Quick Tips: Honing your inbound marketing for the benefit of everyone

Inbound marketing has become so popular, so popular in fact some might think it a little old hat. Listening to small business marketers though – it isn’t the amount, it’s the quality, with much of this content being lazily created, or deployed as part of an unstructured campaign. As such audiences have begun to identify and ignore it as naturally as they would outbound material. The answer isn’t to abandon inbound, it’s to step up our game and improve it across the board. So we’ve rounded up a few tips for Quick Tips this week that are meant as a healthy recap to do that.
Know the type of campaign you’re running
Inbound marketing campaigns can be split into two categories: the Conversion Campaign and the Calendar Campaign. Crucially, they are defined not by their process but by their goal. The final result is everything.
When a Conversion Campaign is successful, it ends with a transaction, monetary or otherwise. When a Calendar Campaign is successful, it will be evidenced in the high amount of activity surrounding your brand – from hits on your homepage to retweets, likes, shares or replies in your social media.
Evidentially, a large number of brands are either unsure what type of content is required for the campaign that they are running or unaware of their end goal entirely. This results in mixed messages and unclear paths for the customer’s brand engagement.
The right content for the right campaign
For the Conversion Campaign, hitting the right message and creating a clear path is often easier. The most crucial thing of all is that, at some point, whether directly after experiencing your content or sometime in the near-future, your target customer ends up on a webpage where they can convert – i.e. a product page, an order form or a sign up box.
Generally, this means blog posting, email marketing, targeted social media posts and guest blogging. While the vibe is never hard sales, there will need to be, at some point in the process, a vital component many inbound campaigns forget: a call-to-action. Whether subtle or unsubtle, at some point you will have to point your target in the right direction if you expect them to sign up.
The Calendar Campaign is a trickier beast. There needs to be a continuity running through all of the material the company creates, a sustained, single message that reinforces the brand identity every time. This takes an even more careful dedication to structure than in a Conversion Campaign.
Things like monthly newsletters or a series of blogs focussing on a single, specialised issue are smart ways to foster this sort of long-term, continuous brand-engagement.
Even if you know your goal, it is crucial to ask yourself whether or not your inbound marketing content truly serves them. The web is filled with unfocussed content. Be sure your material isn’t lost in the blur by creating a targeted, intelligent inbound marketing campaign.
 
The Quick Tips series is intended as a 2 minute read on digital marketing things – from recent changes in the scene and how to accommodate them, to tips from other marketers we know.