Part of onboarding a new client here at Idunn is taking a close look at their lead generation and conversion strategy – whenever one exists. What I’ve found is that even companies who have some experience with the inbound methodology make “rookie” mistakes. In fact, inbound marketing mistakes are most common in companies that have been using this methodology for a while. Let’s take a look at them and at how to avoid them:

  1. You Don’t Have a Clear Goal in Mind

We often get requests from people who want “a few blog posts, maybe once a week or so”. The first question we ask is “why?” There are countless ways to make money with a company blog (I’ve listed four of them here), but in order for this to happen you have to know what you want to get out of your blog.

Is your blog supposed to be a lead generation machine? Do you plan to write exclusive content for your most valued customers? Do you want it to help you with SEO? There are few wrong answers, but the worst thing is having none. This is one of the most costly inbound marketing mistakes: you invest in content, but you don’t know why.

So I’m going to tell you what I tell my new clients who want to “go inbound”, but don’t have a clear purpose in mind: identify your goals before choosing your strategy. It may sound elementary, but when you’re caught up in too many things you need to tackle at once, you forget about the basics. Set a clear goal and then we can create the inbound strategy together – a strategy designed to help you accomplish that goal.

  1. You’re Not Committed Enough

You know that inbound marketing is all about creating relevant content, but you don’t treat it like a priority. I’ve met clients who blogged once a month, then once every two months and, when they had the time, maybe once every week.

The first thing about your company blog is consistency. Think about how much time you have and set up a calendar. Then stick to it or quit altogether. One of the most common things I heard is: “Blogging isn’t working for me”. I often add: “because you’re not doing it right”. Blogging sporadically is one of the most common inbound marketing mistakes. Most people quit after two or three months and complain about their misplaced funds and time investment.

The truth is that blogging is a long-tail bet. It takes time (and a lot of good content) to make an SEO difference and to get your blog to actually make money for you. No single blog post is going to make you tons of money in the long run, even if it’s the perfect one.

The good news is that the burden of blogging doesn’t always have to fall on your shoulders. You can ask your employees to write (yes, even if they are not marketers or copywriters) – a fresh perspective is always good. Or you can hire professional copywriters that can take this off your plate completely.

  1. You’re Mixing It Up

No one said that you can’t run AdWords or Facebook Ads if you’re doing inbound marketing. On the contrary, it’s a great idea to promote your content in as many ways as possible. However, try to abide by the inbound methodology when you do so. For instance, you can’t have pushy salesmen anymore. One of the most serious inbound marketing mistakes you can make is deter your potential customers by trying to push them further on their journey when they are not ready.

Inbound marketing is all about understanding the needs of your customer and trying to meet them. Instead of pushing them, try listening to them and adjust your offers according to what you hear. If someone subscribes to your newsletter, don’t get your sales rep to call and ask him to buy your most expensive product or service. Instead, wait to see what your new lead reads from your newsletter and what he is really interested in, then swoop in with a personalized offer. You can read more about how to convert the readers of your blog into paying customers here.

  1. You’re not Using Data to Drive Your Decisions

Inbound marketing will throw a lot of data at you: who’s reading what and when, who’s leaving your pages, who’s becoming a fan and why and so on. At first, all this data is hard to navigate, but with a little bit of experience, you can learn to get the most of it.

Typically, companies with sustained efforts in this field like to avoid making inbound marketing mistakes and have an inbound agency help them make the best decisions. Even if you don’t plan to use an agency in the long run, having them give you a sense of direction and cast a pair of seasoned eyes on you work so far is always a good idea.

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