It can be hard for some business owners to break away from do-it-yourself tendencies. After putting years of blood, sweat, and tears into a company, it’s hard to leave something as critical as marketing up to someone else. We get that.
For some, hiring a HubSpot agency is a no-brainer, because they would rather spend time doing what they love – running the business. For others, relinquishing control is not such an easy task. In fact, we work with three different types of companies, those whose owners all want to do it themselves and just need consulting, those who have a marketing person in-house, or those who outsource these services to an agency. All reasonable choices, but they all come with a certain measure of risk.
If you’re one of the first group, a business owner who likes to take the reigns and do everything yourself, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of HubSpot.1. Learn the Ropes
If you want to play the game, you must respect the rules and abide accordingly. Carve out a specific amount of time each day to learn how to execute an inbound marketing campaign and how to use each tool in HubSpot. They offer excellent training for their customers; so don’t hesitate to dive into the sea of resources every single day until you feel comfortable with everything.
As discussed earlier, a good rule of thumb would be to set aside around 2-hours/per day for the next 6 weeks to immerse yourself in the training resources as much as possible.2. Create a Strategy
We cannot say this enough. We will never stop emphasizing the need to create a strategy, because we encounter so many businesses that forget this step. A strategy isn’t another checkmark on your list of to-dos; it’s a living document that evolves as you track and measure effectiveness.
Start creating a strategy by really getting to know your ideal customers and understanding their needs. Then map out their journey from information seeker, to finding your business, and deciding whether to buy from you or another competitor. Every customer travels a specific path before buying your product or service. One you’ve mapped that out, you can determine what type of content they need at each point along this path to move them to the next step.
What you write about should be driven by what your data reveals. What type of content does your audience engage with most? What channels are most effective at driving traffic, leads, customers? What are your competitors having success with?
You want to provide answers to your customer’s most pressing questions and deliver that content to them at the most appropriate time in the places they like to consume it. This means you have to abandon your agenda of pushing your products and services and instead become your customer’s primary resource for information in your industry. This all starts by deciphering what your data is telling you about what type of content your customers like to consume and where.
4. Measure and Improve
One of the neatest features in HubSpot is Closed-Loop analytics.
With a few clicks, you can find out what content is getting the best results and where all your visitors, leads, and customers are coming from. These details are crucial to your success. Adjust and improve your strategy as more data emerges. Rinse & repeat this step often and watch your strategy thrive!
These steps are pretty much non-negotiable for successful inbound marketing, and as you can see it can turn into a fulltime job rather quickly. Are you up for the challenge?
On the other hand, if you’re a company with a hefty marketing budget and would like to hire someone in-house, here is a bit of advice.1. Direct Experience Only
Don’t waste a dime on any person or persons that don’t have direct experience with HubSpot if they’re going to be running your inbound marketing. Otherwise, you’ll still have to deal with a lack of expertise and the learning curve involved. Why pay someone to learn something new when you could find someone with solid experience? On the job description, make sure you require HubSpot and inbound marketing experience.
And then there are those companies who have a dedicated budget and want to hire a marketing agency. This is probably the best choice to save time, money, and headaches, but don’t take our word for it, do your own due diligence. If you decide to go this route, here are some tips to help you with your search.2. Direct Experience & Certification
A HubSpot-certified agency has five key differentiators: training/mastery with the software, accomplishments (results), expertise, clients, and strategy. Only do business with an agency that can show and explain every facet of what they have to offer you based on what they’ve already achieved.
When researching potential companies, look for case studies and whitepapers on their website. Do they practice what they preach? Dig deep into their track record and make sure they’re worth every penny. Require HubSpot and inbound marketing certification.
It’s always a good thing when an agency has a good relationship with HubSpot. The partnership program offers many different tiers (silver, gold, platinum). If the agency you’re looking for is involved with the HubSpot Partner Program, then you know they have lots of experience and a great relationship with the HubSpot team.4. Strategic Formula
Ask the agency how they come up with their strategic formula. Inbound marketing is a new marketing philosophy that yields great results, so you’re going to see a swarm of people claiming to be experts. Only hire those who can deliver using a documented content strategy. You need an agency that understands that strategy is the first step in any successful inbound marketing campaign, not tactics and deliverables.
If you simply MUST try to manage HubSpot on your own, you should adhere to the tips listed above. Keep in mind that hiring someone in-house comes with much of the same risk and uncertainty as doing it yourself. In many cases, hiring an outside agency is the best way to guarantee results, but only if they’re HubSpot and Inbound marketing certified with the portfolio to prove it. Explore your options and choose wisely.