7 Steps on How to Run an Inbound Marketing Campaign

  Inbound Marketing
Tyler Pigott
Tyler Pigott

02.26.2019 | 8 min read

The purpose of a landing page is to attract new customers. Any good landing page can act as a lead magnet for new sales and opportunities, and there are plenty of internet users to target each day. Forbes, 3.7 billion humans use the internet. Over 40,000 Google searches come from these users every SECOND! That’s 2.5 billion Google searches a day! Many of these searches lead to marketing opportunities if you understand how to run an inbound marketing campaign for your website.

It all comes down to producing content that your prospects, potential clients and target market want and can find. In this article, we’re going to go over what exactly inbound and outbound marketing methodology is, as well as how to create and use inbound marketing strategy to the maximize your brand’s reach.

The Basics of Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a relatively new term and a way to differentiate from the competition. Coined by Hubspot, inbound methodology lets your relevant content pull in potential customers rather than having you go to them. It relies on creating a relationship between you and the reader before he or she ever become a client.

To do this, you must have a content marketing strategy. Within this strategy, you should have posts, graphics, whitepapers, videos, case studies, eBooks, and virtually any other form of educational content. This content will go on social media, blogs, websites and other marketing channels. If your content is interesting, people will begin to follow you and read what you have to say. Over time, this relationship can turn into a lead with the exchange of an email and basic information.

Inbound marketing allows for your content to be perpetually relevant. Though you might have published a post several months ago, that does not stop it from being shared and read now. Inbound marketing often gets overlooked because the rewards may not show right away, as opposed to outbound marketing which can often produce leads much quicker than inbound marketing initiatives. However, overtime inbound marketing is guaranteed to be more cost-effective than outbound marketing.

In the long run, inbound campaigns show long-term results and develop new leads right away as your following grows. Long term marketing strategies such as blog plans can find you, new clients, improve ROI, and even improve your organic search results! All you need to do is learn the basics of inbound marketing.

Avoid common mistakes with this free checklist for how to run an inbound marketing campaign  <https://www.lonefircreative.com/how-to-run-an-inbound-marketing-campaign-checklist>

The 7 Steps for How to Run an Inbound Marketing Campaign

Let’s investigate how to reap all these rewards for your brand by looking at how to run an inbound marketing campaign. Our seven-step guide will help you to understand the purpose of a landing page, and help you create a successful inbound marketing campaign. As you read through each step, make sure to take time to think about your customer and what they desire.

1. Craft Messaging that Solves Your Customer's Problem

Step one is knowing and understanding why you are creating your campaign in the first place. It’s important to think about what your customer wants. In many cases, this is a research step that will involve going out and asking relevant questions to consumers themselves.

Interviews with your ideal customers can tell you not only what they think of your brand but also what they look for in their perfect brand. This process will help you identify your target audience, craft a buyer persona, and develop a customer experience that is meaningful to the people you engage.

Below are some sample questions we ask clients (as well as ourselves) when setting up new campaigns. Be sure to put yourself in your potential customers shoes and make sure your messaging aligns with the problem people are trying to find a solution for.

Here are a few examples of questions to get you started:

  • What are our customer's external, internal, and philosophical problems?
  • Have we positioned our brand as the guide to the hero (we always think of customers as ‘the hero’)?
  • Have we created a clear plan for the hero to win?
  • Have we helped our hero imagine success?
  • Have we identified the consequences we are supporting the hero to avoid?

2. Set Goals You Can Track

When you understand what your client is looking for and how that relates to you, the next step is to create goals. These goals will be the basis of your inbound marketing campaign. They are essential because without goals, it’s impossible to know what you’ve accomplished and if it was worth it.

Dan Tyre from HubSpot refers to this as “Smarketing.” “...the process of aligning marketing and sales to work towards a common goal, drive revenue, growth, and better serve prospects by enhancing the buyer’s journey from first touch to customer decision…” (definition from Dan’s book Inbound Organization)

Notice what Dan says above, aligning marketing AND sales. That means both teams working together to create goals that they each play a part in and are accountable for. When setting goals with your team, use the S.M.A.R.T goal framework.

S.M.A.R.T goals enable you to track where you are and how much farther you must go. S.M.A.R.T stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. If each goal you set has all these factors, you’ll have a much higher chance of completing it.

  • Specific – Each goal needs to talk about the desired outcome in detail. Improve “grow my business” by adding “I want to grow my business by obtaining new clients.”
  • Measurable – Each goal needs to have a measurable number attached. Improve “I want to grow my business by obtaining new clients” by saying “I want to grow my business by obtaining three new clients.”
  • Attainable – Though you may have lofty ideas, each goal you set needs to be rooted in realism. If you’re new and in a competitive market obtaining 100 clients in a week might not be reasonable.
  • Relevant – Make sure that each goal you set is connected to the business you are running as well as its environment. An example, if you are looking to increase sales of summer clothes, make sure you’re not trying to sell them in the middle of winter.
  • Timely – Each goal needs to have a measurable deadline. Improve “I want to grow my business by obtaining three new clients” by saying “I want to grow my business by obtaining three new clients by the end of the quarter.”

