Everything You Need to Know About Inbound Marketing Campaigns
Every Super Bowl Sunday, big brands pay exorbitant amounts of money to snag 30 seconds of high-profile air time. It’s clear why those mega-companies would want the exposure, but why should sports fans put down the chicken wings and listen? Why are some ads so successful — legendary, even — while others are forgotten before the pigskin is back in play?
It’s simple, really. Great marketing makes people care.
An inbound marketing campaign uses compelling content to encourage engagement, and it does it without strong-arming the audience in the process. Forced interaction creates ill will, but bolstering interest that’s already there is how brands turn casual readers into loyal followers.
When you launch an inbound marketing campaign, you’re taking data gleaned from a PPC campaign and other paid channels and reaching out in a meaningful way. For it all to work, a content-focused campaign has to be three things:
But that’s just the beginning.
5 Reasons Why an Inbound Marketing Campaign Will Help Sustain Your Lead Generation Engine
If a demand generation program is the push you need to get your boat in the lake, an inbound marketing campaign is equivalent to the oars you use to keep making your way across the water. You need the energy to keep going, but you also need the tools.
- Authentic and Interesting Content: An inbound marketing campaign comes ready to work, word-based weapons included. Your campaign is powered by focused content that naturally supports and follows customers as they advance through their buying journey. It’s like an ongoing conversation, absorbed at the reader’s convenience but embedded with the information your organization deems most essential.
- Customer–Based Ideation: No “shot in the dark” brainstorming sessions or blog posts that have about as much relevance as Tony Bennett at the MTV Movie Awards. Inbound-centric content is generated in response to customer questions, online searches, and the all-important buyer personas.
- Purposeful Integration: You can’t have an inbound campaign without strong content. By the time your campaign is up and running, you’ve fast-tracked your marketing program’s growth and incorporated content in a way that makes sense not just in the short term but in the long term as well.
- Strategic SEO: Think of SEO like digital breadcrumbs that you drop so Hansel and Gretel can find their way to your candy-covered house. A few long-tail keywords here, some meta tags there and suddenly you’re ranking with Google and inbound traffic is hitting record numbers. This all requires research, though, and seamless incorporation so your content is sophisticated and playful, not stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey.
- Cost-Effective Tactics: Inbound costs less than outbound (paid) strategies. Using a combination of inbound and outbound tactics is an effective way to keep you customer-acquisition-cost (CAC) in check.
What Is an Inbound Marketing Campaign?
Done properly, inbound marketing is more than just a one-time ploy. With flux+flow, you’re getting an embedded marketing team who will help you strategize your way to an inbound marketing program based on SEO-rich content developed with the needs of your current and future audience in mind. Along the way, we introduce you to your buyer personas and develop high-quality content to support those consumers on their buying journey.
Craving a deeper connection with your followers? We work on that too by understanding their pain points and demonstrating how your product or service can make those problems disappear. We prefer to educate and inform rather than interrupt and annoy; simply put, we choose to captivate and fascinate because that’s where we find meaning, and we believe your audience will feel that too.
Most of all, we want to help you construct a scalable and sustainable content strategy that will continue to increase in value over time, maximizing your ROI not just today, but well into the future.
What’s Included in an Inbound Marketing Campaign?
Your inbound campaign is customized to meet the needs of the brand in question. You don’t look, sound like or act like your competition, so why do you want their strategy? We’ll help craft a strategy that fits using a tailored mix of the following:
- A technical SEO audit: Establish an SEO benchmark and provide more specific SEO goals.
- SEO-Driven Content Strategy and Roadmap: Design a content blueprint using four essential elements: key themes, pillar topics and topic clusters based on keywords, defined content for each stage of the funnel and a map detailing the strategy and timing for content execution.
- 1 x Short-Form Asset: An ungated piece such as an infographic, data sheet or checklist that’s open to your web visitors and serves as a sort of content appetizer
- 1 x Long-Form Asset: A more in-depth, gated piece (offered for view or download in exchange for an email or other contact information), such as a white paper, guidebook or playbook, that helps establish authority and further the brand-consumer connection
- 1 x Pillar Post Page: Brand-defining content written in an accessible blog format
- 3 x Blog Posts: Content of varying length that relates back to the short- and long-form assets, drawing attention and traffic
- Owned Social Channels: A seriously impactful presence on one of the major social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram
- 1 x Inbound SEO-Optimized Landing Page: Capture leads with a long-form asset presented in an interesting, eye-catching way
- 1 x Thank You Page: Show your appreciation when a customer takes action or shares information
- 1 x Email Autoresponder: Thank your new visitor for downloading your content offer and provide them with a link to the asset and entice them with more content offers
- 1 x Nurture Email Campaign: Typically three content-rich emails that provide added value to your new and existing email contacts to renew the relationship and introduce your current campaign
- 1 x Detailed Analytics & Comprehensive Reporting: A report that summarizes and interprets quantitative feedback so we know where we are and where we need to go next
Our Inbound Marketing Campaign Timeline
How we execute an inbound campaign depends on several factors, the bulk of which depends on your current marketing automation technology, and whether or not we’ll be repurposing existing content or creating new content in support of the funnel. Generally, though, it looks a little something like this:
First Sprint (2 Weeks): The Discovery Phase
- SEO Audit – How Google friendly is your website? We look at infrastructure as well as on-page elements to gauge current visibility and decide on necessary changes.
