investment (ROI) and not just take a guess at it.
Don’t Be Afraid To Experiment
After watching Charlie Sheen on Good Morning America it became obvious that he was experimenting in a way that I don’t recommend. What I am recommending is that after you measure, track, compare, and cut out the bad, you need to experiment with your inbound marketing efforts. Here are a few examples:
- Publish a blog post at 8am vs. 4pm – When do you receive more social shares?
- Tweet at 4am vs. 1pm – When do you get more retweets?
- Post a picture of an event to Facebook vs. post a description of an event – Which post receives more ‘likes’?