3. Develop a Lead Generating Offer

When you consider how to run an inbound marketing campaign you need to know what value you’re offering to the readers. To create a lead generating offer means you need to look for the proposal that is going to attract customers enough to want to give over their email or phone number to you. This type of content is called a lead magnet, and it’s what gets people to come to you.

In the early days of the internet it was easier to attract an audience. If an email capture form popped up on the website people were visiting, it was common that they’d fill it out. It’s ridiculous to imagine the same tactics working today. Understandably, people are more and more protective of their personal information. They need a good reason to give a stranger their first name, last name, email or phone number.

The best way to earn trust with a potential customer and be rewarded with their information, is by giving them something they want. What they want is the lead magnet. This content must be legitimately valuable to the customer. It could be anything from access to a free eBook to a discount code on the product or service you provide. The specifics of what you offer will tie back into the first step and what you learned from your target market.

landing page wireframe

4. Create a Landing Page that Converts

When you are at a craft fair, you may see the same style of necklaces or shirts at ten different booths. However, you may only stop at one of them. In many cases, this is due to the presentation. This is the purpose of a landing page. When you look to grab someone’s attention you need a clear offer and nice setup both at a booth and online. It’s important that potential customers can tell right away what you’re offering, or they might leave your page as fast as they arrived.

On a landing page (or any page for that matter), you need a clear call to action (CTA). There’s no successful marketing effort without a successful CTA.That means you are very clear about what you want your website visitor to do: buy now, get started, download your free ____, start your trial, book a demo, etc. Be clear and direct.

Additionally, don’t forget testimonials on your landing page. Testimonials create a trust between you and your client, but you should never make them up. Using fake testimonials will be obvious and destroy any confidence or interest the rest of your landing page has created. 

Once someone signs up, be sure that you’ve created a thank you page or popup screen to express your gratitude. If anyone takes your offer and gives you their personal information, it’s a kind gesture to tell them ‘thank you.’

5. Create Great Content

Once you understand your client, your goals, your landing page, and have your email marketing set up and ready to go, it’s time to create content. Content is at the core of of an effective an inbound marketing campaign. Inbound marketing depends on getting your message out to the world. Remember, high volume doesn’t matter unless the content is compelling, relevant, and well-done. Your message will be broadcast in many ways, but some work better than others.

Blogging and long-form content is a great way to get your inbound marketing campaign off on the right foot. Creating content on your website ensures that you give your potential client something that are looking for and can simultaneously boost your organic rankings. Coupled with basic search engine optimization practices, your content will attract potential leads right to your site!

Tip: Not sure what to write about? Start with your most frequently asked questions from prospects during past sales conversations.

It’s important to link the topics and themes of your content to relevant offers you’ve created. Make it natural to promote your Lead Generating Offer from above with content that you write. Make your readers want to learn more and downloading your content offer can be a great way to do that.

6. Nurture Leads into Sales Opportunities

Once you get a lead, the real work starts. Setting up an email follow-up campaign that contains a free offer is the best way to start the conversation. It shows your new lead that you follow through on what you promise right from the start. In this first email, you can also take this time to talk about your brand and what else you can offer your potential customer. Make sure that your email is strategic and well-timed. Following and researching best email practices will translate into better financial payoff as you learn how to run an inbound marketing campaign effectively.

You’ll want to have a set of emails sent via email automation. Email automation is a great way to keep your brand on the radar of your potential customer. These should be emails that you told them that you would send. This means you should make sure you inform them of what they will be getting when they convert on your website.

“For all of my blogs, search has been my #1 source of lead generation, but email has provided me with a lead nurturing tactic to target those groups.” (Neil Patel from How to Nurture Organic Leads)

No matter what value your offer in the emails, make sure the recipient gets to know a bit more about your company and the solution you provide for your customers with each email. This initial set of emails should work the same way an email funnel does, pulling them into your business with each interaction.

7. Measurement & Reporting

Even though you have a plan, that does not guarantee success. The only way to know for sure that your plan is working is to track and measure your results. Studying your findings, both in the long run and real time, will make sure you get the full picture of your impact.

Creating a standard procedure such as daily, weekly, and monthly reporting of analytics will ensure that you notice any changes, both good and bad, to your landing pages and campaigns. Monitoring should include all the metrics that connect back to your S.M.A.R.T. goals from above. Things like organic search rankings, website traffic growth, marketing qualified lead (MQL) conversion percentages (a more focused conversion rate metric), best performing post and pages, email engagement, form submissions and a host of other analytics to help you know if you are on pace to miss, meet or exceed your goals.

The above strategies will help build your understand of how to run an inbound marketing campaign and set you up to win as you integrate these best practices over time. If you have any questions how to run an inbound marketing campaign, ways to improve what you are doing, or want to learn where should you start, book a free strategy session with one of our digital strategists.