It’s frustrating, to say the least.
You know inbound marketing is a valuable tool for business, and you’ve seen it in action for other companies, but for you and your brand, inbound marketing strategies are not living up to your expectations.
Inbound marketing is the wave of the future, and the future is already here.
Outbound marketing is “out” and inbound marketing is “in.” You get all that, and you know that the finely-tuned and highly targeted strategies of an effective inbound marketing campaign are the fastest way for a small business to claim the lion’s share of the market.
Are you so discouraged? Did you think that inbound marketing would change your life? Did you expect it to pay off overnight?
No. You’ve been patiently applying the principles and best practices of inbound marketing, encompassing social media, content generation and website design. However, your leads are still trickling in like molasses and you’re starting to wonder if internet marketing is all it’s cracked up to be.
What is inbound marketing?
It’s easier to understand inbound marketing campaigns if you view inbound marketing as the opposite of outbound marketing. Leads are coming to you, instead of you going to them.
We all know what outbound marketing is, the hit-or-miss practice of throwing as wide a net as possible by trying to spread your marketing message to as many people as possible. In return, you hope for a response or a show of interest from a tiny fraction of those you reached.
Newspaper ads, direct mailers or telemarketing are some of the most popular forms of outbound marketing. Perhaps you’ve already had some measure of success with outbound marketing, or perhaps not.
In any case, there’s a better way to build your brand and grow your business, and it’s considerably more targeted, and therefore higher return on your investment than outbound marketing.
Inbound marketing helps you turn browsers into customers; it can turn casual readers into leads, and leads into regular customers, in the most cost-efficient manner.
So what’s the problem?
Please don’t take this the wrong way, but the problem is you.
After all, inbound marketing is a proven and quantifiable method of generating more leads and closing more deals than traditional advertising. Instead of casting an impossibly wide net and hoping for the best, inbound marketing helps bring serious buyers right to your doorstep.
The fault lies not in our inbound marketing, but in ourselves. Here are the most common ways business owners and marketers sabotage their own inbound marketing strategies:
Not completely committing to the process
Many CEOs are anxious to explore the inbound marketing phenomenon, but they only hear what they want to hear. An effective inbound marketing strategy for business growth takes 6 to 12 months (or even longer) to show tangible results.
Wait, what? You didn’t hear that part? Or the part about how you must change your mindset, and perhaps even re-think your entire business model to realize the results you want – results that inbound marketing services can deliver.
Some business leaders are enamored with the theory of inbound marketing, but they aren’t prepared to make all the practical changes that need to be made. Half-committed never won the race.
Negativity and Pessimism
Unfortunately, negativity in marketing is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and if that’s not enough to ruin your campaign, you can be sure some skeptic in the organization is gunning for the campaign to fail. They will help it along by constantly asking for changes, stalling, removing key parts of the inbound marketing strategy, and hindering the process in general.
That may be you, or anyone in the company. It only takes one naysayer in a position of authority (or with a lot of political clout) to put the kibosh on your whole inbound marketing program.
Watch out for those who would love to see their company’s inbound marketing strategy fail miserably, either to further their own careers, or just for the priceless satisfaction of saying they were right.
You can identify these troublemaking saboteurs by their mating call: I told you this wasn’t going to work!
Not trusting the marketing pros
This is the main reason inbound marketing doesn’t work for small businesses. When you hire the services of a marketing company, don’t expect them to understand your business the way you do. They can’t.
Let the marketing professionals take care of your inbound marketing while you take care of your customers. Ask question to help you understand (and hire the firm who can answer those questions) but don’t go in with the belief that you have all the answers.
They know how to get results, so let expert marketers do their job without trying to micromanage or second-guess them. Instead, try to create a power-packed partnership that leverages both sets of expertise. The more trust you put in your inbound marketing team, the more successful it will be.
Relegating the delegating
You’ll never be more than moderately successful if you don’t learn how to delegate responsibilities like a true captain of industry. Many would-be moguls are held back by their inability to fully trust others and share responsibilities.
If that’s you, inbound marketing is a great place to start changing your ways. Turn your internet marketing over to a professional, either in-house or via an expert marketing service.
Give your marketing team some room to breathe and enough time to prove itself. You can’t argue with success, and inbound marketing has already proven itself to be an integral part of a well-designed internet marketing campaign.
Remember that savvy businessmen surround themselves with talented people and end up with lots of money and power; control freaks end up with ulcers.
If you’re ready to get started on improving your lead generation through inbound marketing, contact us today!