- Initial Content Strategy – Your first look at how we’ll be rolling out your new content or repackaging your existing collateral
Second Sprint (2 Weeks): The Construction Phase
- Creating & Developing Content – Translating your brand into meaningful and authentic content
- Building the Campaing Workflows – Our roadmap toward exponential growth
Third Sprint (2 Weeks): Launch Experimentation
- The campaign is up and running and identifying weaknesses and finding solutions through our signature one-two punch of rapid iterations and experimentation.
Fourth Sprint (2 Weeks): Ongoing Work
- Now it’s all about maintaining and optimizing the campaign, making those tiny adjustments that can keep mobilizing the masses indefinitely.
How to Get Started With an Inbound Marketing Campaign
Excited about the prospect of, well, more prospects? The promise of more leads, greater conversion rates and oodles and oodles of sales is tantalizing beyond belief. You want it all, and you want it all now. Here’s the problem with trying to squeeze immediate gratification out of your marketing strategy: you’re trying to run before you can walk, and when you stumble, it’s going to hurt. Growth marketing requires a solid plan. Later you can do the fun experimentation and reap the rewards. But first, we lay the groundwork together:
- Part One: Conduct a Technical SEO Audit
- Part Two: Develop an SEO-Driven Content Marketing Roadmap
- Part Three: Build an Integrated, Content-First Marketing Campaign
Are you prepared for what lies ahead? Take our Growth Funnel Readiness Quiz and find out.
Inbound Marketing FAQs
What Is SEO?
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the technique by which we attract traffic to your website using increased visibility on search engines like Google. By researching your target demographic and understanding what they might be typing into a search engine’s query box, we can guess what keywords we should insert into your content and web pages. We then embed those keywords and wait for the search engine’s little digital minions to find you, rank you and send the right people your way.
What Is a Technical SEO Audit?
While lots of SEO work is content-related, some is focused on the more mechanical side of things. We look at everything from domain history to title tags to ensure you’ve got the proper foundation in place. Without that, all the content work we do will be less effective and nobody wants that, right?
Are There Marketing Technology Requirements?
Marketing automation is integral to the success of your inbound marketing, and it’s a big part in maintaining your sanity, too, but don’t worry. If you don’t have automation tools in place, we can help you get it set up. We’ll introduce you to email automation platforms (e.g., MailChimp, HubSpot, Marketo, Mautic, Drip, Pardot, etc.), landing and thank you page software (e.g., Unbounce, LeadPages, Drip, HubSpot, etc.) and wrap it all up with a CMS or content management system (e.g., WordPress, Drupal, HubSpot, etc.). It’s a lot of stuff, but when it all comes together properly, it’s like alchemy.
When Will I See Results?
Not overnight. That’s probably not what you want to hear and believe us, we love the enthusiasm, but inbound/SEO results take time. Anyone who guarantees immediate results is either lying or doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Sound harsh? Good. We’re all about transparency and realistic forecasts, and anybody who promises the moon and delivers cheese is not worth your time. Period.
Why Do I Need a Content Roadmap/Audit?
Would you jump into the ring with Conor McGregor without months of training and tons of time spent reviewing fight tapes? Have you ever tried to make a soufflé without a recipe? Like most things in life, marketing requires a strategy so you can plan for success. Random acts of marketing rarely have positive outcomes. Get your roadmap so you zero in on a long-term vision and temper your expectations.
How Will My Content Be Distributed?
If you build it, they will come — but only if you send out some invitations first. That’s what content is, really, an invitation wrapped in pretty words and interesting pictures. Beckon to your audience. How? There are five main methods:
- Blogs: Pillar post pages, blog posts, guests blogs — whether you’re chatting about the state of widget making on your own page or giving your opinion on what sits on someone else’s site, blogs are a great way to showcase your brand identity.
- Email: We use email autoresponders and nurture campaigns to breathe life back into your static contact list.
- Owned Social: You’ve got social media pages (or you will soon), and we’ll use them to share posts, promote on-site content and interact with your audience.
- Paid Social: Recent algorithm changes have made social ads and sponsored posts even more important, and we’ll take advantage of both.
- SEM/PPC: Catch the eye of search engine surfers and mobile users with paid ads via PPC campaigns, Google AdWords, etc.