Are you considering inbound marketing to grow your business to the next level? If so, you may be feeling a great deal of pressure from interested parties. You may also be wondering what they are not telling you. Inbound marketing is fantastic, but it can’t be perfect, can it? Before you dive right in, we would like to demystify inbound marketing by preparing you for the problems that may lie ahead if you choose inbound marketing.
Here at LAIRE, we strive to be solution-oriented. Often, we find ourselves re-categorizing “problems” as “challenges," a hill to climb rather than a seemingly overwhelming fact.
Our penchant for tackling challenges head-on couldn’t be more evident than when we are implementing inbound marketing solutions for our clients. Throughout our many years of developing and executing inbound marketing strategies, we have exposed a series of problems inbound marketing can present for businesses of all sizes. To save you the years of work to discover and solve these challenges yourself, we have provided an opportunity for you to learn from our experience.
When you begin to implement inbound marketing for your business, there are a few problems that could disrupt your progress. Here are a few of the common inbound marketing problems:
Inbound Marketing Problem #1 – Your business is not a good fit.
Inbound marketing is not for everyone. Some types of businesses are not a great fit. The Inbound Methodology is a process of attracting website visitors, converting them to leads, then nurturing those leads into a sale. Some businesses have transactional relationships with their clients and don’t require lead nurturing because there isn’t a true buying process. If they try to use inbound marketing when they are not a fit, it generally becomes a pretty tough barrier.
Inbound Marketing Problem #2 – Growth takes time.
Inbound marketing is not going to generate results immediately. Having the right expectations for the time investment in strategy and consistency can be a challenge for many companies who are looking for an instant solution for business growth goals.
Unlike its outbound counterparts, inbound marketing is the long game. You don’t flip it on and off when you need more business. You commit to the Inbound Methodology, and you do just that; methodically use the processes of inbound marketing to create a plan and implement it to drive more quality leads consistently, long-term.
Inbound Marketing Problem #3 – Goals haven't been set.
The Inbound Methodology requires a great deal of research, planning, and strategy. Start by creating a marketing plan, which will be your road map to getting to your goals. Include in that plan the following well-researched items:
- Company goals
- Ideal buyer personas
- Buyer persona pain points or challenges
- Well researched topics centered around those buyer pains and solutions
- Solution messaging addressing buyer persona pains with your "remarkables"
- A content plan with blogs, premium content offers, and calls-to-action to be helpful to and attract your buyer persona
- A content distribution plan (i.e., social media, email, etc.)
Often business owners and executives want to jump right in and skip this crucial phase. The results can be haphazard and disjointed at best.
Inbound Marketing Problem #4 - Time is your most limited resource.
Now it is time to execute on that marketing plan. This can cause additional challenges with resources, capacity, and commitment.
Learning the HubSpot software, utilizing it to its full extent, and continuously blogging and creating new premium content offers is in reality too big of a time commitment for some businesses. As soon as a bigger priority enters the scene, inbound marketing efforts can be left on the sideline. This often results in animosity towards the process as business owners are paying for the software and not getting the results they expected. This is often where LAIRE comes in, as business owners realize they just don’t have the manpower to manage inbound marketing long-term.
Inbound Marketing Problem #5 - No buy-in from higher-ups or sales.
We cannot stress this enough. It is vital that all the key stakeholders in your organization fully understand what inbound marketing is, what the financial and time commitment is, and have clear expectations for the outcome of efforts given. If any important people in your company do not believe in it, do not understand it, or are unwilling to invest in it, you are setting yourself up for failure. It is worth the time taken ahead of the process to truly earn that trust from those who matter.
Inbound Marketing Problem #6 - Technical barriers.
Inbound marketing utilizing HubSpot software should not present very many technical challenges. The interface was designed to be very intuitive and easy to use.
HubSpot has dedicated staff waiting and ready to jump in and help any business owner who needs guidance. They also have an endless supply of resources, training videos, and certifications to earn through HubSpot Academy.
At LAIRE when we learn of technical barriers causing businesses problems with their inbound marketing, it is often the same roadblocks. Time and willingness. Often business owners and executives who try to tackle the large undertaking of inbound marketing themselves, just don’t have the time (see challenge #4) to commit to learning or they have other things they would rather be doing.
Entrepreneurs are passionate people who want to work on big ideas and not get stuck on the tactical side of the business. If this sounds familiar, we advise you to be truthful about your willingness and abilities and find a HubSpot partner agency to handle inbound marketing for you.
Inbound Marketing Problem #7 - Content is NOT king.
The right content and content distribution together, are king.
Content can become a challenge when businesses do not take the time to develop quality content that was built with their buyer personas in mind.
Creating content for the sake of creating content will get you nowhere. When you are blogging and developing premium offers you have to focus on your buyer personas, their pains, and the solutions you can offer. If you provide relevant, useful, and trustworthy answers to your buyer personas' biggest questions, you will attract the right traffic to your website to convert into a lead and later close as a client. While the popularity of your website is important in Google rankings, it only matters if that authority earned is for the right topics centered around what your business offers. Always go for the right target over the largest volume target.
While inbound marketing can be a large investment of time and money, it is a long-term game that can have benefits that far outlive the initial investment. With outbound efforts, the minute the money is gone, the ads are off, and the traffic doesn’t come. With inbound marketing done right, your business can pause efforts on occasion without stressing about lead volume dropping off a cliff. The content you create today can bring you qualified leads next year, in five years, and in ten years.
If you’re considering inbound marketing for your business, we urge you to take the time to get buy-in, learn the system, and commit to the long-term efforts required to do it right. If you’re new to the inbound world, let’s have a conversation! We would love to answer your questions about inbound marketing and help you determine if inbound is right for you.