More and more, companies of all types are coming around to the potential of inbound marketing. Inbound marketing uses content such as blogs, podcasts, or social media to bring in potential customers.
While inbound marketing is an attractive methodology for a number of reasons, many companies take some of its requirements for granted.
This leads to avoidable mistakes that can sabotage goals.
Inbound marketing campaigns take a lot of hard work, but they can also produce astounding results. So be sure to avoid these three common mistakes, and your team’s hard work will pay off in the end:
Perhaps the central tenet of inbound marketing is that you need to give away information for free. This can mean anything from blogs to eBooks to tutorials and more.
While the idea is that this investment will eventually pay off, many companies get a bit anxious. It’s understandable. For most business investments, there is at least a forecasted ROI to take comfort in. With a concrete ROI, you have peace of mind knowing what you can expect for spending money on a certain venture.
The ROI of inbound marketing tends to be a bit harder to pin down. It can be tough spending time and money on a case study you know will help anyone who reads it, without having the same assurance that any of them will ever become customers.
A lot of companies let this get to them. They then ruin their efforts by smearing their content with clear advertisements for their services. There’s a time and place in the funnel to begin including CTAs (calls to action) and it’s not right away.
Inbound marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways of turning prospects into customers. However, in order for it to work, you need to truly help people and do it for free. Otherwise, you’re just wasting everyone’s time – including your own.
With all the inbound marketing success stories out there, it’s easy to get a bit excited about what this method promises. What these stories often leave out, though, is just how long it took for the strategy to work. Successful inbound marketing campaigns involve more than just posting a regular blog.
Large companies spend a good deal of time and money developing their content strategies. They also make well-developed buyer personas (customer profiles) to assess the needs of their customers. Analytics are also used to track what is working and what is not. Only after time, and sometimes trial and error, does a content strategy pan out.
Even with a robust inbound marketing strategy, you should still stick with humble goals the first time through. One of your main targets should simply be implementing the process and looking for ways to improve it next time.
If your company is brand new, then this is inevitable. You’ll need to build your inbound marketing campaign from the ground up.
For everyone else, though, this would be a massive, costly mistake. In short, you probably already have a number of resources that will support an inbound marketing campaign.
The easiest one to use would be content you’ve already created. Repurpose this content with your inbound marketing goals in mind to save time and money.
Another important resource you may already have in abundance is customer information. You don’t need to create buyer personas out of thin air. Even if you’ve only been in business for a year or so, you probably have access to data that will help you better understand the different types of prospects you have.
Before you begin building your inbound marketing strategy, start with your goal. Then, audit your company for resources you already have that can be used for achieving it.
This mistake is an especially fatal one, because it can absolutely destroy an otherwise well-executed inbound marketing strategy. Even worse, many companies can go years and years without realizing that this problem is holding them back from far greater gains.
Email is an important part of the inbound marketing approach. It only works, though, when your email list is maintained to avoid common issues that would otherwise cripple it.
If your email list is filled with people who aren’t in your target market, don’t respond to your emails, or worse, get angry at communications from you, then you need to prune your list. Otherwise, you’re inviting high bounce rates that will quickly render your list – and all the hard work you put into your campaign – useless.
Countless companies all over the world from just about every industry can attest to the fact that inbound marketing works – when done right. If you’ve already begun your strategy, check if it’s currently suffering from any identifiable mistakes such as too many sales pitches in your content. Otherwise, create a strong content strategy before you get started. By being aware of potential mistakes, you can avoid them and enjoy the results of a successful inbound marketing campaign.