"If you build it, they will come," you told yourself.
But after putting in countless hours of work, the leads didn't come. Or maybe they came once or twice, but they just didn't stick around for what you had to offer them. Suddenly, you felt like your dream was slipping away.
Maybe you even thought that inbound marketing can't work for your business. But, before you give up on your dream, let's go back and consider a few steps that you might have skipped when you jumped into the whole inbound world. Chances are you might just need to rethink and restart the process in order to get it right.
Here are 5 common inbound mistakes that could be sabotaging your efforts:
1. Overlooking Objectives: Step one in every marketing process, be it inbound or outbound, is to come up with clear goals and objectives. However, it's especially important for inbound marketing because a great deal of your efforts need to be specific. Your goals are more than just what you want for your business; it is also important to know your target demographic. Inbound marketing is all about knowing your audience and serving them with content that speaks directly to them. Without knowing this information, you are playing a game of target practice while firing blindfolded. You might hit an occasional bullseye, but it will be out of luck rather than skillful strategizing. Time to take off the blindfold. Figure out exactly who your buyers are and what they want. Know your target and see your target before pulling the trigger on a new campaign.
2. Leaving Out Local: Local Inbound Marketing is for when you want to speak to an audience in your geographic area. Far too often, businesses don't make adjustments to marketing strategies based on specific regions. Rather than using the local language, geography, and familiar sites as search keywords and as a means to connect with your audience, you choose to use generic terms that many other businesses also use. As a result, your business was invisible in search engines and lost amongst competitors in your area. Specific language matters. Use all of it to your advantage.
3. Lacking Quality, Quantity, or Purpose: This is one of the most common problems. When you first got your website up and running, you had plenty of great ideas for content. After two months, you were tapped out of ideas. Or maybe you fell on the opposite end of the spectrum: you had loads of ideas for content on your site, but you didn't really have a plan related to how you'd turn those casual site visitors into return visitors (and eventually customers!)
Effective content creation requires both quality and quantity. Your blog posts should entertain and educate. Your white papers should be insightful. And every piece of content should have a defined purpose with a clear call-to-action so that your readers know what to do next on your site. Regularly published quality content is the way to win new visitors who you can turn into marketing qualified leads, and eventually new customers.
4. Sleeping on Social Media: You started a Facebook account for your business, but you treated it like your own personal Facebook, full of inside jokes and memorable quotes. You started a Twitter, but you seldom sent out any Tweets. Your Instagram had a few low-quality photos that didn't do a good job of selling what you have to offer. Every corner of social media should serve as a way to showcase a unique aspect of your business, and it needs to be used appropriately.
5. Avoiding Analytics: You have an analytics platform and you used it from time to time, but you didn't make good use of the information. Rather than orient your SEO around the keywords that brought people to your site, you continued down the same path you were on. Analytics offer every business the opportunity to make adjustments. They offer a second chance at finding customers. Always take time to study the analytics and use them to your advantage.
We work every day to implement these inbound strategies and we KNOW that they work. But it's important to remember that inbound marketing isn't something that will handle itself (even if that is what the name implies.) It's an approach to communication with your customers that only works if you take the time to truly understand your buyers and offer them high-quality content that appeals to their needs and wants.