Implementing an inbound marketing campaign is not always an easy process. Sure, you may be aware of the individual components that inbound marketing campaigns need. But do you know how to put those pieces together in a cohesive way?
It’s easy to go wrong, make mistakes and end up with results that are wildly different from your goals. Campaign mistakes can dramatically hinder lead generation and ROI performance. To help you avoid error in your strategy planning, here are the most common reasons why inbound marketing campaigns fail—and how to fix them.
1. Incomplete Buyer Personas
Buyer personas can fail if their development is incorrect, lacking in real data or just plain out-of-date. Also, when campaign activity does not align with any persona, the strategy will fail.
Every business needs to know who they are targeting and understand who their best-fit clients are. Buyer Personas are defined profiles of your organization’s best-fit customers based on a combination of real client and market data.
How personas work: data backed personas will detail your key buyers’ challenges, behaviour patterns, demographics, goals and motivations. As such, they form the foundation of effective inbound campaigns.
Tip: Use these 5 questions to create quick, bare bones buyer personas with all the information you need, or watch the video below!
2. Un-Aligned Sales and Marketing Teams
If sales and marketing teams are not aligned, both teams could be working towards different goals. Since marketing and sales rely on each other, having one cohesive team is important.
- Do the marketing and sales departments communicate with each other well, if at all?
- Does each department understand where their responsibilities crossover and fit?
As modern buyers continue to self-educate with online research before purchasing, inbound marketing prioritizes education through helpful content.
What does this mean for marketing? It’s marketing’s role to have educational content in place and nurture leads to purchase-ready qualification before they speak with sales.
What does this mean for sales? The sales staff must be involved across all buying stages to build a trusted relationship with the lead and help, not push them to close.
Tip: Aligning your sales and marketing teams is important because it puts them on the “same team.” It helps make the handoff of leads easier, squashes misunderstandings and it improves company ROI. Learn more about aligning sales and marketing teams here.
3. Content Creation Without a Plan
Just having content isn’t enough. If your content is directionless, or doesn’t resonate with your buyer personas, you’ll have plenty of content, but no one to look at it. Just because it exists, doesn’t mean people will download it.
Blogs, ebooks, landing pages, emails, webinars and more; content is the fuel powering inbound campaigns. But, remember that effective content always maps back to solving a persona’s pain points. This educates and nurtures the right leads through the Buyer’s Journey.
Tip: Content will not resonate, and will not support lead nurturing if:
- It’s not based on your persona’s challenges
- It does not support topic ideas with data
- It fails to map to the Buyer’s Journey
4. Failure to Promote Content
Channel promotion fails when you create content, but don’t tell anyone about it.
Successful inbound marketing campaigns understand more than just their persona’s challenges. They know where those personas look for information online, then work to promote their content via those digital environments. Poor channel promotion doesn’t just exist in small marketing departments with limited resources, it’s everywhere.
Tip: It’s not enough to be blindly active on social or content channels. To generate higher quality leads and avoid wasted resources, campaigns must have a clear idea of exactly where target clients are, and what they are looking for.
5. Lead Nurturing
Many people set up lead nurturing workflows and think it’s a “set it and forget it” strategy. Just like your monthly email campaigns, each workflow email should be different and relevant to your buyers. Make sure you update your workflows and align them with your sales cycle.
If your email workflows do not align with the length of your sales cycle, your campaign will not nurture leads effectively. For example, if it takes an average of 6 weeks to nurture a lead to become a customer, but you only have 3 weeks of workflow content, you’re missing out on opportunities. As you nurture a contact with your workflow, don’t be afraid to move from sending them top of funnel content, to middle of funnel content, to bottom of funnel content as long as it makes sense for each contact’s stage in their journey.
Tip: Your workflows should be extensive enough to qualify leads to the purchase or decision stage before they speak to sales. That way prospects understand enough about your solution’s benefits to be in a position to commit.
So, where do you start?
Throughout a strategy, data-backed planning centred around a persona is crucial. A campaign should never be actioned without detailed background consideration and goal planning.
Foundation considerations for planning an effective inbound campaign must include:
- Identifying and developing target personas
- Aligning products or services to address your ideal customer’s challenges/pain points
- Training both sales and marketing teams to work together toward the same goal
- Creating content hubs to build authority around key topics
- Using the correct sales channels for your target persona on social media
- Considering the Buyer’s Journey to deliver your message and content when your customer needs it
- Nurturing qualified leads to purchase
Are there any other tips that you use to make sure your inbound marketing campaigns are successful? Share them with me in the comments below!
Are you looking for help getting started with inbound marketing? Check out our Services page, or contact Milwaukee marketing agency, Accelity Marketing.