By Dolly Howard

Inbound marketing campaigns. You’ve heard the phrase; you know you should use them, but what are they? What components are included in the campaign and how do you execute the appropriate steps to be successful?

What is an Inbound Marketing Campaign?

An inbound marketing campaign is a set of steps and tools used to reach a desired marketing goal such as increased visit-to-lead conversion rate, marketing qualified leads, or total customers. By integrating today’s most relevant online tools inbound marketing campaigns become measurable and provide marketers with an ability to show detailed ROI statistics on their efforts.

The Structure of an Inbound Marketing Campaign

Before you start building your campaign, it’s important to know how the campaign is structured. It looks something like this:

Inbound_Marketing_Campaign_SmartBug

Each steps is tied to the next step and will help you meet the goals you’ve set out to achieve. 

10 Components of a Successful Inbound Campaign

1. Personas

You should have clearly defined personas before creating an inbound marketing campaign. Once you have your personas in place, decide which one you would like to target first. Having a persona in mind will help you tailor your messaging and create a focused campaign across all channels. 

2. S.M.A.R.T goals

If you’ve ever taken a HubSpot Academy class you know the term SMART goals. SMART is an acronym meaning Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Setup SMART goals for every campaign, so that when you’re finished you have tangible results to impress your colleagues (or boss) with.

3. A remarkable content offer

Will your offer be an ebook, webinar, podcast, checklist, or something else? When choosing a content offer make sure it is something you know your persona will need, that is engaging and is written extremely well! It should be educational and helpful, not a sales pitch. 

4. A conversion path that works

A conversion path consists of a call-to-action (CTA), landing page with a form, thank you page, and thank you email. This pathway is how people are going to become leads from your website and other promotional assets. You cannot miss this step. If you’re thinking, “I don’t want to burden my website visitors with a form to fill out” reevaluate your goals. Without a landing page and form, you will not be able to capture leads which in turn makes your campaign less measureable overall. 

5. An automatic lead nurturing campaign

When a visitor becomes a lead on one of your landing pages it’s imperative that you have a way to automatically follow up with them. These emails bring the leads through the buying process all the way down to a marketing qualified lead, thusly providing you with a great marketing ROI to report.

6. Engaging promotional emails

Now that you have your campaign assets in place, it is time to let the world know what you have to offer! Segment your leads and send targeted emails to promote your new offer. Remember: if your offer applies to more than one of your personas, tailor the language of each of your emails so that it speaks to specific pain points of each persona. This means you might have to create more than one email. 

7. Long tail keyword strategy

Before you can start promoting your offer through other channels, such as blogging, you will need a solid keyword strategy.  You should be asking yourself, “What are my personas typing into search engines? Are these keywords attainable for my website to achieve? How can I use these keywords in other marketing efforts?” If the keywords you’ve chosen target the right persona, have a difficulty of 60 or less (as given by the HubSpot tool) and contain at least a few monthly searches, you’re on the right track. 

8. Blog posts that drive interest and educate readers

Use the long tail keywords you decided on in the previous step to create enticing blog titles that educate your persona on topics within your offer. Stay away from posts that sell the reader on the offer. At the bottom of the blog post include your call to action to capture the reader as a lead. You can even repurpose articles within your offer to help create content faster than ever.

9. Social media campaigns to create awareness

Always promote your offer and other components of your campaign (such as blog posts) on social media. When promoting your offer, choose the social media channels where your personas are engaging the most. If your persona is on LinkedIn, spend more time there. If they are on Twitter, promote there. If they are on all channels, promote to all. You decide where your biggest reach is and allocate your time accordingly.

10. Data that backs up your assumptions

Data is key to any successful inbound marketing campaign. Sometimes this is difficult to obtain, so it is recommended that you use a marketing tool like HubSpot to help consolidate data and track campaigns. You must analyze your efforts. Once you’ve analyzed your campaign and figured out what it takes to make your next even better, you can report this back to your team and other colleagues.

Are you excited to start your first campaign? Let us know how yours turns out in the comments!

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The Ultimate Guide to Inbound Marketing Personas

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Dolly Howard

About the author

Dolly Howard was formerly Director of Marketing for SmartBug Media. Previously she worked as a senior marketing consultant leading SmartBug Media clients in strategy for lead conversion improvement and total marketing ROI. As a past HubSpot employee, Dolly is excited to share her knowledge and help enterprise companies grow their business. Read more articles by Dolly Howard.

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