Monthly campaigns, 90-day campaigns or even six-month long marketing campaigns. There’s no right or wrong answer when asking how long your Inbound campaign should last. Everyone is going to have their own preference on how long each one should be. However, after trialling the different durations, we’ve found that working in 90-day cycles proves to be the most efficient way of creating a successful Inbound Marketing campaign.
Here’s why we believe 90-day Inbound campaigns are a good amount of time.
Why Our Inbound Campaigns Last 90 Days...
The basic gist of sticking with 90-day Inbound campaigns is that we’ve found we can build a much more detailed and accurate picture of exactly what is and what isn’t working. It just happens to fall nicely into that category of ‘it’s not too short or too long.’
This is what allows us to adapt our campaigns moving forward by eliminating all of the guesswork involved. A 90-day campaign gives us enough time to thoroughly research and plan exactly what prospects’ goals, pain points and buying habits are so that the Inbound campaigns can resonate and deliver results.
We’ve also found that 90-day cycles work the best for analysing and iterating. This allows enough time to analyse results but the main learning here is that we then know which aspects bring the best results and those are implemented in future campaigns.
When milestones aren’t put in the strategy of when you’re going to begin analysing, the time to analyse might never come. So, this duration works well as you’re able to point out times where you’re ready to analyse things like workflows and landing pages to see what is and isn’t working. Personally, we believe 90 days is about right to do that.
...And Why It’s a Good Amount of Time
As you can imagine, doing this monthly doesn’t give enough time to do all of that research and put it into action - there’s just not enough time to build a story with a shorter time frame.
Think about it this way, one of the things Inbound campaigns revolve around are launching eBooks and other downloadable content. Moving on too soon or not quickly enough can backfire as that content doesn’t even have an opportunity to breathe or connect with personas because things are continuously ticking over.
90-day Inbound campaigns can also help to retain focus as the entire team is on the same page. This means the whole team is getting value out of their time by sticking with it for three months, rather than trying to scramble everything inside 30 days, for example. The main point is that this amount of time lets you know exactly where you’re at and you can see things happening.
By giving campaigns this amount of time, you know where you are each month, there’s a lot more value as a marketer and there’s more valuable weight to the analytics side of things. If campaigns are too quick, that data might not be 100 percent accurate, whereas 90-day cycles give the opportunity to change things in the last month of the campaign.
To sum it up, 90 days is enough time to say if the campaign works or not. By that time, you’ll have enough content which links topic to topic and that gives you a good footing from an organic perspective for when they rank. We’ve found that this is a lot better than trying to cram all of that - and more - into just 30 days.
The Problems of Having Shorter or Longer Inbound Campaigns
The issue with monthly campaigns is that too many factors come into play that can halt the progress of campaigns, such as team members being on holidays which can set campaigns back as well as seasonality.
Despite that, there are marketers that work on a monthly basis and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, that can become a real issue if you’re working with a handful of clients and they’re all in different industries. Juggling all of their campaigns every month can be quite challenging.
That also means you’ll have to change your topic and theme every month. One problem with that is changing too much leads to lots of different paths and you won’t be building enough compound content or messaging which can be missed easily by moving too quickly.
Secondly, monthly campaigns can result in inefficient topic research at the start of each campaign as you’re always starting from scratch every single time. Not only that but changing topics every month also means you’re also not able to implement meaningful changes as you move on through the campaign.
An example of a longer campaign is 180 days, or six months. This is also something we’ve trialled in the past and it’s a timeframe we believe can actually be rather efficient because it gives you so much time to store tonnes of titles in the vault.
However, there are drawbacks which stop it from being a duration we implement. One of the biggest concerns is that you can easily get campaign fatigue halfway through about writing or analysing the exact same topic for half a year. During that time, you might want to change things around but you can’t because of the campaign being in full-swing already for that period of time.
That’s a real shame, especially when fresh and relevant things come up which you could implement.
What’s Included in a Typical 90-Day Inbound Campaign
It all kicks off with the SEO groundwork, internal auditing and the completion of administrative tasks.
- SEO keyword research: This underpins and shapes all content and copy at a later stage.
- Technical SEO audit: You find underperforming aspects that already exist.
- Fix SEO issues: This is done so that ranking changes can happen when the campaign launches
- Design landing page templates: These need reviewing as content and personas begin to take shape.
- Design and implement a blog: This is so you have a place to publish content.
- Set up your marketing CRM: This allows you to become familiar with software and have things in place to enable automated marketing.
- Organise and segment your contact database: So you can market to leads different depending on their lifecycle and buyer’s journey.
- Research and create buyer personas: So you can craft and shape content the personas will search.
- Document buyer’s journeys: Producing content that will interest users at every step of the journey.
- Carry out an existing audit: You can see what can be repurposed and what needs further improvement.
- Set up social media accounts: It’s the place you’ll regularly promote content and research new users to gain a following.
With the previous work in place, the next step on a typical 90-day Inbound campaign is all about planning and writing content ready for launch. Content which nurtures leads through the buyer’s journey needs to be pre-written alongside content which attracts initial visitors.
- Specific blog keyword research: Campaign and blog-specific keywords need to be found.
- Blog topics and title planning: Titles which search engines understand and impress readers at the same time.
- Email topics and titles: These must be on-message so they get opened and actioned.
- Key social media dates: It gives you enough time to plan when to target and avoid posting.
- Content plan based on the audit: So that each part of the process work side by side.
- Planning workflows: So you can organise effective sending times, how to segment contacts based on email interaction and information learnt about them.
- Write and design emails: Once they’re opened, they nurture contacts into leads and then they’re ready to become conversions.
- Test: Testing every aspect of the workflow allows you to sharpen and tweak as much as possible.
The final stage of the 90-day Inbound campaign is all about moving away from general content creation and producing downloadable content that entices visitors into becoming contacts.
- Write the body copy: Body copy needs to be useful and informative. It should be a level above regular blogs but in enough depth to leave the reader wanting more.
- Design: It’s important so that it looks better than anything else available and appeals to personas so they move along the buyer’s journey.
- CTA creation: Call to Actions encourage visitors to head to your landing pages.
- Landing page creation: Highly optimise the previous draft to convert those that see it.
- Upload and implement: Monitor the performance once everything has been implemented.
- Test and amend: Test regularly so that everything is always optimised.
At the same time, it’s the perfect time to put blogs live, share them on social media accounts while continuing to write new content too.
There’s clearly a lot involved in Inbound campaigns, so it’s to see why it can be inefficient to try and cram all of the above into a one-month window.
Find Out More About The World of Inbound Marketing
There’s so much that goes into making sure every Inbound campaign you plan is more effective than the last. In fact, there’s a lot more about Inbound Marketing you’ll still need to know so that you can boost your marketing efforts moving forward. Rather than trying to fit everything here, we’ve created an easy-to-read guide that you can read on-the-go instead.
To learn more about all things Inbound Marketing, click on the link below to grab your free copy.