Wondering why your inbound marketing sucks? Here are 6 reasons

Brian Halligan is the CEO and co-founder of HubSpot. He’s the one who coined the term “inbound marketing” in 2005. At the time – and for 5 years afterwards – nobody knew he had just found the next big thing…

But 12 years on, inbound marketing is at least 3x more effective than the traditional kind. It’s become a top priority for 67% of marketers – and the primary strategy for 81%.

In laymen’s terms, these numbers mean everyone and their mom is into inbound right now.

Unfortunately, they don’t tell the whole story. The truth is that a large minority of people get poor results, while others only do “okay”.

Case in point: in HubSpot’s 2016 report, only 39% of organisations rated their inbound marketing as “effective”

What can you do to avoid being in that number? How can you turn inbound marketing into the simple, reliable, productive tool it’s meant to be?

The first step in the right direction is fixing what you’re doing wrong. You may not know what that is right now, but trust me: after you finish reading this post, you will.

Let’s start with a mistake that is particularly common right now…

Mistake 1. Your content is carelessly mass-produced

Over 2 million blog posts are made each day. Some are low-quality or personal in nature – but many are high-quality inbound content. For example – the Washington Post, a respected publication, makes over 35,000 articles each month.

As a result, many organisations feel they also need to make lots of content. Of course, when a small or mid-sized business starts doing this, quality tends to slip. This is a problem, because the entire point of inbound marketing is to draw people in with the best content you can make, providing them with content that is packed with value.

To fix this problem, stop mass-producing your content. Feel free to batch first drafts of videos, podcast scripts and so on, but give a personal touch to everything you make. Once you do, leads will start to roll in – at which point it’s important to avoid mistake #2.

Mistake 2. You’re not nurturing

Inbound marketing delivers 54% of all leads. Unfortunately, many inbound marketers forget that they also need outbound messages to drive conversions. Specifically, the average lead needs to see 7-13+ marketing messages before they decide to become a paying customer.

This means that you need to be consistent in your marketing and think long-term: something most marketers fail at. It can take 6-12 months for a buyer to decide to buy a product – and if you’re not nurturing them throughout that period, guess what?

You will not get their money.

The solution is simply to keep in touch with people using consistent, targeted marketing messages. It’s not very hard – and it’ll help you avoid the next mistake, too!

Mistake 3. Failing to experiment

If you’ve followed marketing and growth hacking at all in the last 5 years, you know how important it is to experiment. Unfortunately, most marketers are not like you. That is why 61% of all companies carry out less than 5 tests (!!!) in any given months – and 48% don’t even split-test their landing pages.

DO NOT MAKE THIS MISTAKE. Test things, and test them often; otherwise you’ll end up falling behind organisations that do.

And if you already are experimenting, but failing to see any results from your efforts, make sure to check out point #5 – it could be holding you back in a big way.

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Mistake 4. Your website is not converting

Did you know that companies spend an average $92 to bring a user to their site – and only $1 to convert them? It’s crazy, but true: we tend to spend all our resources on driving traffic, and very little on converting it into leads.

Unfortunately, failing to convert means failing to sell and failing to make money: not something you want to be doing.

Avoid this mistake by doing what it takes to convert. See what your competitors are doing; experiment often; A-B split test everything you do to find page and copy combinations that beat your old controls as often as possible.

At the end of the day, if you don’t have a website that converts, none of your marketing will work – so this is important.

And now, on to the important mistake #5…

Mistake 5. You are not consistent

Inbound marketing is a marathon – not a sprint. You need time for people to start trusting you and appreciating your content. Here’s what we mean.

The cost of an inbound lead drops by 80% after 5 months of consistent inbound marketing. These are long-term results – and they require some faith, determination and, yes, consistency to get to.

In this game, it’s like Charles Bukowski wrote: go all the way, or don’t even try. If you’re going to use inbound marketing sporadically, you have to put everything you have got into it; otherwise your results will be disappointing.

And yes, we know that inbound marketing is hard. This is why the next point has an important tip on making it work time and resource-wise…

Mistake 6. You are not delegating effectively

15 years ago, having a basic blog was all the inbound marketing you needed. Today, times have changed – and you need high-quality images, well-researched information AND consistency to succeed.

This means that no matter what kind of content you’re making, from white papers to interactive graphics to videos, you need a team to get things done. Research, writing, editing and design are just a few of the things you need to do – and if you don’t delegate effectively, you’ll never be able to go it alone.

That is why failing to delegate is the 6th problem inbound marketers face – and a big barrier on the way to marketing success.

Now let me ask you a question. Are you above all of the above problems?

If not, you probably feel like your inbound marketing could be significantly more effective – and you’re not wrong.

The question is, do you want to make things better and see what high-ROI, highly effective inbound looks like? If so, let us talk and find out how we we can help you!

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