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5 Steps to Creating an Inbound Marketing Campaign

Posted by Ariel Dykes on October 3, 2017

Our newest cohort of digital marketing apprentices launched in Austin this September! During their weeklong bootcamp, Cohort 6 built an inbound marketing campaign surrounding the book launch for, Courage to Grow: How Acton Academy Turns Learning Upside Down, written by Acton Academy Owner and Co-Founder, Laura Sandefer. imageedit_12_7975114583.jpg

Acton Academy Owner - Laura Sandefer

Digital Creative’s partner company, Acton Academy, is a descruptive education model tailored to help students find their life’s calling, “teaching content through online game-based tools, Socratic discussion and face-to-face projects the school calls quests.” Children take an active leadership role in their learning and own their education path and discovery. To learn more about Acton Academy, visit their website.                                                                       

Learn how to create an inbound marketing campaign through the lens of Cohort 6 creating theirs.

What is an Inbound Marketing Campaign?

An inbound marketing campaign is the process of utilizing your marketing channels and efforts to achieve a single marketing goal. Inbound campaigns need an identified target buyer persona, relevant content, a mapped conversion path, proper promotion, and analysis. Inbound campaigns rely on the foundation of SMART goals and are not complete without an in-depth analysis of the campaign’s impact and results. For a complete rundown on inbound marketing campaigns, click here.

IMC process.pngThe Process

Step 1: Identify Buyer Personas

Inbound marketing campaigns heavily revolve around the identified buyer personas, they are the meat of the campaign and guide the process. In order to run an effective campaign, you must be able to understand what your personas desire, what challenges they face, and what they are looking to gain.

Cohort 6 used a friends and family approach with the three personas they based their campaign on. The three personas they focused on were Acton Academy Owners, Acton MBA students and alumni, and the Children’s Business Fair Hosts. These personas are loyal to Acton Academy and will almost certainly purchase the book. Because of their loyalty, they wanted these groups to act as evangelists for the novel and promote it within their own networks.

Step 2: Set SMART Goals

SMART goals are essential to developing, fine-tuning, achieving, and assessing your projects and campaigns. They provide a clearly defined roadmap that helps you stay accountable and create an in-depth campaign. Cohort 6’s goals were to sell 15,000 books in a three week timeframe, to get each buyer to leave a review, and promote the book within their own networks.

Specific: Your goal should be clear and concise. Your campaign relies on a well-thought-out and specific goal that leads the campaign in the right direction.

Measurable: Creating measurable goals will help you stay motivated and on track to meet your deadlines and assess your progress.

Achievable: Your goal needs to be attainable; it wouldn’t be conducive to rely on goals that are unrealistic and far-fetched. In order to achieve your goal, the expectations need to be challenging as well as realistic.

Relevant: It’s important to check in with your campaign and make sure your efforts are worthwhile, applicable, and as the R represents, relevant.

Timely: Every goal needs a target completion date to keep your campaign focused and moving forward.

Step 3: Segment Personas and Build Email Workflows

Email campaigns are a great way to reach your target personas. Utilizing your current contact database is a cheap and easy method to reach your consumers in an efficient and effective way. Once you segment your personas, you can tailor your email campaigns to reflect their desires, pain-points, and emotions. Through automation, you can create an entire workflow that will automatically send emails based on the persona’s interaction with the previous emails.

Cohort 6 created three separate email drip campaigns to cater to each target buyer persona. The language, message length, and content offers varied to fit the needs and personalities of each audience. The ultimate goal of the email campaigns were to get the personas to purchase the book, share the book with their personal networks, and review the book.

Step 4: Create Content

Relevant content is a necessity to help build consumer awareness and interest. First and foremost, assess and review your current content; refurbishing old content is a great way to save time and money reinventing the wheel. After you have a feel for what content you already have, decide what pieces of content are missing from the buyer’s journey and still need to be created. For example: Do you have a lot of consideration phase content but lack the awareness phase content or visa versa?

Cohort 6 utilized two blog posts written by the author, Laura Sandefer, in their email drip campaigns to initiate excitement about Laura's writing. A call-to-action, to share the promotional content, was included in each email. They designed three relevant video storyboards for the email recipients to share with their friends on social channels. Promoting remarkable content for your campaign helps you achieve your end marketing goals. Remarkable content should be sharable, unique, thought-provoking, and relevant.

Step 5: Launch, Analyze, Adjust

An inbound campaign isn’t complete without a thorough analysis and retrospective after the launch. To generate the best results, tweaks to the weak spots of your campaign need to be adjusted. Always anticipate adjustments and be willing to adapt once you receive data and feedback

Cohort 6 had the honor of presenting their campaign pitch to leaders of the organization. They gave valuable critiques and introduced the idea of creating four additional target personas to the campaign. The campaign pitch was a success and Acton Academy was very impressed with the work our apprentices did! To view their full project, keep scrolling.

Cohort 6 Project: Courage to Grow Book Launch

Project image for Inbound blog post.pngDive into Cohort 6's slide deck to see how they outlined, designed, and organized their book launch campaign. Each inbound campaign will have slight variances and can contain as many as 10 steps in the creation process.




Final Thoughts

Campaigns can be messy and reap subpar results, but with a well-oiled inbound marketing campaign, you will reach your marketing goals and beyond! Inbound is a way to create a dialogue between your business and your consumers with interactive content and promotions. Yasmin Bendror says that, “inbound marketing is an invitation to an ongoing dialogue,” and we couldn’t agree more. When you serve relevant and helpful content to your consumers, you will generate better results rather than feeding them things they don’t care about!


Cohort 6 preparing for their inbound campaign pitch.

Are you seeking an accelerated path to achieve your digital marketing goals? Apply for the DCI apprenticeship today! Follow us on social to stay in the loop of all things digital.

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