Last week, the TREW Crew headed to Boston for a full-court press of training on HubSpot software and inbound marketing best practices. This follows over 50 hours of training by the team this past summer, culminating in TREW being named a HubSpot Certified Partner just two weeks ago. Here are our top takeaways from the week – look for lengthier posts to come diving into these and other topics from the conference.
During Inbound 2012, HubSpot announced their latest 3.0 software release themed around cool new features combined together for a greater impact (or the more catchy articulation of 1+1=3).
Dharmesh Shah on stage at Inbound 2012 showing off the features of the 3.0 release
Of these new features, there are a few stand-outs that the Hubspot-Certified TREW Crew is excited to implement right away. (For illustrative purposes, we will discuss these features using a fictitious TREW prospect named Larry).
- Smart Calls-to-Action (CTAs) – Larry has already visited TREW Marketing and downloaded the Smart Marketing Guide for Engineers, so the next time Larry visits the site, he would see an offer for our white paper, Inbound Marketing: 5 Keys to Generating Leads on Your Website.
- Smart Forms – When Larry returns to the TREW site for more fantastic TREW downloads, we will remember his information and not ask for the same personal information again.
- Contacts timeline view – Not only can we learn about Larry from what he has shared with TREW, as well as by viewing his social media activity, the new HubSpot timeline view provides us with a visual story of the actions Larry has taken on the TREW site and lifecycle status.
- Social media management – HubSpot 3 makes social sharing easier, providing us with the ability to post to multiple accounts and platforms. It has built-in scheduling (and timing suggestions) so that we reach Larry when his is more likely to be plugged into his social accounts.
These are just a few of the many new cool features in Hubspot 3. For more about this new release, visit the Hubspot website.
2) Marketing Math – Calculating Visits to Leads to Sales
We all would like to formulaically know how many visitors to our website it will take to convert the right number of leads to generate the revenue our business needs. Up to now, that has been difficult, but with HubSpot’s automated and highly analytical inbound marketing tools, it gets a lot easier.
Mike Volpe, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of HubSpot, shared his process for doing just this, using an example revenue goal, sales data, and analytics from his HubSpot marketing tools. By knowing his average revenue per customer, and historical data on his lead-to-customer and visitor-to-lead conversion rates from HubSpot, he gladly signed his marketing team up to do their part to support sales.
Look for another post to come that goes into much greater detail about this example, including formulas and real numbers. In the end, his marketing team needed tens of thousands of leads to generate less than one hundred more customers for sales – and the key to marketing doing this job is a continuous flow of new content, distributed across marketing channels. To read more about this and whet your appetite, check out our new Inbound Marketing white paper.
3) Content is Still King.
We’ve said it in blog posts, we’ve said it books, and we’ve said it in probably every client meeting over the last five years:
Content. Is. King.
According to everything we learned at Inbound 2012, content is still king. But, marketing best practices have to adapt, because as Gary Vaynerchuk said (with much more *colorful words), “As marketers, we take every good idea, every great new technology, practice, and tactic, and we ruin it. We use it and we squeeze the life out of it until no one likes it anymore.”
Drastic statement? Think about traditional mail. Surely our grandparents were excited to get mail. Are you excited? Probably not, because it’s full of junk and ads. Marketers ruined it. We use a spam blocker to filter our marketing emails and a DVR to skip commercials. Mass-produced, generic content has been squeezed pretty hard, but content is still important.
So how is content evolving? With context. Content is still king, but it needs to be in the right context for the audience. Marketers have to understand what their customers and potential customers want, what their interests are, and provide content that will appeal to those customers best in order to succeed.
4) Try again.
The slide above is from Rand Fishkin’s, CEO of SEO software company SEOmoz, keynote speech on SEO tactics. In this new age of inbound marketing, we feel a sense of duty to constantly pump out content and make it go “viral” – to reach new audiences by blogging and sharing via social media.
Rand’s example of his guide, “SEO: The Free Beginner’s Guide From SEOmoz” was a great case study of how he launched and re-launched this guide. On the first try, it did not generate much traffic nor did it capture the top spot on Google’s results page. He then revised and re-launched it two, three, and even four times to finally earn the top ranking spot on Google, which now effectively drives traffic back to his website.
The lesson here is that you can launch a revised white paper year over year at the same URL. With each new version, Google will see the new signals accruing at this URL and will increase its ranking in the search engine results. Also, don’t be afraid to blog about the updated version, and post it on social media multiple times. If your first attempt failed, no one will care if you revise and repost it…because no one saw it to begin with.