You’ve read all the blogs, articles and guides on inbound marketing. They have all told you about how your business will grow, and leads will be increased through this innovative strategy of inbound marketing tactics. So why wouldn’t you give it a go? You switch up your old strategy and start on a new path of becoming an inbound marketing guru.
But wait, it isn’t working. You aren’t seeing any good leads, no increase in sales, no new customers. This was supposed to be the game changing plan that transformed your business, but nothing is different. In fact, things seem worse. How is this possible?
In a world where you can basically have anything you want with a click of a button, we seem to have lost the concept of patience. Inbound marketing tactics are not instantaneous. They take time and effort before you see a clear visible result. It takes a while for search engines to index and rank pages, it takes time to grow a social following, and it takes time to write and attract people to a blog.
Try not to stress out if the results aren’t immediately what you wanted or expected. Move your focus to your analytics. Look at the areas that aren’t preforming, try to figure out what has changed and what could be causing it. If you consistently don’t see any change for months and months on end, then something else is up.
So, lets go back to analytics. You need to dive down deep into your website and look to see if there are any issues. Let’s be honest, everything starts with a website. It is your online presence, 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 return on investment (ROI) too.
Website design, conversion optimization and even content play a big role in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 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.
Your message may be great, you may be offering a revolutionary product or service, but if you’re telling the wrong people about it, then it’s going to fall on deaf ears. You need to create a persona for your target audience. Where will they be? What interests them? And most importantly, why should they buy from you? Some marketers still believe that the loud you shout the more you’re heard, meaning they scramble to run more of the same broad-reach campaigns, and then wonder why they don’t produce better results.
You need to switch from tactics that reach a very general audience and focus on highly targeted markets that break through the clutter and noise. This means delivering high-quality content to the right people in an engaging way – and doing so across multiple channels including direct mail, email, and phone.
Unfortunately, a successful inbound marketing strategy isn’t just something you can make up as you go along. You may have an overall strategy, but you have to plan every step. You can’t just hope for the best and see what happens. If you are posting random thoughts on social media, blogging about your favourite travel locations, targeting unrelated keywords, and sending out emails about the new office mascot, then you are setting yourself up to fail. Yes, you are following the basic principles of inbound marketing (in a way), but there is no development or goal in place. You need clear benchmarks and milestones so that you can measure progress, see what’s working and what’s not.
Use SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely) objectives for your inbound marketing. It will help you when planning because it gives you something to focus on.
Inbound marketing requires effort, a significant effort in building a multi-channel digital marketing programme of content and promotion. Effort takes time, and as the old saying goes, time is money. Now we realise that you may be trying to save money, and saving money is good for business, but in terms of content marketing, it’s counterproductive. Instead of saving 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. This will let you make 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.
Inbound marketing isn’t the magic bean that is going to automatically solve all your business problems, but if it’s done right, it will certainly help. You need to be patient and meticulous in your approach to inbound marketing. It will take time, money and effort to be successful. Don’t panic though if you are struggling to find the time to do all this, we at HMC Global have a dedicated inbound marketing service that will take the stress of this away from you, allowing you to concern yourself with other aspects of your business. If you want to find out more email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.