A Guide to Creating an Inbound Marketing Campaign From Scratch

inbound marketing campaign planning

If you haven’t created in inbound marketing campaign, it is time to get comfortable with it. And even if you have, having a quick, simple guide can make it easier to create campaigns with more frequency and less stress. 

The reason?

Inbound is a powerful marketing method that you want to be sure your business is taking full advantage of. Don’t believe me? Check out the stats:

  • 68% of online buyers will spend considerable time reading content published by a brand they are interested in. 
  • Online buyers go through about 57% of the buying cycle on their own without talking to sales. 
  • Inbound leads cost 61% less on average than outbound leads. 

Not sure where to start? This guide walks you through the process of creating an inbound marketing campaign. 

1. Identify Your Campaign Audience

Make it very clear from the beginning who exactly you are trying to target. Without this information, your campaign will fall flat. Knowing this information will help you determine what topics, keywords, and formats will be most appealing to the people that you actually want to reach. 

2. Identify Your Goal(s) for the Campaign

What is the end result you are hoping to achieve from your campaign? If there’s no clear cut end goal, your campaign will be muddled and confusing, and ultimately won’t help your business. Instead, identify a clear goal (or two) and work backwards from there. 

Ask yourself how will I get my audience to reach this goal? What are the natural steps that they need to take in order to naturally get to the desired end result? Get into the mind of your audience, and build out a strategy that will capture the attention of your desired audience and drive them to the end goal you desire. 

3. Create the Offer(s)

I strongly recommend if you are new to inbound marketing to focus your efforts on only creating one, high-quality offer. Trying to create an ebook, a checklist, a case study, and a webinar all at once will quickly become overwhelming and most likely mean that no offer ever actually gets completed. And without an offer, your inbound campaign is pretty useless.

Identify one offer that would really resonate with, and draw the attention of, the right kind of people (your audience). Then, before settling on your offer, be sure that it plays a clear role in moving that audience to the end goal.

For example, if you own a boat business and your trying to sell more boats, writing a guide to fishing may seem like a great idea, but does it move your audience to purchase a boat? Possibly, but it’s doubtful. Instead, start more broad and create a guide or a checklist to buying your first boat. This will resonate with a wider audience and it more clearly moves readers towards the desired result of becoming a boat owner.  

Keep in mind that your offer doesn’t have to be groundbreaking or the most incredibly original piece of content ever to be seen on the web. In fact, often a simple guide or checklist can go a long way and provide a lot of great information to the audience you want to reach. 

4. Plan and Write Emails

Okay, now that you have a great offer it is time to plan how you’re going to get that offer out to your audience, and what you want to do with the contacts that download the offer. 

If you have pre-existing contacts who fit the audience you determined in step one, sending an email that lets those contacts know about your offer is a great way to start promoting it to people who already know your business and have expressed an interest before.

But don’t let the emails stop there!

Once someone has downloaded your offer, you need to plan out the next steps. Do you have another piece of content that is related to the offer they might enjoy? Or perhaps you have a special offer that relates to your offer and moves those contacts further towards that end goal. Having a series of emails to nurture your new leads is essential to turning a download into a customer. 

Lets go back to the boat example. If a new contact downloaded the offer, you probably want to send a follow-up email thanking them for their download and providing them with a link to the file, just in case they forget to save it. Then, a few days later, you might want to send them a discount coupon to be used on their next boat purchase. This is a great way to nudge people towards your goal, and continue to stay top of mind to the potential new customer. 

5. Create Content

Of course your offer is awesome, but if people don’t ever find it, you may be out of luck! In order to have a really successful inbound marketing campaign, you’ll want to write up several blog posts that relate to your offer and include a CTA to download it, but also rank well for keywords your desired audience is using when searching the internet. 

For example, you’ve written a guide to buying your first boat, but you want to create content that drives people to download it. A few topics that might be related, include:

  • 5 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Boat
  • The Best Season to Buy a Boat
  • 5 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Buying Their First Boat

Topics like these obviously avoid covering everything in the offer you put together, but are still so closely related to the offer that your desired audience for your offer is the same as your audience for the blog posts. 

6. Promote, Promote, Promote!

Use your social media accounts to promote your offer and the related blog posts. Send emails to your list about your great new offer or your newly published blog post. Consider paid advertising on search engines or social media to increase awareness of your offer.

Get creative, and think of new ways to promote your offer. Maybe you have a speaking engagement, refer to the offer. Put a short URL that leads to the offer in your email signature or on the back of your business cards. 

7. Measure Results

If you don’t take the time to measure your campaign results and take the appropriate action with that information, your hard work may have gone to waste. Inbound campaigns shouldn’t be created and left alone. Instead, they require constant monitoring and careful updates to ensure optimal performance. 

If your campaign just doesn’t seem to be picking up speed, try changing subject lines, or writing blog posts around different keywords. Switch out the image on the offers landing page, or rephrase your PPC ad. Each of these things can have a huge impact on your campaigns success. Just remember to make one change at a time, and track results. You don’t have to rewrite your entire campaign, you just have to make the right adjustments. 

When it comes to inbound marketing, there is a lot of moving pieces that need to be thought through carefully before your campaign officially launches. But with this simple guide, you’ll be well on your way to generating results and reaching goals with your next campaign.