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How to Do HubSpot (Without HubSpot) Blog Feature

April 3rd, 2014 min read

how_to_do_hubspot_without_hubspotThere's nothing like the convenience of having everything in one place.

If I have errands to run on a rainy Sunday, I'm not looking to travel all over creation.

Knowing that my Netflix is calling my name back at home, I often times stop at the convenience store down the street and pick up everything on my list in one shot. It's as simple as that. 

In the world of inbound marketing, HubSpot is that convenience store. Sure you can still accomplish your marketing efforts without it, but how much time will you waste? How much extra work will you have to do?

Point being, the road to inbound marketing success doesn't have to take you here, there, and everywhere. In fact, it's possible for your marketing efforts to take shape in one integrated platform. 

Don't believe me? Well then pull up a chair and have a seat. I've got a feeling the story of Mary the marketer might help you see things more clearly.

Meet Mary:

For Mary, January marked the start of a new year, and perhaps more importantly, the start of her new job at Mayhem Marketing. While she hadn't held a formal marketing position in the past, her new title came with a set of marketing tools that she thought would surely help her get off on the right foot. 

With Google Analytics, Adwords, MailChimp, a WordPress site, a couple of underutilized social media accounts, and the help of Larry the "web guy", Mary got the ball rolling on mapping out and implementing an inbound marketing strategy. After getting her feet wet with the basics, she decided that she needed quite a few more tools in order to prove herself in this new position. 

Rather than overhaul her entire approach, Mary decided to adopt a new tool each quarter. While moving along at this pace wasn't ideal, it fit her budget so she made it work. 

The Need for Lead (Conversion)

The first addition on her list was Unbounce. 

By now she was using the AdWord's Keyword Planner to conduct keyword research which she used to help her create relevant content for their blog. She was attracting the right audience and building their subscriber list, but she thought that Unbounce would provide her with a way to gate their premium content and capture more leads. 

She decided to move forward with the purchase, and after a bit of training she was not only creating custom landing pages, but she was A/B testing them like it was nobody's business. You go, Mary.

What's lacking: While Mary was certainly doing the best she could with what she had, there were some obvious gaps in her strategy. Having an understanding of how to optimize content, target it, and transform it into some lead generating is critical, but landing page creation alone isn't enough to keep her efforts afloat. Her sales team needed more than just leads coming in, and it started to become evident that Mary's tool kit is far too sparse to support her initiatives. 

Feeding the Sales Team

Come May, Mary started to feel some pressure from sales following a low couple of months.

Having allocated so much time to executing the implementation of a landing page builder and a strategy to increase conversions, Mary had neglected her other priorities. She put MailChimp on the back burner, and never got back to Larry (the "web guy") about the changes that needed to be made to the site.

Sales and marketing have been known to point fingers in the past, so rather than address those issues, they decided to stick to what they really needed from her: an advanced marketing software. In order to do their job correctly, they needed more analytics reports and far more customer intelligence insights than they had access to.

Concerned about the year ahead, Mary decided it was time to start looking into some software. InsideView sounded good, but there was also LeadLander. Ah, decisions, decisions.

After some careful (and time consuming) research, Mary took the plunge with LeadLander hoping that it would take the guess work out of identifying leads while providing sales with the information they needed to shorten the sales cycle and close more deals. 

Crisis averted..or so she thought.

What's lacking: Upon realizing that Google Analytics wasn't providing her sales team with the information they needed to nurture leads, she went a head and purchased LeadLander. With the sales team operating on one platform, and the marketing team bouncing from tool to tool, there wasn't a trace of smarketing consideration. How did she expect these two teams to work together if they were all pulling information from different sources?

Having Social Media Isn't Enough

By now, Mary had her hands full and she had enough tabs open on her desktop to prove it. So when her boss approached her in June stressing the importance of their social media presence, she knew she had to act fast. 

All knowing that there are only so many hours in the day, Mary decided that HootSuite sounded like the solution to her need for consistent and regular social media posts.

After all, social media is a critical aspect of successful inbound marketing strategies. Through social media marketing, businesses have the opportunity to share insight, engage, network, boost traffic, and establish their brand. 

How could she have possibly neglected it for this long? Oh, that's right, she'd been too busy researching and implementing tools X, Y, and Z. 

What's lacking: It turns out that if you're not careful, scheduled posts start to sound a bit robotic. Sure, HootSuite solved her quantity woes, but with no time to focus on quality, her company's social media efforts weren't resonating. With HootSuite, Mary could schedule posts and pull limited insights from their analytics, but it didn't go much further than that. Beyond clicks, how could Mary come to understand her efforts influence on actual customers? How could she make meaning? 

Rethinking This Approach

Is it possible to do HubSpot without HubSpot? Sure. 

Do you want to end up like Mary? Probably not. 

While its fairly simple to find the individual pieces that make upthe HubSpot experience elsewhere, it's the connectivity that HubSpot offers that makes it so invaluable.

Sure, piecing together a Macgyvered toolbox of marketing resources might appear to be cost effective, but in reality the time spent researching, implementing, and trying to integrate each tool individually will set you back. 

The trouble with Mary, and those like her, is that they fail to realize that when you peel back the layers of their compiled efforts, they are often times spending a sizable amount for a small-scale return.

Not only that, but when your blogging platform is over here, your landing page creator over there, and your analytics are everywhere, putting forth an aligned marketing message turns into a shot in the dark. 

So why would you want to make countless stops when you can get everything you need (and more) with just one?

Photo Credit: Amir Hamdi

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