Inbound Marketing remains one of the most effective tools in your organization’s arsenal to generate more high-quality leads.
Targeted leads are the lifeblood of growing revenues, and it is more challenging than ever to keep that pipeline flowing and your business growing. Understanding the unique challenges faced with inbound marketing vs traditional outbound marketing is the first step in solving them. Let’s look at the top inbound marketing challenges and how to address them.
Lack of A Clear, Coherent Strategy
Most digital marketers don’t have the luxury of starting fresh with an overall marketing playbook built around inbound methodologies and best practices. Most are not ideally aligned with sales operations beyond the quantity of marketing qualified leads that get passed onto the sales team each month. When is comes to B2B lead generation strategies, most marketers often stay within their comfort zone, which is executing the approved marketing strategy and maximizing marketing ROI. A lot of marketers have grown frustrated that content gets created by many different stakeholders, often not in support of laser focused internal goals that do not align with pain points of agreed upon buyer personas that your sales team is focused on selling to.
An effective inbound marketing strategy needs to to be built around clear buyer personas and tuned to the various stages of the buyer journey. Once a clear inbound marketing sales funnel is developed, content can be created and optimized to reach the right potential customers at the right stage of their journey. Many of the other challenges mentioned below can be at least partially remediated by this clear strategy.
Having Enough Time or Resources
Inbound marketing can be one of the most time-intensive tools to get right. Mastering SEO, social media, and email is resource intensive, especially as you are trying to fine-tune your strategy and make the needed adjustments. Creating content that holds value for potential customers requires resources for writing, editing, and perfecting. Modern inbound marketing is about more than just churning out keyword stuffed articles. Search engines are learning to recognize genuine, original, and useful content. Consumers are also savvier than ever, and the quality of content makes a powerful impression.
The best way to address this time crunch is through a clear strategy and focus. By creating content that is designed explicitly around buyer personas and customer journeys, you will only need to curate the content that will help reach your potential customers. This not only reduces the total amount of necessary content but will likely lead to text that is easier to optimize for SEO and that will be more likely to quickly gain top SERP results.
Delayed Results and Slow ROI
In a world that expects instant results, inbound marketing is a long game. The most effective inbound marketing strategies need developing content, and optimizing SEO takes a long time in itself. What can be equally frustrating is the time that it takes for all of this work to begin to show ROI. You can’t force search engines to crawl faster, and domain and page authority don’t rise overnight.
Even if digital marketers understand the time it takes for inbound marketing to pay off, others in the organization may be impatient with the results. Two ways to address these concerns are to set realistic expectations upfront and invest in PPC to get things rolling. Clear KPIs can be developed demonstrating the anticipated time needed to begin to see results. That way stakeholders from your sales and marketing departments can know what to better expect and when to expect it.
Throwing money into PPC campaigns are no substitute for a good strategy and time but they can certainly be effective as a tactic to speed up the process and augment early success. With that said, be sure to always A/B test your PPC landing pages to collect data on what variants move the needle when it comes to increasing PPC conversions.
Finding the Right Tools
It is nearly impossible to execute an effective inbound marketing strategy without the right tools. Using the wrong software or trying to keep up with the necessary work without specialized tools will cost you time, money, and potential customers. Consider that a proper implementation will require CRM, a social media publisher, an email marketing tool, marketing automation, an analytics platform, a content management system, and website chat software to engage leads in real time.
It is not only essential to find the right tools, but it is also necessary to find tools that will work together. If your software can’t share information, you will find yourself repeating the same tasks over and over or wasting time downloading and converting data to function between platforms. Take the time to find and implement your inbound marketing tools upfront and find options that will quickly scale as the business grows.
Finding and Training the Right People
Inbound marketing is not a skillset on its own but rather a collection of several very specialized skills. While it is essential to have someone, who understands how all of the elements of the strategy work together, it is also important to have people who are competent in each aspect. To be successful with inbound marketing, you will need an in-house inbound marketing strategist who know HubSpot and inbound methodologies like the back of their hand.
For tactical execution, you will need a copywriter, editor, graphic designer, HubSpot COS designer, HubSpot COS programmer, an SEO expert and PPC expert. Yikes! This easily could cost $20k per month to have these resources in-house. While this is common for larger companies, it is not feasible for smaller companies who are hyper focus on the ROI of their advertising and marketing. This is why now more and more companies of all sizes are choosing to leverage inbound marketing principles without all the associated expenses by partnering with HubSpot certified inbound marketing agencies who can serve as an extension pf your marketing team to help you best plan and execute effective inbound marketing campaigns.
This could be the most difficult challenge to face. Great talent is increasingly hard to find. Fortunately, we also now live in an age where it is possible to outsource areas that are difficult to fill and provide online training to close the skill gap with staff that need additional development.