9 Core Components of an Inbound Marketing Campaign
Written by Adriano Tagliarina
Dec 4 2017
What components need to combine to create a successful inbound campaign? We look at nine aspects to consider.
Regardless of the varied goals and KPIs you’ve set for your inbound campaigns, there are a number of building blocks that underpin every strategy.
To ensure a seamless campaign, it’s important that each of these components are taken into account, and fully planned.
9 Core Components of Successful Inbound Marketing Campaigns
1. Buyer Personas
Defined buyer personas (in-depth profiles of your ideal, target clients) are crucial as they inform and determine all other aspects of your campaign. Before running a campaign, it’s important to invest time in identifying your personas; their challenges, motivations, demographic profiles, online habits, content preferences etc, as clearly as possible. This information will influence everything from the direction of the content you create, to the platforms you engage on, even to aspects such as the way you design your site.
Remember, to be successful, persona research should be backed by data - never base a campaign on assumption!
2. Topic Keywords (Relating to Your Persona Challenges)
Once you have identified your buyer persona(s) (and you may have multiple personas), you should have a clear idea of the challenges they are experiencing (that you can solve). These in turn should inform the keyword topics that your campaign will address.
To identify the most important key terms to target in your campaign, look for the words, phrases and questions that your personas are searching for. Related back to their challenges (again, that you/your services can address), you should be left with a list of keywords that will resonate.
Even the best content is of no use if it cannot be found, therefore to create highly accessible, resonant content;
Research the keywords that match the terms that your buyer personas are using. (Google has a very useful Keyword Planner tool)
Make sure you use these keywords in the titles and topics of your content and blog posts.
Produce quality content and post on the right channels for your persona (see 7 below).
3. Relevant, Quality Content
To generate relevant, quality leads, you must produce relevant, quality content.
Content should always be informative, helpful and written to solve your persona’s challenges. You will also need to create content that maps to each stage of the buyer’s journey (awareness, consideration, and decision) for effective nurture. Blogs, eBooks, guides, videos, webinars and more may all be part of your campaign content plan.
4. Landing Pages
Landing pages are your prospect’s gateway to your more in-depth content (such as eBooks or webinars) - and your opportunity to turn visitors into leads. Here, prospects receive access to your content in exchange for completing a lead capture form.
However, don’t be tempted to ask for too much information at once - there needs to be a perception of a fair value exchange, or else you run the risk of them clicking away. Keep it simple, requesting only essential information at the outset; for example their name, company and email address. Sometime, it may be also be appropriate to dig deeper (such as asking about the motivation behind the download). You will then be able to use this data later in the nurture process.
5. A Well-Maintained Blog
As well as creating gated content, quality (ungated) blog content is key to attract relevant visitors to your site and to raise your brand’s profile as a trusted topic authority.
Blog content generally sits at the awareness stage of the buyer's journey, so can be used to provide insight into the top level challenges that your personas are experiencing. This advice then helps to build trust; and with the right CTA, leading to the next-stage of gated content, blog content helps to nurture leads and prospects.
Having the right call to action on each piece of content in your campaign, is important to help visitors find other relevant assets amd information. Good CTAs should:
Relate to the topic of the page they are placed on. Ideally your CTAs will lead to content offering the next stage of insight that your buyer needs.
Be placed in clear position. On landing pages for example, you’ll want a clear ‘Download Now’ CTA immediately visible above the fold.
Fit thematically and natively with your site - but in a way that is still eye-catching in design.
Use clear, actionable text to encourage clickthrough. Use verbs such as ‘Start’, ‘Download’ or ‘Learn’.
Deliver on what's promised - always direct prospects who click to the precise offer or page they're expecting.
7. Content Promotion
Publishing is not the end of the content process; you need to spread the word across a range of channels (such as via social) for it to be found.
Promotion will vary depending on your personas; your data-backed persona research will have identified the online environments that your best-fit prospects use - that you should include in your promotion strategy. Promotion channels typically include:
Social Media: Social messaging (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and more) is an important aspect of an inbound campaigns; with the right messages in the right places, you have the opportunity build trust, awareness and gain clickthrough to your content.
Email Marketing: With a marketing automation platform you can easily incorporate an email nurture campaign into your inbound strategy; sharing relevant content and building trust over time.
Shared Content: In addition to the above, content posted to groups (such as on LinkedIn or Facebook) or to sites like Quora, and contributing guest content to relevant sites, can also contribute to increased awareness, trust - and site traffic.
8. Your Inbound Marketing Website
Of course to tie everything together you need an engaging website! Think of your site as a brand representative who never sleeps.
Effective sites are easy to use, contemporary, and designed with your persona in mind. A well designed site - with clearly accessible content and the right conversion tools in place, is a powerful lead generation tool.
If you think your site may need a redesign to meet this remit - don’t be put off by the perceived costs of traditional web design - following a Growth Driven Design model ensures you site is data backed, persona relevant - and cost controlled, as GDD runs in monthly sprint updates.
9. Regular Review
It’s important to regularly evaluate and analyse how your campaign is progressing based on your KPIs and goals. What activities are you running that are seeing success - and what needs optimising to work a little better? If results do not reach expectations, be prepared to regularly review, adapt, adjust and optimise.
A successful inbound campaign relies on continual evaluation and flexibility through every strategic component.
Inbound Marketing is a Continuous Process
Some inbound marketing campaigns are more effective than others but a well-developed strategy using all of the above modules will help produce results. And, when combined with an inbound sales process, or evolved into an account-based marketing strategy, inbound offers incredible potential.