In this article, I’ll address the common pitfalls every inbound marketer needs to be aware of and give you some tips on how to avoid them.
The solution for most companies is to work on their inbound marketing strategy. But achieving success with inbound marketing is not always easy and there are pitfalls to be aware of.
If your company wants to get started with inbound marketing, I have both good and bad news.
The bad news is that no matter what others say, not everyone succeeds with their inbound marketing strategy.
Inbound marketing is much more than investing in a marketing automation system like HubSpot, SharpSpring, or Marketo. It requires your entire organization to buy into the same strategy.
Companies that have not fully committed to this approach often end up in a situation where:
- the initiative stops
- strategy is perceived as inefficient
- results in wasting time and money
The good news is that you have a great chance of being successful if you make sure to avoid the pitfalls that many others fall into.
Common Pitfalls Of Inbound Marketing Strategies
1. Not Having The Buy-In From The Management Team
The reason why most companies fail with their inbound marketing is that there is usually a lack of commitment and insight from the entire company, including the management.
It is the inbound marketing manager or digital manager who is the most familiar with the website, newsletters, and content. This is often the person who drives inbound marketing forward and tries to improve and modernize their way of working.
But even if you start by updating your way of looking at digital marketing, you’ll realize after a while that you can not show real results without the help of the sales team.
What happens quite often is a discussion internally about when you can see the results and if it is really a good idea to spend time and money on something that you are not sure of whether it would generate sales.
This problem arises especially in situations where management does not really understand:
- what are inbound sales
- how much work is required
- what kind of results can be expected
- when the results can be seen
The misconception is often based on the assumption that the inbound method is about marketing. In reality, it is part of the sales process and hence an overall strategy that affects the company’s growth.
Therefore, it is important to have people in the management team who really understand what the inbound method is all about. This would be helpful in driving the strategy forward, answering any questions that may arise, or justifying the investments.
2. The Sales Team Is Not Involved
One of the most important people to involve in the inbound marketing efforts is the sales manager. The person needs to be involved in the creation of content.
If the sales manager is not convinced that the content should be used as part of your sales process, there is a great risk that your inbound investment will fail.
In this regard, opposition from the sales team is not uncommon. Many sales teams work well and have a good relationship with the key accounts. So why is this a problem? Where does the resistance come from?
It’s probably because there isn’t enough synergy with the marketing team. It also comes from the lack of information and education.
Therefore, kickoff meetings or workshops are one of the most important aspects of each inbound campaign.
The workshop helps to get your sales team to understand the goal of the inbound marketing plan. Your marketing team needs to recognize that they will be working closely with the sales team.
Those companies that start off with a kickoff meeting tend to be more successful when it comes to the performance of their digital marketing and sales efforts.
Consequences of Not Involving The Sales team
Those that don’t have an internal agreement often find themselves stuck in the same place after a while. The consequence is usually:
- frustrated managers
- management that does not understand what the marketing team is doing
- a negative trend in the growth trajectory
- lack of confidence internally
- reduction in the budget for the inbound campaign
With the facts in hand, it is therefore incredibly important to address a problem before it even arises. Therefore, you need to gather everyone who will be involved in the creation of content. This includes your sales team, marketing department, and subject matter experts. The goal is for everyone to understand the vision and how to achieve it together.
3. Not Knowing Who Is Responsible For The Content
Inbound marketing involves a lot of content creation. There is no way around this. It might be easier if you have already worked with content marketing before and have a lot of content already. But even then, you would have to make adjustments for social media, optimize articles and perform ongoing editorial work.
If no one takes ownership of the content creation at your company, you will have problems sooner or later.
The idea is not to have your team members sit and write content for days. They are the subject matter experts. You need their knowledge and expertise – not misuse their time. You should consider hiring a content manager.
There are some cases where the sales or the inbound marketing specialist assumes the role of the writer. Sometimes it can work, but it is not an efficient use of their time. It poses a problem when other tasks take priority resulting in delays, lower quality of content, and lower ROI from the inbound efforts.
At first glance, this may not sound like a big deal. The only problem is that you need content to make inbound marketing work.
Without getting your content to a certain level, you simply cannot have a functioning inbound process. So, it does not make sense to “test inbound marketing” without fully developing the content.
Other Inbound Solutions For Content Generation
If you have limited resources and want to create the content yourself, it is important that you have a clear plan in place.
Many agencies recommend outsourcing content production but do not acknowledge the issues related to the engagement or the costs associated with it.
At KISS Investments, we take a different approach. If you invest fully in the inbound process, you will discover that it is more economical and efficient to have someone who is internally responsible for content production. It is to your advantage if you get the reinforcement earlier during the process.
4. Not Measuring The ROI
After a year or so of doing inbound marketing, you can hear some companies saying the following:
The point here is that inbound marketers are often happy to show an increased number of visitors and leads. But they fail to measure what it generates in terms of opportunities and closing business deals.
Even if you start measuring visits and leads, you need to have a goal to increase the sales figures. You must be able to measure the results of your digital sales and marketing.
At the end of the first year, you want to be able to show how much you have invested in time and money. You also need to have certainty on how much sales it has generated.
Therefore, it is a good idea to start by helping the sales team close more deals and create greater demand for your products and services.
A Unique Approach To Being A Successful Inbound Marketer
The good news is that if you do it right and avoid these pitfalls, you will benefit a lot as an inbound marketer.
The inbound method doesn’t work for companies when:
- their strategy is not fully thought out
- they come across as salesy with their content.
- they are not focusing on the topics that the inbound customers really want answers to
- their website does not appear high enough in the search engines
Inbound marketers at companies that begin their inbound journey experience varied results. Some believe that they are able to generate inbound leads but realize that they still have a long way to go. They may have invested a lot in expensive and large systems but don’t have the processes to make them work.
The marketing and sales teams can achieve the results that their management expects without giving away control to outside agencies or vendors. It is also possible that you can manage the inbound processes completely on your own.
If you follow the tips mentioned in this article, you won’t have to spend months trying inbound and then realize that you need to start over.