These 7 Mistakes Are the Reason Your Inbound Marketing Sucks


Marketing Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for Marketing pros

Monday, January 31, 2022

Inbound marketing sounds straightforward, but there are a number of pitfalls that mean your efforts aren’t attracting quality leads.

Article 4 Minutes
These 7 Mistakes Are the Reason Your Inbound Marketing Sucks

The equation behind inbound marketing is supposedly straightforward - write the content, put it behind a form and wait for the leads to come in - but the reality is more nuanced. While this strategy works for some marketers, others are left with few leads or even worse, poor quality leads that don’t convert.

But all is not lost. If you can identify the mistakes you’re making in implementing this approach, they can be fixed. Here’s where you might be going wrong with your inbound marketing:

1. You’re rushing to the bottom of the funnel

Some inbound leads will come to you while they’re still in the research phase of their journey and rushing to try and get them to convert can be counterproductive. Instead, your content should help guide them through the buyer’s journey.

Playing a longer game in this way means that by the time they reach the bottom of the funnel, they should be in a good position to reach out. Their actions will be intentional at this point and are more likely to end in a sale and a positive relationship with your brand.

2. You don’t know your ideal customer

If you don’t have a clear picture of your ideal customer, including their wants, needs and pain points, then it’ll be impossible to create content that attracts them. Untargeted campaigns result in leads that aren’t a good fit for the business, which is a waste of time for everyone involved.

It can be daunting defining your audience, especially as it feels like you’re cutting out potential customers. It’s vital to take the leap, however, as businesses that try to be everything to everybody find they have no relevance to anyone at all.

3. You’re not including the sales team in your content creation

Aligning your marketing and sales teams is important to ensure your content meets the brief of driving qualified leads. While both departments have different focuses, it should be a symbiotic relationship that allows the skills of all staff to improve the outcome for the business.

Don’t just collaborate via email once a month, but meet regularly to discuss ideas and areas where things can be improved. The sales team are on the front line and can add input about pain points and questions that are often asked, so content can be created around the areas.

4. You’re not utilizing data

Your approach to content creation should be constantly evolving, otherwise you won’t see improvements. Tweaks to the way you target your leads should be based on data, as this represents concrete evidence about what’s working and what isn’t.

There are multiple ways to collect and analyze your data, but it’s not something that should be overlooked. Setting up tools to create reports must be done as soon as possible, so you can start using the results to influence your content and attract better leads.

5. You’re not investing in diverse content

Regular content is vital to inbound marketing, but it’s not enough to post standard-length blogs all the time. Instead, consider mixing it up with top-performing formats, such as longer blog posts, guides, infographics and animated gifs to keep things fresh and interesting.

The pieces you’re putting behind a gated form also need to be really tempting in order to attract qualified leads. Try ebooks, free templates and in-depth presentations to show your audience the true value of your brand.

6. You’re expecting immediate results

Inbound marketing takes time to be successful, with HubSpot saying 85% of companies see traffic increasing within seven months. That can seem like an age in marketing, leaving some people feeling disheartened and others wondering how they can prove their ROI in the short term.

It can be worthwhile to engage in some pay-per-click advertising to boost your campaigns to begin with. While this should become less necessary as time moves on, it can be an effective way to get quick wins if you need some results fast.

7. You’ve not built up a talented inbound marketing team

To be successful, an inbound marketing team should be made up of specialists in a number of different areas. It’s unrealistic to believe a talented copywriter will also be good at strategy, development, design and reporting, so some areas will end up suffering.

Build a team with no weak spots to get the best results and ensure your campaigns fulfill their potential. Such an approach will also ensure a steady supply of ideas, preventing your efforts from becoming stagnant.

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