If you’re at all interested in inbound marketing, you’ve probably heard of HubSpot. They’re a leader in the digital marketing industry, and their blogs, videos, and certification courses are pretty popular. While you might know who HubSpot, the company, is, it’s a little harder to know what HubSpot, the software, does.
There’s a lot of industry jargon thrown around, and to be fair, HubSpot is a huge platform; it’s hard to outline all of its capabilities in just one sentence. Since we use HubSpot every day, we thought we’d take a shot at breaking it down for you. Here’s our plain English guide to getting started with HubSpot: what HubSpot is, and what tools and benefits it can offer you:
What Is HubSpot?
HubSpot is a cloud-based CRM designed to help align sales and marketing teams, foster sales enablement, boost ROI and optimize your inbound marketing strategy to generate more, qualified leads.
Okay, but in English?
HubSpot is a software platform designed to help your company market and sell more effectively.
To understand what HubSpot is and does, it’s helpful to know just a little about where HubSpot, the company, came from. HubSpot started back in 2005 as a resource for marketers. Back then, they offered tools and resources that helped companies get started with inbound marketing.
Everything from blogging to social media posting to email marketing was combined on one single platform that can be accessed from anywhere.
That way, every marketer in a company can use HubSpot’s tools to nurture qualified leads until they are ready to pass on to the sales team. When a lead is ready to convert, they’re easily passed onto the sales team for a simple, seamless experience that helps companies turn warm leads into happy customers.
But that’s just the beginning of the HubSpot software.
Now, years down the line, HubSpot offers that original software in the form of a free CRM, along with specific software for sales, marketing, and service departments, all of which integrate together seamlessly to help your company grow.
If you’re thinking that still sounds like kind of a lot, you’d be right.
That’s why we’re breaking each department’s service down here, starting with the free CRM:
The HubSpot CRM
HubSpot started with just their CRM (customer relationship management software), which we described above. It’s a platform where companies can organize their contacts and keep track of every conversation they have with each contact.
In the beginning, the HubSpot developed their CRM primarily for marketers. It offered a way for marketers to organize all of the leads they were talking to, nurture them according to their buyer persona and unique pain points, and then pass them seamlessly onto the sales team.
Today, the HubSpot CRM is still an essential component of HubSpot’s software — it’s just a little more robust. Instead of functioning primarily to support the marketing team, HubSpot’s existing CRM works to help every customer-facing team in a company, from marketing to sales to customer service.
The HubSpot CRM is completely free, for anyone, forever. It has no time limit and never expires.
Some of the benefits of the HubSpot CRM that we love for our clients are:
Unlimited Users — Your entire team has access to your company’s CRM. No limit.
You can store as many as 1 million contacts and companies on the free platform.
HubSpot will store all of your records and conversations with any of those contacts.
Gmail and Outlook Integration —so your team’s conversations with leads and clients are stored, and their workday isn’t interrupted.
Email Scheduling — for your newsletters and email marketing campaigns
Team Email — to make sure everyone’s on the same page and working to the same goals
Live Chat for Your Website — so you can capture leads even after working hours are over
Deals, Tasks, Ticketing, and Prospects — allowing you to keep track of where every prospect is in the sales process, and make tickets for any clients who might have a question.
Ultimately, the HubSpot CRM is one of the most robust free platforms on the market. It offers a long list of tools you can use to draw in qualified potential leads and do better business with your existing clients. The rest of HubSpot’s software is built on top of this functional, free CRM.
HubSpot Marketing Hub
The HubSpot Marketing Hub is a set of tools designed to help your marketing department. It integrates seamlessly with the HubSpot CRM and works to help your marketing team draw in and nurture more qualified leads.
The HubSpot Marketing Hub helps your company increase website traffic and convert more visitors into leads.
The goal of the Marketing Hub is to make life easier for your marketing department. It offers seamless content creation for your blog, email, social media accounts, and website, and provides exceptional metric tracking and reporting of all the data you care about most. See easily how many people are coming to your site, where they’re going, when they leave, and how much they like your landing pages.
