A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far away, good digital marketing entailed having a decent website. You’d add a little bit of info about what you do and why you do it, and you’d hire a photographer to make you and your team look good for the day.
But the same way that cell phones from the ‘90s look like toy bricks today, the website you created in 2007 is probably obsolete. So what’s a confused person to do? Glad you asked.
Turns out, there’s an online platform that has everything you need to get up to speed on what all kinds of buyers, including Gen Xers, Millennials, and Gen Z kids, find appealing today. It’s called HubSpot; and once you learn how to use it, it’ll change the way you do business.
What Is HubSpot?
HubSpot is a business software with their roots in the world of inbound marketing. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, inbound marketing is the methodology that focuses on the needs of your ideal buyers. The process includes attracting, engaging, and delighting people to grow a business that is trustworthy, credible, and consistently providing value for their audience.
For example, let’s say you want to upgrade your internet speed. You go to Google and type in “best internet speed when there are two people working from home” — or something along those lines. The search engine results page lists digital magazine articles, blogs, and an ad or two from local providers. All of these websites you can visit are offering information that you are seeking. Some even offer free guides you can download or blogs and newsletters you can subscribe to. That is inbound marketing.
Now, back to your original question. What is HubSpot? It’s a user-friendly platform that offers everything you need to create effective inbound marketing strategies, track performance, and close those sales. But that's just the Marketing Hub!
Here is a breakdown of all the tools available in the HubSpot platform:
- HubSpot CRM
- HubSpot CMS Hub
- HubSpot Marketing Hub
- HubSpot Sales Hub
- HubSpot Service Hub
- HubSpot Operations Hub
Each hub includes a massive set of tools to bring teams together, all under one software. This streamlines how your business operates, which is why HubSpot is the top choice for business software.
Why Use HubSpot?
Although you could use other platforms to manage your website, they usually offer a limited list of services — such as a place to write content, load photos, and customize a meta description.
But if you want to be able to leverage better SEO tools, customize pages, and keep track of pretty much everything related to your marketing, you’d need to know a whole lot about coding and purchase a wide array of plug-ins and integrations. This can be messy for people who use other CMS platforms, like WordPress.
HubSpot streamlines the process by keeping all the tools you need for your marketing under one roof. And beyond that, thanks to the free HubSpot CRM, you can get your entire company, including your marketing, sales, and customer service teams, all working together seamlessly in the HubSpot platform, which is just one of the many reasons that businesses use it.
It Provides a Centralized Hub For All Your Business Needs.
Not only does HubSpot provide a space to create a full marketing campaign, it also allows you to organize everything in one single account — contacts, buyer personas, content strategy information, website content, sales sequences, lead nurturing campaigns, help desk and ticket automation, and so much more.
Gain access to tools to help you create forms, marketing emails, and call to action buttons without the need to know anything about coding. And as if that weren’t enough, you can also automate customized follow-up communications and schedule your entire social media posts in your calendar. All. In. The. Same. Place. Life can get complicated. HubSpot makes it easier for you.
It’s User Friendly.
You would think that with all the available tools, you’d need to get a PhD to learn how to use them. Not so much.
You can either take the time to sit around and play with options, watch instructional YouTube videos, or go through HubSpot Academy training (more on that later). You’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly and, frankly, will be blown away at how you ever lived without it.
It Provides Detailed Analytics.
You can have general goals, such as having more people visit your website, gaining more subscribers to your blog, or increasing sales by 30 percent by the end of the year. But in order to actually reach those goals, you have to track them. This is why the HubSpot analytics tools are vital.
HubSpot lets you create your own dashboard that reflects the numbers that matter to you. Learn how many visitors come to your page — and what are the sources for such visitors (Google search, referrals from other websites, social media clicks, etc). Or analyze your sales cycle and find ways to improve the amount of time it takes to close a deal.
Whatever your key areas of focus are, with HubSpot, you're able to identify strengths and weaknesses in your marketing, sales, and customer service efforts and tweak your strategy accordingly.
7 Steps to Getting Started With HubSpot the Right Way
Ok. So now you know that HubSpot is the Holy Grail of business software. But what do you need to do to get started?
1. Create An Account.
As with everything else online, start by creating an account. Then, as an admin, invite your marketing, sales, and customer service teams to become users in the same portal.
Remember to grant permissions for people to use all tools that are relevant to their roles. If you don’t have the time or the desire to play around with the settings, follow the step-by-step instructions from HubSpot's knowledge base. There’s a page for everything you need.
2. Connect Your Website.
Next, connect your domain name to the platform. Before doing this, make sure your website’s URL is compatible with HubSpot. It cannot have any special characters, and it cannot exceed 64 characters.
You are also required to have access to the CNAME records with your current web host. This sounds a lot more complicated than what it actually is. As usual, HubSpot makes it easy to connect your domain.
3. Import Your Contacts.
Something that’s really cool about HubSpot is that you can segment your contacts into where they are in their buyer’s journey. That way, you don’t annoy them with cookie-cutter marketing communications that are impersonal or irrelevant.
But before being able to do so, you have to transfer over their names and information. And of course, HubSpot’s knowledge base has detailed, user friendly instructions on how to do so.
4. Set Up Tracking.
If you’re creating your website from scratch on HubSpot, you don’t have to worry about setting this up. But if you’re importing an existing site, you’ll have to install a tracking code.
You do this by clicking on the Settings icon > Tracking & Analytics > Tracking Code, and copy and paste the tracking code. Simple as that!
5. Connect Your Social Media Accounts.
Depending on your industry and target audience, you may be using social media as an essential marketing tool. If so, it behooves you to connect all relevant accounts to HubSpot.
Doing so will allow you to schedule all your posts, as well as track engagement. You’ll be notified of all likes, follows, comments, and shares from all accounts in one place.
6. Watch the HubSpot Academy Instructional Videos.
There are only so many step-by-step guides you can read before your vision becomes blurry, and you suddenly remember that you have to water the plants and clean your windows. To avoid that from happening, take the free online courses available on HubSpot Academy.
Warning: It’s an extensive course catalogue, and it will take several days to get through the ones that are relevant to you. So get some snacks and set aside a good chunk of time to get through them.
7. Complete Exams to Get HubSpot Certifications.
At the end of every certification, there’s a one-hour exam (although honestly, most of them can be completed in much less time than that). It’s a multiple choice format, with a couple of true/false questions sprinkled in. Some also include short practical exercises.
Once you finish, you’ll get industry-recognized HubSpot certifications! It’ll be good for two years, and you can flaunt it on your office walls and LinkedIn account. Granted, you can bypass this step if your line of work doesn’t require it — or if you hire people who already know the platform like the back of their hands.
Tips to Help You Get Started Using HubSpot
In summary, HubSpot is the piece of the puzzle you didn’t know you needed. But once you get it, it’ll complete your marketing, sales, and customer service strategies. Fortunately, there are plenty of tips you can use to make this process of getting started much easier.
- Start using the free versions of each HubSpot hub to test the waters if you're hesitant to pay upfront.
- Look at your current software tools and determine which ones are essential to use as HubSpot integrations, so you can have all your data in your HubSpot account.
- Sign up for HubSpot onboarding so you can start driving revenue and maximizing your return on investment immediately.
- Find an experienced HubSpot Solutions Partner who can help you every step of the way — from setting up your account and integrating your apps to executing strategies and training your entire team on how to use HubSpot to grow your business the right way.
The faster you get your HubSpot completely set up, the quicker you can grow your business and continue increasing revenue.