‘Inbound Marketing’ is a term that gets thrown around a lot these days, but what does it really mean? Inbound Marketing is a method of bringing visitors into your brand, using high quality content to encourage them to engage with your website. Instead of going out and pestering leads with spam, commercials, cold-calls, and flyers, inbound marketing speaks to people who are actually looking for information and might be interested in your services. It also makes the sales process easier on customers, allowing them to educate themselves without having to go down rabbit holes or engage with sales associates before they’re ready.
Effective inbound marketing strategies can build trust and credibility. However, there are a few common mistakes that can stand in the way of growth.
1. Working without a Strategy
Sure, it sounds silly, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to fall into a pattern of scattered updates and random efforts. Before you do anything else, you need to sit down and develop a plan for who you want to reach and how you want to reach them. Create a list of clear objectives, then sketch out how you hope to achieve them. Plan to schedule regular blog posts. Figure out who your customers are and what they’re looking for. Once you have a plan, it will be much easier to achieve your intended results.
2. Not Tracking Your Stats
There are many tools out there that can help you determine the success of your inbound marketing campaign. Make sure you’re keeping tracking of your numbers! It’s important to understand what is working and what isn’t so that you can make adjustments to your strategy. Yes, this seems obvious enough, but you would be surprised how many businesses don’t take advantage of the information provided by their analytics platforms.
3. Keeping Your Focus Narrow
There are a lot of aspects to a successful marketing campaign and focusing on only one thing can hurt you in the end. Maybe you’ve got an amazing blog on your website, but no social media presence. Social media is a great way to engage with others in your industry, as well as customers looking for your services. When used successfully, it should lead people to your amazing blog and website. Don’t neglect newsletters or promotions because you have a great twitter account. Customers are everywhere and they engage with the internet in a myriad of ways. Make sure that you’re speaking to them in the way they prefer.
4. Being Too Hungry for Quick Results
It’s understandable to want quick results from your efforts, but the internet doesn’t always work like that. Sometimes it can take a while to see measurable results from your strategies. Building inbound marketing campaigns also takes time. Continue to implement changes. Keep building high-quality content. Interact with your community. Demonstrate consistency. Trust isn’t something that comes immediately and building a reputation for excellence takes time. Short-cuts and schemes will only hurt you in the long run, so keep at it and don’t grow discouraged when your sales don’t double overnight.
5. Unclear CTAs
CTAs, or call-to-actions, are how you change a visitor into a customer. Have you seen a big button that says “Click Here to Learn More” or “Sign Up Now”? That’s a CTA. It creates a clear path for your visitors to follow in order to further their relationship with your business.
Unfortunately, many sites offer relevant content, but with no clear funnel to learn more. If customers have to search for next steps, there’s a good chance you’ll lose them. Make your CTAs clear, convenient and convincing!
6. Writing for Google and Not Your Customers
We all know that search engine rankings matter. But, you don’t have to write like a computer to play nice with Google. Google is a lot smarter than many people think and filling your pages with badly structured chunks of keywords isn’t going to do you any favors. Yes, it’s important to keep your content relevant to terms that people might be searching for, but it’s also important to make sure that it reads like it was written by a human being. Otherwise, you’re going to start losing your customers’ trust.
Provide information that people actually need. If someone searches “Best Car Waxing Methods” and lands on your website, give them a few tips. If they just see a block of text filled with keywords, they aren’t going to stick around for long. Use that visit as an opportunity to convert a new customer.
7. Forgetting About Your Local Visitors
It’s important not to lose sight of your local customers, as well as the significance your business’s city brings to its identity. Adjust your strategy to address nearby regions and use language that local customers will recognize and enjoy. What familiar sites or geography are recognizable to people from your area? Utilize those resources! Don’t get lost amongst competitors who are targeting keywords for your area.
Keep your content interesting, useful and consistent. At its core, a successful inbound marketing strategy is one that engages your customers, keeps them interested and builds trust.