At its most basic, business is about finding needs and meeting them. This is the central tenet of inbound marketing, an approach that works to understand customer needs and then meet them.
If done properly, inbound marketing can be a revenue goldmine. But if not done well, it can be both a missed opportunity and a resource drain.
To put your inbound marketing efforts in the groove, you should avoid these five pitfalls.
1) Outdated Buyer Personas
Buyer personas get obsolete. One mistake is not updating these personas regularly. Although the process of updating buyer personas is arduous (as it involves digging deep into your customer’s buying patterns and tracking their conversations), the work yields good results and lot of traction for your brand.
Client personas can be broadly classified into three categories:
- Primary personas: Key players and decision makers who are the primary stakeholders in your sale.
- Secondary personas: People who are not directly involved in the buying process but are influential in the business.
- Negative personas: These are not the decision makers. For example, if you are selling recruitment software, the logistics head is a negative persona.
Once you are done with the process of creating personas, don’t feel complacent as your inbound marketing may need a timely overhaul. If not updated regularly they may not yield great results. They need to be reviewed on an annual basis or more frequently.
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2) Stale Website
Your website can’t be a static entity; it needs to be updated regularly.
Not only does your site need regular maintenance, but it also needs to be constantly assessed for clarity. Don’t make your site confusing and complicated. Have clear call to action buttons so that the visitor can easily navigate through it to fulfill the requirement.
With a clean layout, the conversions generally will be greater. And keep updating the changes and offerings of your business.
3) Content Not Aligned with the Buyer’s Journey
More traction on your website calls for more personalizations, and the message on every page should target a buyer’s persona and position in the customer journey.
The preferred tool to manage website content is a content map, a spreadsheet that lists every asset and material such as blogs, web pages, graphics, landing pages and CTAs.
When such mapping is done, you can ensure that your content marketing strategy aligns with the buyer journey.
4) Poor Nurturing Strategy
Inbound marketing is not a quick fix. It takes time. The devil lies in the content and the sheer detailing of the customer and the market. Lack this effort and you probably will find yourself with a poor nurturing strategy.
Also, keep in mind that people download things to improve their knowledge and information but not to buy something from you. This lengthens the conversion process.
Effective nurturing should fill in this gap to identify the problems of the customers and provide them more value from your product. This can happen through proper engagement. This eventually increases the sales value and accelerates your sales cycle.
5) Not Utilizing Data to Drive Decisions
We’re swimming in data, but most businesses don’t fully utilize the data at their disposal when it comes to decision-making. This is a mistake. Good data use helps your business better understand the customers and craft effective marketing campaigns.
When you are managing inbound marketing, oversee it by breaking it into weekly and monthly checks. These help in assessing scalable growth in the long run and update service-level agreements if you run a software or cloud services business.
Every week you have to watch emerging trends and see how the experiments are panning out. This approach puts you in a better position to capitalize on the true essence of inbound marketing.
Small iterations in the inbound strategy can help you move forward in getting more customers on board. You build significant advances over time and avoid the plateaus and pitfalls associated with other approaches.