Welcome to wonderful world of HubSpot and Inbound Marketing! We are so happy to see you here, really!
HubSpot is a great tool for digital and inbound marketing, lead nurturing and of course customer relationship management. But with all these great tools in one compact software instance it can also be overwhelming!
Whether you just had your company purchase HubSpot or your story is like mine, that you accepted a position where you had to learn HubSpot, I think your first few steps are the same. Lean into the amazing tool you have by using the resources from HubSpot, fully diving into the inbound methodologies, and most importantly being realistic with your time and bandwidth. To build a fully functioning, optimal, start to finish initiative takes time. There's just no way around it if you want a stellar end result. Below are my recommendations for getting started.
This is not a 'is the chicken or egg first' type of question. The answer is buyer personas first. In my opinion the very first thing you need to do is determine and build your buyer personas. Regardless of strategy or tactic ALL must be created with a solid buyer persona in mind. So find that existing customer data, dig through it, determine the standard demographics and then dig even deeper. What do they do for fun, where do they hang out and most importantly what questions do they ask or pain points do they have? Need a little help? We have a buyer persona worksheet, or use a HubSpot resource like this persona generator.
(Sometimes referred to as the HubSpot Learning Center -- they are the same thing)
Next, you need to look under the hood of that machine you have! I know it is very tempting to just roll up your sleeves and get started on the shiniest, most exciting tool you see! (ok, maybe you have already started, but lean back a minute and hear me out.)
HubSpot put together an amazing resource and it is all right in your HubSpot account.
When you click that down arrow next to your avatar you will see "HubSpot Academy" about half way down the options. Click and enter a whole new world! Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating a little. ;) But -- it is a whole new world. Use that search bar, or the categories drop down menu, to find lessons that interest you OR start with some certifications. I recommend two certifications for ALL new HubSpot users:
- Inbound Marketing
- HubSpot Marketing Software
However, if you are sales focused only, you may want to check out these certifications first:
- HubSpot Sales Software
Sorry those are not hyperlinked, you'll have to copy and paste them into the search bar within HubSpot. This will allow you get credit on your user account for completion lessons or certifications.
Start to End
HubSpot tools are so robust that you can very easily go down a rabbit hole with nothing completed to show for it. Now that you've gone through the academy and have seen the multiple options available to you, you should determine your biggest pain point and the best tactic to implement first that you can start and complete fully before moving to another tactic. When working with clients I suggest they consider 2 factors when determining where to begin with a full execution of tactic implementation:
- Is there a business deadline looming or quickly approaching?
- Is there a manager/colleague that you report to that is expecting a quick win?
In business we tend to report to others, whether it is a manager, an executive, or colleagues that rely on us to feed their side of the business. So regardless of the shiniest tool in HubSpot, you need to think about the best way forward to satisfy (or show up) whoever is the highest priority in your first moments. Some quick wins for a start to finish item could be:
- Attach Social Accounts and schedule weeks or months out!
- this makes everyone's life easier so you can strategize social and it runs while you are knee deep into other HubSpot rabbit holes.
- Don't forget to monitor and respond to any conversations on your social channels (sometime I have to calendar this to ensure I remember!) Yes, you can monitor some social and respond in HubSpot.
- Link Chat to the Sales Team
- You can connect Live Chat or a Chatbot on any page or your website.
- If you have a hands-on sales team that is eager to talk with prospects at any stage of the buyer's journey, it is easy to set up Live Chat on your website via conversations and you can have the sales team set up to engage with those chatters. Here's a great video from HubSpot on setting up Live Chat.
- A Chatbot make take you a little more time to integrate but will save the sales team time by using the chatbot to answer basic questions and allows the chatter to self identify their stage of the buyers journey. Our own Dustin Bracket wrote a great blog on how to think through and implement a great chatbot.
This is my favorite aspect (yes, I am a marketing geek, thanks for noticing). Campaigns can literally tie everything together for you. It also makes you look really good and knowledgeable to those not in HubSpot because of the reporting it can provide! Who doesn't love that?! But in order to look like a marketing report rockstar you have to not only set up campaigns properly you need to utilize it with EVERY related tactic, from landing pages to social posts and everything in between. Spend a little time brainstorming what campaigns you want to track -- are they service/product based, initiative based, or something else that would maybe win over the leadership team?
I recommend campaigns even for the smallest multi-channel program because it still allows you to see reporting for all assets. For example: let's say you have zero budget but want to increase your blog followers. Set up a campaign that captures all of that effort -- blog subscription form, social posts, blog subscription landing page, CTA, blog posts and emails could be included. If you add the 'Blog Subscribers' campaign to ALL of those assets, you can not only see how all of your efforts are working -- you can use the report to see what areas aren't working that you may need to update or improve to increase total conversions as well as blog subscriber numbers.
However, you can also use campaigns for extremely robust multi-channel scenarios as HubSpot describes in this overview video and in their Campaign pillar page. And now that HubSpot Ads is included in all levels of HubSpot software offerings you can attach those KPIs as well.
I realize it is a lot. But if you take it one step or bite at a time, you'll be a HubSpot Rockstar in no time!
However, if you are feeling a little overwhelmed with the best way to use HubSpot or what initiative to launch first (like I was in the beginning), we are here to help. Check out our HubSpot One Pagers to see what each hub has to offer!