Starting a new Inbound marketing campaign? Don't sweat it! Here are a few tips to get you started.
1) Identify your campaign audience
You don't have the time or money to introduce yourself to the masses, most of whom are not going to engage. Understand your buyer persona before launching the campaign, so you can target them correctly.
If you're unfamiliar with the concept of the "buyer persona," here's a quick primer.
A buyer persona is a generalized representation of your actual customers; a "model client" so to speak. It's created from researched information about their demographics, their goals, their past behaviors, their reasons for buying, and even when and where they buy.
2) Pin down your goals and benchmarks
Keep your boss in mind as you set your goals. Imagine that meeting at the end of the campaign when you can clearly show him/her how you met and exceeded your goals by getting things organized on the front end.
George T. Doran, writing for Management Review in 1981 was the first to publish the acronym "SMART" as a way to remember the criteria for high quality goal setting. He said all goals should be…
Specific - What, where, why and how?
Measurable - What numbers or other data will show progress?
Assignable - Always come away from a strategy session with names attached to items
Realistic - it's OK to stretch, but keep your current resources in mind.
Timed - When? Deadlines are even better if a missed one has actual consequences.
It's been tweaked over the years. Other interpretations include "Attainable" and "Relevant" instead of assignable and realistic.
Design and maintain an Excel spreadsheet or other database to track your progress.
3) Begin crafting offers and landing pages
Tie them tightly to your buyer personas and follow best practices for effectiveness. Don't neglect the SEO work or careful calls to action.
For more on landing pages, see our blog entry on Landing Pages.
Learn more about SEO by downloading our FREE e-book!
4) Engineer the automated features of the campaign
What happens to those who arrive at your landing page and/or fill out a form? When should they get a response email (too soon is creepy, too late is off-putting)? When is it appropriate to place a phone call? What should you say after "thank you for visiting our website?" Where should contacts end up in your company records? Many CRM programs are really good at making this automatic, but you have to tell yours what to do! Think through how each persona will move through the funnel and automate as much as is appropriate.
5) Speaking of emails, get things started by blasting out a targeted email
Put your most savvy, creative people on composing the subject lines- they are your first impressions, you know! Check out our blog article on email marketing for some subject line ideas.
6) Get your blog on!
This is the place where you can wax eloquent about how great your product is. Use personal testimonials, video demonstrations, references, specs, anything you want that supports the campaign. Not only will you have an additional resource to which you can link in emails, but your SEO can get a boost from original keyword-laden content.
Blog-a-riffic advice from United WebWorks!
7) Make your campaign infectious on Social Media
Don't relegate this to an afterthought! Careful forethought can save you a lot of headaches down the line. Tracking tweets and planning posts isn't that time consuming if you have the right tools, like a spreadsheet with columns for day, date, time, content, link, and a tracking token at the end of the link to signify what SM channel you used. Here's an example:
Of course, Facebook, Google+ and Linked in have different parameters that will make their spreadsheets look different. Tracking tokens enable you to quantify the sources of your traffic.
Use the Google URL Shortener to cut your long links down to size.
8) Finally, use all this whiz-bang organization to prepare that end-of-campaign report to your boss!
As usual, you would do well to fill in your report as you go, using the pertinent categories that tell the story.
As a bonus, you can run a similar campaign without most of the startup work listed here. Just tweak it a bit, address a different persona, reword the content a bit and you've got a ready-made campaign all set.
Just don't tell your boss that the next campaign will only take you half the time! Internet Marketing with United WebWorks can work for you!