The Ultimate Checklist For Successful Inbound Marketing Campaigns
Written by Alastair Kane
Apr 4 2016
Successful Inbound marketing campaigns return impressive results. With three out of four marketers across the globe now prioritising an Inbound Marketing approach, you may have decided to adapt your own marketing and sales strategies.
But what comes first? What are the key building blocks to ensure your investment will provide the returns you expect, and what mistakes should you avoid?
The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Checklist For Effective Campaigns
Successful Inbound campaigns that meet expectations are the ones based on solid planning. So regardless of how you will implement your campaigns (for example you may be using HubSpot), make sure you check off the below steps to ensure success.
6 Step Checklist - Strategic Planning is Key to Successful Inbound Campaigns
1.Know Your Campaign Goals
The first step in planning is to clearly define the results you require. Map your financial goals to lead generation targets and be realistic about timeframes. It is key to do this in order to manage internal expectations, and judge what your campaign can realistically achieve. To align your campaign with your goals:
Align revenue targets with historical data to determine the ROI you can expect from a campaign. Realistic campaign goals will be impacted by figures such as your average order value, customer value, lead generation figures, the length of your sales cycle, and your conversion rates through the funnel (leads, MQLs, SQLs). Make sure you consider those before agreeing to a target. Using an Inbound lead to revenue calculator will simplify the process.
Look at what you want to achieve and by when - set realistic timescales.
Train your sales and marketing teams to work together toward the same goals.
2.Identify Your Best-Fit Client; Your Ideal ‘Buyer Persona’
Inbound campaigns are built around best-fit client personas. By identifying your ideal or best-fit prospect, you can tailor your campaign around their exact requirements, and build trust through offering helpful value at the right time. Targeting everything around your ideal clients also helps to boost lead quality. When defining your ideal client personas, consider:
What is their job title and sector? Typically you will want to target decision makers who can make executive choices about your product or solution.
If targeting B2B, what is their typical business size? This will affect their budget, and have a weight on whether your solution is suitable.
What are their digital behaviour patterns? If you know what online media and environments your personas use you can have active presence there to keep your brand in mind. You can identify channel environments by interviewing current clients.
What are their challenges and pain points that you can address? Your product will have been developed to address these challenges, but understanding pain points (and offering solutions) is key to determine the angle of your content.
Remember you may have multiple personas for different solutions.
3. Re-align Your Sales & Marketing Departments
Traditional marketing strategies need to be turned on their head. As modern buyers self-educate with online research before purchasing, Inbound marketing works to provide educational content to help them. This means that the lines between marketing and sales are increasingly blurred.
Now, marketing needs to educate prospects to a decision-ready stage with content before they speak to sales. Equally, sales needs insight into the interaction a prospect has had with marketing’s content. Both departments need to work more closely together by:
Ensuring that Marketing has the correct educational content in place. Sales has a unique insight into the pain prospect’s experience. Both sides should work together to create valued, helpful, challenge-focussed content
Having Marketing nurture leads to purchase-ready qualification before Sales makes contact. Cold calling is no longer effective.
Getting sales staff involved across all buying stages to build a trusted relationship with the client and help, not push, to closure.
4.Develop the Right Content
Once you have identified your ideal persona the next step is to develop helpful, lead generating content that you know they will be interested in.
Content is the fuel powering Inbound campaigns. This includes blogs, eBooks, landing pages, emails, webinars and more. To be effective, content must always:
Be written to solve persona’s pain points.
Work to educate and help.
Be mapped to the the Buyer’s Journey - you need content to address prospects through the awareness, consideration and decision stages in order to nurture them effectively.
When planning an editorial calendar and writing content, you should also build around content hubs - a ‘hub’ collection of multiple content pieces written around one umbrella topic. A boost to SEO and lead quality, hub topics should be persona challenge/pain driven and interlink.
5. Publish Content to the Right Digital Environment
When you identified your personas, you made a note of where they are active online. Once your campaign is live, it’s this information that will help you action a channel promotion strategy to ensure your work is seen by your target audience.
It’s not enough to be blindly active on social or content channels. Ensure you consider your personas, and publish accurately, to generate best quality leads and avoid wasted resource.
There are 3 types of digital channels:
Paid channels: These are paid promotional channels such as social advertising (LinkedIn Sponsored Updates, Twitter and Facebook Ads etc), AdWords Ad Copy, Re-marketing Ad Banners and more.
Earned channels: Earned promotion relies on your audience to recognise value in your content and promote it. Good examples of this include getting editorial content placed on other sites, and having social followers share your content.
Owned channels: These are the channels you have complete control over. Social selling activity and everyday social promotion that builds your reputation are included here. Your website and blog should also be considered as promotional resources in the owned channel mix.
6. Always Keep your Sales Cycle in Mind
Once you’re ready to go - don’t be tempted to bombard your target persona with information all at once. The final step is to remember how long it takes your average lead to purchase, ensure all content is mapped to both the Buyer’s Journey and your sales cycle - and nurture.
Planning Successful Inbound Campaigns
Effective Inbound marketing campaigns are based on strategic planning. In isolation, the above building blocks will not result in success. But when used together, and supported by data, you will see a good return on your change of strategy from a traditional to an Inbound Marketing Campaign.