Some of our favorite tools offered in the HubSpot Marketing Hub include:
Blog and content creation tools
Social media organization and scheduling
Calls-To-Action — Providing in-depth tracking of click-through rates, impressions, and other important KPIs.
Mobile Optimization — For everything from emails to blogs
Landing Pages —Create landing pages that integrate seamlessly into your website, and then use HubSpot’s sophisticated metrics to track and optimize performance.,
Goal-Based Nurturing —Your marketing team can choose specific goals based on buyer persona research and previous performance, and set the HubSpot Marketing Hub to help nurture leads with those goals in mind.
A/B Testing — Optimize your site and inbound marketing efforts for top performance
The HubSpot Sales Hub was designed to help your sales department close better deals, in less time. Each tool offered on this software is designed with efficiency in mind — so your sales team can focus their full attention on what matters most — closing deals with qualified clients. HubSpot Sales Hub has been very successful as it’s one of the few software tools that’s designed specifically for sales teams, with the inbound marketing methodology in mind.
HubSpot Sales Hub gives sales teams the tools they need to provide excellent service and close deals the minute a lead is ready to convert.
Sales Hub lets your sales team see what leads are visiting your site, on what pages, and how often. The software also offers instant alerts whenever a prospect opens an email, and sales team members can even automate personalized workflows that offer quality information exactly when a lead is ready for it. And because Sales Hub syncs up with the HubSpot CRM, your sales team can easily see which deals are won, lost, or still in progress.
Some of the tools the HubSpot Sales Hub offers are:
Email Sequences — Automated email workflows designed to nurture qualified leads
Email Tracking and Notifications — Your sales team is notified when a prospect opens an email or clicks over to your website.
Meeting Scheduling —Forget confusing back and forth scheduling that can drop leads. Instead, let potential clients pick meeting times that work best for them.
Reporting dashboards — So your team can see how their efforts are impacting business, and so you can see who is selling well, and why.
Multiple deal pipeline — Not every lead is the same. Make it easy for sales teams to customize their service to the unique needs of your buyers, and implement and track distinct sales processes with multiple pipelines.
The HubSpot Service Hub is designed to support customer service teams. It offers a full suite of tools that make it easier for your customer service teams to identify issues clients are experiencing, and resolve them quickly in a way that leaves your customers happy.
HubSpot Service Hub helps your client service teams offer the best solutions, efficiently.
The HubSpot Service Hub includes:
Live Chat and Conversational Bots — Customers and clients get the help they need, whenever they need it. No waiting for business hours; solve problems now.
Email Templates — Check in with clients you haven’t heard from in a while, or request service reviews with email templates that are easy to format and send, and even easier to track.
Canned Snippets — Those questions you get every day? Send back the perfect answer automatically with canned snippets.
Phone Support and Customer Feedback
Knowledge Base — Pull up all the information in your database on any client, so your service team knows who that client has talked to, and about what, so they can get to the right solution, quickly.
Multiple Ticket Pipelines — Easily Organize tickets based on customer query subject
Customer Service Automation
The HubSpot Service Hub works on top of your free HubSpot CRM, so anyone on your service team can see previous interactions a client has had with marketing and sales teams, and determine quickly how best to resolve any potential issues. This streamlines the amount of time it takes for customer service reps to resolve a client ticket, and ensures your clients experience the best customer service possible.
HubSpot Growth Suite
The HubSpot Growth Suite is HubSpot’s complete suite of services bundled together. If your company can benefit from all three of the above Hubs, the Growth Suite is perfect for you. You’ll get the benefits fo all three hubs, for only slightly more than the price of one.
HubSpot’s Growth Suite is best for companies who are familiar with inbound marketing, or who have made a concerted effort to transition to the inbound marketing methodology. Since it includes all of the Hubs and is built on top of HubSpot’s CRM, the HubSpot Growth Suite platform is the best way to align your entire team towards a single growth goal.
