Have you ever poured your heart and soul into an inbound marketing campaign, only to see lackluster results? In this article, we’ll delve into the biggest problems with inbound marketing and provide you with actionable solutions to help you succeed.
In your last inbound marketing campaign, maybe you struggled to generate enough traffic, or you felt frustrated with poor lead quality. Perhaps your sales and marketing teams were not aligned, or your nurturing efforts fell flat. If any of these problems sound familiar, you’re not alone. Many companies face these challenges when implementing inbound marketing strategies.
However, there are ways to overcome these obstacles and achieve the results you’re looking for. In this article, we’ll delve into the biggest problems with inbound marketing and provide you with actionable solutions to help you succeed.
- What is Inbound Marketing?
- Biggest problems you might experience with Inbound Marketing
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is the process of attracting prospects before they are ready to buy. The idea is to move them through the buyer’s journey with educational content.
Unlike traditional outbound marketing tactics such as print ads, cold calling, and direct mail, inbound marketing focuses on building trust and nurturing relationships with customers over time.
At the heart of inbound marketing is the idea of creating and sharing content that provides real value to customers. This can take many forms, including blog posts, videos, e-books, webinars, and social media updates. By creating helpful and informative content that answers customers’ questions and addresses their pain points, businesses can establish themselves as trusted authorities in their industries and build stronger relationships with their audiences.
Another key aspect of inbound marketing is the use of various digital channels to distribute and promote content to the right people at the right time. This can include search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and email marketing. By leveraging these channels effectively, businesses can reach and engage a wider audience and drive more traffic to their website.
Problems with Inbound Marketing
I’m producing content but no one is visiting my website!
Let’s face it – one of the most common problems businesses face with inbound marketing is not generating enough traffic to their website. Without a steady stream of visitors, it’s nearly impossible to drive conversions and ultimately achieve a positive ROI.
Generally, this problem occurs when the content you produce is not reaching the right audience. This can be due to a variety of reasons, including:
- Lack of understanding of the target audience: If you don’t have a clear understanding of your target audience’s needs and preferences, you may not be creating content that resonates with them. This can lead to lower engagement and fewer shares, which can in turn lead to lower traffic.
- Poor content quality: If your content is not high-quality or relevant to your target audience, it is unlikely to attract much traffic. Inbound marketing relies heavily on content that provides value and meets the needs of the target audience.
- Weak distribution strategy: Even if you have high-quality content, it may not be reaching the right people if your distribution strategy is weak. It’s important to leverage different channels to distribute your content effectively and reach your target audience where they spend their time online.
- Lack of SEO: If your content is not optimized for search engines, it may not rank well in search results, which can lead to low traffic. Proper optimization techniques can help improve your visibility and drive more organic traffic to your site.
I’m getting leads but none of them are relevant and I can’t make a sale!
One of the biggest headaches businesses face with inbound marketing is when they work hard to get leads, but those leads just don’t turn into sales. And, from what I’ve seen, this usually happens for these reasons:
- You’re targeting the wrong audience.
- Or more likely, you’re not effectively using sales enablement content to convert your lead.
If the problem is that you’re targeting the wrong audience, then you might want to put some more time into developing your buyer persona. We use a specific system to develop buyer personas which helps you find your true customer and reflect this in all of your marketing efforts.
On top of this, even if the leads are relevant, if you don’t effectively use sales enablement content to nurture and qualify your prospect you’re going to struggle with closing deals. If this is you, then you might want to use a process known as Assignment Selling.
Assignment Selling is when we assign “homework” to our prospects in the form of educational blog articles or videos anytime during the sales cycle. It can be implemented at various stages of the sales cycle; before the first sales call, after the first sales call, before a deal is signed, and so on.
On top of all of this, it’s also important to have a lead qualification process in place to ensure that the leads you are generating are high-quality and relevant to your business. This process can include asking qualifying questions on lead capture forms or using lead scoring to prioritize leads based on their level of engagement with your content.
Finally, make sure your sales and marketing teams are aligned and working towards the same goals. Encourage open communication between the teams and establish a clear process for lead handoff, ensuring that each lead is properly nurtured and followed up on by the appropriate team member.
While unqualified leads might be one of the biggest problems that you may encounter with inbound marketing, it’s a solvable one. By taking these steps, you can make sure that you’re on the right track to generating more relevant leads through inbound marketing.
My sales and marketing teams are disjointed
We’ve all been part of a company where two departments aren’t aligned. Imagine if spiderman and superman were enemies – both are good, and both have similar objectives, but they’d just end up making more trouble for themselves by not cooperating. On the other hand, if they worked together to achieve their goals, they’d be a power duo. There’s no reason your sales and marketing teams can’t be like spiderman and superman.
