HubSpot is a sophisticated marketing automation software. There are a few different options for marketing automation software out there. There are also plenty of CMS (content management systems), email systems, analytics software, social media moderator tools etc. But what is HubSpot?
However, they are all in separate places, with different logins and, more often than not, they don’t speak to each other. We’ve all been there with our spreadsheets of passwords and logins, numerous “request new password” every time you post something, and no way of telling which posts generated the most actual leads.
And at the end of the day, no way of telling what works and what doesn’t.
With HubSpot, you get a system that includes all the tools you need to do inbound marketing and sales. Best of all, these tools are all connected, with data collected and passed across each process. We will take a brief look at each element:
The elements of HubSpot
When we say HubSpot is an all-in-one system, we mean it. Not only can you perform marketing activities here, but you can host your entire website in the system. This makes it incredibly easy to update all content, as well as connect the website to different campaigns and initiatives.
Many companies have websites that are impossible to update without talking to a developer. Or a CMS that doesn’t communicate with your CRM, blog, or systems for emails?
Hosting your website in HubSpot will completely change your website experience. The pages are easy to edit, you can easily adapt the content based on what you know about the visitor through personalisation, and all leads activity is recorded on their contact card.
How great wouldn’t it be to be able to go to a salesperson and say: “Take a look at this person! They have been to our website 10 times the last week, visited the “contact us” page, downloaded a report and read the following 3 blog posts. Can you call them and discuss what they need?”
The email tool lets you send emails to all the contacts you have in the database. But sending the exact same email to everyone is not very “inbound”.
The email marketing tool makes it easy to segment your contacts, as well as giving you a detailed analysis of how emails performed: how many opened it, who clicked on links inside the email and so on.
You’re able to use as many “smart” fields in the email as you would like. This function means for example, that if you know specific details about a contact, say their name and hometown.
You can mark these bits of information, or “fields” within the emails as smart fields. Doing this means HubSpot will automatically pull the relevant information from the database for every smart field you insert to personalise each email.
So before you send it the email, it might say “Hi FIRSTNAME! How’s the weather in HOMETOWN?”, but to the recipient it will appear with their details in the appropriate place.
Search engine optimization is super important when trying to get people to see your content and visit your website. Good SEO practice involves taking technical and strategic measures e to ensure your content ranks high(er) in search engine results and is found by the right people at the right time.
HubSpot makes this easy for you with advanced, yet very user-friendly SEO tools.
On every site, landing page and in every blog post, you’ll notice a chart icon. Clicking this icon guides you through some simple steps optimising your content.
For a blog post, optimising would follow these simple steps: first, enter the keywords or phrases you are looking to target in this particular piece of content. HubSpot will then check:
- Keyword in title: Always try to include your targeted keyword in the title if possible and natural.
- Title length: Google displays titles up to 68 characters long. HubSpot will warn you of anything above 70 characters.
- Keywords in post body: you should always include your targeted keyword at least once in the content so the search engines know what your post is about.
- Internal link check: searches for your targeted keyword in the title and URL of pages on your HubSpot hosted domains. It then suggests which pages to link to.
- Keyword repetition in body: checks that you haven’t just repeated the same targeted keyword over 5 times. The search engines appreciate natural variations of keywords and you should always write accordingly.
- Calls-to-action: checks that there is at least one CTA in the post.
- Images in post: checks that there is at least one image in the post (searches the code for <img>).
- Image alt tags: this only appears if there are images placed in the post. It tells you if all images have <alt> text.
- Keywords in url: checks that at least one of the keywords you are looking to target appears in the post url.
- Meta description: checks that the meta descriptions falls within the limit of 1-155 characters.
Keyword in meta description: checks that at least one of the target keywords appears in your meta description.
If you have a quick run through of these steps every time you publish a page or blog post you should be well on your way to ranking well for your chosen keywords and phrases.
HubSpot also features a “keyword tool” you can use when researching which keywords to go for.
The tool tells you how many monthly searches there are for this keyword, how your page currently ranks for this term, how difficult it would be to rank highly for it, how much it estimates the cost-per-click would be if you advertised for this through Google Ads, as well as suggesting other keywords to go for.
Doing everything manually will slow you and your team down. You will never have enough time to follow up everyone who has downloaded a report, signed up for a newsletter and notify sales a new lead has come in.
Marketing automation will allow you to create processes to complete these actions— and more— automatically. In HubSpot it’s fast and simple to create workflows. You set the criteria, both for being enrolled in the workflow, as well as when and what they should receive.
- A person has downloaded a report from the website.
- 1 minute later they receive an email containing the report.
- 4 days pass.
- If the person is not already a subscriber to your newsletter, they receive an email encouraging them to sign up.
- If they already subscribe, they receive 2 relevant blog posts.
- 7 days passes.
- If they are not an existing client they are offered a free consultation.
- If they are a customer they are sent an overview over your latest product news.
