Inbound marketing is the future. It's the only way for businesses to capture the attention of their buyers in an overly commercialized world. No one said it's easy, but we think it works. Moreover, we are convinced that it works every single time.
So, if you are struggling to make your inbound marketing work ... and it just does not want to listen to you, maybe you're experiencing one of these 7 problems.
1. Your website is not doing the job
To be honest, everything starts with a website. It is your online office, so any action you do online must be connected to your website. This is where most of your conversions should take place. If you have a bad website, you will most likely have bad marketing ROI too.
Website design, conversion optimization and even content play a big role in Search Engine Optimization and, therefore, organic traffic. In fact, on-site optimization is much more important than what you engage in outside of your domain. So, check your web design. Is it easy-to-use, user- and mobile-friendly? Does it provide a positive experience? Then move on to your content.
Check your landing pages, make sure they are searchable and are connected to your blog articles. Update your blog regularly, share your links on social media, send them to relevant lists via email, and make sure your website does not stay isolated from the online community. If your website doesn't pave the way to those almighty landing pages, we need to start the conversation from there.
Are you really really sure your website works just fine? Well, then maybe it's the next point.
2. Level up your content
According to 72% of marketers, branded content is more effective than magazine ads, and they think that for a reason. Publishing overly promotional content will trigger our ad blocking instinct (yes, we just developed that!), because we automatically think it's an ad.
Whenever you're about to hit the Publish button for a new article or a web page, ask yourself a question; "How does this content help our readers?" If the answer is nothing, do not publish it. There must be some value your reader receives for devoting their time to you. It could be learning a new tip, trend, strategy, opinion ... anything new and helpful. Say a firm goodbye to fluff, black hat SEO content, or ads that should have been placed in a magazine, not on your blog.
Send out a survey if you need to. Ask your past and present customers, leads and prospects about what they like to read, what information they need and how do they find it. In other words, refresh your buyer personas and follow them unconditionally.
3. Your marketing is disconnected
Marketing is a team effort. It is dependent on every single channel you're using and their collective result is what matters. Before we committed to our Great HubSpot Experiment, we used to divide our digital marketing strategy into pieces, but it wouldn't work as well as we wished it would. Doing only social media or email marketing won't bring you results—you need to go all-in or all-out.
Likewise, if the person responsible for your social media has never met your SEO expert, they might not be working on the same strategy. Everyone is doing their own thing, bringing different results, that simply don't add up to convert visitors into leads.
Think of your marketing as a puzzle; as long as you're missing a piece, your image is not clearly visible. And instead of assigning different people to collect different parts of the same image, make it a team effort, so everyone is informed about the work of their fellows.
4. Wrong messages for wrong people
Marketing without purpose is the same as no marketing at all. The goal you're chasing should be translated into a series of messages you send out daily. What is it that you want your buyers to know? What sets you apart and why should they call you? All these selling points are expressed in messages, hidden in your content, web design and even the voice of the person that answers the phone at your company.
Google processes 3.5 billion searches per day! But not all those 3.5 billion searches are relevant to your company, so why spend resources on those unnecessary searches?
Instead, aim at winning the Zero Moment of Truth, which is the exact moment when a person goes online to research their problem and get answers. And that happens very often. How many times have you searched your symptoms when you felt sick? If you take sick days too often, I bet WebMD is in your bookmarks, too!
And that's what I'd like you to realize.
We search for everything and anything we need. When we click that Search button, we might not even know that we have a problem, we might not be aware of the possible solutions, or we might be searching for a specific solution we know we want. These are the different stages of the buyer's journey, but for winning the Zero Moment of Truth and the trust of your buyers, you need to be there with your message every time they hit Search.
If your message does not address their issue, your SEO or content strategy might be a little off.
5. You don’t talk to your marketing team
Do you send and receive updates from your marketing team? Communication is important. Your marketing team might have great resources and ideas, but they might not be THE ideas that your business needs. Stay in tune with your marketing strategy, provide feedback, share your business data with them, and participate with ideas whenever you can.
If you do this simple step, the activities that your team carries out will be more connected to your business than if they made up business objectives of their own.
6. You’re saving too much
Saving is good, but not on the things that your business needs to succeed. Saving on content when you’ve already committed yourself to inbound marketing is bad … very very bad.
Instead of saving up on every piece of content and service, measure your maximum budget and set SMART goals based on it. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. They provide reasonable expectations based on your budget, so you don't have to think about saving up on everything.
Once the campaign is over, go ahead and analyze your ROI. If you're not satisfied, change your budget or goals.
7. It IS working, you just don’t know it
All these digital methods of promoting your company might seem complicated. But they can be measured at any given time. According to the State of Inbound 2015 report released by Hubspot, most successful marketers check their analytics 3+ times per week.
Do you regularly follow the analytics and calculate your ROI? If not, how can you know if your marketing is not working? Data can be scary when your campaign is failing, but it is always useful. Even when you’re failing, data is the only way to figure out the solution and turn the tables around.
Customers will not enter your office and cite the exact LinkedIn post that brought them to you, but you need to find ways to know it. So, make sure to check your data for the final confirmation, and if your numbers still don't look like a sunny summer afternoon, let's talk some more.
Here's a place you can start. Download our free eBook on 25 Website Must-Haves that will drive traffic, leads and customers. Have a great read!