In the words of Joseph Jaffe (bestselling author and a leading expert and thought leader on new media and social media) “Marketing is not a campaign, it’s a commitment.” When you launch an inbound marketing campaign, you are committing to a certain message. Whether that message is the promise of an educational piece of content, an idea-provoking conference, or an irresistible new deal, the message is there. And if the people who decide to follow your campaign are not given what they are promised, you have broken your commitment to them. But how do you stay true to that commitment? Having the right tools in your marketing toolkit is the first step. Without the right tools, you can’t even begin to launch an inbound marketing campaign. This guide will dive into which marketing tools should be in your handy marketing tool kit. From there, it’ll be up to you to ensure every inbound campaign includes these tools.
Every campaign you plan, whether it’s an event launch, eBook release, or product update, should come paired with a customized landing page. This page should highlight exactly what viewers need to know about the campaign at hand, and provide links such as calls-to-action (CTAs), social share buttons, and the like, to move people further along the inbound campaign. Each of these components will be discussed in greater detail. According to MarketingSherpa, 48% of landing pages contain multiple offers. While there isn’t a rule against having a single offer attached to a single landing page, you should only have one campaign attached to a single landing page. This will ensure your metrics are accurate and your analytics process is concrete For example, if you’re hosting a conference, perhaps you want to send an offer to last year’s attendees with a limited time special price. The offer on the landing page you send them to should only focus on early bird pricing, and nothing else. However, if you’re launching a larger themed campaign, you could include multiple offers. For instance, HubSpot launched the "Make Love Not Spam" campaign on February 14, and while that was the central theme, they included various related offers on that campaign’s landing page.
Your marketing campaign is essentially a puzzle if there is no CTA. Imagine a connect the dots game or assignment from elementary school: In order to create the full picture, you had to ensure you were connecting the right dots by going from dot 1, to dot 2, to dot 3, and following the numbers until your image was complete. Your campaign works the same way. Without a proper call-to-action moving people along directing them from point A to point B, they would be left with an incomplete campaign, an incomplete picture. Because of their vital importance, marketers pay a lot of attention to their CTA buttons. You want your CTAs to stand out on the page, communicate a clear value, and compel your visitor to click on them. As a general rule of thumb, CTAs should run between 90 and 150 characters and include explanatory subjects and verbs. Whole Foods exemplifies clear use of strong calls-to-actions. On their website homepage, they try to ensure that every person who visits their website is associated with its closest location. They have strong CTAs for this campaign that show stores near you and read “Make This My Store.”
Let’s refer back to the conference example. If you want to launch registration for a conference, rather than emailing everyone in your database, you should be reaching out to last year’s attendees and inviting them to attend once more. By including social share buttons in the email, these initial fans will begin sharing the announcement of your event and help you bring in new attendees. After a few weeks, you can then send another email, this time targeted to another list of people. For example, if you secured an industry expert to speak about managing a startup, try emailing a segment of your list composed of people who work at a startup. They’ll see a clear connection between their job, and the speaker’s topic. In this manner, email marketing serves a great role in helping you target your messages. No other marketing tool currently exists that allows you to slice and dice your marketing contacts into as many lists as your heart desires. The more you target your messaging to specific audiences based on that audience’s needs, the better results you’ll see.
There are countless ways to execute an inbound marketing campaign, and we marketers have many tools at our disposal to do so. Whether you decide to make a splash with a prime time TV spot or an email blast (or both), blogging can still complement any other marketing tactic by filling in any blanks you can’t fit into other static web pages, ads, status updates, tweets or videos. Unlike a Facebook page or Pinterest account, a company blog is a platform you entirely own and control. Instead of crafting social media-specific content, use your superb blog posts to inspire the updates you share to social media channels, and include a link back to the full post for more information. Once your readers get there, let the value of the information you’ve provided be the gift you give in order to get your readers to click on the call-to-action.
To measure the results of your inbound marketing campaigns, you need to look at your performance data. Site analytics will help you improve your marketing strategy and collect insight on campaign performance, such as:
• How well your campaigns convert visitors and leads
• How specific marketing campaigns are doing compared with one another
• How effectively your campaigns are delivering ROI and revenue
The specific metrics that will best predict your campaigns’ effectiveness will vary by your business and target market.
For a complete picture of how your campaigns are faring, be sure to look at a variety of measures, including: traffic, submission and conversion rates; raw data such as total new leads and engagement by channel (e.g., how many total tweets or likes did a campaign achieve); and comparative metrics such as new leads/contacts. Make sure you delve deeply enough to be thorough, and use common sense when looking at your numbers. Your latest email campaign could have a 5% click-through-rate. Wow! But if 90% of those people are clicking on the unsubscribe link, your email is actually a giant failure. Be sure to look at what your data means, in addition to just the hard numbers. Finally, look at your campaign success over time, and set data benchmarks to evaluate how your performance is improving.
Using social media channels in your campaign effort is all about creating a connection with your customers through likable content, reciprocity, responsiveness and transparency. Here’s an example from a while back: Taco Bell is trying to get the word out about their new Taco Bell breakfast. They’re doing a great job supplementing their initial announcement with bite-sized, shareable pieces of content to get fans excited about hopping in the drive-thru at their local store. Taco Bell’s Facebook page cover photo informs page visitors that the breakfast is coming. You’ll find a series of status updates with photos informing fans of exclusive events where they can try the new breakfast menu items – provided they know the password that Taco Bell only shared on Facebook. On Twitter, fans know they can tune into the conversation using the hashtag #WakeUpLiveMás because it’s mentioned in other pieces of shared content. Every piece of multimedia shared through these different channels works both separately and collectively to give the customer a reason to connect with Taco Bell, extending the total reach of the breakfast launch campaign even further.
After going through each tool, you should see how Joseph Jaffe’s words, “Marketing is not a campaign, it’s a commitment,” stand true. An inbound marketing campaign is not an idea that is simply thrown out into the world, it’s a complete strategy. In order to see the ROI of that strategy, you need the proper tools to guide you along the way. Keep the image below of a campaign toolkit etched in your mind. It’ll prove useful time and time again.
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