What makes an inbound marketing campaign really work? Is it creative, out-of-the-box thinking, a great strategy, or just plain luck? Arguably, it’s a little bit of all three. However, we found none of those are enough to have a successful campaign with a process.
This blog uncovers the campaign strategy and process we use to get results for ourselves and for our clients.
Our 90-day marketing campaigns are based around a single premium content offer: the top-of-the-funnel, or awareness stage content offer. This is a very different approach to other campaign processes we’ve seen and used. Maybe it’s different for you, too. Let me explain.
The 90-Day Inbound Marketing Campaign
In short, there are 12 blog posts, one each that, with a call-to-action (CTA) that leads the prospect to download the awareness stage premium content offer. When the prospect downloads the offer, they receive a lead nurturing campaign of five emails, each one offering a consideration, or middle-of-the-funnel content offer (there are usually 2 of these offers). Once the prospect downloads one of them, they get another series of five lead nurturing campaign emails, drawing the prospect to the final, decision stage offer.
OK, so this doesn’t look THAT different from marketing campaign strategies we’ve seen before, but there are some nuances that may be new.
Obviously, there’s some preparation that must be done before you can create any marketing campaign. It must correlate to one of your buyer personas, and you need to have a list of keywords that you’re going to use throughout. This ensures that 1. you’re speaking only to one portion of your audience and that it’s telling the right message throughout, and 2. you’re using the words and phrases that speak to both the pain the prospects have and the solution.
From there, you can choose a topic for your awareness stage premium content offer. This topic will address the prospect’s pain at a high-level, and gain you thought leadership through your knowledge of the subject.
Once the prospect downloads the offer, a lead nurturing campaign will follow. But what does it contain? At this stage, the prospect has a certain set of questions, such as “Is there an existing solution to my pain?” “Is this really the pain I’m experiencing or is it something else?” “How can I get more information about my problem?” and “Is this a problem that I really want/am able to fix right now?” Of course, your prospects will have slightly different questions and it’s your job to find out what they are, and then answer one question in each email.
Each email will also include a CTA to download a consideration stage offer. If they click and download this second offer, they’re getting closer to becoming a customer. If they go through the entire lead nurturing series and don’t click or download, perhaps they are not ready, or they realized their pain is slightly different. At this point, you shouldn’t stop contacting them altogether. They will go into a persona-based “quiet list,” and you can send them targeted emails (with CTAs) once or twice a month, in hopes that when they are ready, they will download something else. These emails may contain another awareness stage offer (for the same persona), a relevant blog post, or even another consideration stage offer.
If they have downloaded a consideration stage content offer, they will receive another email series, this time answering different questions that are more solution-based, such as “What solution is best for me/my company?” “Can I afford to get this solution?” and “How does this solution compare to others?”
Again, CTAs will lead to the decision stage offer, and those that fill out the landing page form are ready for a sales call. Those that don’t go into the quiet list.
At the end of the 90 days, the blogging and active campaigning ends, but the blogs and offers stay on the website and will continue to drive traffic and leads.
What it Takes
First and foremost, for this campaign strategy to work, you must have a marketing software that allows automation of the entire system. HubSpot is great for automating and tracking every step of the process.
Second, you have to be committed to publishing a relevant blog post each week that is either on the topic of the awareness stage content offer or a similar topic, and uses the keywords that you researched at the beginning.
Then, you’ll want to include social media and maybe some paid advertising to drive traffic from the get-go. We also recommend sending an email out to your current contacts that fit the buyer persona for the campaign.
Finally, one blog post per week is not going to drive traffic, and it’s not going to engage your entire audience, only one portion. You should be running multiple, simultaneous campaigns for different personas, so that you are publishing 2-5 blogs per week, and getting the attention of everybody in your niche.
Keeping Track of it All
Running multiple campaigns can quickly get confusing, especially for the social media publishers and bloggers in your company. The best way to stay on top of it all is by putting each campaign into a marketing calendar and scheduling your blog posts in advance in an editorial calendar.
2017 Marketing and Editorial Calendar
Successful marketing begins with a plan. Keep track of all your marketing efforts in one customizable marketing & editorial calendar.