A very common question many Hubspot VARs hear is, "Do I have to use the Hubspot platform for my Inbound Marketing?" The simple answer is no, you don't have to, however, there is so much value in using Hubspot tool that makes it's expense pay for itself. For many businesses, the value the Hubspot tool provides can mean the difference between success and failure in your Inbound Marketing efforts.
It's important to realize the value of Hubspot and how it will help streamline, automate and improve your Inbound Marketing efforts which in-turn increases leads and overall marketing power. In this blog we will be taking a look at the key benefits of using the Hubspot platform and how it can help boost your Inbound Marketing efforts.
Let's start this blog out by watching this quick video overviewing Inbound Marketing & Hubspot. Pay special attention to the last section:
To be honest, Hubspot is amazing and offers some really amazing features. I'm not saying this because we are a Hubspot VAR, I'm saying this because I'm a marketer and understand how the features of Hubspot can really rock a marketing strategy. However, anything that offers as much value as Hubspot comes along with a price tag. The biggest objection VARs hear is that Hubspot is too expensive.
Yes, Hubspot is expensive, but as a business owner or marketer you must not get stuck on the price tag and instead look at the value Hubspot brings to your business and how you can leverage it to grow your business. If you have a successful Inbound Marketing strategy and leverage Hubspot correctly, your new business generated will greatly exceed the cost of using Hubspot. I can personally attest to this because it happened with our agency once we started using Hubspot in our Inbound Marketing efforts.
What Value Does Hubspot Offer?
There are many different features within the Hubspot toolset that give it value, however, different people find value in different things. For example, we use the Joomla CMS platform for blogging, so for our agency we did not need the blogging component, however, I know many Hubspot users see the blogging component as a huge value.
Below, not in any particular order, are some of the key benefits of Hubspot that I've heard people have found great value in.
Before diving into more of the sepecifics, I'd highly encourage you to take 13 minutes to watch an overview on all the great features of Hubspot. It's great to visually see how the tool works. Seeing everything in action is way easier to understand than reading about it.
Centralized, All-in-One Toolset:
One of the best benefits of Hubspot is that it offers a large set of different tools such as email marketing, form submissions, website and blog CMS, landing page generator, CTA A/B testing, lite-CRM, lead nurturing program, reporting and statistics, etc. all in one place.
To be honest, in my opinion some the toolsets in the Hubspot versions prior to Hubspot 3 lacked features that other 3rd party tools did offer. Additionally, prior to Hubspot 3 the tools on the platform were pieced together and didn't have a very good workflow. This was one of the main reasons we continued to use some 3rd party tools for things like email marketing solutions. With the launch of Hubspot 3 this changed. Hubspot 3 does have a feature rich toolset and has all the tools integrated together for a successful toolset.
On face having all your tools located in one central place seems fairly valuable from a management and efficiency perspective, but the real value is that all of these pieces are highly integrated and communicate with one another. This helps take your marketing to a new level by making it very easy to integrate each step of the marketing process to maximize the experience and overall effectiveness of your Inbound Marketing strategy.
Additionally, because everything is connected you are able to collect very rich metrics on each lead, campaign and customer flow which can really help you identify areas of opportunity for improvement.
Personalization of Inbound Marketing:
The feature that most Inbound Marketers are most excited about, myself included, in Hubspot 3 is the personalization of the web experience. As a marketer, we know that the more something brings value for an individual the better that item is.
For example, having segmented email newsletters with various topics will bring higher conversions and better success when a user can pick which newsletter topics to receive based on what's relevant and valuable to them.
What if there was a way to create this same personalization and customization in your website content and call to actions. Well there is, it's a key feature in Hubspot 3. They have "smart CTAs" which adapt and change based on a user's interests which are based on previous actions on the website. So if a user downloads an ebook on SEO, you can set it up so all the future CTA's dynamically change to other offers for SEO related content or consultations.
Over time, your website's CTA's and overall content will become more and more personalized for this lead and thus be hyper relevant. Hubspot saw HUGE increases in conversion rates, up to 70%, when they adopted a smart CTA strategy vs. the standard traditional strategy.
Automation of Inbound Marketing:
One of Hubspot's goals is to make your Inbound Marketing system easy to run and manage. They do this by offering a great deal of automation. In the new Hubspot 3, you can create what they call "workflows" which are clearly defined user actions or events which automatically trigger other actions to take place.
For example, I can create a workflow trigger that whenever a registered lead visits my website and views our "Joomla Web Design" services page, it will automatically send them an email three days later with some educational Joomla information and an invite for conversion offer such as a Joomla ebook or free website consultation.
There are other examples of automation in the suite from the lead nurturing campaigns to the blog postings. This type of intelligent automation gives you so much power because you literally can set all the triggers and automation up in advance and your marketing will work itself, leaving you more time to focus on the next campaign or project.
Watch this quick video about Hubspot Automation
So Easy, Even a Caveman Can Do It:
Hubspot makes creating and managing your website, blog, CTAs, lead nurturing campaigns, etc. as easy as possible. You do not need to be very tech savvy to effectively setup these features. Even if you are working with a Hubspot VAR agency, this is great because many businesses are still in-charge of certain marketing activities such as blog writing or website content updates. For businesses managing these items, then need a system that is very easy for them and their employees to use. The easier something can be to manage, the more efficient you can be when doing the task which gives you more time to focus on other business efforts.
If you've ever worked sales before you probably know that the more you can connect with and learn about your leads the better. You can use this information to help tailor your sales materials and presentations and thus have a higher conversion rate.
Hubspot does a great job of collecting lots of information on a lead and compiling it into a complete profile that can be used by your sales team to tailor their follow ups and sales pitches. You area able to see what pages that individual looked at on your website (which services, which blogs, etc), what forms they have filled out, what emails they have opened and it even pulls up all their social media accounts so you can do a bit of research on their interests, hobbies and family life.
All this information also can be automatically imported into a number of full-featured CRM's with integration plugins. Hubspot even has a strategic partnership with Salesforce with built in integration and additional features.
Education, Training, Support & Resources:
Lastly, one of the most valuable things Hubspot offers is the amazing support around their platform which comes in the form of educational materials, trainings and webinars, customer support and additional resources.
These items not only help you more effectively use their tool better but also help educate you on the Inbound Marketing process and how to more effectively run your Inbound Marketing strategy. Best of all, most of this is free for Hubspot users and included as another value-add to using Hubspot.
If you'd like a little more visualization on Hubspot 3, I'd really recommend taking some time (about an 90 minutes) and watch the Hubspot 3 introducation keynote from Inbound 2012 given by Hubspot founders Brian and Dharmesh.
There are other benefits and value-add features within Hubspot. I could write a small book on everything that's included in this tool and how it helps improve your marketing. Things like call to action and landing page A/B testing, in-depth reporting and statistics on traffic, leads and SEO, smart forms, smart lead nurturing campaigns, etc.
What was listed above are some of the key benefits within Hubspot that users have found value in and have aided in their Inbound Marketing efforts. It is a very robust and smart toolset to use, however, this level of marketing power does come with a cost. Again, if leveraged correctly with a successful Inbound Marketing strategy it will be more than worth it.