All this happens without anyone lifting a finger. You just set up the workflow once, and it will keep distributing relevant and useful content on your behalf.
Working with inbound marketing, we often say that we want to transform your blog and website into a “leads machine”. To do this, we need to collect email addresses and other details from those who visit your site.
This is done via a landing page. On this page you will give clear details about how the person will get if they leave their personal details using a contact form for them to complete.
HubSpot has made it easy to create these types of pages. You choose the layout, how you want it to look and what it should say. You don’t need any design experience or developer skills, since you can build the page entirely with drag-and-drop “modules”. Simply pick the modules you want and assemble them in the order you think will help the page achieve your intended objectives..
Many companies miss out on leads by giving all their away content for free. When providing something of value (content such as reports, research, eBooks etc.) most people think it is reasonable to be asked to leave their email to get access; this is a value exchange, since a contact email address is valuable to your company. But you need an efficient system that allows this exchange to take place.
By combining great seo, optimised and well-designed landing pages together with the power of marketing automation, you can quickly see your leads lists explode with relevant leads.
Most marketers find it hard to answer the question from management “How much do we earn from your marketing activities?” How can you possibly know? Do you even have the tools at hand to see a clearly defined line from a particular marketing activity right through to a lead or a sale?
If not, how are you meant to provide meaningful information about the ROI of the company’s marketing that consists of more than educated guesses?
If you work in marketing you’re probably used to gathering statistics from a range of systems. Your day might look a little something like this:
- How many opened the email you sent?
- How many unsubscribed from your newsletter?
- How many emails bounced?
- How long did people stay on your website?
- How many pages did people visit?
- What pages did were viewed the most?
- How many read your latest blog post?
- How many clicked the CTA?
- How many deals were created this month?
- How many new customers have you gotten over the last week?
- Has a sales person been in touch with a lead?
With HubSpot you will get all this data, all connected up in one single place. Not only can you see the numbers for web traffic, leads and customers, but you can also look at each individual contact and see exactly which blog posts they have read, what pages they’ve visited and if anyone at your company has contacted them (as well as what they talked about).
Everything in HubSpot can be analysed, including:
- Open rates of newsletters and emails
- Number of click on links in emails
- Your rank in the search results for particular keywords
- Where visitors and leads come from
- Statistics about your competitors’ presence online
- What contacts have seen and done on your website
- Who’s reading your blog posts
- Conversions rates of landing pages (how many actually complete the form and submit it)
- Click rates for CTAs
HubSpot also allows you to A/B test different elements so you can identify what elements your personas engage with the most.
Everything in HubSpot is connected, making it easy to see what content converts the most leads and customers. You can either look at an individual leads contact card to see where and how they have interacted with your company, or you can assemble lists to see trends in certain segments of your database.
The analysis tools in HubSpot also allows you to see statistics previously exclusive to Google Analytics, such as time on page and number of page views.This limits the amount of tools you have to use when trying to get an overview of how your marketing efforts are performing.
HubSpot also offers a reporting add-on. This allows you to create highly customised reports for traffic, leads and customers to fit the metrics that most important to your company. Read more about the reports add on here.
If you choose to use HubSpot for your inbound marketing it’s easy to share any landing page, image or blog post directly to your social media channels with the social media publishing tool, so there’s no need to struggle with copying and pasting links as you post across three different channels.
It is also possible to set up criteria that monitors who mentioned your company. This functionality also allows you to set up email notifications so you never miss a thing.
If you have run out of ideas for blog titles, this tool is a great source of inspiration. Stay up to date on what others in the industry are talking about, and what potential customers are posting. Be the first to respond to any questions they might have with a new blog post.
Blogging is one of the most prominent features of an inbound platform such as HubSpot. You can see how each blog post will look live while you write it and the SEO tool makes it easy to optimise the post so you rank highly for the keywords you want.
You can also add CTAs (call-to-action) buttons that guide the reader to landing pages so they can leave their contact details to download more information or content.
With HubSpot you also get a free CRM. This helps you manage your pipeline better, as well as increase the speed of the sales team.
Sales teams just want to sell, not fuss around with spreadsheets, difficult tools and excessive logging. It also gives you the option of automating sales processes and easily log deals.
All interaction is tracked on the contact card, where you can also see what content the lead has interacted with before anyone from sales gets in touch.
Help desk and ticketing software
One of the newer features is the help desk and ticketing software. This helps you keep track of customers requests so your team can stay organized, easily prioritize work, and find solutions for customers faster.
You can log, organize and keep track of the tickets, you can automate tickets and create a help desk and easily prioritize requests.
What does HubSpot not do?
It really is that easy when you have everything in one place. But after reading this far, you might be thinking “What is it HubSpot can’t do?”. HubSpot is built as a very user-friendly system.
This means that some more “techy” people think it is a little bit too simplified. You can code and change elements, but if you are used to building the machinery from scratch, this tool might not be right for you.
It won’t make your coffee either, so you’ll need to get a fancy machine for that. Or employ an office barista.