7 Steps for Developing Your First Inbound Marketing Campaign
March 18, 2015
By Carly Ries
Developing your first inbound marketing campaign can be an exciting time, and 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. We're here to help with these seven steps for successfully launching your first inbound marketing campaign.
The Initial Setup
Before you begin building your campaign, make sure you’ve done all of the background work and research to set it up effectively, including:
1. Creating SMART Goals
Goal setting is one of the hardest tasks for marketers (and people in general for that matter). What are SMART goals, you ask? SMART is an acronym for:
This process 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.
2. Developing 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. In order to create effective content, you must have a deep understanding of who your buyer personas are and what their pain points are. Without this, you'll be unable to target your efforts appropriately and will be missing out on substantial opportunities.
3. Mapping and Auditing Your Content
Review content you currently have and brainstorm opportunities that will help solve your buyer personas' problems. Assess all of this content (past and future) to see what areas of the Buyer’s Journey you’re missing out on 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 personas 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 Path
A conversion path comprises a landing page, 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 an offer landing page. These should be placed in appropriate places around your site and on 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 lives.
- Thank You page: The Thank You page hosts the offer that your contact has opted in for, as well as provides next steps to move your contact through the funnel (i.e., typically a secondary offer).
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 blog articles and will convert.
Social media: Promote your offer on social media platforms that your personas frequent. Don’t promote to a social platform just 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 on the conversion path.
News releases: News releases are another way to promote your content, which gives other people the opportunity to promote/write about your offer. Remember to include a tracking URL with the news release to track back to the campaign.
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.
Ready, Set, Go!
And there you have it. A lot goes into to developing an inbound marketing campaign, but it’s worth it. Want to talk more about how we can help you dive into inbound marketing? Let's talk.
About the author
Carly Ries was formerly 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.
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