One of the most commonly asked questions by buyers is "can we just do Inbound Marketing without Hubspot?" What’s happened, more often than not, is they've researched around and found a multitude of tools that do almost all the tasks Hubspot do, but individually. And the bonus? Most of them are free. But, the old phrase "you get what you pay for" rings true here.
Now we don't blame you for wanting to try and beat the system, and we're all about trying to blag a free coffee in Pret, but there is a reason why Hubspot exists and is so successful. It's quite simply because it's biggest strength lies at the heart of the Inbound Campaign. Integration. All the features work in sync and you don't have to rely on multiple tools and interfaces trying to work together,therefore saving you time and frustration.
So instead of just taking our word for it, lets have a look in slightly more detail at how Hubspot can make your Inbound Marketing program easier, more successful and profitable.
Driving Traffic to your Website:
It's all very well having a beautiful and well-constructed website but if no-one sees it, there's very little point. So let's have a look at how to drive traffic to your website with and without Hubspot.
You'll probably need quite a few tools:
- Social Media Management Tools: Hootsuite, TweetDeck or Sprout Social
- Blogging Tools: Wordpress, Evernote or Drupal
- SEO tools: Moz, Majestic SEO or Wordstream
- Landing pages and CTAs crated from scrath in your CMS
You many well need to hire a developer to get all these platforms to work together and trust us they don't come cheap. Then you've got to think about all the inefficiency in having files/photos/plans saved on different platforms to perform social media scheduling, content curation, keyword research and content search optimisation.
Alternatively Hubspot has all these components integrated already and they work together to help you do multiple Inbound Marketing activities. Firstly, monitor what's popular among your social media fans so you can create content that they'll want to read and you'll be able to see what times of days your followers are most active. They'll then review your blogs for you with key points about how to optimise the visibility of your blogs content in search.
Generating Leads and Tracking Prospects
Similarly to having a website that no-one can find, there is little point in having lots of people visiting it if they are not convertring into customers.
So to capture lead data you need a form. These can be created on platforms like MailChimp but will need to be integrated in with your website (yep you can call that developer again). Similarly to record and analyse the data collected in these forms on landing pages you'll need to use a program like Unbounce which helps you create and measure the success of landing pages.
If you then want to track these prospects and leads you would need to use prospect tracking software like Lead Forensics that look up the IP address of your prospect and records when they interact with your website pages notifying you when they have repeat visits. The only problem is it only works with static IP addresses so if the same person looks at you across multiple devices or in multiple locations then it will not be recognised as the same person.
You're able to create landing pages with lead capture forms. Once the data has been submitted in the form the contact is stored on a database where you're able to easily able to categorise the leads into different lists.
As all the data is stored in the same contact database, you're able to gain a much better idea about who is interacting with your business. It works across multiple devices and tracks everything from emails sent, opened and clicked, through to which blog posts they're reading and the content they're downloading and even which social media sites they're sharing your content on. This helps build a picture of the buyers journey which can be tracked by the sales team in order to provide a clearer picture of when a lead is ready for a sales call.
One of the most important parts of Inbound is measuring and analysing data then using the results to improve your marketing performance. Let's have a look what that's like with and without Hubspot?
The most commonly used analytics tool for B2B marketers is Google Analytics. It does have some advantages but it is complicated and time consuming to set-up. You also have to do quite a lot of the legwork: setting up and customising goals and events and tracking conversions. It can be used to track a buyers journey but the results are far from perfect.
Hubspot tracks the whole buyers journey allowing you to instantly see an overview of all the interactions a prospect or lead has had with the business. It can also track individual call-to-actions (CTAs), landing pages, emails etc. and shows how well they are performing - allowing you to experiment with different formats seeing which ones are more successful with leads and prospects. All these features are huge time-savers and provide reliable data and analysis meaning that you can see where the weaknesses in your campaign are and improve them quickly.
To Sum up:
Of course you can use a multitude of other platforms to run your Inbound Marketing campaign but it won't save you money and almost certainly won't be successful. You'll spend more time running around trying to integrate your platforms and remembering where everything is. You'll also lose out on loads of insights could be used to improve your campaign. Without these insights you may keep running an unsuccessful campaign for much longer, which will cost you more money in the long run than if you had invested in the right tools to begin with.