We started off these series very strongly letting you know the issues you’re most likely to encounter when looking into inbound (that strangely enough no one talks about), and we followed it with the right approach you should take in order to succeed. Whether it’s involving an Executive Board, fellow executives/managers/directors, etc., we want to ensure that everyone knows exactly what to expect and the team doesn’t turn its back on you when inbound marketing hasn’t yielded a lead within a week (yes, some people expect this to happen).
Now that you know how to approach the inbound marketing conversation with your team, let’s go a step further in exploring what an inbound marketing campaign looks like in detail, when it’s structured appropriately from the start. This is an important part of cultivating understanding among your colleagues, and it’s good for you to know as you will probably establish a cadence of check-ins with your marketing agency, so you should be aware of what these touch base points will look like.
The first 30 days
Just like when a president takes over there is a lot of focus on what he or she will do during their first 100 days in office, the first 30 days of an inbound marketing campaign are an all eyes on deck period when it’s important to be as honest as possible about the objectives, the target audience, the past successes and failures, etc., so that the marketing team can take all of the relevant points into account when building out a new campaign. This is a time to have the existing methodology pass the torch to the next step in inbound (kind of like a relay), letting the next person or team pull their weight in the race. The inbound team will run a diagnosis to understand all the pain points and opportunities for the company, dive deep into the buyer personas and customer profiles, and gather all the information necessary to design an effective campaign from the ground-up. Around the 30-day mark, the team will begin the set up of a marketing automation platform that gathers all the central channels of the campaign (SEO, blog, social media, etc.) in one place.
60 days in the bag
During the second month of the campaign, the tangible action items start coming into play. This time is a crucial moment for the methodology, because it’s like a beta-testing for the content resonance and engagement shifts from the audience. The items you can expect to see are social media posts, blog pieces, and some AdWords campaigns. This is the testing and monitoring phase, where you should see a change in how the audience receives the new content and can help you fine-tune the strategy even more.
First trimester: check!
You made it past the three-month mark using inbound marketing, congratulations! We know there are some managers or employees asking for results already, but this is when you need to stand strong. The methodology explanation was clear from the get-go: this is a strategy about planting seeds and reaping the success later on. Even though there might not be qualified leads just yet, you will definitely have some results to show as far as metrics go. You should receive a Q1 analysis of the activity, and the inbound team should have some solid recommendations as far as the SEO needs are concerned.
120-day mark. What’s new?
Four months in! What can you expect around this time? If the first few months of the campaign were set up correctly thanks to the information the team shared with the inbound squad, there should be some progress/stabilization in the form of solid spikes upwards in the metrics, with SEO becoming more stable and jumping higher (and remaining steadily) in the ranks. With three months of content under your belt, you can begin circulating it more directly with specific customers or prospects you know would benefit from the specific topics being discussed. This is the perfect moment for inbound marketing and sales to cross over and make sure that the information is the same across the board, and a great opportunity to diversify the content a bit more.
150 to 180 days. This is it!
The long-awaited six-month mark. For companies and people who thrive of instant gratification, doing an inbound marketing campaign can be a bit tortuous. In spite of seeing results throughout, sometimes individuals struggle with the type of metrics that inbound yields in its beginning stages and crave to see more. By this point, if the company shared a clear vision with the inbound team, there should be some leads sprouting up… but that’s the thing. We’ve actually encountered quite a few clients that realize at this point that either their target market was not what they originally thought, or that their product is actually better received by other audiences. This is not the time to panic and throw away all the work done so far. The blogs, the SEO, the social media – all of this pays off in due time. If there are corrections that need to be made, go for it, but do not scrap the plan. Typically, you’ll see a difference in the leads that come in through the funnel, better informed and more ready to make a commitment, and the qualification of the lead is more refined. This is the SEO sweet spot where you can start adding more keywords, targeting Google from more sides, and where inbound really starts to take off on its own.
Patience, patience, patience
Remember the saying “good things come to those who wait”? This is the time to live in that mentality. Inbound Marketing has all the potential to bring business to you while you take care of other areas in your business. It’s a way to say goodbye to the marketing tactics that have been at play for years but are no longer working. All it needs is a good strategy, and time. If you’ve been considering inbound marketing for your company but don’t know what to expect or how to start, we’re here to help! Contact us and we will help you get on board with inbound.