“When you don’t have the right system in place, running a marketing campaign can be messy business. From assigning ownership over certain tasks, to establishing deadlines, to collaborating with campaign stakeholders, to writing and editing copy … there’s a lot to manage. And with so many moving pieces to consider, disorganization can be a major enemy. That’s where Google Apps comes into play.”
The above quote comes straight out of a white paper from HubSpot, Inbound Marketing thought leaders and purveyors of one of the best known Cloud-Based software tools for Marketing Automation. There is some great advice in the white paper, especially for those that are working on a tight budget. After absorbing all of those tips, one might ask why a Marketing Automation provider would promote a process and a suite of tools for Inbound Marketing that are not only from another company, but free? Because they get it, that’s why.
Do you get it? If not, consider train of thought: HubSpot believes that by helping you dip your toe in the Inbound Marketing waters you will see the benefits and eventually dive in head first. They also believe that you will eventually outgrow and tire of the “free” tools you cut your teeth with. When that happens, and you need to spend some real money on Marketing Automation, HubSpot will have earned your trust and favor through careful and deliberate cultivation. The probability that you will eventually purchase HubSpot is much higher, and they will have gathered very detailed information about who, when, where, and how that happened – information that they can use to further refine their tactics.
When it comes to Inbound Marketing, I have come to be convinced that there is simply no better strategy for getting educated than to go straight to the leaders – HubSpot, Marketo, InfusionSoft, Velocify, etc. They offer great – no, make that awesome – content to help you understand the sophisticated strategies and processes associated with the discipline – and you can learn even more by carefully observing how they ply their trade on rubes like us.
Let’s get back to the white paper and see what we can learn about Inbound Marketing from it. Lesson number one; the advertisement/link for this download was on Facebook. Why advertise for a business product on Facebook? It’s where the people are. Using a re-targeting algorithm, HubSpot continuously, at a very specific cadence to avoid being creepy, chums Facebook and other websites with content that it thinks I will find interesting based on the profile they have developed for me. In this case, they have inferred that I am keen on the topic, but not yet a buyer after several contacts – maybe because I am frugal (thus, the free alternative). Lesson number two; while some of it is not, this content was gated (requiring that I provide info to download). While they already had my basic info from previous contacts, this content required a few extra questions so they could fill in the gaps in my profile. Lesson number three; they followed up with a very personalized email offering more info and a “Free Trial”. Based on my experience, they will be following up again in a few days with another email or maybe even a phone call.
I would definitely encourage those who want to learn Inbound Marketing to start getting schooled by the masters. But, as with many things in life and business, pay at least as much attention to what they do as what they say.
As for the white paper, click the link below to begin your education:
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