The 8 Steps to Being Successful with Inbound Campaigns

Angeline Rast
1 November 2019

You know how it goes – you come up with a great campaign, invest lots of time, energy, creativity into it… Then, as soon as it hits the big wide world, your thoughts are being drawn towards the next item on your to-do list, and everyday business distracts you from following through on your campaign. Many initially thought-up concepts get stuck half way through, like returning calm after a fireworks display. In order to not allow that to happen, and to get the best out of your campaign, here is an overview of the eight essential steps comprising each and every (inbound) campaign.

1. The attractive offer

Your campaign should be focused on ONE concrete offer – an ebook, a webinar, or a certain action. This way you are making sure that you are communicating clearly with your target audience, and that you can put quantifiable metrics around your actions, as well as gauge the level of interest the offer generates.

All subsequent parts of the campaign are then tailored towards this offer. In order to increase traffic to your website and generate leads, a freely downloadable ebook is often the offer of choice. Give it a title that instils a feeling of curiosity in the reader, and which contains your campaign's main keyword. A layout that is easy on the eye, as well as impeccable spelling, go without saying here. Keep your ebook vividly clear and entertaining – and of course informative.

2. The right keyword set

For your offer to be found by prospective leads, you need to know how they search for it. Which terms do they use in search engines? A well-maintained keyword pool is your content strategy's butter and bread. All parts of your campaigns – and everything you do online – should be systematically build around your keywords, and optimised while not forgetting the meta data as well.

Surely you already have a main keyword for your offer, and hence your campaign? Then pick additional, related keywords – e.g. synonyms, similar descriptions, different long-tails – and optimise parts of your campaign with these in mind.

3. The irresistible landing page

This is the all important bit. A prospect has taken note of your ebook, and ends up on your landing page. Now it is important to fulfil his expectations, so that he really wants to follow through and download the ebook. Ensure that your landing page is clean, looks reputable and inviting, and conforms to your organization's corporate design guidelines – and is solely focused on your offer.

The heart of your landing page is its "contact fe" form. Since this is a first-time contact, do not insist on too much information. The lower the threshold to obtaining the offered goods/services, the higher the probability of the visitor following through. Apart from the obligatory email address, you could e.g. enquire as to personal interests or profession (in order to be able to reliably identify the person as matching your buyer persona).

4. The friendly thank you

Put yourself in your prospect's shoes. You have entered all your data on the landing page in order to obtain the offer, and clicked "submit". What now? Whatever it is you trigger with that click, will create a lasting impression. Decide on one of the following two options, in order to reassure the prospect that he has made the right decision:

  1. The thank-you-page: After clicking, the visitor is directed to a page on which you thank them for their interest, and present them with further interesting offers. Perhaps they would be interested in more downloadable products? Furthermore, reassure them that they will receive the download link for the ebook via email.
  1. A custom "thank you" message is displayed on the landing page, confirming that the visitor's data has been received, that their interest is valued and appreciated, and that they will receive the ebook (or the download link to it) via email. This concludes the process within this variant, and no further options are displayed.

Choose the option that is most suitable for your campaign.

5. The all-important call-to-action button

The digital world has endowed us with endless possibilities, so far as designs and effects are concerned. Hence the temptation to make use of these and experiment is strong. But be careful. In order for your campaign to remain on track, and retain recognition value across diverse media, decide on not more than two different call-to-action buttons.

The call-to-action button (short: CTA) is designed to entice the target audience (your mail's reader, website visitor, etc.) to click – and eventually to convert.

Make it clearly stand out as a clickable button (an image of your offer without caption is not sufficient!), and formulate a clear call to action: "Download Now", "Click here to download", etc. Or: evoke curiosity by choosing words like "Find out more" or "Discover more".

It is important to make it very clear what clicking the button will trigger.

6. The supporting blog series

The central element of any campaign (and the inbound methodology in general) is your content.

Create at least five blog entries on the topic of your ebook, in order to adequately advertise your offer. One possibility is to generate the blogs directly from individual chapters of your ebook – or, you author related articles leading towards your offer.

Take care to remain consistent in style and form, and optimise each individual blog post towards a keyword. At the end of each blog post, the call-to-action button linking to your offer is found.

7. Social posts

Nowhere else affords you the chance to reach as many prospects at once, as social media does. So ask yourself:

  • Do you know which platforms your target audience frequents most often – and at which times?
  • Is your profile well maintained, and does it contain the most important pieces of information (like the URL of your website)?

Then, actively advertise your offer by posting it and the corresponding blog posts that go along with it – on different days and at different times. Formulate clear messages, and ensure any images are optimised to the requirements of the respective platform. 5 posts per blog, and 10 posts on your offer (with direct link to your landing page) are mandatory. As long as the number of your friends and followers remains manageable, using paid ads and sponsored posts may be worthwhile. Create 2-3 ads for two different channels (e.g. LinkedIn and Facebook), and test-run them for a week to determine which is most effective.

8. Personalized emails

You already have regular clients for whom your offer might be of interest? Marvellous – simply segment your contacts, and send out personalised emails. Pay special attention to personalised greetings, a friendly and precise personal address – and get to the point quickly. Explain why your offer may be of help, i.e. why you are sending them the email, and don't forget to also include a call-to-action button which directs them to your landing page.

A couple of tips on the way

All parts of your campaign should be SEO-optimised. So are all of your images captioned, all meta-descriptions well maintained, all page titles concise and relevant? Are all pages, all posts optimised towards a keyword?

Also, determine milestones within your running campaign, and measure your success. Which posts and ads produce results, which ones don't? What is your landing page's conversion rate, and does anything need adjusting? Are you getting the number of visitors, subscribers, leads, etc. which you were hoping to get? If not, it might be time for an adjustment.

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