Even if you have never created a full fledged inbound marketing campaign, it's not all that hard if you know the steps and go in sequence.
At RDM we always begin a campaign with the goals that we are trying to achieve. Without clear goals in mind, it's really hard later to determine whether or not you were successful. Using inbound methodology best practices means to employ what are referred to as SMART goals. That's an acronym that stands for S=specific M= measurable A=attainable R=relevant and T= timely. Setting up goals in this manner will ensure that whatever your campaign involves it will have a specific way to measure the success.
Next and maybe equal to the goals that we have established is the specific buyer persona that we want to market to. A buyer persona is a fictitious person that represents as closely as possible the actual human individual we want to appeal to. It is also critical to understand your persona's specific pain points at each stage of the buyer's journey. RDM uses our process of creating a Rhino Inbound Marketing playbook to establish our personas for each individual campaign.
Now that we have our goals and our buyer persona it is time to create our premium content offers and conversion path. An offer can come in many different forms: eBook, whitepaper, video, slideshow, podcast etc. The relevance here is to have offers that are designed to answer the pain points of your buyer persona. In a single campaign we will always pay attention to the pain points at the top, middle and bottom of the funnel to ensure we make at least one offer to move the buyer along each stage of the journey (the conversion path). That buyer's journey is generally thought of in 3 stages: the Awareness, Consideration and Decision stage. It is very important that we match offers with what would satisfy the questions and concerns at each stage. It's of the utmost importance that we provide useful, helpful and educational content to the consumer. It's not a sales pitch.
Step 1: Target a specific persona
You should have clearly defined personas before creating an inbound marketing campaign. Once you have your personas in place, decide which one you would like to target first. Having a persona in mind will help you tailor your messaging and create a focused campaign across all channels.
Step 2: Define SMART goals for your campaign
If you’ve ever taken a HubSpot Academy class you know the term SMART goals. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Setup SMART goals for every campaign, so that when you’re finished you have tangible results to impress your colleagues (or boss) with.
Step 3: Build your offer
Will your offer be an ebook, webinar, podcast, checklist, or something else? When choosing a content offer make sure it is something you know your persona will need. It should be educational and helpful, not a sales pitch. Once you’ve decided what your offer will be, start to create it. It helps if you setup a detailed schedule with hard deadlines for all those involved in the creation process.
Step 4: Develop an effective conversion path
A conversion path consists of a call-to-action (CTA), landing page with a form, thank you page, and thank you email. This pathway is how people are going to become leads from your website and other promotional assets. You cannot miss this step. If you’re thinking, “I don’t want to burden my website visitors with a form to fill out” re-evaluate your goals. Without a landing page and form, you will not be able to capture leads which in turn makes your campaign less measureable overall.
Step 5: Segment leads and build email workflows
When a visitor becomes a lead on one of your landing pages, it’s imperative that you have a way to automatically follow up with them. These emails bring the leads through the buying process all the way down to a marketing qualified lead, thus providing you with a great marketing ROI to report.
Step 6: Kick off your campaign with a promotional email
Now that you have your campaign assets in place, it's time to let the world know what you have to offer! Segment your leads and send targeted emails to promote your new offer. Remember, if your offer applies to more than one of your personas, tailor the language of each of your emails so that it speaks to specific pain points of each persona. This means you might have to create more than one email.
Step 7: Research and define long tail keywords
Before you can start promoting your offer through other channels, such as blogging, you will need a solid keyword strategy. You should be asking yourself, “What are my personas typing into search engines? Are these keywords attainable for my website to achieve? How can I use these keywords in other marketing efforts?” If the keywords you’ve chosen target the right persona, have a difficulty of 60 or less (as given by the HubSpot tool) and contain at least a few monthly searches, you’re on the right track.
Step 8: Create shareable blog posts
Use the long tail keywords you decided on in the previous step to create enticing blog titles that educate your persona on topics within your offer. Stay away from posts that sell the reader on the offer. At the bottom of the blog post include your call to action to capture the reader as a lead. Encourage social sharing on all of your blog posts.
Step 9: Promote on your social media channels
By now you know that social media is a powerful tool. It can be used to connect with your customers, provide information to leads, and of course, promote new inbound marketing campaigns. When promoting your offer, choose the social media channels where your personas are engaging the most. You can promote the landing page of the offer, blog posts, and other campaign assets.
Step 10: Analyze, rinse, adjust, repeat
Your inbound marketing campaign isn’t finished after promotion. You must analyze your efforts. Through which channels did you receive the most traction? Were the leads you received qualified? How did your blogs perform? What can you learn from this campaign that you can implement in your next campaign? Once you’ve analyzed your campaign and figured out what it takes to make your next even better, you can report this back to your team and other colleagues.
It is time you face the fact that the Yellow Pages industry has been steadily declining for over a decade. As a business owner or executive, you need to take a look at why you should transition out of the Yellow Pages and what to do going forward.