10 Reasons Your Inbound Content Strategy Isn’t Working

If at first you don’t succeed try again

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again

Except, when you try again, you need to step back and figure out what went wrong the first time. If you repeat the same mistakes with your future efforts, you’re likely to produce the same results. This is certainly true for inbound marketing.

If you’re struggling to find success with your inbound marketing strategy, you’re not alone. Effective inbound marketing can be tough to pull off but with the right efforts and insights, you can secure success.

1. You’re not cultivating the right audience

So many marketers make unfounded assumptions about their audience. “Everyone is going to love our products and services because they are simply fantastic!”. “Demographic ABC is going to buy our product even if it’s not super relevant!”

Selling advanced tech gear to the elderly rarely works out. The same is true of selling website development services to people who don’t have a need for a website. And yet some marketers try to do so anyway. It’s vital to find the right audience that will be interested in your products and services. This audience also needs to be capable of purchasing your products. A lot of us would love to own a Ferrari but lack the funds to actually do so.

2. You don’t know your audience

Continuing off the last point, cultivating the right audience isn’t enough. You also have to know your audience inside and out. What makes them tick? What types of languages and sales messages will attract them? Which ones will drive them away? What are their pain points, hang-ups? How do they decide to make a purchase and once they have decided, how do they go about it?

That’s a whole lot of questions and you need to consider the answers for each one of them. A great way to get started is to build up customer avatars.

3. You’re producing the wrong content

Don’t produce content for the sake of producing content. Don’t produce content solely for search engines either. Content needs to be engaging, high-quality and targeted. Generally, you’ll want to avoid promotional content and should focus on adding value rather than making pitches.

Customer avatars can offer a lot of insights and will help you produce the right content. Consider reaching out to trusted customers and other relevant parties to source feedback on your content.

4. You simply don’t have enough content

An effective inbound campaign requires a lot of content. Many professional marketers publish at least one piece of content per day. Some create several pieces. Your website should have at least 310 indexed links as sites with that many links get nearly 240% more traffic.

Given how much content you’ll need, you should encourage everyone to write. That doesn’t mean that every team member has to crank out a piece a day, but every contribution will be valuable.

5. You’re not promoting your content

We all want to be able to post up a blog and watch it go viral or reach the top of Google Search. Occasionally, that might happen. However, if you want to produce strong, consistent results, you’re going to need to promote your content. Social media marketing, ads, emails, there are many options for promoting content. Consider them all.

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6. Your team is wrong or set up wrong

Inbound marketing is a team sport. That means you have to have the right team of skilled “players”, and also the coach with the vision and experience to guide everyone. Besides inbound marketing, you’re going to need a lot of other specific skills, including:

  • SEO

  • Writing & editing

  • UX/website design

  • CMS expertise

  • Analytics

  • Project management

Sometimes, one person can offer several of these skills. It’s rare, however, for someone to be an expert in every skill. Even if they are, they likely won’t have enough time to manage and complete every process.

7. Your sales and marketing teams are out of sync

Sales and marketing teams are often treated as separate entities. However, in reality, both sales and marketing teams are seeking to drive up sales. Sales teams can offer great insights for marketing staff and vice versa. Yet if they aren’t communicating and working together, that won’t happen.

As your marketing team implements inbound marketing, your sales team needs to pursue inbound sales. This means guiding prospects through the sales process and offering them valuable insights rather than pushing them with cold calls and the like.

8. Your website is garbage.

Doesn’t matter how great the content is, if your website sucks, your results are going to suck, or at least be sub-optimal. A website should look clean and modern. It should also be easy to navigate and content should be easy to consume. Mobile responsive is now a requirement. Your website should also load quickly and should rarely, if ever, breakdown.

9. You’re not using analytics properly

Analytics is vital and so too are key performance indicators. However, your KPI’s and analytical efforts need to be targeted and in line with your overall efforts. It’s easy to obsess over things like “website traffic” but ultimately, website traffic is a poor KPI.

Your ultimate goal should be to increase sales. If you increase traffic but not conversions, are you accomplishing much? Nope. Most likely, you’re wasting resources appealing to an irrelevant audience. Analytics and KPI should be used and used frequently, but make sure that your indicators reflect your company’s performance and goals.

10. You’re not ‘SMART’

No, this isn’t an insult to your intelligence. SMART goals are great for managing inbound marketing efforts. Remember to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and/or Timely. By using SMART goals, you can ensure that your efforts are focused and on track.

  • Specific- What precisely do you want to achieve?

  • Measurable- Can you identify specific measurements?

  • Attainable- Don’t set goals that are impossible to achieve, they can be disheartening.

  • Relevant- Will achieving this goal improve your business or further your ambitions?

  • Timely- Set deadlines and make sure time is being used wisely and not wasted.