One of the more common requests we field these days is the need for help with Inbound Marketing. Frequently, the question is driven from a particular pain point rather than from a more comprehensive perspective on overall marketing needs and how the online presence fits. We get that. That said, here are four keys to consider as you approach an Inbound Marketing program.
1) Be clear about your audience and goals.
Get back to basics. Who are you trying to reach with your inbound marketing program? What does success look like? The more specific you can be about what you want to achieve, the call-to-action(s) and which audience segments to target, the better your chances for success.
2) Pop the hood. Check the levels. Do a head count.
Let’s say your goal is page one rankings in Google and large volumes of organic traffic – or maybe you’ve determined targeted quality ad traffic is better for your campaign. While it is a distinction that matters, what matters as much if not more is the infrastructure and process in place to support the desired path. We see many organizations launch search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing/pay-per-click (SEM/PPC) or social media campaigns without carefully assessing their ability to handle what comes across the transom. Casting for more leads than you can handle creates inefficiencies and hampers conversions. It’s not the size of the catch that matters it’s the skill and capacity of the crew handling what gets caught.
3) Don’t let what you know hurt you.
Thinking in a vacuum can be dangerous and counterproductive. Don’t isolate your team from other opinions and intel. Involve product managers, department heads, the web team and yes, survey real customers and donors as part of a structured process to create inbound marketing campaigns with impact.
4) Focus on A, then A/B.
A/B testing systems are understandably useful Inbound Marketing campaign tools. However it’s easy to let the tool unwittingly override meaningful measurement. We’ve seen campaigns with so many variables being tested the marketing team – if pressed – isn’t quite sure what they hope to learn from the data being collected. Aim to get solid baseline data on A then worry about A/B variables like message format, length, etc
Inbound marketing campaigns don’t have to break the bank or drive you crazy in a scramble for resources. In fact, we’ve led effective campaigns with varying levels of budget and support capacity.
What does matter (and what we strive to do at CiV Digital for our valued clients) is to take the time to complete a thorough discovery process, and apply what we learn together to creating a coordinated platform of goals, process and infrastructure to help your inbound marketing campaign be a smashing success.
D.J. Smith is the Founder & CEO of CiV Digital. He encourages you to create web and mobile experiences that are part of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. He likes coconut milk and spinach smoothies. You can follow him and CiV Digital at @civideas on Twitter.