When we think of pyramids, we think in terms of a broad base supporting everything on top. In fact, physics will not allow us to build a pyramid from top down. But, inbound marketing is defying physics.
People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy. Who would have thought that marketing to people without constantly interrupting them would actually generate better results than the form of disruptive marketing we have unfortunately become all too familiar with?
9 Steps to Build a Successful Inbound Marketing Campaign
1. Answer this question first
Is this an acquire, retain or grow campaign? Establishing your campaign type up front will establish more focus from your team as you build out your strategy and eventually execute your campaign.
2. Identify a single product
Everything in your campaign should be aligned to this product or this product grouping. The product sits on the top of your inbound campaign pyramid. The product should be considered and reconsidered as you continue to build out your campaign strategy.
3. Define your target market
This is the large broad-based group of potential customers that is the target of your campaign. Before jumping into audience and personas, it easier to consider where your target market is located, their tolerance for price and what other options you will be competing with to get in their consideration set.
4. Define your target audience
This is the specific target audience within your target market. It’s important to identify who makes the decisions to buy, or directly influences the people who makes the decisions. This is high level thinking that helps get the momentum of thinking headed in the right direction to tackle the buyer personas.
5. Describe the buyer personas
Buyer Personas support the Target Audience and Target Market. There has been a lot of talk recently about the differences, if any, between a target audience and buyer persona. I like to keep them separate because, depending on who you talk to or the research you perform, you get benefits of focusing on them separately. However, your content strategy, promotion plan and list segmentations are the foundations of your personas.
6. Develop a campaign keyword list
With all the information that sits on top of this section of your pyramid, developing a campaign keyword strategy becomes more efficient. Can you develop a keyword strategy at any point in the workflow? Sure, but in our experience, you can cut down a significant amount of time if you do it at this point.
7. Develop offers for each buyer persona type
I think most inbound marketers would agree that this is one of the most challenging steps to kick off a campaign. The campaign type will determine your funnel strategy. For example, if the campaign is to retain existing customers, then you may not need to establish credibility and authority which typically occurs in the middle of the funnel. They may just need to be educated with premium content at the top along with an aggressive (but sensitive) nurturing campaign to contact your customer service representative through a bottom of funnel offer. By contrast, a new product launch for a startup company to acquire new customers would require significantly more work to properly build and execute.
8. Promote the offers
Where will your audience most likely see and respond to your offers? We have many great promotion avenues in inbound marketing. Whether it’s social media, digital press releases, specifically targeted email campaigns or online advertising, establishing the building blocks above this layer helps develop your product promotion plan.
9. Set expectations
Expectations are the foundation for your campaign. Regardless of the type of campaign, the complexity of your funnel strategy or challenge of your buyer personas, managing proper expectations is absolutely critical. Defining success is important for your execution team and the ones who are commissioning the campaign.
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