Inbound 2014: Building Online Marketing Campaigns

  

inbound-2014-session-review-cody

There were a lot of great sessions at Inbound 2014, but one in particular stood out to me that I wanted to share. This session was “I’ve created my content, now what?” presented by Amanda Sibley. Many people in our industry focus on the content creation side of Inbound marketing, which is great, but don't forget to promote your content to help encourage downloads.

Once you have great content, but nobody knows about it and as Steuart Britt once said “Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing but nobody else does.” In this article, I will cover some of the highlights from Amanda’s presentation to help you create great campaigns to promote your great content. There are 3 phases to creating a successful campaign.

  • Organize & Plan
  • Promotional Options
  • Results

Organize & Plan

Goals

Every campaign should have some kind of benchmark to see if what you are doing is producing the results you are looking for. If you don’t know what you are trying to accomplish, how will you ever know if your campaign worked? You won’t, so to start your campaign you need to decide what your goals are. These goals could be increasing website traffic, branding, lead generation, finding MQLs/SQLs or direct sales. Once you know what you are trying to accomplish, you can start setting up your campaign.

Organize

A great promotional plan doesn’t just happen. There are too many moving parts that need to be organized in order to get the most out of your campaign. First you want to brainstorm all your ideas and set up timelines for the campaign. Organize all of the tasks from your brainstorm and delegate them to the people you need to help. You will need to set up a launch timeline in order to have the appropriate graphics and content in place ready for your launch date. Some things you need to organize before you content launch

  • Landing Page and Thank You Page creation
  • CTA creation
  • Blog Posts around Content
  • Social Images & content positioning

Amanda suggested that you start the process of organizing this promotion campaign 3 weeks ahead to make sure all the pieces are in place before the launch. Let’s take a look at some of the promotion options you will need to organize before your launch date.

Promotion Options

Blogging

Creating blogs around your content is one of the best ways to help promote your premium content. Just make sure you have CTAs on these blogs and if you get stuck thinking about blogs to create around this content, try some of these great ideas below:

  • Pull a section from your eBook and post this as a blog article to build interest in the eBook. Make it obvious at the beginning and end of this blog post that it is an excerpt from the eBook.
  • Create a list related to the offer. People love lists and tend to be some of the most highly viewed types of blogs.
  • Expand upon topics that may be briefly discussed in the eBook.
  • Update an old blog post with your new content. Find older blog posts that are relevant and change the CTAs on them. Try to use one of your more popular blogs to increase the amount of eyes on these CTAs.
  • Write about misconceptions of the topic.
  • Write about examples of the topic.

Website

Your homepage is often the most viewed page on your site, so why not use this area to your advantage? You would be foolish not to, so find an area on your Homepage or Log-in page to place a CTA that will attract the eye of any visitors. You should also create a content library for all of your resources and make sure your current campaign is prevalent at the top of this page.  

Social Media

Promoting your content on social media is a great way to reach the current audience that is already interested in you and hopefully you may reach a broader audience with hashtags.

Facebook: Start by redesigning your cover photo on your Facebook page to advertise your new content. Then make sure you pin this content to the top of your Facebook. This way anyone who views your Facebook page will immediately be aware of your content. It is also helpful to post your content with different images throughout the week. 2-3 times a week would be a reasonable amount of Facebook posts.

Twitter: Use the same strategy as Facebook and create a cover photo advertising your content. Then pin your content to the top of your timeline. Promote this content weekly as well, but you can do this a little more often with twitter (4-6 times a week should be good). Using quotes from the eBook are great for tweets! Also make sure you are using relevant hashtags, as this is the way people search on Twitter. Also if you have any insights from anybody in your eBook, make sure you tweet at them and ask for them to share your eBook. This is a great way to get in front of a whole new audience. Lastly, you could also try to create your own hashtag by placing it throughout your campaign and in the eBook itself. This way you can keep up with anybody who is using this hashtag. Lastly, make sure you are using images with your tweets because these tend to get more awareness, retweets, shares and favorites.

LinkedIn: A week before your launch date, try starting a discussion in different groups around the topic of your eBook. We are not sharing our eBook yet, but instead we want to get other people's thoughts and start a discussion. Then once you launch the eBook, you can share it on the thread. Also don’t be afraid to find groups on LinkedIn that are relevant and share your content there. Don’t just spam the group, try positioning this piece as valuable to the group.

Social Advertising: Don’t be afraid to dip your toes into the paid advertising pool. This is a great way to target your specific audience and for relatively cheap. Make sure you place tracking links in these advertisements to see what works and what doesn’t. That way you can analyze your advertisements to make them better and more cost effective.  

Email

Get your content out to your current email list. Make sure you personalize your email for the receiver and include copy that speaks to each segment. You can also encourage sharing within the email by placing share buttons. This is a great way to get your content in front of a new audience. Having quotes within the email with the simple "Click to Tweet" option is another great way to help get another link on Twitter. And make sure you get creative with the images. Nobody likes a boring email!

Guest Blogging

Reach out to other relevant blogs and ask for guest post opportunities. In a perfect world, there would be a contact us for guest post opportunities form but most sites do not have this. So do a little digging and find the authors email or their blog manager. You could also use platforms like LinkedIn to connect with these people. Just make sure when you reach out to them to show the value you can add. And if you do get a guest blog, then make sure you link back to your content of course!

You should also look around at the different blogs within your industry and try to find a topic relating to your content. Then leave a comment that adds value and offers your content. This option is sometimes frowned upon because it may appear as spam, and it very well could be; which is why you need to focus on finding relevant articles and make sure you are adding value!

SlideShare

Recreate this content into a presentation and place it on Slideshare. Make sure to have your links within the content and below to help push traffic back to your main offer. You can also use these Slideshare presentations in blog posts by embedding a link.

Video Marketing

Create a short 2 minute video around your topic. Hit on some of the highlights from your eBook and make sure you place a link to your eBook at the bottom of the video. Video marketing is great because Youtube is just another great content site that people search constantly for content.

Influencers

Everybody has connections, so make sure you use them. Find the influencers of your industry and ask if they are willing to share your content. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your most important customers to get them to promote your content as well.

Results

So now go back to your results and analyze them. Did you reach your goals? Always make sure you circle back around to your beginning goals and see what promotion strategies worked the best. Remember leads are great, but customer conversions are better. So unless you goal was to reach a certain level of leads, makes sure you pay attention to what strategies are pushing profits. You may not be able to tell from one campaign, but overtime you will be able to see what strategies work the best and you can start placing more emphasis in these areas instead of others that were not successful.

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