If you’ve already adopted an inbound marketing strategy for your business, you’re probably aware of some of the potential benefits.
- Content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing and brings in three times as many leads
- Inbound marketing costs 61% less in cost per lead compared to traditional marketing
- Companies that publish 16 or more blogs per month get almost 3.5 times as much traffic compared to companies publishing 4 blog posts or less per month
But what if you are already blogging frequently, creating e-books and landing pages, and using search engine optimization (SEO) best practices for your content, but aren’t getting results? Here are five common reasons why your inbound marketing efforts might not be working.
Reason 1: No Clear Strategy
To protect your marketing time and resources, your business needs to create an inbound marketing strategy. This strategy should be directly tied to buyer personas – that should be the first step to determine who you want to target with inbound marketing. Buyer personas will influence the type of content you create, and when you share it on the customer journey.
Then you should create an inbound marketing calendar, so you can see your overall efforts and how each one impacts the other. A calendar, for example, will show you that you’ll publish this blog post on this day, increase its reach with some paid advertising, then share a link to it in an email campaign later that week.
A clear strategy keeps everyone working on inbound marketing efforts aligned and focused. Other departments, like sales, should also be looped in so they can offer feedback and ideas and know what to expect.
Reason 2: Poor User Experience
Inbound marketing efforts are worthless when the experience surrounding the content is poor. For example, if you have a blog but it’s not optimized for mobile devices, you’re going to lose the attention of a massive audience on smartphones.
Other examples of poor user experiences that can damage your inbound marketing efforts include:
- Slow website
- Outdated website design
- Error-filled content
If you’re fortunate to get a click on a search result featuring your brand or on a social media share, the content that users land on has got to be high-quality. Otherwise, users will bounce and not engage.
Create a better inbound marketing experiencing by thinking like a publisher. Your website should load quickly, be easy to navigate on all devices, and feature thought-provoking, valuable content. Otherwise, your efforts and financial investment may be worth nothing.
Reason 3: Lack of Sharing
“If you build it, they will come” does not necessarily apply to blogs, emails and e-books. You have to make sure that every stellar piece of content you create gets in front of as many qualified leads as possible. Some tips:
- Create social media channels so you can share content on them. Build followings by targeting relevant users with paid ads. Boost pieces of content that have performed well and that bring you qualified leads.
- Build and maintain a valuable email list. Never purchase lists or sign up users without their permission – you could be penalized in your email marketing efforts. Get users who are interested in your content by offering free content (like whitepapers or e-books) in exchange for signing up for an email list. Ask users for permission for how frequently they’d like to receive emails from you. Create targeted emails that contain relevant content.
- Use paid advertising to increase awareness and build momentum. If you need to create a following or want to increase visitors to your site, paid ads can help.
When you’re creating your strategy, in addition to mapping out the pieces of content you’ll create, you should also document promotion plans for that content. Be sure to keep sharing evergreen content periodically so it can reach new users.
Reason 4: Missing Conversion Optimization
Your inbound marketing return on investment depends on conversions. Yet, if your content is missing any of the following conversion optimization opportunities, you might not be seeing a return:
- Call to action
- Links to more relevant content
- Sign-up box for email newsletter
- Contact information for your business
You don’t want to overload users with calls to action or push a hard sell with your content, unless it is hyper-relevant. When you optimize your content for conversions, think about what you can offer that makes the content more helpful. This could be a link to another article to learn more about the topic discussed, or a free offer for a solution to a problem the content discusses.
You can test different calls to action on the same piece of content to see which brings more conversions. Then, apply those strategies in other content. The goal is to keep the lead engaged with your brand. As they consume more content from your business, trust and authority increases, which can lead to a sale.
Reason 5: No Measurement in Place
Like anything you do in business, if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. Inbound marketing becomes much more powerful with analytics in place to track your efforts. Inbound marketing analytics provide data like:
- Email open rates
- Clicks on links in content
- Top blog posts
- Blog posts where users spend most of their time (which ones users are reading from start to finish)
- Social networks that are bringing you the most traffic
- And so much more!
You can use a free tool like Google Analytics, or opt for paid inbound marketing software from a provider like HubSpot. Track inbound marketing campaigns for views, engagement and, of course, conversions. Armed with data, you can evolve your strategy and start to see some real results.
Feel stuck with inbound marketing? Let us give you a free consultation so you know where to get started.