Inbound marketing is the method of drawing customers to products and services with content marketing, social media marketing and search engine optimization. It is the opposite of outbound marketing, using cold calling, television advertising and techniques where you shout out to everyone with the hope of making sales. Sometimes the terms internet marketing, content marketing, and digital marketing are also used to describe the same related techniques for inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is not a magic or instant-results approach to marketing. It still takes effort and time for results to be achieved. You will not be ranking on the first page of Google SERP the day after you write a blog or make improvements to your websites SEO. Results take time, often you won’t see the increase in traffic for a few months after you implement inbound marketing strategies. Set realistic, long-term expectations for your inbound marketing strategy.
Not Knowing Your Customer
If you do not know and understand your customer it is unlikely you will hit the mark with your marketing efforts. You need to know what questions your customers have through the buyer’s journey and position your content to answer the questions and provide information to lead the buyer to the next step.
Not Setting Goals/Creating Content without a Purpose
Once again, inbound marketing isn’t magic. And you need to set goals and realistic plans to judge your efforts against. You can crank out content all day long, but you need to have set goals to effectively measure your results. Setting goals will allow you to tailor a custom content creation plan to have a clear purpose for your creation of content.
Social Media – One Size Fits All
Each social media platform has its own purpose, style and rules of engagement. Ignoring these differences and plastering the same message across all channels will not provide the results you are looking for.
Email Marketing – Blast Everyone All the Time
Your email marketing should be segmented and tailored to your contacts interests. It is a privilege to have a potential customers email address and should be treated accordingly. There are many ways to segment customers depending on your product and your offer. The surest way to have unsubscribes is to bother the people you are trying to attack.
Ignoring Your Analytics
In line with not creating goals, ignoring your analytics data is another sure way to fail at inbound marketing. If you aren’t keeping tabs on what’s working and what’s not then you don’t know how to shape and define future goals and plans. You need to have defined goals and tactics to measure and track those goals. From this point you can readjust your future goals based on your current results.
Having an Outdated or Un-Optimized Website
You can spend all your time focused on inbound marketing strategies – writing blogs, practicing good social media tactics, having the best SEO practices, etc. but if your website is not optimized for mobile devices you will lose major points not only with Google Rankings but with your customers too. Users are often too quick to write off a website that is not user friendly on their mobile devices- these sites just aren’t worth the extra navigational effort and annoyance. Plus, consider how this makes your brand appear – outdated and unprofessional.
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