Evenbound is a HubSpot Gold Agency Partner, which means HubSpot is what we do. If you have questions about any of HubSpot’s software offerings, whether it’s one of the Hubs, the CRM, or all of it, we’d be happy to help. HubSpot can be a little complicated to figure out at first, but once you see it in action, it’s one of the most user-friendly growth tools on the market today.
Get in touch to learn more about HubSpot, and how we can help you leverage it for overall company growth.
The primary goal of any business activity is to increase profit, and your digital presence is no exception. Your B2B website exists to market your company, products, and services to potential future customers and convert them into leads. For many B2Bs, those visitors and conversions aren’t appearing. Here are five reasons why your B2B website isn’t generating any leads:
#1 Your Website Isn’t Mobile Friendly
Teens aren’t the only ones addicted to their cell phones. Nearly everyone is accessing the internet from mobile devices rather than desktop computers. What this means is that people are seeing your site on a variety of different screen sizes, and your website needs to be adaptable to any size screen. If not, your site will be too difficult to access and people are going to quickly navigate away.
#2 Your Website Is Old and Outdated
You’d think that at some point, we could stop saying it, but that day has never come: there are a lot of B2B websites that are old and out of date. Your website needs to be more than just a digital version of your current marketing materials, a few static pages with no way to get in contact except your phone number.
If you never ask your website visitors to become leads, you can’t convert them to leads. That’s why you need calls-to-action (a.k.a. CTAs) all over your site. A CTA is often a button or link that asks the reader to do something, to “request a quote” or “contact us.”
These calls to action need to address the content they are surrounded by as well as the stage of the buyer’s journey that your potential lead is in. Some prospects might not be ready to give your sales team a call—but they might be interested in an ebook with more information on the topic you addressed in your most recent blog, and gladly give you their email address in exchange for it.
#4 Your Website Doesn’t Use Any Landing Pages
If your paid search and PPC ads are directing clicks to your website’s home page, you’re missing out on huge opportunities to convert visitors to leads. Landing pages ensure that visitors who click on specific ads are seeing the specific content that is relevant to them.
Additionally, landing pages are essentially one big CTA—they limit options for the visitors to navigate away from the page, offer them the information they want, and include forms for visitors to enter their contact information and convert. They’re also crucial for tracking analytics and gating your content offers. Learn more in our post Landing Pages: Why Your B2B Manufacturing Website Needs Them.
#5 Your Site Content Wasn’t Written With SEO and Inbound Marketing Best Practices In Mind
Since the dawn of inbound marketing, marketers have been hatin’ on outbound marketing tactics.
And really, we get it. No one wants to see that McDonald’s commercial for the 100th time, and no one wants their Pandora workout station interrupted to hear once again how Geico could save you 15% or more on your car insurance.
Outbound marketing is disruptive.But it’s also kind of effective — if you know how to use it for 21st-century consumers. Before we get into this whole thing though, it’s important to know what inbound and outbound marketing are, and why maybe, just maybe, they can work together.
Inbound marketing, on the other hand, is any form of marketing that draws consumers into your company, your website, or your building. It’s also usually free (ish). Inbound marketing relies on tactics like content development, blogging, and sending targeted emails to your existing email list.
These are tactics that take time and brainpower, but don’t cost much money. Inbound marketing has proven exceptionally successful in the 21st century. We’ve explained this more than once, so we won’t go too far into it, but generally, the idea is that people hate being interrupted, and inbound marketing gets the word out about your company in a way that feels natural, organic, and not pushy.
Pretty nice, right? It’s cheap, it gets you quality customers, and you don’t have to pound the pavement to find them.
Once they do, they’ll evaluate your content and rank it relative to other sites writing about similar topics. Then, you have to see where you rank, so you can keep optimizing your site for better placement on SERPs, and better conversion rates on-site.
When fully deployed and implemented, inbound marketing draws in serious traffic and has the ability to convert like no other marketing tactic out there today. But sometimes you need a little boost when you’re getting started. This is where we start to get a little controversial:
It’s Not Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing
Outbound marketing can solve this problem of driving the right traffic to your inbound-optimized website immediately. The key is doing it properly.Unlike Geico, you don’t want to blast your message out to the general populace. Instead, you should use targeted, inbound-centric paid advertising and social media advertising campaigns to let the right people know about your product or service.
