Alex Embling
Alex Embling 11 April 2016

6 Steps To Planning A Successful Inbound Marketing Campaign

Modern B2B consumer behaviour is evolving. As traditional interruptive marketing are increasingly ignored, Marketing Directors must have the confidence to adapt their strategies to succeed; earning visibility through helping buyers reach the solutions they need.

This is the exact approach that Inbound Marketing strategies take. However, Inbound campaigns contain many moving parts making them complex to coordinate, especially for small marketing teams.

Strategy and process are two main contributors to Inbound success. Failed campaigns are often the result of poor planning and implementation. With that in mind, here are 6 steps marketers can take to ensure they plan effective Inbound marketing strategies.

To find out more about how to plan an Inbound strategy, read the post ‘6 Reasons Inbound Marketing Campaign Plans Fail (And How To Fix Them!)’ on the Strategic Internet Consulting blog.

The Importance Of Planning An Inbound Campaign Properly

"3 out of 4 marketers across the globe prioritise an Inbound approach to marketing." - HubSpot State of Inbound 2015

Marketing Directors need to change strategy if they are to attract today’s digital B2B consumers.

By aligning marketing and sales, and focussing campaigns around personas, statistics show that Inbound Marketing is the way forward. But considered planning is needed to ensure success.

"Companies are 3x as likely to see higher ROI on Inbound marketing campaigns than on outbound." - HubSpot State of Inbound 2015

6 Steps to Planning a Successful Inbound Marketing Strategy

According to HubSpot strategy and process are two main contributors to Inbound success. In order to plan a successful campaign: 

  1. Back Up Buyer Personas With Data

Do Do you understand who your best-fit buyer personas are? To ensure you get it right, these must be based on both real client and market data.

Inbound strategies will fail if persona development is inaccurate or if campaign activity does not align with buyer persona challenges.

  1. Align Marketing and Sales

Are your Marketing & Sales departments working together toward the same goals? As modern buyers self-educate with online research before purchasing, Inbound marketers must ensure that helpful, educational content is in place to nurture leads to sales-ready qualification. Informed by Marketing’s lead data, Inbound Sales execs must work to build a trusted relationship with the lead; helping not pushing to closure.

Strategies that do not align marketing and sales are setup to perform poorly.

  1. Define Content Direction

Blogs, eBooks, landing pages, emails, webinars; content is the fuel powering Inbound campaigns. To give your content direction:

  • Make sure it is challenge focussed. Content must always maps back to solving persona’s pain points.
    Use data.
  • What other content is effective with your personas, what are they looking for?
  • Map to the Buyer’s Journey. Make sure you have challenge relevant content for every purchase stage for effective nurture.
  1. Build Content Hubs

Content hubs (multiple content assets related to a single topic) are a great way to add direction to persona-driven content and enhance search rank.

As with individual content pieces, the hub topic must be persona challenge driven, and should guide all related campaign content; blogs, associated eBooks, CTA’s, workflows, webinars and more.

  1. Build a Channel Promotion Strategy

Successful campaigns understand more than just persona challenges. They know where those personas look for information online, then work to promote their content to those digital environments.

6. Consider the Length of the Sales Cycle When Nurturing Leads

If email workflows do not align with sales cycle length, the campaign will not nurture leads effectively. If it takes an average of 6-18 months to nurture a lead to a customer but you only have 3 months’ of workflow content, you’re missing out on opportunities. 

“Only 25% of the leads you generate are ready to buy in the next 12 – 24 months; the other 75% need nurturing.” - HubSpot

How To Plan An Inbound Campaign Effectively

Throughout a strategy, data backed planning centred around a persona is crucial. A campaign should never be actioned without detailed background consideration and goal planning.

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