It’s a shame how some companies get too caught up trying to make their digital marketing efforts move the bottom line that they fail to realize the true importance of inbound marketing. More so, understand what it really means.
In reality, inbound marketing neither offers a quick solution to your long-standing marketing problems, nor does it guarantee a boost to your company’s below-par sales performance.
When you decide to do inbound, you need to stop sending your audience irrelevant promotional messages. Instead, you work towards providing them the resources they need or guide them in every stage of the buying process—from awareness to consideration and ultimately, conversion.
Without being aware of the real philosophy behind inbound marketing, you’re bound to commit mistakes in implementing the methodology in your business.
The following section identifies five of the worst inbound marketing mistakes you could be guilty of and how to fix them:
Lack of strategy
For companies that don’t have a documented inbound marketing strategy, it’s virtually impossible to tell if they’re doing it right. Before embarking on your inbound marketing journey, you need to get all the details straight. The inbound model in marketing is anything but a one-sided undertaking.
On the contrary, it branches out into several different disciplines including content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, SEO, paid ads, and events.
Knowing how each one works will help you develop strategies that are aligned with your goals. Do you want a higher level of engagement from audiences? Then social channels are a good starting point, as social media users actively consume content in various forms such as visuals, videos, microblogs, and contests to name a few.
A well-documented inbound strategy will help you identify your objectives, reveal which key metrics to target, and benchmark your performance so you know what’s working and what isn’t.
Having an inexperienced marketing team
When it comes to inbound marketing, you’re not going to get away with having an inexperienced team at hand. Inbound requires a specific range of skillsets, each one no less important than the next.
Content marketing forms the basis of any effective inbound strategy, and every good content marketer needs a certain group of skills to succeed. There’s also a range of skills needed for search engine optimization, web design, and conversion rate optimization, to name a few.
In the end, the level of skill and experience that your inbound team has will ultimately determine your chances of success. Not recognizing this need is basically shooting yourself in the foot.
Not using resources wisely
You might not be aware of it, but you could be putting valuable existing marketing resources under the rug. This is especially true if you’ve been creating content for some time. Creating quality content takes a lot of time and resources, so if you’re not making the most of it, those efforts are going to waste.
Naturally, you’d want to get on a fresh start. So, you try to set up a website with an all-new content when you could actually re-purpose your brochures and other advertising materials from online channels.
If you used to do a lot of direct mail, you could dig up from your files and use them for your email marketing projects. You could even get inspiration from old event posters or banners to add some uniqueness to your social pages.
A little creativity and resourcefulness here and there can go a long way—time- and money-wise with inbound marketing.
Poor content creation and management
One of the most important parts of inbound marketing is content marketing, so it’s crucial that you do this one right. Blog posts, for instance, not only improve your SEO affair with Google and other search engines, but also help you gain new leads each time readers click on your links and CTAs.
This is why you need to have an efficient and a strategic system for creating and managing the contents of your website. Otherwise, you won’t be getting maximum benefits from things like blogging.
Before blogging away, make sure that you know what topics interest and appeal to your audience, as well as how to optimize them with keywords. Last, but not least, your content should not be everything about your product, service, or brand.
Remember, content marketing is about providing quality, informative resources that can help answer questions or solve problems for your prospects or customers.
Ignoring the disconnect between sales and marketing
You may have a complete understanding of the fundamental strategies in inbound marketing, but when there’s no support or agreement between your marketing and sales teams, achieving your desired results will not be easy.
For things to work, you need marketers who can pass off quality leads that your sales team can convert. At the same time, sales should be able to give feedback about which leads have a high quality to them and which marketers should target more.
All this requires a documented Service-Level Agreement (SLA) between the teams so that there are agreed upon deliverables between the two for a closed-loop reporting system.
Don’t Make the Same Inbound Marketing Mistakes
While mistakes can help us learn and grow, the ones listed above can be costly for your inbound marketing budget and business revenue. So, take time to plan your inbound strategy and see if there’s any sign at all of these blunders.
Proactively, you should also be looking at the opportunity to enhance your inbound marketing program to keep your business growing.