Choose digital advertising platforms that let you control who your message is going to, and how it’s delivered. With in-depth metrics, you can see which segment of your audience is responding best, and you can continue to optimize your paid ads to deliver the best results, for the least spend. (Check out this blog about optimizing PPC, and this blog about optimizing Facebook Ads, for more information on improving outbound marketing ROI.)When you’re developing targeted digital ads that are designed to meet your ideal audience, you’ll see better, more effective results, and more importantly, you’ll see immediate results.
It’s good to know that outbound marketing tactics aren’t just for new websites, either. When used properly, outbound marketing is a great way to supplement an already robust inbound marketing platform. The fact is, there’s a point where you might feel like you’ve saturated your existing market. Outbound marketing can help get your message out to a new group of people who can benefit from your products and quality customer service.
Inbound Marketing + Effective Outbound Marketing = Company Growth
If you take anything away from this blog post, it should be this: inbound marketing and outbound marketing can work together effectively. It’s easy to pit the two methodologies against each other because they do come from fundamentally different perspectives. But, if you apply an inbound mentality to your outbound marketing methods, and direct ads and promoted content to the audience most likely to care about what you have to say, you might just find that the two methodologies can work together to help grow your company. Outbound marketing tactics are a great supplement to any inbound marketing strategy. Click To TweetWhen implemented properly, optimized for maximum ROI, and paired well with your inbound marketing strategy, they work to deliver qualified leads that can help stimulate overall company growth.
Not sure where to start? Let’s chat! As a digital marketing and growth agency, Evenbound doesn’t choose between inbound our outbound. We help our clients leverage the best of both inbound and outbound marketing strategies for overall company growth. Interested in seeing how we do it?
The fact is, when you advertise on Facebook, you have the opportunity to reach a huge number of qualified buyers who are already interested in your product or service. It’s a pretty attractive outbound marketing method, and it’s easily paired with your inbound marketing strategy too.
So what’s the catch?
Well, it does cost money.
There’s also the fact that a ton of marketers already use Facebook’s platform to advertise, which can drive Facebook advertising costs up.
But what if we told you there was a way to optimize your Facebook ad campaigns that could minimize spending and maximize performance?
It sounds wild, sure, but it’s actually something our social media advertising experts do every single day. And we’re going to tell you how they do it.
Here are six methods our social media experts use every day to minimize Facebook ad campaign spend, and maximize performance:
#1 Know Your Goals
Facebook offers a massive platform of opportunity. There are more than 5 different types of Facebook ads to choose from, and the Facebook ad manager lets you pick from a variety of campaign goals for each ad you create. It’s important to know what your goals are going into any Facebook Ad campaign, so you can optimize everything to fit that specific goal.
For example, if you were hoping to drive traffic to your website, you wouldn’t choose Facebook’s app install ad or an event promotion ad template. Instead, you’d want to choose a clicks-to-website ad or even a web conversion ad.
If your goal was to boost your brand’s awareness or get more likes for your company Facebook page, then a conversion or lead generation ad wouldn’t make sense either. You’d run a like campaign or sponsor a few of your favorite, eye-catching posts to reach a greater number of potential followers.
While these examples might seem a little obvious, it’s important to remember that every aspect of the ad you create should work towards your campaign goal. With a campaign goal in mind, you can better develop content, creative, and design that work to direct consumers to whatever your goal might be.
You need a solid goal for each Facebook advertising campaign before you start building the ad if you want to see quality results.
#2 Understand Your Facebook Ad’s Audience
We’ve already talked about Facebook having a huge platform on which to advertise your product or company. There are millions of Facebook users, and the fact is, they don’t all want your product. So don’t market to all of them.
If you’re hoping to minimize your budget while still maximizing Facebook ad performance, you might want to look into microtargeting. It’s a thing the HA Digital Marketing ad team does really well (if you don’t mind our saying so), and it’s produced some impressive results for our clients.
