The process of inbound marketing seems straightforward, right? Create as much content as possible to promote your business and blast it all over the Web so people will stumble across it, love it and become your customers. Oh my, do we have our work cut out for us! There is an actual method to the inbound marketing madness and it is based on what today’s consumers demand in the way of gathering information before making purchases and how they want to be nurtured along the buyer’s journey. We can’t teach you everything in one post, but here are five ways you’re doing inbound wrong.

1. You’re not being SMART.

No, we’re not insulting you, we’re referring to SMART goal-setting. Successful inbound campaigns begin with goals being set following the SMART principle so you have a clear objective and can measure your results. If you do not set goals using this method, how will you know what content you need and whether or not your campaign is effective?

2. You’re using your promotion tools as a soapbox.

Nobody enjoys talking to someone who only talks about themselves, and your target audience is no different. If you are only sharing and promoting your own content, people will tire quickly and learn to tune you out. The formula 10-4-1 is a great rule of thumb:

  • 4 Blogs
  • 1 Ask

The reason for this is that sharing content helps build trust and credibility for your brand. No entity exists in a vacuum and your brand shouldn’t either. Through sharing and true engagement, you give your brand a voice that your followers will respond to.

3. Preaching to the choir.

Inbound marketing is not about creating blogs that focus on you and your business. You’re definitely doing inbound wrong if your focus is on you instead of dedicated to being helpful to your primary buyer persona. Your blog posts should focus on showing you understand their desires or pain points and establish yourself as an authority by providing information they can use to improve their lives. There is a time and place to tout the virtues of your business and this is not it.

4. Leaving them dangling.

Even if you have done the other things right, if you don’t include a call-to-action (CTA) on your blog posts, you’re leaving your readers dangling instead of guiding them to the finish line. They’ll never get to see your moment of glory when you can finally tout why your business is the best if you don’t lead the way. Remember, you have to give, to get. Create CTAs that give valuable information so you can get contact information (qualified leads).

5. You’ve run amok!

While we have left this as the last way you’re doing inbound wrong, it is something that applies to each and every step you take in your inbound marketing campaign. You have to be consistent. By consistent, we mean in voice and writing style, the message you’re aiming to deliver and even in your design. If you run amok, you will lose the credibility and trust you’ve been working so hard to build.

There is significantly more involved in a successful inbound marketing campaign than creating a lot of content and blasting it as far and wide over the Internet as you can. If you correct these five ways you’re doing inbound wrong, you will greatly improve your results. Want even greater success? Get a copy of our Inbound Marketing Checklist, below!