An inbound marketing audit analyzes the effectiveness of the tactics and channels you use. It compares your performance against industry benchmarks to identify your strengths and weaknesses and provides recommendations for both quick wins and long-term strategic adjustments.
Some of the channels an inbound marketing audit will look into are your website, organic search, paid search, email marketing and social media. On top of that, an inbound marketing audit also involves reviewing the tools your team is using to see if there is an opportunity to get more value from your marketing technology.
These audits should involve marketing leadership, anyone on the marketing team who owns a portion of the strategy and an executive who can provide insight into how marketing efforts are aligning with the broader company direction.
Why Conducting an Inbound Marketing Audit is Important
A successful inbound strategy involves a lot of different pieces, and marketers have to move quickly in order to stay on top of everything they’re working on. But if you don’t step back periodically to analyze the results of your work, you could be moving in the wrong direction.
If you don’t have data to inform your decisions, you’re less likely to be implementing tactics that’ll help you achieve your goals because you won’t be able to know definitively where to focus.
Inbound marketing audits enable you to get the necessary data-driven perspective about where you’re performing well and where you’re not.
A full audit should be done at least once every six to 12 months, but you should be doing some analysis on a quarterly basis too. The more often you conduct audits, the quicker you can react to what the data is showing.
When you identify areas that you’re performing well in, you can dive into why that is and explore expanding the strengths of that work across other areas of your strategy.
Understanding where you’re not doing well can help you determine where you need to adjust resource investments. If you’re looking at hiring or outsourcing part of your work, an audit can reveal what gaps you need to fill. Or if you find a tactic just isn’t working for your audience, you can pivot your team’s focus to tactics that’ll have higher ROI.
Inbound marketing audits can also help you gain buy-in from your executive team. Taking the time to holistically analyze your marketing strategy and being able to present specific results can help you prove the value of your work and get support for changes you want to make.
Regular Reporting Doesn’t Eliminate the Need for Inbound Marketing Audits
Consistently reporting on your efforts and tracking how they’re performing over time is a great step toward taking a data-driven approach to your marketing. However, just because you have a deep understanding of your marketing strategy doesn’t mean you don’t need to do an inbound marketing audit.
Inbound marketing audits allow you to step back and look at your strategy more holistically and then analyze your results in the context of the broader realm of marketing for your industry.
Technology and best practices are changing so much, and you don’t want to get left behind. Setting your performance against an industry standard can help you gain insights into areas you haven’t thought of.
For example, if you’re reporting on website conversions, you might be focusing on CTA click-through rate and form submissions. If you’re only looking at data about your current tactics, you might miss out on newer conversion tactics like chatbots.
As you’re looking at benchmarks though it’s important to make sure you’re using data from your industry. B2C conversion rates aren’t going to help you analyze your B2B website and the norms even within the same industry can vary depending on company growth stage.
Because of that, it can be beneficial to have someone outside of your company who has a deep familiarity with companies like yours conduct an inbound marketing audit. Their experience will enable them to source the correct benchmarks to base the audit on, and because they’ve analyzed the inbound marketing strategies of numerous companies, they’re more likely to identify opportunities you haven’t thought of yet.
Karly is a Lead Growth Advisor at New Breed