You’ve probably heard that inbound marketing is one of the most powerful ways to increase your brand’s visibility. But are you throwing that power away?
Inbound marketing works exceptionally well if it’s done right. But these common inbound marketing mistakes can see all your work wasted.
When you send your content out into the world, you’ll be connecting with your existing audience as well as people who’ve never heard of your business before. That content could well be the first impression you make.
Do you want to make the best impression possible? Would you like readers to share your content, recommend your brand to others and trust your business? It all comes down to solid inbound marketing.
To find out how to make sure your inbound campaigns are working for you and not against you, keep reading. We’ll break down nine inbound marketing mistakes so you don’t have to make them.
1. Missing a Strategy
As tempting as it can be to chuck content out there and hope for the best, it doesn’t work. For your marketing efforts to hit your goals, it’s important to have a clear marketing strategy in place.
An inbound marketing strategy is a part of your overall business strategy and is far more than simply creating content and seeing what happens. Without a strategy, you won’t know what results to look out for. Your content will be chaotic and uncoordinated.
2. Thinking Short Term
You want more customers and, ideally, you want them now! But your business is a long-term effort and your marketing needs to reflect that.
When brands think short term, they end up chasing quick fixes. Short term marketing efforts lead to short term customers rather than long term buyer relationships.
Inbound marketing is a long term strategy that has a compound effect. Two months’ worth of content may not make much of a difference to your traffic but a year or two’s worth? Now you’ll see the powerful effects.
3. Ineffective Blogging
While you may know that your business needs a blog, you might be lost as to what should be on it. One of the biggest marketing mistakes businesses make on their blogs is content-based.
If you only post sporadic, internal news, your blog will drown. As blogs are an important part of inbound marketing, they need to shine. Great blogs will be a valuable resource of relevant information, education, and inspiration for your readers.
Blogging should be done regularly using the schedule mapped out in an editorial calendar. Give readers frequent, consistently interesting content and your business will be rewarded with increased traffic, visibility and trust.
4. Creating Boring Content
Now you know that your blog shouldn’t be filled with announcements about Jill from HR’s new dog or why everyone should buy your main service right now, what should it be filled with?
One of the key mistakes businesses make in their blogs is believing any blog post will do. But your audience won’t keep reading your blog if it’s unhelpful to them. If no one’s reading your blog, no one is sharing it and Google isn’t ranking it. In short, it’ll be a waste of time.
It can be difficult to create regular, high-quality SEO content but it’s worth the effort. Boring content will actively work against you so if you need content that reflects the standards of your brand, it might be best to outsource your blogging needs to professionals.
5. Using Content as a Direct Sales Tool
There’s a line so fine between copywriting and content writing that many people use the terms interchangeably. It’s understandable that many businesses see their blogs as opportunities to sing about their own products, but this is a marketing mistake that will cost you.
Inbound marketing content, be it blogs, podcasts or videos, should always be giving something to the audience. This might be education, inspiration or even entertainment.
When you use your content to sell directly to customers, it’s not content, it’s advertising.
6. Spreading Yourself Thinly on Social Media
You might see major brands having a strong presence on every social media channel out there but that doesn’t mean signing up to each one is a good idea. Unless you have the time to dedicate to running social media channels, it’s best to pick a select few.
Neglected social media channels do your brand more harm than an absence from a particular platform. What would a prospective customer think if they visited your business’ Twitter account only to discover the last time you posted was a two years ago?
They might think you’ve gone out of business.
Start small with social media and learn to create a big impact in the space you have with a strong social media campaign.
7. Not Focusing on Your Customer
The best inbound marketing content is that which feels like it speaks directly to the reader. The only way to achieve this is by knowing who you’re targeting and what they want to see.
Every part of your marketing strategy should be geared around the buyer persona that your business helps. When you take the time to find out who your ideal customers are and what they need, you should create your content around them and their pain points.
8. Not Having Clear Goals
Do you want more brand visibility? More converting traffic to your website? More email subscribers? Inbound marketing methods are efficient when they have a clear purpose.
A clear purpose allows you to create targeted content that drives the audience to a particular action. That could be downloading your eBook or calling your team for a quote. Without a clear goal, you won’t be able to tell your audience what to do next and they’ll be off surfing Facebook before you can stop them.
9. Not Analysing Results
Inbound marketing is a long term strategy and many business owners may feel frustrated when they don’t measure the results. Combined with a clear goal, you’ll need to monitor the results of your inbound marketing efforts for the duration.
Your specific goals will help you define the KPI metrics you need to measure. If you’re looking for more email subscribers, for instance, you’ll be able to measure how many people subscribed after viewing certain landing pages.
Avoid These Inbound Marketing Mistakes and See Your Brand Flourish
By creating an inbound marketing strategy, setting goals and understanding your audience, you’ll be avoiding some of the biggest marketing mistakes.
By using purpose-driven and useful content, your inbound marketing will do its job. It’ll help you build greater brand visibility, increase website traffic and boost sales. When you take a long term view, you’ll see your marketing results increase over time.
If you need help creating inbound marketing content, maximising its reach and streamlining your processes, get in touch with us. We do the hard work for you so you can focus on providing your specialist services to the people who need them.
Working as a Digital Marketing Consultant since 2004, Lee helps SMEs win more business through developing effective digital marketing strategies. He is a dedicated Liverpool FC fan, dog lover and loves long country walks (and a cheeky pint) with his dog, Banjo. Do you publish content yourself, or need content for your own website? If you’d like to collaborate on anything at all, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.