When it comes to creating and running a marketing campaign, just jumping in and doing it isn't enough. If you're only putting up a Facebook ad here and a tweet there, and creating a stream of blog posts with keywords in the titles, you won't see many results. It's like fishing on dry land - you can cast as much bait as you want but you're not going to catch any fish until you get some in the pond. So before you start creating an inbound marketing campaign, here's what you and your team need to know.
1. Have a Marketing Plan and Know Your Audience
Form a Plan
You may know this already but before you have a campaign, you need to have a marketing plan which gives you the full picture of your business goals. The campaign is only one smaller part of that master plan, designed to achieve a far-reaching objective. Your plan might include descriptions such as "Target clients based in North America" and then your campaign's would be something more along the lines of "The State of <Your Industry> in Canada."
Your marketing plan will help you know who it is that you should be targeting with your personas. Once your plan has given you the longer term business and marketing goals, you know what types of people to base your personas on and can make your research more granular.
Know the Audience - Personas are the Foundation of it All
The inbound methodology is about creating helpful content that people will see as useful. Not only will this make your content (such as blog articles and social media posts) more attractive to them, but it will also ensure your brand is being put in front of the right people.
Consider what questions your customers are asking and what problems they might be facing. Think about what solves their pain points and write content which does just that.
Every person is different and are likely to be going through a different stage in the Buyer's Journey to other people at any one time. It's important that your content plans to cover for this. For example, don't have only sales content when over 94% of internet users are only researching and aren't ready for a sales conversation.
Map your content to cover the whole buyer's journey. Only once you know what makes your audience tick, can you begin to target and appeal to them in the right way.
2. Define Your Goals and Determine How You'll Measure Success
This one's quite obvious but you need to know what you want your campaign to achieve and be specific about it. A common formula to follow would be: what you want to achieve + how long the campaign will run. But above that, you need to make sure your goals are always SMART if you want to see the best results.
You also need to know what metrics you and your team will be using to measure success. How else are you going to tell if your campaign has succeeded or not? This is where the SMART formula comes in handy.
Marketing automation platforms such as HubSpot have built-in tools that allow you create and analyse reports (among other things). This lets you easily see what's working and what's not and use that knowledge to improve your inbound marketing strategies.
3. Do You Have Any Existing Content Which Might Help Generate Ideas?
You should conduct a full content audit to evaluate the success of your existing content, assess what needs to be updated for new visitors and see which pieces you might be able to repurpose for your new campaign.
Existing, successful content can also be used as a guideline for your new pieces. Consider the format of your content because different communication channels will be better suited to some of your buyers but not all of them.
For example, videos, images and polls are interactive and good at providing short snapshots of information while blog posts are better for detail. Any existing, similar content you might have can be used as a guideline or even just to generate ideas for future content. Is there a new angle you could explore?
Establishing an agreed writing style (sometimes known as a Tone of Voice) is also important because not all of your target audience will be need content in the same format - but your company should deliver it in a consistent voice.
For example, a company director, CEO or manager will be looking for higher level information than an assistant who has been specifically tasked with conducting research for a presentation in a month's time... so your writing style should reflect that whilst still staying on-brand.
4. Know Who Will Be Doing What and When They'll Be Doing It
When it's time to deliver your campaign, you need to segment jobs and know who will be doing what and when. Who will be helping with content creation? Who will be overseeing and signing it off? Who will be scheduling them for social media and promotion?
As well as this, you need to assess your internal capabilities and the amount of resources you have at hand. It's likely that you'll be working on the bulk of the campaign in-house but you might want to outsource some aspects such as a portion of the content. This all depends on the size of your company, the amount of workload and the time you have.
5. Have Regular Meetings to Discuss What's Been Accomplished and What You Can Improve on
Hold regular meetings to talk about what you've accomplished so far, the value the inbound methodology is bringing to your marketing campaign and overall strategy and what needs further work. Whether these meetings are weekly, fortnightly or monthly, it's important that they're held on a regular basis because they allow you and your team to discuss what's working and what's not working so you can make necessary tweaks. Here's a suggested meeting timeline for your next inbound campaign:
Introduction to Team at the start of the 90-day campaign.
Informal progress check on deliverables between the team involved at least once a week.
Analyse month's figures and tweak accordingly every month until campaign ends.
Review previous content to improve or optimise continuously.
As well as this analysis session, these meetings ensure that your team are consistently engaged with the campaign beyond the first intro meeting. This means people can continue to bring ideas to the table and be sharing content, which allows you to keep improving and take that knowledge onboard for your future campaigns.
Do You Want to Create the Best Marketing Campaign?
Having any marketing campaign is better than having none but the best ones give you the results you want and that takes considerable planning and well-coordinated effort. It's no use casting your fishing line here, there and everywhere without knowing if there are even any fish in the pond. This is why creating an inbound marketing campaign can take you much further than traditional methods because the approach is all about providing useful content to your audience at every stage of their Buyer's Journey.
Want your marketing efforts to go even further? Download our FREE template below to convince your boss that the inbound marketing methodology is the way forward.