While developing one of the latest tools we'll be offering on our website—a nifty campaign planning tool and webinar—I thought I'd whip up a truncated, tactical guide to planning an inbound marketing campaign. Of course, seeing as we'll need a webinar AND a workbook to take you through what it takes to plan and manage a campaign, this post is only meant to guide you through at a very high level.
Here is a quick look at the many elements of an inbound marketing campaign—a TL;DR version, if you will…
For the purpose of this post, we are starting with the assumption that you have created something that will be valuable to your audience. This might be a content offer of some kind (ebook, whitepaper, quiz, etc.) or it might be an event or conference you'll be hosting. Once you get that put together, you can use the rest of this info to create your supporting collateral.
Here is a (by no means exhaustive) list of the technical pieces you'll need to create in order for your campaign to function.
This is where you compel people to download your content or sign up for your event. This page should include the form where users enter the details you need (i.e., name, email, etc.), or think you can reasonably collect in exchange for your content. The landing page is where you'll want to direct web traffic to through the methods we'll discuss a little later.
You can use the thank you page to actually deliver the requested content if you are offering a download. If it's an event, you can use the thank you page as a confirmation and remind users of the details and let them know what they can expect for next steps, such as receiving their schedule via email or anything they need to do to complete registration.
It is a good practice to provide the download or other information on the thank you page in a follow-up email so the user can save it for reference later. You may also want to set up an internal notification email for your company so the appropriate people know when someone registers for your event or accesses your content.
If you use marketing automation software and have the ability, you should consider building workflows to send out additional follow-up emails that guide the user to additional content they might find helpful or to send them updates about the event.
First, you'll want to create additional forms of content that are relevant to your offer, such as blog and social media posts. Then you'll want to find ways to promote your offer and the content that leads to it.
Create blog posts on the same topic as your offer or use your blog to explore elements of your content offer in more depth. This post is a perfect example. I am writing about the various elements of a campaign which supports a tool I'm building that will help people brainstorm and keep track of all the elements of their own campaigns.
Obviously you'll want to share those blog posts on social media, but you may also want to share directly with your network about your content or event. Surely, many of your followers will find it valuable. That is why they follow you. Except maybe your mom. She probably follows you because she is your mom. You may also decide to tease your content by pulling tips, images or snippets from your content and sharing those on social with a link to your landing page.
If you have email subscribers who have requested to receive information about your events or offers, you can send them an email with a link to your landing page. You may also consider sending an email to people who have downloaded similar content or attended your events before (presuming they have not opted out of additional email communication) to let them know about your latest offer and why you think they'd be interested.
Other ways to drive traffic to your landing page include:
As you have probably guessed, developing a campaign takes a team. In addition to the brilliant marketing mind behind strategizing the offer or event, you are going to need additional tacticians and specialists.
A skilled designer can create a user-friendly layout for your landing page and emails to encourage maximum conversions. This person may also design any print collateral you create for your campaign.
Depending on the skillset of your designer, you may need a developer to implement the design for the landing page. If you start to explore the possibilities of interactive content, such as online quizzes, you'll also want to enlist the help of a developer.
You'll want to use a talented marketing copywriter to write the content for your landing page and the supporting content to increase the likelihood that someone will want to further engage with you. You may find it helpful to use the same writer who created the content you are offering since they are already familiar with the subject and can easily call out the benefits.
You'll want someone to help optimize your content and landing pages so it will rank well in search engines. You'll also want that person to help you manage any pay-per-click campaigns.
That's it! Easy Peasy. Right?
What? Did you feel like this was a lot to fire off in a blog post?
That's because it was. And truthfully, this only scratches the surface of these elements, and depending on your campaign, there may even be more!