Too Much Of a Good Thing: Inbound Marketing Mistakes

Inbound-marketing-mistakes; informational-SEO; buyer-cycleInbound marketing is a powerful tool, and used correctly it can give your business a serious boost. More often than not, however, that tool is used incorrectly. Inbound marketing mistakes can cost you time and money, and even if that mistake is only a matter of working inefficiently, it can have a significant impact on the wellbeing of your business. If you’re looking to avoid common inbound marketing mistakes, ask yourself if any of your own content is guilty of the following mishaps.

Too much of a good thing 

Great! You’ve started a newsletter and you’re getting a few subscribers. If you don’t want them to click the unsubscribe button a few weeks after they subscribed, don’t make the mistake of barraging your audience with a torrent of emails. Even if your content is fantastic, sending out more than a few per week can tempt even your most devout followers to abandon you. While it’s important that you don’t disappear or be forgotten, you don’t want to overstay your welcome either. If you’d like to offer newsletter content on an accelerated basis, warn your readers prior to subscription and run a second newsletter for those who want the extra content.

All informational SEO, but no sales follow-through

At the start of the buyer cycle, consumers are gathering information and not looking to make a purchase. That’s why the first step of an inbound marketing campaign is to write informational SEO content. However, one common mistake is to forget that this content isn’t just supposed to be informative; it should also help demonstrate that a problem exists. For example, if you sell software that fixes computers on your website, you need to demonstrate to your audience that they have computer problems they’re unaware of. Whenever possible, your content should alert your audience to the problems for which you can provide solutions. 

Don’t assume too much

Even those who know that your business exists may not understand what it can offer. Because the content marketing portion of inbound marketing is informational rather than sales oriented, a significant portion of your audience may not understand what you offer besides that content. Don’t make the mistake of assuming your audience knows you in and out. This doesn’t mean end all of your correspondence with them by pointing out that you sell something, but it’s necessary to create opportunities for buyers to indicate they have further interest after they’ve read content. One way to allow a reader to demonstrate interest is allowing them to follow a link in your informational content that redirects them to slightly more sales-oriented pages. No matter how you do it, you need to make sure that you can both gauge and respond to the interest that your content creates. 

Track your progress

Inbound marketing is a science. If you start up a Q&A series of content for your business blog, make sure you stop to run the numbers. Have a performance expectation for every piece of content you write. If you write a guest blog post, have a goal in mind for how many additional visits and subscriptions you expect from it. If the actual performance of that content isn’t up to your expectations, you can reevaluate if that content is worth more than other alternatives. Carefully monitor everything—leads, sales, conversion, traffic changes, etc. Attach realistic performance goals, and see if they live up to them.

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