Keeping your business moving forward year after year can be a challenge. We know constantly brainstorming new ideas and marketing strategies to drive more revenue and gain new customers is not an easy task.
If you’re reading this, you are likely considering using an inbound marketing strategy to help take your business to the next level. If your business has a website and some kind of social media presence, then it should be simple to implement a successful inbound marketing strategy, right? Write a few blogs, create a few social posts, that’s pretty easy. Yes and no. Inbound marketing is effective, but it’s not quite that simple. Like any strategy, it has strengths and weaknesses that are important to be aware of when creating an inbound campaign.
We’ve broken down four frustrating problems companies face with inbound marketing and how you can be prepared to overcome them.
Problem: Diving In Without a Plan
Your manager has heard about inbound marketing but doesn’t know too much about it. They know it’s a marketing strategy that is supposed to help generate new leads and increase revenue through blogging and social media and they love this idea! They send you a list of blog posts to write and post on social media. After a few months, the traffic and leads to the website hasn’t changed much and they’re thinking about giving up. So, what is the problem?
Many businesses love the idea of implementing an inbound marketing strategy, but fail to take the time to research and fully understand what a successful campaign requires.
Solution: Create a Game Plan
It is important that you create a proper plan of action with your business goals in mind. We’ve come up with 7 steps to creating an effective inbound marketing strategy:
- Identify your Target Audience
The most vital part of creating an inbound marketing strategy is identifying who you want your target audience to be. While doing this, it is important that you avoid generalizations and remain as specific as possible.
- Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Just like identifying your audience requires you to avoid generalization, it is also vital to set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely (S.M.A.R.T.) goals while creating your inbound strategy.
- Create Great Content
Providing the content your audience wants, helps to increase your credibility and generate new leads. If you focus your content on the topics that will interest your target audience, your content will be naturally optimized.
- Develop an On-Site Content Marketing Strategy
Your website is critical in helping to form a foundation for your Inbound Strategy. The end goal for everything you produce should be to drive the traffic back to your website.
- Be Social
As you identify your target audience, you should also determine which social media channel your audience is most likely to use. It is important to only focus on two or three platforms.
- Create an Email Marketing Campaign
Because conversion rates are generally higher with email marketing, creating an email list with your target audience should be a top priority.
- Recruit an Inbound Expert
Recruiting an expert who specializes in these skill-sets can help to alleviate your workload as well as help to guide your business in the right direction.
Focus on creating a solid strategy before implementing an inbound marketing campaign and it will be more successful rather than uploading a blog post here or there.
Problem: Expecting Results Overnight
Your company has taken the time to carefully implement the perfect inbound marketing strategy. Everyone has their assigned tasks and you have done everything right, but it’s been a few weeks or months and you still haven’t seen any results. Many businesses expect instant results with inbound marketing, but as much as we would like it, results from your campaigns are not going to show up overnight.
In the world of inbound marketing, your content may be competing with much bigger brands depending on the competitive landscape. Expecting immediate results is simply unrealistic.
Solution: Set Realistic Expectations
When implementing an inbound campaign, it is important to take into account that your results won’t be immediate. There is no “easy button” when it comes to implementing any marketing strategy.
It is important to remember that an inbound marketing strategy creates a system for improving the performance of your marketing over time. It is critical that before you get discouraged with your inbound efforts, you set realistic expectations based on how your current marketing strategy is performing. Here is an example of how to do that:
- Take a look at your current website traffic. How many monthly and yearly visitors are coming to your site? How many did you have this month last year? This number is to help understand the starting point. If you have 300 organic visitors a month, it’s unrealistic to think it will double a week after starting the inbound marketing method. On the other hand, it might double or triple over a one-year period. Remember that inbound marketing starts slow and then picks up speed.
Problem: Your Website Does Not Support Your Inbound Campaign
Your company has implemented an inbound marketing strategy that is designed to direct traffic back to your website. You have been actively engaging on social media, writing well thought blog posts including calls-to-action, but you haven’t seen any results. It’s also critical that your website includes enough information and is easy for the user to navigate in order to push them down the marketing funnel and through the buyers journey.
How can you be sure your website will convert your visitors?
Solution: Acknowledge That Your Website is Key
Your website is key in having a successful digital marketing strategy. Your website is the first place that potential customers will go to learn more information about who you are, what you do, and how you can provide a solution to the problem they are looking to solve.
Before you begin to implement your well crafted inbound strategy, evaluate your website to make sure it compliments who you are as a company. Here are some questions you can go through to make sure your website is inbound ready:
- Does the message on your website match up with the content you are posting on social media and in your blogs?
- Does your website provide all of the information your buyer would need to make an informed decision?
- Does your website have content that is directed towards your target audience’s wants and needs?
- Does your website clearly offer a solution to your target audience’s problem?
Sometimes it is hard to remain unbiased while going through your own site, so it may be beneficial to receive a second opinion from an web design company or inbound expert.
Problem: My Inbound Strategy is Time-Consuming
You have been putting together an inbound strategy for your company, but have realized that it is consuming a lot of your time. Your manager wants to know why you are spending so much time on inbound marketing, and begins to wonder if it is really worth it. Is there a way to reduce the time you are spending on your campaign?
Solution : You Get out of It What You Put In
As we mentioned above and in our previous blog posts, there are a lot of moving parts that go into managing and implementing an inbound marketing campaign. Fortunately, when you invest the time and effort into implementing your inbound strategy, you are guaranteed to see results (not overnight of course).
An effective inbound marketing campaign is going to take time to craft and implement, but it is proven that it works. It is important that you recognize this while creating your game plan so everyone is on the same page.
On average, your typical blog post can take anywhere from two to four hours to create and publish, while building out a quarterly content strategy can take upwards of 20 hours or more. It is important to identify who will be responsible for each task, and allocate the time needed for them to execute those tasks.
If you want to see results, be willing to put in the work that comes along with it. A successful inbound marketing campaign takes a lot of effort, but is worth every bit. Build your team and dedicate the time to effectively execute your inbound marketing strategy.
We hope these solutions helped answer some of the problems you may be facing with implementing an inbound marketing strategy. For more insight, schedule a free marketing consultation with our team.