HubSpot is one of the best platforms available for inbound marketing but it’s also a sizable investment.
You need considerable time and effort to manage it. It's not wise to make that kind of investment just for a test-drive in inbound marketing. While there is a 30-day free trial, it’s only intended to give you a feel for the platform, not generate tons of leads.
Whether you take things on yourself or enlist the help of an agency to provide HubSpot services, you'll need a solid plan for putting the platform to good use.
Getting the Basics Down
1. Have clear inbound marketing goals.
Start by answering the following questions.
- How many additional visitors are you planning to get every month?
- How many new leads are you expecting to generate?
- What is the improvement in conversion rates that you are looking at?
- How much additional sales and profit is all this going to result in?
These are basic questions to help you determine a reasonable benchmark, but they are not the only questions you need to ask.
If you want more detailed advice, check out these 6 Internal Tasks to Complete BEFORE HubSpot Implementation.
2. Be prepared to invest the time and resources.
Depending upon your approach, industry and the time and effort you put into it, it can take anywhere from 4 to 12 months for results to become easily visible. You'll also need to dedicate resources to the management of your HubSpot platform and all associated content. Which brings us to #3...
3. Create engaging content regularly.
Content is central to your inbound marketing efforts. You need content to attract visitors, convert them to leads and keep them with you after they become your customers. How often you need to be blogging depends on your goals and your competition. Besides blog articles, you will also need infographics, videos, ebooks, guides and other forms of content that create conversion opportunities. Speaking of conversions...
4. Make great landing pages and email campaigns.
Landing pages are what convert your visitors into leads. Every landing page should offer the visitor something valuable in exchange for "opting-in." Once you have these leads, you'll need automated email campaigns to nurture them along through your sales funnel. Don't forget about your one-off emails either, like newsletters, flash-sale promos, etc. All of which should educate, nurture and ultimately redirect people back to other landing pages further along in the sales funnel (which allows for progressive profiling).
Make Full Use of HubSpot Tools
The best thing about HubSpot is that it gives you many tools to plan, execute, automate and monitor your inbound marketing efforts. Using it simply as a blogging or email marketing tool will not justify the investment, but using most (if not all) of the tools available will certainly deliver some serious bang for the buck.
- Content Tools - The content tools allow you to manage website pages, blogs, design, emails, campaigns, call-to-actions (CTAs) and files.
- Social Media Tools - The social media tools allow you to manage integration, publishing, monitoring and reporting.
- Contact Tools - The contact tools allow you to manage your database, potential prospects (web visitors), list segments, automated workflows and forms.
- Reporting Tools - The reporting tools allow you insight into page performance, keyword rankings, competitor analysis, traffic sources and more advanced attribution reporting.
- SEO Tools - there are also optimization recommendation tools sprinkled throughout the editing tools to help with basic SEO.
It almost always makes sense to integrate HubSpot with your 3rd party CRM (or better yet, just use HubSpot's native CRM). A bi-directional exchange of data between the two systems will help you more accurately manage your database and even improve the alignment of your sales and marketing teams. Which is exactly the way it should be.
Engage in the Inbound/HubSpot Community
There is massive community of HubSpot users - from social media groups, to forums and even dedicated inbound marketing networks such as inbound.org. Use these resources to save yourself from making common, time consuming mistakes during implementation or ongoing management.
A Certified HubSpot Partner can also help you make the best use of the software, whether it's for implementation, custom-training or full-service inbound marketing.
So before you invest in the world's #1 marketing automation platform, do some proper research and have a solid understanding of your goals and processes. Knocking this out ahead of time will reduce your headaches and increase your chances of strong ROI.
A beautiful win-win.