Microtargeting is the art of narrowing down your ad campaign’s audience to just the very key consumers who are likely to be interested, or who already are interested in the product or service you’re offering. Effective microtargeting can take a little bit of practice and market research, but when it’s done properly, the results don’t lie.
Whether you’re up on the microtargeting trend or not, it’s good to know at least a few defining factors about your target buyer — their age, their occupation or industry, and maybe even one or two of their interests. These qualifiers make for targeted ad campaigns that can produce better results, for less money.
#3 Don’t Forget About Creative
It’s easy to get caught up in the goals and targeting aspects of Facebook advertising, but it’s important to remember that in the end, your ad is going to real humans. Make sure your creative reflects that.
Try not to forget that the content — both visual and written — that accompanies your ad is what’s really going to sell you. Take the time to get it right, and be sure to keep in mind that audience you’re targeting and your goal for the ad campaign as a whole.
#4 Link to Something Good (Like a Landing Page)
If your Facebook advertising campaign’s goal is to drive traffic or web conversions to your site, you have to offer something good, and you need to link to a page that will perform well.
It’s pretty obvious that you need to offer something attractive to get people to click on your ad. What’s not always obvious is how you offer that content or promotion when they get to your site.
Let’s say you wrote a killer ebook that will solve your target audience’s pain points, like right now. That’s life-changing content they need.
Too many advertisers miss out on a quality opportunity by just serving up that content as soon as a Facebook user clicks over to their website. Instead of sending those users to a general page, send them to a landing page.
From here, you can ask for just a little bit of information from them, like an email address and a first name, before they download that awesome ebook. This way, your Facebook ad campaign is proving legitimate, tangible ROI — a qualified lead, with all the contact information you need to keep pulling them through the rest of the sales funnel.
It’s important to remember that your ad is bigger than just a little advertisement on Facebook. That ad should be working on every level to deliver you more leads, for as little money as possible. By linking your web conversion and traffic ads to a landing page that can capture key lead information, you’re boosting the campaign’s overall value to your company.
#5 Keep Optimizing in Real Time
Facebook ads can run for as long as you’d like. Set them to run until you’ve spent your budget, or choose instead to let them run for a few weeks of your choosing.
Facebook ads offer some incredible insights into your target buyer’s ad preferences as well as the effectiveness of the ads you’ve created. Best of all, Facebook lets you optimize those ads in real time. If one ad set is outperforming the others, you can stop the others and let that one use the majority of the budget.
If another ad starts slowing down, consider changing the creative to bump up audience interest.
Take a look at your stats while your ads are running, and optimize them based on the data you’re receiving in real time. These adjustments will help you minimize your ad budget while optimizing the ad’s overall performance.
#6 Think Big-Picture
Our last tip for optimizing your Facebook ad performance is to always keep the big picture in mind.
We’ve already talked about placing a priority on your ad’s objective, but it’s also important to think about how your Facebook ads fit into the bigger picture of your digital marketing strategy.
If you’re able to keep the big picture in mind, it’s easier to realize that a Facebook engagement or awareness campaign can help get the word out about your company and generate more traffic for your website in the grand scheme of things. Your Facebook advertising campaigns are just one part of your digital marketing strategy and should function as such.
Facebook Ads: One Part of Your Digital Marketing Strategy
A Facebook campaign can help you get more traffic, more conversions, or raise more awareness for your company, but it can’t do everything for you. If your Facebook ad campaigns are returning good metrics, and aren’t costing you much money, they’re working in your favor. It’s the rest of your digital marketing strategy’s job to convert those positive results into future leads, contacts, and sales.
Facebook advertising is an important part of any digital marketing strategy. Facebook offers one of the most comprehensive targeting platforms, allowing you to develop and deploy ads that are specific and relevant to key audiences.
That said, Facebook ads take a bit of time and finesse to get just right. If you’re not sure you’re there yet, or if you’d like a little help microtargeting Facebook ad campaigns that deliver exceptional results, the Evenbound team can help. Let’s chat about how we can optimize your Facebook ads and digital marketing strategy for overall company growth.