If you’re on HubSpot, you’re aware it has a multitude of features to make any marketing geek and sales rep happy. And while you’re probably using a lot of them to make your processes easier at work, do you know if you’re getting the most out of the platform?
The truth is, you don’t know what you don’t know. And maybe there are tools that would simplify your life even more than what it is now. Getting acquainted with hacks and best practices will give you ideas about how to optimize your use of the software — and by extension, your employee retention and user experience.
HubSpot’s Report on the State of Content Marketing
First, let’s take a look at statistics that highlight how crucial it is to get the most out of your marketing efforts.
HubSpot’s Report on the State of Content Marketing for 2021 looked into industry trends and insights by surveying 1,500 marketers from around the world. And their findings reflect what we’ve pretty much known all along: In today’s world of instant gratification and constantly exposed to content, it’s more important than ever to develop a marketing strategy, create a lot of content, and use tools that simplify the entire process — from creation to dissemination.
Specifically, it showcases the following:
- Almost half of buyers view three to five pieces of content from a company before engaging with them.
- The top three channels for distributing content for B2B companies are their business website, marketing emails, and social media channel.
- The most effective tools used by B2B companies to facilitate their content marketing efforts are email marketing software, social media publishing, and analytics.
- 69% of marketers surveyed invested in search engine optimization (SEO) to increase the likelihood of being found in SERPs by their target audience.
HubSpot’s Report on the State of Service
By the same token, HubSpot recently published their State of Service Report for 2022. And while you most definitely want to implement all available HubSpot tools for your marketing strategy, it highly behooves you to take a close and detailed look at your customer service.
There is plenty of data to show that customers are willing to switch companies — and even pay more for services — for a better customer experience.
- 60% of high-growth respondents reported the use of a help desk.
- Leveraging CRM and help desk was correlated with higher growth in 2021.
- 91% of respondents agreed that HubSpot’s help desk system increased their team’s productivity.
- 95% agreed that HubSpot’s CRM powers their entire customer experience by centralizing customer data — which allows for better collaboration and coordination of work.
Knowing these stats puts front and center the need to prioritize and level up your customer service strategies. And while you can invest in several different softwares for each of the elements listed above (content management system, lead nurturing, CRM, service desk, etc…), the reality is that HubSpot offers all of them wrapped up in a proverbial neat little bow.
HubSpot Best Practices for 2022
Alright. So you have the software. You’re using a lot of its functionalities. You’ve reaped the benefits. But are you aware of all that the platform can do for you? Let’s look at some of its best practices, just to be on the safe side.
Creating Customer Portals
Providing your clients with the ability to log in to check on their status of their account with you is a God-sent. Admit it. You can hear a choir of angels singing. By creating customer portals, your clients will no longer have to wait for regular business hours to reach out to you; nor will your team have to stop working on something important to answer minor or repetitive questions.
These portals provide a myriad of information pertaining to each account, including previous communications, support tickets, and project status. You can also set up a knowledge base for them to look up for additional information they may need.
Enabling Native Payments
No matter what you do, your industry, or what you're trying to sell, always be customer-centric. So move heaven and earth to make things as easy as possible for them. This is why if you're on HubSpot, you should be implementing their native payments feature. You can set it up to receive recurring payments and to accept different forms of payment.
Even if you send paper bills, or through email, or they can just call you and pay by phone, offering additional options means catering to different people's needs. It's all about making it most convenient for them.
Testing New Processes Through Sandboxes
HubSpot's sandbox feature lets you test new processes — from new software integrations, marketing automation, custom objects, landing pages, CMS assets, try out a new theme or new website content — without taking it live. Try as many iterations as you want, without disrupting or confusing your customers, or taking down your site temporarily.
Visitor Tracking and Personalization
Personalizing your communications with prospects increases the likelihood that they’ll engage with your content. HubSpot enables you to do this not only with your marketing emails, but also with your website pages and landing pages.
You can do so by using personalization tokens based on the values in your CRM objects. Prior to doing this, however, you have to make sure you’re tracking your website visitors using browser cookies. This will work even before they’re stored in your contacts. Hubspot will know about their activities based on their tracking code.
Social Media Integration
Everyone and their mother is on social media. There’s a platform for all demographics and purposes. So when doing market research as you develop your buyer persona, you should be aware of their preferred channels and integrate them with your HubSpot account.
You’ll be able to manage every single one of your social media from one central location. This includes monitoring it for messages, comments, and mentions, which sets the stage for better marketing and customer service, as you can create support tickets from messages received in our social media inboxes.
HubSpot also links all of these interactions with your CRM, so that our sales and support teams are able to have conversations with them within context.
