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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Marketing Strategy

We’re leaving winter behind and entering the spring months, so what better time for a review of how the year is going so far? The end of a quarter is also a new beginning, and the chance to start afresh with an updated set of opportunities and goals for the next three months. After all, Fast Company has reported that 90-day goals are better than annual ones.

Without reflecting on Q1, we can’t transition into Q2 armed with a strong sense of what we want to achieve. Here are the questions you'll need to ask yourself as you review your inbound marketing performance in the first quarter and plan for the next:

1. Which channels performed well in Q1?

It’s time to take stock of each of your inbound marketing channels (email, social media, content, SEO and PPC) and review your quarterly performance.

In order to do this, sit down with your monthly reports and compare the metrics most relevant to your company and marketing goals. Examples of useful metrics might be:

  • Leads generated per channel
  • Customers generated per channel
  • New subscribers or followers (email/social media)
  • Visitor-to-lead conversion rate (blog/website)
  • Ranking for specific keywords (SEO)
  • Clickthrough rates (PPC)

2. Which channels can we improve on in Q2?

On the flip side of the first point, it’s good to identify the channels that could do with a performance boost in Q2.

Which channels fell a bit flat compared to others? If email is failing to nurture leads into customers, for example, now is the time to figure out how to improve your email marketing and increase your success rate. Ask yourself the following:

  • Why this channel is not performing as well as the rest
  • What you need to work on in Q2 in order to improve
  • How you can include this as one of your Q2 goals

3. Which goals did we achieve or not achieve?

Speaking of goals, look back to your quarterly goals at the start of Q1, if you set any. If they are SMART targets, they should be measurable against KPIs. Compare your KPIs to the goals you set. For each goal, record:

  • Whether you reached the target you set
  • The % of your target that you were able to meet (e.g. 75% met, 150% met)
  • Why you achieved, or didn’t achieve, the goal
  • A new goal for Q2, either as a revision or a repeat of the same goal

4. What were our wins?

Aside from the channel performance and your achievement of set goals, you should be looking at individual moments of success throughout the quarter. Examples might be:

  • A/B testing email subject lines led to doubled open rates
  • An infographic you published was picked up by an influential publication
  • Your landing pages are seeing increased conversion rates

When you have recorded your wins for Q1, analyse why these occurrences took place so you can continue and improve upon your inbound marketing activities in Q2.

5. What are our opportunities for Q2?

As well as wins, there will likely be potential areas of improvement for Q2, where you should be looking to step up your efforts to improve your results. For example:

  • Website traffic from social media should be higher
  • PPC should be made more cost efficient
  • CTAs should see better clickthrough rates

Do your homework on increasing the engagement and value of these channels, and take your insights into Q2. Set SMART targets around them, and come up with a game plan for how you'll achieve each one of them.

For more inspiration on how to optimise your inbound marketing, download our latest eBook, 4 ways to optimise your inbound marketing.

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