Inbound marketing drives growth, but why is my inbound marketing failing?
“Inbound marketing is a waste of money and we should give up. We continue to invest money into a tactic that just does not work. We need to continue to push our sales team to drive the results we are looking for. Inbound marketing is just another fad that does not work.”
We understand how it feels to work hard on something, only to see the results flat line, leaving little to no motivation to keep moving forward. The inbound marketing journey is not something that you should give up on. In fact, 67% of surveyed B2B companies said Inbound Marketing was a top three or very high priority in their marketing strategy.
In order to attract customers to your website, inbound marketing needs to be part of your overall marketing mix to drive the best results and given the time to start working. So, let’s look at 10 potential problems with your inbound marketing.
Your Brand Message Is Failing
When was the last time you looked at your brand message? Is your message really connecting with your audience or are you just pushing your product or service?
The reality is that most companies waste an enormous amount of money on marketing only to see a marginal return on investment. These companies start immediately blaming the marketing tactics being used, inbound marketing.
This is really unfair because the problem is typically not the product, service, or tactic being used. The problem is the brand message being presented to the customer. Your inbound marketing strategy should start with the right brand message. This will increase the likelihood that you are successful in your inbound marketing efforts.
Your Website Is Failing
5 years ago, your company hired a very talented graphic designer to make your website and 5 years later you are still looking for the return on your investment.
Your inbound marketing is only as good as your website. Unfortunately for most businesses, the website developer or graphic designer miss critical elements needed to increase inbound marketing effectiveness. Here are just a few examples that you need to ensure are on your website.
- Contact information so that your customers can get in touch with you.
- About us section that explains your core values.
- The appropriate content like a whitepaper, testimonials, or case studies.
- Easy to understand language. Leave out the industry jargon.
- A call to action that drives conversion of your customers.
Make sure that your website is nailed down before you give up on inbound marketing. A couple tweaks on your website could improve your inbound marketing efforts 10-fold.
Your Content Is Not Connecting with Your Audience
What is the goal of blogging for business? Is it to create Ph.D. level articles that are going to show how smart you are? Is it to generate as much content as possible? We all struggle with this. We are creating content on a regular basis, but the results continue to flat line.
This probably means that you are creating content just to create content. The true goal of your blog and content marketing is to add value to the end customer. Start using your content to connect with your customers by answering their questions, entertaining them, or making them think about alternative ways to improve their business or lives. The content is about the reader, not you.
Your Sales Team and Marketing Team are On Different Planets
Alignment in companies is sometimes a bigger problem than just inbound marketing. Your sales team is being tasked with certain goals and your marketing team is being tasked with completely different goals. Sales and marketing are not on the same page.
Alignment between your sales team and marketing team is important to the success of your inbound marketing campaigns. Communication is vital between the two groups. A common customer message between that works for both sales and marketing will build the alignment needed to succeed.
Your Team Is Not Tracking Results
During a recent consulting session with a client, they stated that inbound marketing was not working for their company and inbound marketing does not work.
I asked them, “based on what?”
The answer was shocking. “Nothing, well all the sales come from the sales department.”
The problem here was the client did not know that 57% of the leads closed by sales came from inbound marketing efforts.
The point here is that most inbound marketing campaigns fail because nobody looked at the marketing data. Nobody took the 5 minutes to pull a report on lead source. The better you get to know your data, the better you are going to become at inbound marketing. Many times, the problem with inbound marketing is not the inbound marketing, but the analytics behind it.
Your Team Started Without a Plan
Okay, I am a bit torn here because I am completely guilty. I love to just start, get going, and start working. The problem is that if we would take a step back and create an inbound marketing plan, we would get better results.
This applies to inbound marketing as well. We need to create a plan of attack to get the results we are looking for. If you just start blogging because someone told you that is was a good idea, you are going to create a bunch of garbage nobody reads.
I also believe that many companies hide behind “strategy”, “planning”, or “ideation” to avoid getting down and dirty. Never use planning as a reason not to do work, use planning to increase the effectiveness of your inbound marketing execution.
Your Team Is Focused on Only One Portion of The Inbound Marketing Methodology
The inbound marketing methodology is about attracting visitors, nurturing leads, converting leads to customers, and delighting our customer base. However, many companies only focus one of these inbound marketing areas.
“We need to increase the amount of traffic to our website. Now”
The team goes off and start to work on search engine optimization basics and forgets about the conversion process. The company is getting more eyeballs on the website, but the amount of leads has actually decreased. Inbound marketing is a holistic marketing environment that needs to look at from the beginning of the buyer’s journey to the end of the buyer’s journey.
I get it, we all have our strengths and weaknesses and we want to focus on the things we do best. This is why inbound marketing takes a team, not just an individual.
Your Marketing Team Is Not Giving Enough Time
Every business has critical items that need attention, yesterday. The reality is that inbound marketing takes a great deal of time. Writing killer content, graphics, and lead nurturing campaigns takes time.
Inbound marketing must be seen internally as a high priority. If the business sees inbound as an afterthought, then the results are going to be seen as an afterthought. Give your marketing team the time to get the job done. It can be painful getting away from the status quo, but it will be time well spent.
Your Company Gave Up Too Fast
Inbound marketing takes 6 months to start seeing results. This can be even longer depending on the industry your company plays in. Before you blame inbound marketing for not working, make sure that you gave your team the appropriate amount of time to make this thing work.
Remember, when inbound marketing is executed correctly the results are like compound interest. The longer you stick with it, the better the return on investment.
Your Inbound Marketing Expectations Are Unrealistic
If you are expecting inbound marketing to solve all your business needs, you are probably setting yourself up for failure. Your business needs other ways to improve, inbound marketing is just one of them.
Before you start your inbound marketing journey, ensure your marketing expectation is in line with what your team can actually produce, create, and generate. Remember, if you have the jack-of-all-trades marketer that is also running tradeshows and events, your inbound marketing is not going to pack the punch you want.
Your Marketing Processes or Marketing Operations Are Not Defined
Marketing operation is an approach to marketing that focused on the process of generating demand. Marketing operations is a systematic approach to marketing strategy, to implementation, to analyzing campaign outcomes. The problem with many small to medium businesses is they do not invest the time to develop the marketing process and procedures to scale and optimize the inbound marketing process. If your marketing operations are not working, you are setting your inbound marketing up for failure.
“We have seen a 68% increase in traffic to our website and are generating 43% more qualified leads. Revenue is up, and inbound marketing is responsible for the results. It is a good thing we did not give up too quickly.”
Inbound marketing drives growth. Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost. Inbound marketing does work if given the time and you place a solid strategy in place to make it succeed. The problems with inbound marketing can be traced back to many factors, just make sure that you are giving it 100% of your efforts to get the results you are looking for.
Is your inbound marketing failing to make the impact your business was expecting? Let’s chat and see how we can get your inbound marketing back on track with a free inbound marketing assessment.