Inbound Marketing Donts
Here at Weidert Group, we spend a lot of time helping manufacturers and professional services organizations implement Inbound Marketing to attract more qualified leads into their sales funnels. However, there are a few big no-nos that can set you up for failure.
Top 10 Ways to Doom Your Inbound Marketing
- Jumping in without a plan – “If you build it they will come” is definitely not the philosophy to take with Inbound Marketing. Executing social media, blog posts and content offers without a clear strategy in place will not only generate fewer leads but the leads you get may likely be completely unqualified. Thinking about how your targets thinks and how (and why) they act, creating a clear content strategy and developing a complete editorial calendar should always be your first step.
- Setting unrealistic expectations – While it’s true B2B manufacturers and professional services organizations typically experience great results from Inbound Marketing, results vary based on the type of business, industry, targets and level of commitment dedicated. What you put in directly affects what you get out.
- Relying on an outdated website to be your hub – If prospects are attracted through blog posts, social media and email marketing but have a lackluster experience once they land at your site, all of the Inbound Marketing effort falls flat. Make sure your site is more than an online brochure. Provide reasons for visitors to interact, engage and, most importantly, return for more of your content. Do a thorough review of your site and make any updates to align with your Inbound Marketing strategy.
- Spreading resources too thin – Your team members already have full time jobs and Inbound Marketing requires effort. Instead of piling more on an already at-capacity team, review your needs and make sure you bring on the necessary manpower. There are typically two choices here: staff up internally to cover the six distinct competencies needed to effectively implement Inbound Marketing, or consider bringing in an outside Inbound Marketing Agency to provide the necessary support.
- Calling every visitor to your site (prospects) – I admit we made this mistake. Our website uses the HubSpot Inbound Marketing platform and CMS. It has this fantastic report that identifies the companies/IP addresses that visit our site. The first week we had the tool, we were all over this report and scoping out who from the company was looking at us. In one case, we identified the looker and made an outreach call – not a great idea. We learned quickly to let prospects identify themselves and be part of a nurturing campaign before reaching out. Hand-raisers make better prospects than wallflowers.
- Calling every lead (unqualified, lead scoring not in place) – Ah, yes, we made this mistake too. When the process first starts and the leads start rolling in, it’s natural to want to connect with every one of them. Unfortunately, not every hand-raiser is a qualified lead. Implement a lead scoring process to focus your attention on the truly valuable prospects.
- No nurturing campaigns (no follow-up communication with leads) – Just because a lead isn’t ready to buy or reach a minimum lead score now doesn’t mean they never will. Each time a visitor converts on a piece of content, they should automatically be placed into a progressive nurturing campaign designed to guide them down the sales funnel. Hot leads quickly cool without ongoing communication.
- Stale content (blogs, downloads, page content) – Believe it or not, content actually does go stale. Keeping your site continually refreshed with new offers, new blog topics and new information provides reasons for both prospects and search crawlers to revisit your site.
- Promoting but not engaging – “Social” is the heart of social media. Simply posting offers and links to content doesn’t engage with your prospects. Mix in a blend of offers and content with fun facts, questions, and posts that reflect your organization’s personality. Most importantly, if you receive a like, retweet or comment – respond!
- Not revisiting metrics and refining as necessary – Sometimes what companies think will be a killer piece of content misses the mark and a “dog” generates a tremendous amount of interest. Your prospects and leads will tell you, through their actions and engagement, what they want from you – make sure you listen!
We’ve gotten really good at Inbound Marketing, but it’s been a learning process. If you’re interested in finding out how to avoid the pitfalls many organizations fall into, give us a call or download our Step-by-Step Guide to Inbound Marketing.
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