An inbound marketing campaign has three focus areas
Inbound marketing campaigns are a unique kind of marketing effort. They align all your marketing channels (website, social media, email, ads, etc...) and marketing content behind a single goal and message.
Inbound marketing campaigns tend to be highly content driven and marketers are struggling with content across the board.
- 60% of marketers say that they struggle with creating engaging content.
- 57% of marketers say they struggle with measuring the effectiveness of their content.
- 57% of marketers say they struggle with producing content consistently.
After seeing these numbers it's no surprise that marketers struggle most with generating traffic and leads and proving ROI of their marketing activities.
Running a successful inbound marketing campaign is very tactical. There are a lot of moving parts and endless technical options.
Making a strategic plan that much more important. With so many moving parts it's near impossible to run a successful campaign without a documented production and promotion plan in place.
When digging for other causes and explanations to why so many marketers struggled with consistently producing engaging content, the backbone to any inbound campaign, I came across a number that shocked me.
Only about 30% of business-to-business marketers have a documented strategy.
This can't be, process documentation and organization are two of the most important parts of any business.
Without documentation and organization you're left with a reactive marketing strategy that will struggle to produce a repeatable process.
Campaign production process
There are a ton of great resources for producing inbound marketing campaigns. But I wanted to simplify the process slightly because a lot of marketers aren't using what is currently available to them.
How will you produce inbound marketing campaigns?
That's the first question you need to answer and to get the full value you'll need to know how inbound marketing campaigns will fit into the customer experience.
Once you do that, you'll be able to accurately visualize a process that produces a result to enhance the customer experience.
Now think about what specifically triggers the campaign production process to begin. Do dates trigger campaign launches? Once a month. Holidays. Maybe a backlog where the pace of campaign concepts moving from the idea phase to the pipeline phase (ready to be created) is constantly varying.
Or maybe you don't currently have a campaign release calendar and tend to create campaigns on-demand.
Next, decide on what signals the end of campaign production. At what point does production stop and promotion begin?
An easy way to do this is by assigning final approval to a specific person. That way it's final at that moment. One thing to watch out for is having to wait for someones approval. Inbound marketing campaigns can be complex and to do a final audit and give the final stamp could be a significant time investment. Just make sure to have a backup incase the first person isn't available.
Another way to do this is on a kind of check-in basis. Meaning as pieces are completed they're staged, and as soon the last piece is in your campaign production process has come to an end.
Once you have a clear idea of what triggers campaign production to kick off and what concludes it, start to outline all the sets in between.
That is the first round of documentation. Make sure everyone can easily access the documented process. The next step is to create a review schedule where you go back every 5 weeks or so and adapt the process to better fit your needs.
Campaign Promotion Process
Developing your campaign promotion process is the same as developing your production process.
Start by defining how your campaign will be experienced and by who. You want to make sure you always know exactly who you're talking to.
Think about the storytelling model. Starting with why, the purpose behind promotion, then think about how you're specifically helping your audience and finally what it is that you're offering.
Then you're going to define what triggers the start of your campaign promotion. Most of the time it makes sense to trigger campaign promotion with the ending of campaign production.
Processes are one of the most critical parts to a business. Processes are designed to produce a result and people are hired and trained to operate them. When this equation is off balance, everything seems to resist everything else, using twice as much effort and getting half the results.
Now that you have an idea of how to create a campaign production process and a campaign promotion process, design your ideals and create the processes to produce the result your visualizing.
The way marketing projects are managed is still trying to catch up to the fast moving world of inbound marketing. This makes it difficult to realize the full potential of inbound campaigns.
Since the contents of an inbound marketing campaign tend to be heavily content based, it's almost impossible to develop a project management process following traditional PM methodologies to produce these campaign. Inbound campaigns align better with agile methodologies, which truly understand the full potential of content in an inbound marketing campaign.
Subscribe to get notified when I release a post I've been working on for awhile about calculating the ROI of your inbound processes.