What is HubSpot?
HubSpot is a marketing and sales automation tool that supports companies with their inbound marketing strategy. HubSpot allows you to automate the generation, management and maintenance of quality potential customers.
HubSpot is one of the best-known and most popular marketing automation tools in the world, alongside Marketo, ActiveCampaign, Act-On, Pardot and Eloqua, to name but a few. Marketing automation is the collective term for software that simplifies segmenting content and following up on potential leads by automating recurring marketing tasks.
We often choose HubSpot when we are looking for marketing automation software. Why? It’s really very simple:
Perfect balance between ease of use and price
Licences for small and large SMEs and large companies
More than 60,000 customers worldwide
Thought leader in inbound marketing
Everything starts with inbound marketing
You can start with inbound marketing without marketing automation, but starting with marketing automation without inbound marketing is a real no-go. We don't usually talk about HubSpot with our clients and leads until they are already convinced of the strength of our inbound marketing methodology. They might not be ready for marketing automation at all, or their needs might require the use of different software. A marketing automation process with an improvised inbound marketing framework would be a waste of investment and would make for a poor environment for successful collaboration.
“Starting with inbound marketing without marketing automation is perfectly possible, but starting with marketing automation without inbound marketing is a real no-go.”
But what exactly is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is a digital marketing technique (a form of pull marketing) that aims to generate leads in a non-intrusive or passive, 'pleasant' way. It’s a way to ensure that your company can reach potential customers who are looking for a solution or answer to their questions, problems, needs and requirements. This marketing approach or strategy allows you to position your brand, product or service in a natural way in your prospect’s buyer journey. You create greater organic visibility and demonstrate that you know what your target audience really needs.
But what is HubSpot and what does it do?
HubSpot's software combines all major online tools in one powerful digital platform. This means that your company or organisation can implement a predefined, structured digital (or inbound) strategy that matches your digital objectives perfectly. This can be achieved by increasing the number of B2C and B2B leads, generating more visitors or spreading information and knowledge.
HubSpot gives you a clear overview of your business processes and can be seen as a marketing, sales and customer service tool. The whole customer journey, the path that someone takes to the actual purchase, can be adapted, optimised and contained in one central platform.
That is why it can be seen as the ideal all-round solution to manage your company’s marketing with just one tool. HubSpot is a marketing automation platform with a built-in content management system (CMS), supplemented with the functionalities of a customer relationship management system (CRM).
In this article we discuss the most important HubSpot functionalities:
Content production & SEO
Social publishing & monitoring
Lead scoring and lead management
Better sales through qualified leads
Reporting and analysis of data
Better customer service
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1. Marketing automation
Marketing automation makes it possible to segment your content more efficiently across different online channels such as your website, blog, email and social media.
Marketing automation uses workflows, which are a series of automatic events that take place after a visitor performs an action. An action can be, for example, filling in an online form or subscribing to the newsletter. HubSpot allows you to set up advanced workflows that ensure that you obtain more qualified leads.
Every contact in your database receives the right content and contact at the right time, because you can decide in advance which communication your target group will receive. The built-in interface lets you send emails, target webhooks , and guide your leads through the sales process.
The automation of recurring tasks for different personas and their place in the buyer journey means that leads are converted into customers faster and better.
4 benefits of marketing automation via HubSpot
First of all, it saves a lot of time. Certain time-consuming and repetitive tasks can be automated, giving you time to focus on your core business.
The second advantage is related to this, because time is money and what is time-saving for you can also be regarded as cost-saving .
It is also the ideal way to build a relationship with your potential customers. All interactions can be personalised and when needed it is easy to switch from automatic communication to individual communication.
Finally, marketing automation facilitates stronger connections and alignment between sales and marketing.
2. Content Production and SEO
Whether it's writing a blog or setting up a landing page, HubSpot offers a number of content tools that are perfect even for employees without extensive technical knowledge. In combination with a clear on-page, WYSIWYG editor and extensive design options and templates, HubSpot allows you to easily add extra pages with a content offer, blog posts or calls-to-action to your site.
The user-friendly interface not only makes blogging easier, it makes styling, designing and optimising your content smoother.
Each blog entry is automatically optimised for mobile traffic, which is especially important today when mobile surfing is increasing. Another practical feature of HubSpot is that you can add comments and feedback via the composer and thus collaborate with other copywriters, marketers or colleagues within your team.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is extremely dynamic, you have to keep abreast of novelties and HubSpot realises this all too well. That is why new tools are constantly being developed that help you develop a balanced content strategy that is optimised for search engines such as Google. HubSpot makes it very easy.
The HubSpot content tools give you the ability to analyse your texts and pages on a number of low- and medium-level SEO techniques. HubSpot provides recommendations to optimise your blog. The software looks at your title, your meta description, whether you have interlinked and whether you have incorporated images in your article.
From the moment you enter your title and meta description, you can see whether you have stayed within the recommended number of characters. This is a simple way to see whether your page is well structured and whether the texts comply with the generally established rules.
With HubSpot you can research individual web pages and put them in a clear report, but you can also use Google Search Console. This integration means you can carry out even better inbound marketing, because you will have more data about the search behaviour of your website visitors within one platform.
HubSpot lets you know where your content appears in search results, and also which search terms find your website. You can use this knowledge when updating or expanding your content plan with terms that your potential customers are looking for and information about these topics.
3. Social publishing & monitoring
Your blog post has been written, but you don't feel like posting on each social network separately? No problem. HubSpot allows you to manage all your social interactions on the same platform as your marketing campaigns and your content.
Thanks to the built-in social publishing tool, you can link your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account and spread your message through social networks both automatically and manually.