HubSpot makes inbound marketing so easy. You can use their themes, templates, drag-and-drop functionalities, and CTA generators to create blogs, eBooks, white papers, case studies, infographics, and any other type of lead magnet.
You can also use HubSpot’s content strategy tool to help you visualize your content’s internal linking structure as you plan your topic clusters. It provides a layout of each topic, subtopic, keywords used for all of them, and how to guide readers through your content.
Since you spend so much time and resources creating content, you should make sure that it’s all conducive to guiding your prospects along their buyer’s journey. A good starting point to do this is to do a content audit.
Make a list of all of your content assets — such as blogs, infographics, landing pages, and content offers. Then, look for ways to either repurpose, update, or optimize them. HubSpot makes this last item easy by providing you with SEO suggestions right there on the page. Missed a meta description last time? Need alt text? To include internal links? Always pay attention to these suggestions. Despite their name, they’re actually required if you want a fighting chance to stand out among your competitors.
Doing content audits regularly will improve the rank of your webpages and give you better insights into what works and what doesn’t. Don’t take the latter as a failure. Pivot to something more effective (maybe through adaptive testing) or cut your losses.
Smart Content and Progressive Profiling
A repeat customer doesn’t need to see the same content as a first-time website visitor. By the same token, a person who’s already enrolled in one of your webinars doesn’t need to see more promo materials for it.
HubSpot avoids wasting your prospects and contacts’ time by enabling you to tailor your content to their specific circumstances. With smart content, you can ensure that the version that displays when a website visitor comes in through their browser is based on actions they have already taken in the past. This way, you guide them along more effectively.
And with progressive profiling, the forms on your site become smarter, too. Fields that appear are based on their previous answers, and you avoid asking the same thing repeatedly. Shorter forms translate to increased conversions. It’s a win-win.
Lead scoring takes all the information gathered from a lead to evaluate how likely they are to become a customer. This is based on website visits, their job title, industry, company size, page views, the type of content they’ve interacted with, and whether they’ve reached out to your company.
Using this tool can help you significantly shorten the sales cycle by putting your sales team in contact with these individuals at the right time. It also provides insights to your marketing team to target them with bottom of the funnel content.
You can set this up by using the HubSpot Score in your contact properties. Keep in mind that this capability is available only for professional and enterprise accounts.
Lead Nurturing Through Email Marketing
Email marketing has one of the highest ROI when it comes to promoting your business. HubSpot makes this process painless by enabling you to set up specific user triggers to deploy communications. This can also be based on a preset workflows schedule or their contact segmentation category within the CRM.
HubSpot lets you automate email drip campaigns without needing to know anything about coding. All you need to do is identify to whom the emails will be sent to, set the enrollment criteria, create campaign assets, and monitor their emails' performance. Always monitor performance; and when in doubt, use A/B testing.
Marketing automation makes things easier for everyone — for you, your employees, your prospects, and customers. It reduces the need for repetitive tasks (yay, employee satisfaction!) and ensures the timely deployment of communications, whether through marketing emails, social media posts, or ad campaigns.
Task automation can be implemented across many functionalities, including task management, chat bots, and help desk. And HubSpot’s visual editor tool provides a look of what your workflows will look like; which is extremely useful in complex campaigns.
HubSpot also lets you automate lead scoring, updates for each of your properties, and even alerting specific team members when it's time to follow up with a contact. Use all of them. The whole point is to have your marketing, sales, and service operations moving along like a well-oiled machine.
Customer Feedback Surveys
Analytics are essential and wonderful, yes, but the best source of information as to whether any of your efforts are effective are your customers. So use HubSpot's customer feedback tools to ask them. There are plenty of templates and customization options so that you can collect data in a way that makes sense for your business.
You can send them via email, or share a link through live chat. You can also choose from one of the pre-built surveys. The platform includes net promoter score (NPS), customer effort score (CES), and customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys.
Let Us Up Your HubSpot Game With Our HubSpot Audit Services
If you’re not sure if you’re using HubSpot effectively — or if you aren’t quite sure if there are any tweaks that would make your processes better — let us help you. We’re proud to be a HubSpot Elite Partner Agency, we’re offering audits to HubSpot customers. And if it all becomes too overwhelming, we can also offer consulting or management services. Try us out. You’ll be happy you did.
Alejandra Zilak is a content writer, ghostwriter, blogger, and editor. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism and a Juris Doctor. She's licensed to practice law in four jurisdictions and worked as an attorney for almost a decade before switching careers to write full time. She loves being part of the Bluleadz team and implementing SEO best practices with her content. When not working, she loves to read, write fiction, and long distance running.