I’ve been at this inbound marketing thing as a content writer for a while now, and I’ve seen some campaigns that totally went above and beyond expectations, and a lot more that have fizzled out and died all too quickly.
What is it that separates an effective inbound marketing campaign from an ineffective one that’s just dead weight? Or, how can you make sure you have an effective inbound marketing campaign?
Odds are, if you’re reading this, you want an answer to this question so you can make marketing campaigns that get you leads and, eventually, sales.
The First Thing You NEED to Have to Succeed: AWESOME CONTENT!
Inbound marketing campaigns succeed or die on a few critical elements. First, and foremost, you need amazing content that drives engagement with your website and your brand.
Yes, you need to have reach to get a big enough audience to generate results. However, before you can earn that reach, you need to generate goodwill with strong content.
What is Strong Content, and Why Do I Need it?
Strong content is:
- Educational & Helpful. Great content should teach the reader something or help them solve a problem specific to them. Educational content is great for when readers are still researching a problem early on in the buyer’s journey. Being helpful is how you earn the reader’s goodwill (and potentially their future business).
- Timely & Customized. Customizing content to the pain points and challenges of your customers is a key part of making sure that it’s helpful to them. Additionally, you need to be able to deliver content in a timely manner—if that helpful content arrives too late to your customer’s inbox, it isn’t really helping.
- Consistent in Tone, Language, and Message. Another key element of marketing that people will love is that it takes into consideration the user’s experience from start to finish. Creating a consistent, fluid user experience that eliminates hurdles and inconsistencies helps make all of your content for your marketing campaigns easier to digest and more enjoyable.
Think of marketing like fishing, and content is your bait. A big, juicy piece of bait will get a bite a lot faster than a plain hook (and you’ll get better fish). There are a lot of other factors that affect success, but great marketing offers packed with awesome content should be considered an essential requirement for any campaign.
With this in mind, how can you make a stellar marketing offer?
Want to Make Awesome Content? Gather a Team of Content Creators
Whether you want to make an eBook, whitepaper, video, calculator, etc., you’ll want to collect a team of people to help you make that piece of content first.
Yeah, working with other people on a creative project can be tough—especially when everyone has their own job responsibilities and schedules to maintain—but you’ll be glad you took the time and effort to buddy up with somebody later.
Who Should I Recruit?
You might be wondering who you should recruit for your content creation team. The answer is simple: Recruit ANYONE who has detailed knowledge of your products/services or customers. This could be your c-level execs, management team, sales reps, customer service team.
In fact, recruiting different people from around the company can help you improve your perspective on the needs of your customers. This, in turn, helps you make better content that will smoothly transition customers along the buyer’s journey.
Naturally, anybody you recruit needs to have the free time to actually help you develop content—trying to force new creation duties on an already-overloaded employee won’t typically yield good results.
How Can I Use My Recruits?
There are a few useful things you can have your team of content creators help you with. Contributions your coworkers can make include:
- Asking them to co-write a whitepaper or an eBook. This can be as simple as helping you by writing up a couple of talking points they think would be important for the eBook.
- Conducting interviews and posting short videos sharing their expertise with your customers.
- Inviting them to give presentations or answer customer FAQs in online webinars.
What if My Coworkers Don’t Have the Bandwidth to Help?
Odds are there’s at least one or two people in your organization who can help you out a little by sharing notes or conducting short interviews. However, if you find that you just don’t have the internal resources to create all of the content your marketing campaigns need on a timely schedule, then you may want to consider hiring an outside agency to help you.
An external agency can help you stay on-schedule for releasing content. Keep in mind that you may need to spend time with them to provide an insider perspective on your company and customers.
Don’t Be Afraid to Repurpose Existing Content
Have a few old offers, blogs, and other pieces of content that have worked in the past? Don’t be afraid to dust them off, polish them up with updated info, and repurpose or convert them!
For example, you could take a popular old blog post and turn it into a video, or mine an eBook for related blog topics (and insert CTAs linking to the eBook in each blog).
You spent precious time and energy making that old piece of content—might as well make the most of it.
Hopefully, this will help you get a good start on your content creation and thus, your inbound marketing campaigns.
There’s a lot more that goes into creating an effective campaign, but solid content is the foundation of your efforts. So, the best place to start when crafting a campaign is to focus on what kind of content you’ll be making, and ensuring that the content is as strong as possible.