It’s a beautiful thing to watch a robust inbound marketing campaign in action. It’s like a finely tuned machine, cranking out leads in the most efficient manner possible. Not just any leads either, but rather, qualified leads that are worthy of a salesperson’s time.
Occasionally, pieces and parts of the finely tuned machine of inbound marketing get neglected, forgotten or simply broken. To prevent a breakdown and to maximize inbound marketing results, look for these red flags and address them as soon as possible.
1. The CRM and marketing automation software aren’t talking to each other
One of the many advantages of inbound marketing is its ability to bridge the gap between marketing and sales. This creates synergy, efficiency and velocity through the sales funnel. If the CRM doesn’t talk to the marketing software, how can marketing and sales communicate effectively with each other?
2. Leads data is starkly different between the CRM and marketing automation software
This is a major problem. It’s impossible to make good marketing decisions if the data used to make them is in question; likewise for sales decisions. Something must be wrong with one of the systems or their integration if data isn’t matching up. Fixing this should be a top priority.
3. Google Webmaster Tools has not been installed or verified
Organic search has proven to be one of the top producers of leads on the Internet. Whether it’s a first touch, last touch or somewhere in between, search engines are likely to play a role in website conversions.
Webmaster Tools lets brands know what Google thinks about their websites. Without it, a brand is merely guessing whether or not they’re in Google’s good graces.
4. Post-conversion lead nurturing is nonexistent
According to HubSpot, 96 percent of people aren’t interested in buying anything on their first visit to a website. This is precisely why lead nurturing is so important.
Of the qualified leads in the 96 percent mentioned above, only 20 percent of them will choose to work with a competitor, 15 percent will buy soon and 65 percent will buy in the future, according to this video. If a marketer doesn’t deliver the right content at the right time via lead nurturing, 80 percent of the qualified leads will fade away and disappear.
5. The only conversion forms on the website are on the contact and newsletter signup pages
This represents classic brochure web marketing. How can a brand maximize website conversions with only bottom of the funnel (contact us page) and middle of the funnel (newsletter signup) content?
Remember, 96 percent of website visitors are at the top of the funnel and aren’t ready to buy yet. The solution to this is to create and offer advanced problem-solving content like ebooks, guides and whitepapers on landing pages.
6. Every website conversion is being called by sales
Since the vast majority of website conversions aren’t ready to buy, they shouldn’t be called. Instead, set up a lead scoring system based on a combination of online and offline behaviors over time. Leads handed to sales should be worthy of their time. This is a critical aspect of closed loop marketing.
7. There is no blog attached to the website
Creating and publishing lots of good, problem-solving content is critical for successful SEO, social media marketing and PR. Both owned and earned media power are essential to successful inbound marketing.
Without a blog, where would a brand publish its problem-solving owned media? A blog is the most robust content deployment system on the Internet today, and it’s perfect for social media optimization.
8. Social media posts are exclusively other peoples’ content or conversation
There are three types of content distributed across social media channels today – your content, other people’s content and conversation. Inbound marketing campaigns that lack owned content (your content) are forced to rely on social media conversations to acquire and harvest leads.
Social media conversation with the intent of lead building is neither scalable nor predictable. Sharing other people’s content only acquires leads for the original publisher or owner of the content.
The most scalable, predictable and efficient way to harvest leads from social media is to create original problem solving content that’s naturally and purposely distributed across social channels.
9. Landing pages consist of only bottom of the funnel content offers
On average, no more than 4 percent of a brand’s website visitors are ready to buy. The vast majority of visitors aren’t interested in an assessment, executive summary, demo, consultation, trial or filling out a contact form.
Instead, the majority of visitors want real solutions to real problems, and they want it quickly. Advanced content like ebooks, guides and whitepapers fill the problem solving needs of many top of the funnel visitors.
10. No internal employees contribute to the blog
Outsourcing blog writing is an excellent way to keep the pipeline full of relevant content for publishing. However, it should complement a brand’s insourced writing efforts. No matter how good the outsourced writers are, they will never have the passion and level of expertise of employees.
Employees will produce true thought leadership and positively position the brand to capture and nurture more leads.
Is your finely tuned inbound marketing campaign humming with the sounds of qualified leads being delivered to sales? If not, look for the above 10 red flags and fix them quickly. In the meantime, access Slingshot SEO’s guide to increasing conversions with social media for additional inbound marketing pointers.