inbound marketing strategyFat fingered is one of the best terms to come out of the culture of smart phones. It’s used to describe the phenomenon where you’re typing way too fast on mobile technology, and end up hitting 3-4 keys at the same time. Just like mobile technology, inbound marketing is a pretty new phenomenon, and you’ve got to make sure you’re hitting the right buttons or your marketing campaign could look like one of those hilarious auto-correct fails. If you learn nothing else today, know that inbound marketing is hard. It’s new, it takes time, and you can’t put in a minimal amount of effort and expect ROI. Now join us in counting down some of the most sure-fire ways to flub results:

1. You’ve Only Got 1 Hour a Week to Market

While we can’t prove it, we’re convinced the single-biggest difference between inbound marketers who mean well and their peers who manage to succeed, is this annoying, non-renewable resource called time. Content creation takes time, social media takes time, marketing automation takes some time to set up, and you simply can’t do a half-assed job at any of these things. Understand that inbound marketing is really effective, but it’s also really time-consuming.

2. You’re Taking SEO Shortcuts

There’s good SEO practices, which can make your blog look like a rising star to Google, and there’s taking shortcuts, which is pretty conspicuous. You simply can’t buy positive search rankings, and you also can’t expect great things to happen overnight. There’s a host of things that Matt Cutts and other anti-spammers hate, but here are a few of the most-effective ways to make your website ranking tank:

  • Keyword Stuffing
  • Using invisible font colors to keyword stuff even more
  • Spinning articles or just outright plagiarizing
  • Writing low-quality guest posts.

3. You’re Being a Social Spammer

Does your entire Twitter strategy involve opening HubSpot, HootSuite or another social media scheduling tool and letting the spam flow freely, 24/7? Scheduling Tweets is definitely a best practice, but it can’t be your only effort to connect on social channels. You should be curating content, actively engaging with prospects, and building brand personality. Here are some ways that you could make your website look extra-sketchy on major channels:

  • Failing to fill out your profiles completely, including images and contact information.
  • Not responding to negative comments, or even worse, deleting them.
  • Not responding to positive comments or questions.
  • Letting your Tweets, posts and pins cease if you decide to take a vacation.

4. Your Content is Thin, Boring or Repetitive

Over 46% of people say that a company’s website is their foremost criteria for determine how credible the company is. I’m sure that I’m not the only person who scopes out their blog as soon as the homepage has passed the blink text. Your prospects need answers, and if your blog reads like an unprofessional search engine magnet, they’ll go to your competitors’ website. Here are some of the most-common features of truly terrible content marketing:

  • Boring titles or business blog introductory paragraphs.
  • Grammar or spelling errors. We all make mistakes. That’s why IMA has a full-time editor on staff.
  • Thin Content. If you’re not providing something that required any research or brain-power to write, it’s flimsy writing.
  • A total lack of personality. Unless your prospects are super-dry scientists, it shouldn’t read like a materials engineering dissertation.

5. You’re Not Automating Your Marketing

You might be shaking your head, but this is a real thing. Unless you know how to sell to your leads effectively, you might as well pack your bags and go back to school for that second degree in something else. Remember, lead nurturing really isn’t that bad. You’ve already won the biggest battle, which is catching the attention of a consumer in an era where they’re literally hit with thousands of marketing messages a day. You’ve built enough trust in marketing that they traded you their email address for an eBook. Now put on your boots, review email marketing best practices, and start automating them down the sales funnel already!

This list just barely touches on the basics of how inbound marketing strategies can go terribly wrong. What are some of the most-common ways you see well-meaning campaigns and marketers fail?