If you are having difficulties with HubSpot, it's because you are not using it to its full potential. In reality, it is a great tool for most B2B companies. But if it's not producing the desired results, it can be frustrating.
1. You haven't created any SMART goals
Without setting specific goals, tracking your marketing performance and/or understanding the return on investment (ROI) of your HubSpot activities will be difficult.
So the first thing you need to do is to set “SMART” - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely goals.
Need an example of a smart goal? One would be to increase your website traffic by 20% between 1st April 2018 and 31st June 2018. If you have clear goals for each aspect of your marketing activity, your team will know exactly what to work towards and will be able to develop a clear strategy to achieve them.
2. You don't have a clear strategy
You and your team need a plan and a strategy - after all, without one in place how will your business’ marketing succeed and how will you go about achieving your goals? Without a plan and clear strategy, it’s easy to get lost and forget the purpose of your marketing activity. Why are you doing what you are doing? Why are you creating the content you’re creating and then publishing? Your team need to be “moving” in the same direction to achieve your agreed goals as discussed in section one.
Check out this article ‘What Elon Musk Taught Me About Growing A Business’ by HubSpot’s Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Dharmesh Shah, and find out why everyone in your business needs to be moving in the same direction.
3. You haven’t got a rolling 12-month plan
We LOVE Gantt Charts.
Gantt charts allow you to illustrate your project schedule and put your strategy onto paper, giving you a clear timeline plan of what elements need to be completed and when. For example, posting a blog; you don’t just ‘post’ a blog – there’s a first draft, a review, a second draft, a build, a design review, search engine optimisation (SEO), and social media promotion to consider.
Gantt charts allow you to break down marketing activities into specific actions that you need to complete, be it building a website, building a blog, or conducting an SEO review.
4. You haven’t moved your website onto the HubSpot CMS
HubSpot is full of fantastic tools, and the beauty of them all being in one place is that all your data is in one place and linked to your marketing and sales activity. For example, if you were to look at a specific contact record in HubSpot, that contact record would be populated with information in relation to your business’ marketing and sales activity and the contact’s engagement with your business. You can see what emails they have been sent by your marketing and sales team, the social channels they have interacted with your business on, who their lead owner is, and how far down the sales cycle they are.
If you’re already using HubSpot for some of its features, perhaps the analytics tool and/or the CRM, you should consider moving your whole website into HubSpot. Doing so puts all of your activity in one place, and you don’t have to learn how to use another tool as you already know HubSpot!
5. You haven't completed a content audit
For Inbound Marketing and HubSpot to work, you need content. Instead of just going ahead and creating new content, you should check your existing cupboards and files to see what you can reuse. Existing content can be repurposed, reformatted and renewed to provide additional value.
Check your top performing content. Analyse it. Why did it gain so much attention? Was it actually relevant to your target audience? Was it aligned with the buyer’s journey and targeted at your prospective buyers? Asking these questions will allow you to understand what kind of content you can create in the future, while updating your old content to include new information will help you to attract more visitors to your website and generate interest quickly.
6. You don't have content for each stage of the Buyer's Journey
In order for your Inbound Marketing campaigns to be successful, you need to be able to attract new people to your website, convert them from unknown website visitors into known leads, and also close known leads into long-lasting customers.
To do so, you need to be producing content for each stage of the buyer’s journey: Awareness, Consideration and Decision. Why is this important? Well, without addressing the pain points of your buyer personas through content at each stage, you decrease your chances of nurturing your visitors into leads, and your leads into customers significantly. Content, in addition to building trust among your prospects and clients, raising brand awareness, and helping you to become a thought leader, also makes it easier for your prospects to find you online.
You should aim to answer your buyer personas’ questions at each stage of the buyer’s journey. So, for awareness, you want to be producing content for people who are only just discovering what they are looking for. These are people who are only just becoming aware of an issue they are experiencing. Then, you should have content suitable for those who are considering the different options out there to find the best solution. Finally, the decision stage is where you create and advertise content outlining what your product or services can provide. This is where prospects are actively browsing through the various options available to them and are deciding on which is the best one.
See how to use the marketing funnel to make the most of your Inbound Marketing.
7. You haven’t achieved or planned Marketing and Sales alignment
HubSpot regularly emphasises the importance of marketing and sales alignment - and the HubSpot Marketing Automation software makes it easy for you to integrate the two. However, while the platform is helpful in this respect, if your teams don’t actually work together, your business’ marketing and sales activity will suffer.
Make sure to have meetings between marketing and sales to avoid misunderstandings and come to agreements. It is recommended to have weekly meetings to plan ahead. These meetings can be a place for both teams to set goals, identify problems, brainstorm solutions and make assignments. Marketing and sales should also agree on strategies to acquire new leads, how many and when sales will contact them. Ensuring the marketing to sales process isn’t disjointed will also increase the number of leads likelier to convert into customers.
8. You're not working with a HubSpot Growth Consultancy
Do you want your business to grow?
HubSpot’s leading partners, agencies and consultancies are experts in helping businesses like yours grow. When it comes to creating goals, setting strategy and creating (and implementing) a plan, it can be frustrating to have to learn a brand new tool at the same time - which is why you use a HubSpot Growth Consultancy. HubSpot Growth Consultancies are people who know the ins and outs of the HubSpot tool and have a proven track record of helping businesses such as yours to succeed and grow.
9. You haven’t been equipped with HubSpot knowledge and training
Knowing how to use the tool is fundamental. If you’re experiencing problems with it or don’t understand it, then you will not be able to achieve the results you want.
Have you checked out HubSpot Academy? If you’re a HubSpot user and you haven’t yet, you definitely should. HubSpot has put together a number of detailed training courses that will help you to take your HubSpot knowledge to the next level and get the most out of the tool.
If you want more specific training that’s tailored to your needs, find an agency that offers HubSpot training. Explain to them what you are interested in learning about and what you want to achieve with the tool and the HubSpot training experts can provide you with the practical, hands-on training tailored to your needs.
10. You don’t think SEO from day one
If you are creating content and not seeing results, it’s most likely due to a poor SEO and content strategy. When it comes to creating content, you must have an SEO plan in place to ensure your content targets the right keywords and reaches your target audience.
Plan the keywords you will be using to target your audience. Use them in alignment with best SEO practices - if unsure how, speak to an expert.
Another thing to do is to create topic clusters. The idea of topic clusters revolves around one main topic with subtopics within it, in the form of a pillar page containing hyperlinks of relevant blog posts within. A topic cluster approach will allow you to build page authority in the eyes of Google and drive more targeted traffic to your website.