You’re almost ready to sign the dotted line on a contract with a marketing agency.
Before you do, you ask, “Wait – what are the software requirements for your program?”
They assure you there aren’t too many requirements, but as they present their list, your eyes grow wide. You’re certain they’ve printed this list on a never-ending scroll.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Leave the scrolls to the scribes and find yourself an agency that makes the transition easy on you.
Reading time: 7 minutes
- exactly what is our preferred software
- the details on inbound marketing
- the specifics on what's included with our preferred software
Oh… you want to know the software requirements for our program?
*Clears throat and slides you a business card-sized piece of paper*
One word: HubSpot.
That’s right – all you need when you partner with us is one software.
Why only one?
Let me ask you this: would you rather have to use a different remote for each function of your television, or one universal remote that takes care of it all? (yes, this question is rhetorical).
HubSpot is your universal remote for marketing and sales.
Let’s learn more about what you can achieve when you start clicking its buttons.
First - What IS HubSpot?
Short and to-the-point, HubSpot is an inbound marketing and sales software.
The software integrates a vast number of tools to help companies just like yours attract more prospects, convert leads into customers, and turn customers into evangelists of your brand.
Everything you need to implement an inbound marketing and inbound sales program is merged into one platform with HubSpot.
However, what your platform will look like will depend on which package you choose. We recommend the Professional package for most businesses, but in some cases, your technical requirements may mean you need the Enterprise program.
Your package will determine which HubSpot tools are available to you.
Once you’re all set up, you can begin using HubSpot to propel your inbound marketing strategies.
Wait - What is Inbound?
You may already be quite familiar with inbound marketing.
As mentioned, HubSpot’s software is designed to help you attract prospects, convert leads and customers, and ultimately, grow your business. What makes this inbound marketing is the use of content to do so.
By creating and distributing valuable, quality content (like blog posts, eBooks, podcasts, and more), you’re turning your website into a magnet that draws potential customers to you, instead of vying for their attention like you would with traditional marketing.
With the motto “don’t interrupt buyers, attract them!” in mind, HubSpot allows you to cover the four basic stages of inbound – Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight. In each stage, you’ll use different tools to achieve different goals.
In this stage, you want to provide prospects with answers to their questions. Blog posts, eBooks, and videos are just some of the many content types you may use to do so. You’ll also want to optimize your content for search engines and share your content via social media.
In this stage, you want to turn traffic into leads through powerful offers. You’ll need to have premium content pieces that can only be obtained when prospects fill out a form (gated content) to provide you with their information. This allows you to build an email list and engage serious prospects with lead nurturing.
In this stage, with your grown email list, you can use emails to reach out to leads at optimal times. This allows you to take your leads into the customer stage, and you can then analyze these marketing strategies using “closed loop reporting.”
This is a stage that follows the closing of a sale. It’s when you continue to collect information from prospects who became customers, in order to loop back to the Attract stage. Since you know what has worked, you can create more content that will be relevant and valuable to your prospects.
If you want to do all this with just one platform – HubSpot is your answer.
And here’s how it works…
A Look at Your Dashboards
When you sign into your HubSpot account, you will have access to two different dashboards – one for marketing, and one for sales.
On each customizable dashboard, you'll get a quick overview of the results and data you care about. You can see even more details when you look at specific categories (such as top blog posts, social clicks, or email performance).
Across the top, you’ll see the groupings of tools at your disposal. Here’s a little more about what you can expect with each:
There’s a lot of marketing activity going on here – it’s where your content is created and managed. Blogs, landing pages, emails, and calls-to-action are the main types of content that will act as the building blocks of your inbound marketing strategy. Content should be used at every stage.
HubSpot provides the structure for us to create your content, and offers a variety of tools to help us best optimize that content. We’ll be able to monitor things like keywords that real prospects are searching for every day so your content is search engine optimized, and to give us more ideas for content.
You’ll be able to see results like website traffic and call-to-action engagement to directly monitor how your content is performing. This is a valuable asset – the numbers don’t lie!
Your social tab covers all things social (shocker!). Social plays an important role in inbound, especially during the Attract stage.
The great thing about linking your social marketing with HubSpot? It's an all-encompassing platform. Your social publishing, monitoring, and reporting on performance are all neatly organized here.
We will schedule your social content and all the activity that follows will automatically show up in HubSpot streams, allowing you to watch the results unfold. Here, we can even directly engage with prospects without having to leave HubSpot!
Now that you’ve attracted a steady flow of traffic to your website and engagement with your content, you’ll need a way to keep things organized. The tools under the Contacts category are designed for effective lead management. New leads will be automatically added to your Contacts when they fill out forms on your site, and you have the option to import contacts as well.
You can organize and segment these leads further with Lists, a tool that allows you to group contacts into categories to help you recognize where each lead came from and what stage they’re in. Workflows and Forms are analytic tools to help bring in contacts and automate marketing systems, saving you time while keeping your marketing strategy on task.
When a prospect converts to a lead at the right stage, it’s time for Sales to step in! That makes this platform ideal for your sales team since all the contact information is at their disposal. With additional tools, your sales team can utilize HubSpot’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.
In addition to the accessible contact information, a sales consultant can send emails, schedule follow-ups, and save notes to individual lead profiles or groups of leads, all within HubSpot’s easy-to-use CRM. Connecting marketing and sales through the CRM makes it easier to both close customers and follow up to keep them delighted.
The Reports dashboard is exactly what it sounds like. Your marketing tactics will all be tracked and monitored, and this is where you’ll get a clear view of the results.
With the use of analytics tools, the effect of your content is given a quantitative weight. You can see things like percentage increases of website visits from one month to the next, or blogs that have generated the most leads of all time.
This is helpful throughout every stage as you're able to see what's performing well and continue to create great, quality content that your prospects love. And since the stats are calculated, a huge advantage of investing in HubSpot is you get a concrete representation of your ROI!
And So Much More…
Whew. We’ve covered a lot here, and it’s only the tip of the iceberg. If we tried to include every single HubSpot tool and their functions… well, that’s when we’d have to pull out a never-ending scroll of our own.
The bottom line? You don’t need a separate software for each tool and feature, HubSpot is truly a hub that has it all!
In the end, could you do inbound without HubSpot?
Sure, in much the same way that you could build a new home without power tools.
It’ll just take a lot more time, money, and energy.
So… in the end, why would you do online marketing without HubSpot?
While you ponder, I’ll leave you with some feedback from our clients that couldn’t imagine running their inbound programs without HubSpot.
If, during your pondering, you're starting to wonder what you need to know about working with a marketing agency, then click the button below to get your handbook. Our free guide has all you need to know when it comes to assessing and hiring a great agency.