Inbound Marketing specialists do what they preach, do they? I decided to do a bit of research on this and who other than Hubspot to follow and see if they really do follow the principles of Inbound Marketing themselves. So, on what parameters should I start checking their Inbound marketing practices.
The three most important pillars of Inbound marketing are Blogs, Social Media and Organic Search. So let us see how Hubspot is doing on these front.
To start with I visited Hubspot Blog. A couple of Best practices that they preach and I found they follow:
Content Creation and Frequency of Blog Postings-
- Questions: How to / Why a Marketer or Enterprise / What’s new with…
- Numbers: Top 5 Reasons or 10 Critical Factors or 7 Advanced Techniques or 16 Most important things…
- Using most news making keywords in your industry e.g., Hubspot uses – Facebook / Pinterest / Twitter / LinkedIn / Inbound Marketing /…
Best Practice: Decide on the topics and set your content calendar in advance to make sure you have fresh and, goes without saying, interesting information for people to come back again and again. Consistency in posting your content is the key in Blog Marketing. Ideally, one post a day should be perfect. It obviously depends on the industry vertical, but I personally feel there shouldn’t be information overload, which today is a growing concern. Hubspot has consistently posted one or more posts every day.
Along with keeping it consistent, they make sure their posts are interesting and users are encouraged to comment. How do they do that?? – by using titles/topics like:
Other important factor under your content creation strategy is to stick to the Blog Topic and just don’t go about writing about Britney Spears coz that might attract some visitors.
Content Promotion –
Best Practice: Content Creation is not of much use if its not reaching to its due audience. So the question is, how would you promote your content on a daily basis? The least you can do is automate Social Sharing and Email to subscribers. Hubspot has gained a huge following with consistent 360 marketing + building subscriber base which they leverage to the fullest to promote their fresh content. I am sure there is a lot of engagement that they gain out of the content promotion… one thing that am not sure of is how is the lead generation out of this engagement, coz most of the content sharing on social hemisphere is happening via fans/followers and is happening from quite some time. So do all the content generate good leads that add value to bottom line or does it just satisfy the Happy Brand Building factor.
Internal Link Building is important but you got to know how many links are not too many. Link to text ratio per SEO standards is one link for every 125-150 words.
Call to Action: Strategically placed
Best Practice: Rule is to align content with the relevant offer CTAs or vice versa just to make sure you have conversions in other words you are generating leads out of your well written content. I randomly checked a couple of Blog Posts at HubSpot Blog and realized that they are rotating their offer CTA’s (Free eBook Downloads) at two positions – Top of the blog post and at right side bar – and that is at many times not relevant to the content of the blog post. Break the rule coz in the internet space there is no one set rule that works. They are rotating their best performing and the latest per the trend information/offers as eBooks. Makes sense isn’t it?
Some Blog Design Must Haves –
- Images/Infographics: Mix your content with Text/Images/Infographics/Videos/Presentations to make it more interesting – 10 on 10 to Hubspot on this
- Long Posts are not liked much: I personally don’t agree. If the topic demands that kind of exhaustive content we can surely put things in place accordingly. What we can do to keep the interest on is to mix the post with some graphics/videos etc and if it still requires more may be divide the post into two parts (Part1 / Part2…) which I am going to do with this post. Hubspot keeps the Balance
- Custom 404 Error: Everyone knows what this is and the use of the same… but on Hubspot Blog, its interesting. They have a default page with interesting set of contents in front of you as 404 Error landing page.
- Subscription: Two ways of accomplishing this and Hubspot is increasing its subscriber base by both RSS Feed Subscription and Sign-up for Regular Updates (as another CTA)
- Other important functionalities: To make your blog user friendly add: Search Box, Header, Footer, Tags and Pluggins like ‘Most Read Articles’ & ‘You might also like’ are good to provide easy navigation…
Hence, this is proved that Hubspot is practicing exactly what they preach when it comes to Blog Marketing… the first pillar of Inbound Marketing for Hubspot is standing strong!
My next post is going to be about the second pillar of Inbound Marketing and that is – Social Media Optimization / Marketing.