You can write a social post and then duplicate it to post on other channels as well. This can be done right away, or can be postponed to release at a time that is more relevant to your message or target group. You can also create Twitter streams to monitor tweets directly related to your business or activities.
Afterwards, you can measure how your social posts score in the social media analytics section of HubSpot, and improve the reach of your next posts based on this.
4. Lead Scoring and Lead Management
Every lead your digital marketing efforts bring you has different needs. It is therefore important to map out how you can best respond. The intention of Lead scoring is talking to the right people, with the right content, at exactly the right time. In HubSpot you have two methods or ways to do lead scoring.
Classic lead scoring
The classic way works according to the criteria you choose yourself. This can be by qualifying leads based on activities on your site and within your digital ecosystem. By activities we mean, for example, completed forms, click behaviour on CTAs or interaction via email and telephone conversations.
Each action yields a certain score and based on this, lists are created in HubSpot on which you can base your marketing strategy. Via the built-in tools you can make certain that your lead is always directed towards the next phase of the purchase process.
Predictive lead scoring
A second, new way is HubSpot's predictive lead scoring, which is based on machine learning. With this method, lead scoring is automatically applied and also optimises and updates itself. This saves you time and the follow-up of your leads is increasingly qualitative.
5. Better sales through qualified leads
HubSpot consists of a marketing, sales and service component. Through a strong alignment between these three components, HubSpot wants to bring in as many qualitative leads as possible, converting them into customers and turning them into promoters or ambassadors of your brand.
By drawing up a well-thought-out and efficient process, you will create the opportunity to convert your prospects into customers faster and better. The sales component of HubSpot consists of various tools that ensure that your sales team can work much more efficiently and also gain access to better qualified leads.
For example, data from your contacts is carefully stored in an orderly database and is constantly updated with all actions that are taken. For the sales team, this means less time wasted looking for the right contact person in the right document, with the right action.
Following-up contacts, whether they are leads or customers is a lot easier.
Data can be shared with colleagues, calls can be made and transcribed via HubSpot, meetings can be booked and you can enable notifications to make sure nothing is ever missed. There are also plenty of options, which are reviewed and expanded every year.
6. Reporting and analysis of data
Knowing which channels or campaigns deliver the best results in your inbound strategy is essential for your organisation’s growth and for better marketing. HubSpot provides clear reporting and analysis of your marketing data, so you can quickly see which content scores the best, which pages are driving your conversions and where your customers come from each month.
As soon as you log in, you will immediately see a clear schematic representation of your company’s key metrics. You can easily click through to the part you want to view in more depth or compose your own dashboard based on the desired data.
HubSpot reports on SEO, social, email, conversion and sales. With the new 'Advanced Reporting' feature, you can also link your marketing efforts to deals and revenue.
7. Email Marketing
Active list management based on activity on your site? Automated emails when new content is released? Or even automatic follow-up of quotes and content offers? The HubSpot email marketing tool makes this possible, including extensive personalisation options so that your emails always match the interests of your leads.
You can also compose those emails in a template of your choice or add a template that fits perfectly with your house style. In short, HubSpot is the ideal email marketing partner.
That’s not all. With HubSpot's email marketing tool, you can capture email information from leads, so you can address them personally, but also offer more personalised content. Leads can be segmented, categorised into dynamic or static lists, and added to automation strategies for your email marketing campaigns.
And it doesn't stop there. On the basis of the HTML click map you can view and analyse the click behaviour of the recipient. You also get an overview of the open and click rate. HubSpot displays how long the recipient has viewed the email and you can create two variants of your email, and then use A/B testing to see which version scores best.
8. CRM link
CRM or customer relationship management is a strategy with which you can manage the interaction and thus also your relationship with your (potential) customers. HubSpot communicates smoothly back and forth with the usual CRM systems. This makes the exchange of information between sales and marketing more efficient which also benefits the conversion process.
Not using a CRM system? No problem, because HubSpot also provides the option to use your own HubSpot CRM. This component makes HubSpot the ideal platform to collect and manage contact information and then forward it to sales.
9. Better Customer Service with HubSpot
HubSpot Service Hub was created specifically to enhance and simplify your customer service. The goal is to help you understand and manage your potential customers better, and provide them with a better customer experience that's built on a stronger relationship.
Tools such as conversations, tickets, knowledge base and customer feedback allow companies to do more around customer service and ensure a better alignment between marketing and sales. At a glance you will find all data about marketing, sales and service, so that you can draw better analyses and work more efficiently.
Why is good customer service so important? Because satisfied customers deliver more growth. Not only do they buy more, they also promote your brand, products and services to friends and family. Satisfied customers can be converted into ambassadors for your brand, they show the world how your product makes their lives better.
What's in it for your company?
HubSpot (and marketing automation in general) helps to generate and partly automate the maintenance of leads. It identifies the needs of potential customers. Using HubSpot means your company can take a personal approach without the costs and continuous time investment associated with manual follow-up.
HubSpot also allows your employees to perform many digital tasks without a specific technical background, free of the need to invest in extra time and skills and separate software packages.
Would HubSpot work for you?
That's the million dollar question. And we can't unequivocally answer that, because every company's needs are different. So feel free to contact us.
Contact us, we can talk through your needs and objectives and see if your organisation is ready for HubSpot.
Jolien StruyfDigital Marketer - iO
Thanks to Jolien’s past as a true jack-of-all-trades in marketing, she knows her work around work-arounds. She adds a (firm) dash of automation and SEO expertise to the mix - coupled with plenty of energy - to ensure her clients feel valued through value.
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