Congratulations - you’ve bought HubSpot and you’re ready to be plunged into the world of automated B2B inbound marketing. Logging into your account for the first time, you’re dazzled by the promise of new ways to make your sales and marketing figures soar - and the extensive orange branding, of course. But are you ignoring the tell-tale signs that you need help to make HubSpot work to your advantage? We've spelled it out to you below.
1. You're big on ideas and short on time
You've heard great things about HubSpot and already your head is brimming with ideas for fabulous marketing content that will knock the socks off potential customers and make your business dreams come true. Then the phone rings. Glancing at the clock, you conclude there’s less than sixty minutes until your first meeting of the day.
You’re a busy business owner/CEO/in-demand marketing manager for whom there already aren't enough hours in the day. Surveying HubSpot’s vast array of B2B marketing bells and whistles, you get the feeling that all you will accomplish in an hour is a sense that inbound is overwhelming complicated. Your email pings. The clock on your iPhone’s home screen tells you that you’re already 3 minutes late to the boardroom. You may have been too busy to notice, but the dawning realisation that you don't have the time to dedicate to inbound is the first indication that you should have hired an inbound marketing consultant or B2B marketing agency.
2. You swamp your junior staff
A few days roll past before you find the time - or summon the courage - to log back into your HubSpot portal. As you scroll through the knowledge section of HubSpot, you learn new terminology and read tips on merging databases and implementing your first email campaign. Then a flip switches a light on in your brain. You need a marketing assistant - someone to create content, manage campaigns and design infographics on their Macbook Pro. One of those latte-drinking, avocado-eating Millennials everyone is always talking about. They’ll know what to do.
Whoa. Hold on. Just like you can’t become fluent in French overnight, HubSpot takes time, training and practice to become proficient. It wasn’t long ago that (too) many companies thought they could hire juniors or enlist interns to do their social media optimisation. But without training and adherence to a content plan, the result was generally a lot of unstrategic noise on the business social channels. Junior staff need to learn from the top down, not simply be handed the log-in details of social accounts and expected to conduct a series of magic tricks that only Gen Y can supposedly perform..
Even if you do hire a really talented person - of which there are plenty - you are doing them a disservice by expecting them to be an all-singing, all dancing marketing solution for your business. Like you, they too only have a certain amount of hours in the day, and the list of things they must do to deliver a best-practice B2B marketing solution would be overwhelming to the best of them. Without induction, training and guidance, that job-hopping Millennial will be out the door quicker than you can say, ‘Venti mocha cappuccino with caramel drizzle and an extra shot of espresso, please.’
Hiring a junior marketing person to revolutionise your marketing is naive at best - and probably the second occasion where you should have considered an inbound marketing consultant or B2B marketing agency.
3. Your content isn't great
Suddenly your dreams of sock-knocking (see reference above) fabulous content is reduced to the occasional plain text, badly formatted, 500-word blog. You’re probably still too busy to notice that this isn’t the best way of doing things - but your marketing junior knows. But she’s browsing LinkedIn looking for new job opportunities while you ping her emails about a new HubSpot certificate she should do - despite the fact you ignored her last email about needing a developer to change the branding on a your first landing page.
Ironically, the more senior the person you hire, the more they will insist on leaning on an agency. They know that they can’t do all the planning, strategy and coordination as well as create all the content, do the editing, designs and animations… and that’s all before we get to the campaign management side of things.
Creating the content is only the tip of the iceberg. Beneath that there’s the hours of editing and post-production - not to mention the social media marketing, campaign strategising and search engine optimisation - all of which feed into a successful inbound campaign. One person (or even a small inhouse team) isn’t going to be able to do all of this for you.
You need access to a full stack team - writers, designers, developers, SEO experts, PPC enthusiasts, and people with the digital PR know-how to get you backlinks. They don’t have to learn the inner-wranglings of HubSpot because they already know them. They do this stuff every day while you are running to meetings - and running your business.
If your current blogs aren’t gaining traction it could be because they lack the elements - and sophistication - clients have come to expect from inbound. This is the third occasion where you needed to put out feelers for an inbound marketing consultant or B2B marketing agency.
4. You're not seeing results
Fast-forward to the day you land your first HubSpot lead. Can you explain how and why that happened? Did you set targets that were the result of social media optimisation? And were these the result of wider strategic thinking? Who will qualify the lead for your sales team? Does it even come close to scratching your sweet spot?
If you can’t answer all of these questions fully, then you will have to reconcile yourself to the fact that your prized first lead is the result of something more closely resembling a happy coincidence than strategic planning. If you have no processes, you can’t develop a methodology, and you can’t hope to replicate, improve and build on your results. In fact, you might even stop seeing results altogether - by this stage you’ve reached the fourth occasion where enlisting the help of an inbound marketing consultant or B2B marketing agency would have been a good idea.
5. You're beginning to doubt that inbound works
By the time you reach the fifth occasion where hiring outside or agency help was prudent, you might need some talking back from the edge. By now you’re doubting that inbound even works at all.
You’re about to throw the proverbial baby out with the dishwasher, scrap your inbound plans, and go back to renting ad space in trade magazines and buying email lists - when you have a eureka moment. You need to hire an inbound marketing consultant or B2B marketing agency. (For fear of sounding like know-it-alls, if it feels like we’ve been telling you this all along, we have.)
It's time to start doing inbound right
Don’t dither. Remember, you’re still paying your monthly HubSpot subscription. Chances are, you’ll have to justify this investment in some boardroom in the near future - what have you done with this year's marketing budget? How many new clients (or upsold existing clients) have you generated to cover costs, and how do you propose generating a return? In a small business everyone is pushed for time - and your pleas of ‘lack of time’ might fall on deaf ears and meet with stony faces. But let’s not let it get to that.
HubSpot isn’t a panacea to your marketing woes - it forms only part of your the solution - for everything else, there’s a B2B marketing agency. Give us a call. You already know the questions to ask - and we’re poised and ready to answer.