In order for inbound marketing to really work, it’s important for the marketing and sales teams to be aligned. When there’s alignment, marketing produces content that can actually be used by sales to convert more leads using Assignment Selling. On top of this, the sales team can ensure that the content produced by marketing actually matches the questions that buyers are asking in the sales cycle. This ultimately sets a business up for success by providing the opportunity for them to become the most trusted advisor in the industry. However, when marketing and sales teams aren’t aligned, none of this can happen, and inbound marketing can’t be as effective as it could be.
To overcome this problem, the first step is to set up a Revenue Team within your business. From an operational point of view, this is how a Revenue Team works:
- The Revenue Team meets weekly or fortnightly to discuss the questions that buyers are asking in the sales cycle. This process is a part of a framework known as They Ask, You Answer, which helps businesses increase traffic, leads, and sales.
- Marketing produces content that customers are already asking sales reps in sales calls.
- Sales team members use marketing content in the sales process by assigning “homework” to the prospect in the form of educational blog articles or videos anytime during the sales cycle. This process, known as Assignment Selling, is also a big part of They Ask, You Answer.
It’s also important to establish a lead handoff process that clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of each team. This process should outline how leads are generated, how they are qualified, and how they are handed off to the sales team for follow-up. Developing a customer journey map may help you with this entire process.
By taking these steps, you can overcome the problem of a disjointed sales and marketing team and ensure that your inbound marketing efforts are effectively driving sales and revenue for your business.
Nurturing campaigns don’t seem to be working
Another problem businesses can experience with inbound marketing is ineffective nurturing campaigns. Nurturing campaigns are designed to build relationships with leads over time, guiding them through the buying process and eventually leading to a sale. However, if these campaigns are not effective, leads may become disengaged and ultimately fail to convert.
To overcome this problem, there’s a few things you can do:
- Ensure you’re using a powerful email marketing software like HubSpot’
- Pick a CRM that allows you to utilise powerful segmentation capabilities (such as HubSpot) and use this segmentation in your email nurturing campaigns
- Establish a clear and consistent schedule for your nurturing campaigns. Consistent communication can help build trust and establish a sense of familiarity with your leads, making them more likely to engage with your content and ultimately convert into a sale
- A/B Test as much as possible. It’s important to test different subject lines, email copy, images, and nurture campaigns to find out what works best.
By taking these steps, you can overcome the problem of ineffective nurturing campaigns and create a more effective inbound marketing strategy that drives results for your business.
I can’t see whether what we’re implementing is working or not
One of the biggest challenges businesses can face with inbound marketing is accurately measuring the effectiveness of their efforts. Without proper tracking and analysis, it can be difficult to determine what is working and what is not, making it hard to make informed decisions about where to invest time and resources.
To overcome this problem, it’s important to ensure you have full visibility over your marketing and sales activities with the right software in place.
Not sure if you have full visibility over your marketing and sales activities? Go through the three lists below and check to see if you can see data around all of these things for your business. If you find that you’re missing many of these things, then you probably have a data tracking problem, and it might be time to invest in a better CRM.
At the top of funnel, we should:
- Know where the lead came from and how they found us (something called the ‘original source’, which we will dive deep into a little later in this article)
- Be aware of exactly what pieces of content they have consumed from us (such as blog articles, videos, social media posts and ads)
- Be aware of the level of engagement any single prospect is having with our content through having visibility around metrics such as bounce rate. This helps us differentiate between prospects, allowing us to spend more of our precious time on engaging those who are more likely to buy.
At the middle of the funnel, we should:
- Know what emails our sales team has sent to prospects and who sent those emails
- Know what event invitations have been sent to prospects
- Have clarity on how each prospect is interacting with these things (for example, are they opening the email, are they clicking links in the email, and so on).
At the bottom of the funnel, we should:
- Know whether or not our sales team is trying to make contact with the prospect,
- Know exactly what we did when we communicated with prospects. For example, did we call them, and if so, what did we call them about? What was said, and how did the call go?
- See when a prospect moves from being a prospect to being a customer.
If you think you’re facing a data tracking problem and you can’t see whether what you’re implementing is working or not, then it’s probably time to invest in better software.
By doing this, you can overcome the problem of not being able to see whether your inbound marketing efforts are working or not and create a more effective and data-driven marketing strategy for your business.
Inbound marketing has become an increasingly popular strategy for businesses looking to attract and engage their target audience. However, as with any marketing strategy, there are potential pitfalls and challenges that businesses must be aware of in order to achieve success.
To recap, the biggest problems that come with Inbound Marketing include:
- I’m producing content but no one is visiting my website!
- I’m getting leads but none of them are relevant and I can’t make a sale!
- My sales and marketing teams are disjointed
- Nurturing campaigns don’t seem to be working
- I can’t see whether what we’re implementing is working or not
By taking a strategic approach to inbound marketing, businesses can overcome these challenges and create a more effective and impactful marketing strategy.
Ultimately, by addressing these challenges and focusing on the core principles of inbound marketing – creating valuable, engaging, and relevant content for your target audience – businesses can succeed in attracting and converting leads, building relationships with customers, and achieving their marketing objectives.