Inbound marketing is one of those things that is rapidly growing in popularity. What wasn't even a blip on the radar 10 years ago has increasingly become the marketing methodology of choice for small and big businesses alike. It's easy to see why. HubSpot's 2012 Report on the State of Inbound Marketing found organizations using inbound marketing were able to acquire for 61% less than outbound leads.
Using Google Trends, it is clear just how much inbound marketing has grown over the past couple years. As it continues to grow, there are only more and more companies who are ready to jump onboard.
With that being said, we've been talking the inbound marketing talk for quite some time now, and in that time we've seen a number of mistakes that can be detrimental to the sucess of an inbound marketing plan. So with that, here are some of the most common blunders we see when companies try to take the leap into the world of inbound:
Starting without a strategy
Without a doubt, this is the mistake that we see most often. Everyone gets all excited about a new marketing plan and wants to jump into the fun things: creating email campaigns, designing eBooks, and getting blog posts on the site. Very rarely do companies want to take the time to work on the hard stuff that feels like it has no tangible results. But persona development, a content strategy, keyword research, and setting goals are just as important. In order to succeed with inbound (or any digital marketing efforts), it's important to have a solid foundation to build upon or it will be difficult to achieve results.
Trying to rush results
So you’ve flipped the inbound switch, so to speak, and the results aren’t pouring in on day one. It’s easy to feel that once you’ve invested a significant amount of time or money that you should see the leads coming in immediately, but unfortunately that’s typically not the case. First you must lay in the groundwork, which could be:
- Optimizing your website
- Creating premium pieces of content (eBooks, webinars, videos, etc)
- Actively blogging
- Search engine optimization
- Posting to social media
- Email marketing
Once each of these activities go into effect, you’ll find that you’ve built a well oiled machine that just needs some time to warm up. They need to gain traction. Time and time again we see companies work hard to put in the front-end work, only to become frustrated in the first month or two and give up on something that would’ve provided them great results down the road. If patience isn’t the name of your company’s game, then inbound marketing might not be the best fit.
Not trusting your agency
If you’ve hired in inbound agency, it’s important to trust their expertise. While input is always appreciated and expected, some of our best success stories are a direct result of letting go of the control and letting us do what we do best.
It’s likely the inbound marketing is something that’s completely new to your company. It’s also likely that it’s unlike any other marketing engagement your company has ever undertaken. It can be scary to let go of the wheel, but sometimes it has to be done for anything to get done. If you’re working with the right agency (or person), the results should be there and the experience should be a good one.