By Carly Ries

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Developing your first inbound marketing campaign can be an exciting time. We’re sure you’ll love the outcome. In order to get amazing results, however, you need to make sure you're developing your campaign correctly from the beginning. Here are 7 tips to successfully start your first inbound marketing campaign.

 

The Initial Set-Up

Before you begin building your campaign, make sure you’ve done all of the background work and research to set it up effectively:

  1. Create SMART Goals

    Goal setting is one of the hardest tasks for marketers (people in general for that matter). What are SMART goals you ask? SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Bound. This type of goal setting allows you to create concrete goals that are easy to assess and will keep you on track as you continue with your inbound marketing campaigns (not to mention impress your boss once you reach these goals).

  1. Develop Buyer Personas

    A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers (HubSpot). In order to create effective content, you must have a deep understanding of who your buyer persona is and what his/her pain points are. Without this, you will be unable to target your efforts appropriately and will be missing out on substantial opportunities.

  1. Map and Audit Your Content

    Review content you currently have and brainstorm opportunities that will help solve your buyer persona’s problems. Assess all of this content (past and future) to see what areas of the buyer’s journey you’re missing and begin to fill in the blanks. Do you have a lot of awareness content but lack the consideration content to support it to move people through the marketing funnel? Do a gap analysis of your content and move on to your campaign from there.

The 4 Components of an Inbound Campaign

Once you’ve done the background research, it’s time to dive into the first campaign. Focus on the following:

  1. The Offer

    Refer to your content audit and create an offer that your persona would find valuable. Creating an offer will help you attract visitors, generate leads, and close customers. Creating engaging and useful content will set you up as an expert within your industry. The more people trust you, the more likely they’ll be to buy from you.

  2. The Conversion PathA conversion path consists of a landing page, a thank you page, and calls to action (CTAs). For comprehensive reporting, it’s important that you tag all of the components below with the same campaign.

    CTAs: A CTA is what you click on to arrive on the landing page for your offer. These should be placed in appropriate places around your site and relevant blog posts.

    Landing Page: The landing page is designed to generate leads. The landing page acts as a gate to your offer. Once a visitor fills out the form on the landing page and gives you their contact information (and any other desired information you need), then they’ll be directed to the thank you page where the piece of content will live.

    Thank You Page: The thank you page hosts the offer your contact has opted in for as well as provides next steps to move your contact through the funnel (typically a secondary offer). 

  3. Promotion
    What’s the point of having a new offer and conversion path if nobody sees them? Once the conversion path is complete, it’s time to begin promoting the content. The best way to do this is through:

  • Keyword research and blogging: Research keywords relevant to your offer and see which are easiest to rank for. Once you have a list of targeted keywords, create blog titles that include these keywords. Support your new offer with blog content that surrounds the topic of the offer (you can even repurpose pieces of the offer and turn them into blog posts). Blogging can help increase your organic search traffic. The more people that see your post, the more people that will see the CTA you’ve placed at the bottom of your blogs and will convert.

  • Social media: Promote your offer on social media platforms where your persona visits frequently. Don’t promote to a social platform because everybody is doing it and you think it’s what you’re supposed to do. Make sure your social efforts are targeted and that you’re promoting consistently to the platforms where your personas are.

  • Email: Sending an email to a targeted contact list is a great way to promote your content. Remember to include the CTA to your offer, follow best practices and tag the campaign as you did with the conversion path.

  • News releases: News release are another way to promote your content that also gives you the chance for other people to promote/write about your offer. Remember to include a tracking URL with the news release to track back to the campaign.

  1. Analysis

    Once your campaign is up and running, you should begin analyzing the results and progress as they relate to your goals. Make changes where necessary and improve upon weak areas of the campaign to generate the best results.

There you have it! A lot goes into to developing an inbound marketing campaign, but it’s worth it. For those who have already developed an inbound marketing campaign, what other advice would you give?

 

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Carly Ries

About the author

Carly Ries is a Senior Inbound Marketing Consultant for SmartBug Media. With over 7 years of marketing and account management experience, Carly helps clients develop and implement inbound marketing strategies to grow leads, conversion, and revenue. Read more articles by Carly Ries.