Inbound marketing covers a lot of ground—both in terms of its many components and the range of media that can be used in an inbound campaign. A good way to understand how it all comes together is to look at a simplified trip through the stages of an inbound marketing campaign.
The journey begins with a marketer building a collection of content about a product or service. In the early stages of engagement, these should be highly informational resources—brand-neutral and search engine optimised e-books, blog posts, and videos explaining what the product or service is, who uses it, and how to choose the best product or service in the category. The company also plans a series of live webinars and events around the country.
With the content elements of the campaign in hand, it’s time to start attracting prospects.
The company launches a LinkedIn campaign highlighting several of the content assets they created, linking each post to a specific landing page for a specific asset. At the same time, pay-per-click ads targeting people searching for related information begin to appear online, and search-engine-optimised content pushes the company’s landing pages to the top of search engine results pages.
Convert and deliver
Anyone looking for useful information on the company’s product or service is going to be turned off by an obvious sales pitch for a specific brand. If you want visitors to fill out the landing page form that puts your content in their hands (and you do!), the landing page needs to focus on the value and credibility of the e-book, webinar, or video you’re offering. After all, inbound marketing is about attracting—not repelling—customers.
Retarget and remarket
Once you’ve attracted visitors to your landing page, you have an ongoing opportunity to connect with them while they’re still in a buying mood.
If they complete your landing page form, you’ll have an email address you can use to provide a stream of relevant and increasingly brand-specific content directly to their inbox. And even if they don’t complete the form, cookie- or pixel-based retargeting and retargeting lists will help them “find” your content again and again through targeted display ads served up on search engines and on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
When you put customers in the driver’s seat—letting them decide when and how to connect with your brand—you open up opportunities for deep, lasting engagement and long-term business relationships.
Better yet, a successful inbound campaign built with truly valuable content can turn today’s buyers into tomorrow’s evangelists for your brand as they share and recommend your content across their professional and social media networks.