HubSpot Certification: 6 Valuable Inbound Marketing Takeaways

hubspot inbound marketing takeawaysThis week, I’m in Boston at #INBOUND13, a conference organized by inbound marketing software favorite HubSpot. Monday, I attended HubSpot Academy, a jam-packed refresher course on all things inbound marketing, with a focus on using Hubspot to attract, convert, close and delight customers.

While some of the lessons were specific to HubSpot’s software, the underlying principles are based on inbound marketing fundamentals. My top takeaways are applicable to anyone who wants to create marketing that people love.

These lessons may seem basic, but they’re always good to hear and remember.

6 Key Takeaways from HubSpot Academy

1.All of your marketing should be focused on your target customer.

Develop buyer personas that help you understand who your ideal customer is. What’s their background? What are their goals and priorities? What are their challenges at work?

Think about what problems they’re trying to solve, what their work day is like, and what hobbies and interests they have outside of work. Then, gear all of your marketing activity toward those buyer personas.

Before you create an email campaign, design a new website page, or write a Facebook post, think about who you’re writing it for.

2. Set realistic goals and check in often.

HubSpot encourages specific, actionable goals that include a clear deadline. Instead of telling your boss you’d like to increase leads this year, think in terms of real numbers: I’d like to increase leads from our website by 25% in the next two months.

Look at past performance to create realistic predictions; don’t pull numbers out of the clouds. Then, put together a detailed plan to meet your goals. Watch your progress. When you’re falling short, pull in all of your resources to come up with ways to drive progress.

3. Remember: Long-tail keywords are your sweet spot.

In the inbound marketing game, your success will come from ranking well for specific industry keywords. Brainstorm your list of target long-term keywords based on your buyer personas. What problems are your customers trying to solve, and what are they searching for?

If you’re an HR technology company that offers talent management software, you shouldn’t be spending time and energy trying to rank for a broad keyword like “human resources.” A much more realistic and meaningful keyword would “employee review software,” “performance management trends” or “HR software for small companies.”

4. Keep your eye on the prize.

When you’re building a landing page, your only goal for visitors is to convert them. You want them to fill out the form and take the specific action.

Landing pages are not the place to show off all of your pretty, shiny links to other pages. Remove all navigation from your landing page and focus your visitor on one specific action to increase your conversion rate.

5. Always answer the question: “What’s next?”

Don’t leave your customers hanging. Always show them the next step.

After a prospect fills out a form, subscribes to your newsletter or downloads your latest piece of content, don’t miss the next opportunity by showing them a robotic confirmation message (“Your form has been submitted.”). Instead, give them a robust thank-you page with more relevant information, such as recent blog posts on the focus topic.

6. Personalize your marketing content.

My HubSpot professor shared a tip that is simple but extremely valuable: Write in the second person.

Think about the person who’s reading. Experiment with how many times you can use the word YOU in your marketing emails. Focus all of your marketing communication on your target customer — their challenges, goals, and questions.

Don’t spend much time talking about your own company and products. Customers are much more interested in benefits (“Learn how to manage your remote employee teams.”) than features (“Download this 6-page ebook.”).

If you’re at Inbound, find me and say hi! If you’re at home, you can follow the #INBOUND13 conversation all week on Twitter.

Looking for more inbound marketing tips? Get inspired — download our white paper, 5 Ways to Drive More Traffic to Your Business Blog, Now.

Reputation Capital Media Services is a Baton Rouge marketing agency that helps B2B companies and their marketing agencies produce high-quality digital content, including blog posts, e-mail newsletters, white papers and multimedia. Our editors and writers are experts in their fields, which include HR technology, employee benefits, and financial services and accounting. Contact us for a free 30-minute consultation to find out how great content can help you attract and retain your customers.

Lee is senior director of marketing strategy at Reputation Capital. You can find her on Twitter @leevprice.

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