Inbound marketing, on the surface, seems pretty simple. In short, you’re trying to attract customers to you by creating something that adds value to their lives. So, whether it’s a video channel, a blog, or just photo sets, a company isn’t trying to shout its way into the audience’s attention like a carnival barker. Rather, it’s putting out content that its audience will find, and crafting that content to be valuable, and to be shareable. The goal is for you to write a blog, make a video, etc., that your audience sees, likes, and shares with all of their friends, drawing them into your area of influence.
In short, inbound marketing is not about winning customers; it’s about attracting fans. And if you’re trying to attract fans, you need to make sure you avoid making the following missteps.
4 Inbound Marketing Mistakes You Need to Steer Clear Of
Mistake #1: Driving Off Without A Plan
Inbound marketing is a long-term investment. It will claim huge amounts of effort, promotion time, and if you’re hanging your hopes on it, you want to make sure that what you’re doing looks smooth and polished from your audience’s perspective. While you might have a good idea for a few videos, or a theme for the first few weeks of blogging, it’s important to sit down and really think about what you’re doing. This campaign could last for years, and you want to be sure you have a plan that’s equal to the task before you begin.
Mistake #2: Not Thinking About Your Audience
You can create the greatest blog series ever written, but if it isn’t aimed at the people you’re trying to reach, then it’s like having a huge piece of artillery pointed in the wrong direction. Before you get too involved in what sort of content you’re creating (your bait), you need to figure out what sort of customers you want to attract with it (your prey). Before you get too far in planning what content you’re going to create, you should use buyer personas, and other marketing strategies, to figure out who you’re pointing your marketing at.
Mistake #3: Not Managing Your Time
Inbound marketing isn’t something you create, then walk away from. It is a constant, ongoing creation, and the urge to spend too much (or sometimes too little) time on it is a hard one to manage. However, it’s important for you to look at the amount of time it takes to create new content, and the amount of time it takes to market that content once it’s been finished. If you dedicate yourself entirely to the project, you can drive yourself mad. If you always wait until the last minute to post an update, it’s likely that your quality will take a big hit. So you need to find a happy medium. You also need to remember that you can recruit people to help you. If you can create a cushion, and get ahead of the curve, then you’ll be able to remain flexible with your inbound marketing campaign.
Mistake #4: Inbound Marketing is Part of Your Strategy, Not All of It
When we put a huge amount of time and energy into an inbound marketing strategy, it’s tempting to let our other efforts fall by the wayside. However, it’s important to remember that inbound marketing is one part of your overall strategy, but it’s far from the only part of it. You need to make sure you don’t narrow your focus too much, and come to rely solely on your inbound marketing to make sales, because a marketing strategy is greater than the sum of its parts.
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