So you’ve been in the business game a while, right? And you’ve probably realized that marketing is pretty much the most important thing you can do to attract more customers. But how exactly are you doing this marketing? Well, I’m here to give you one piece of vital advice: It’s time to call up the rookie, you need a game changer. It’s time to learn how to plan an inbound marketing campaign.
Your business is off the ground, but in order to really skyrocket out of the gates ahead of your competition, you need to implement an Inbound Marketing Campaign. It’s a phenomenon that is sweeping the internet, and it empowers companies to overcome their competitors. But how exactly do I start to plan an inbound marketing campaign?
Now most of you reading this probably already know the importance of inbound marketing. But some of you may be wondering, what exactly happens when a company invests in an inbound marketing campaign? Well, this post tells you exactly how to plan your Inbound Marketing campaign, and what needs to happen in order to be successful in the online world. There are many key aspects to an inbound marketing campaign that you absolutely need to do in order to be successful. Throughout the planning process, these 7 steps need to be taken!
7 Steps on How to Plan an Inbound Marketing Campaign
1. Identify Your Challenges
The first step to planning your inbound marketing campaign is to know where you need help. You can’t improve potential bad habits or mistakes without knowing what those bad habits are! So sit down with your marketing team, or whoever really, and discuss some potential issues that need to be addressed with this campaign. Remember the entire purpose of inbound marketing is to improve yourself, so a little constructive criticism can never hurt when it comes to company growth. It’s important to be able to communicate these issues clearly in order to produce the results that everyone wants to see.
2. Set the Goals & Objectives of your Inbound Marketing Campaign
It goes without saying that you can’t move forward without knowing where you want to be. This goes hand-in-hand with step 1. At this same meeting of the minds, toss out some numbers and find a goal that can potentially be achieved. If leads aren’t where sales wants them to be, then marketing needs to know this. Communication amongst the players is vital to keeping the team where it wants to be. Think about it, marketing can’t improve lead numbers if marketing doesn’t know how many leads management wants to see. So communicate these objectives clearly, and establish an overall attitude geared toward the success of the company.
3. Develop Your Buyer Personas
The main objective of any inbound marketing program is to gain visitors on your site, and in turn, leads. But before you can create the content and the offers needed to attract these leads, you need to know who these leads are! Its simple: if you know who your leads are, you can tailor specific offers and content to attract them. These groups of people in different demographics are called buyer personas.
Inbound marketing works best when you’ve honed in on a specific buyer persona, because it will allow you to better generate content to their interests. The best way to develop these is to analyze your past customers. What attributes and characteristics have they had in common, or what things did they not have that you want more of? You wouldn’t want to advertise an mp3 player to a group of 80 year old men, would you? DEFINE BUYER PERSONAS!
Okay example time: say your Web analytics show that the majority of your leads come from Facebook, and they are mostly 18-24 year old college students. You can use this information to design an inbound marketing campaign that appeals to this specific buyer persona. It makes everything much more efficient and specific, so establishing your buyer personas is extremely important.
Having trouble identifying a buyer persona? Contact IMPACT and schedule your free consultation to get started!
4. Evaluate Your Brand & Message
Your brand and message are the two most important elements of building a strong and profitable inbound marketing campaign. Evaluate the strength of your brand and message before you even start planning your inbound marketing campaign. If you find that there are inconsistencies across the board, you need to communicate with members of your company to establish a clear cut message and brand, and make sure everyone know who you are as a company.
Once you ask yourself “Who are we as a company?”, and you have a clear definition, then your inbound marketing strategy can start. A huge part of an inbound marketing campaign is to get your brand out there, and make sure that everyone that comes across your company knows exactly who you are and what they can expect when using your business. Without this key step, people might get the wrong ideas about your business and you won’t be getting the high quality, sales ready leads you really want.
5. Choose Your Marketing & Sales Software
Inbound marketing is a great concept, but its nothing without marketing and sales software. These provide you with the intel you need to be successful with inbound marketing. Software to manage your marketing makes inbound marketing more efficient than ever to manage your website, email, social media, and marketing analytics.
At IMPACT, we use the HubSpot marketing analytics software, and we link it to SalesForce.com. When these two inbound marketing machines join forces, it creates a marketing monster, and we can create accurate marketing campaigns tailored to every buyer persona that is interested in IMPACT. With the HubSpot CMS, you can track your keywords, buyer personas, emails, social media, and pretty much anything having to do with inbound marketing. With tools like these, you can’t go wrong with your campaign and you are always able to see how different strategies are working for your business.
6. Build a Inbound Marketing Campaign GamePlan
Whether developed by your internal team, or outsourced to an inbound marketing agency, your Inbound Marketing GamePlan is key to keeping your goals in mind. The plan allows you to keep on course, and it gives you the ability to analyze your businesses performance. In your GamePlan, make sure you include a 12 month outlook for where you want to be after a year with inbound marketing. Also include your buyer personas, keywords, and social media goals. The purpose is so that you can play off of your GamePlan and use it to adapt your goals and strategies.
7. Get Started
Now that you’ve prepared your campaign and established what you want out of it, its time to get started! Begin implementing your goals with your analytics software and measure your results. Use your CMS to analyze how well your different emails and calls-to-action are performing with your different buyer personas, and react accordingly. That’s the beauty of inbound marketing! With all your leads coming to you, you can use their characteristics to push them down the sales funnel faster, creating more leads, more customers, and most importantly, more profits!
How has your inbound marketing strategy increased your company’s leads? Let us know with a comment!
Interested in learning more about implementing a successful inbound marketing campaign? Give us a call at IMPACT and learn how we can help!