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Why You Need Marketing Automation Software for Your Inbound Strategy

Dec 5, 2016
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So you're thinking of getting started with Inbound Marketing. You've seen the shift in consumer behavior and wanted to get in before your competition does. As a smaller business, you are very budget conscious and want to make sure that it's cost-effective and delivers a great ROI. You understand the channels, such as blogging, social, email, etc. but are unsure if you need an all-in-one automation software to help you carry out your efforts. In this video, I want to share about the importance of having the right tools when executing an inbound marketing strategy. 

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Hey, what's going on everybody? I'm Ryan Shelley. In today's episode of the SMA Marketing Minute, I want to talk about the importance of having the right tools and especially automation software.

As an inbound marketing agency, one of the questions that we get asked a lot from prospective clients or clients we're onboarding is, "Do we need to invest in marketing automation software?" As a HubSpot Agency, our automation software choice is obviously HubSpot. It can be quite confusing when you read a proposal and you understand that the agency is going to do X and Y and deliverables and doing so many pieces of content and putting them out there. Why do we need this other piece of software to help automate some of the processes and what kind of benefit does it bring to the table?

When you're launching an inbound marketing campaign and you don't have automation software, it can be pretty confusing. The great thing about HubSpot is we get everything under one roof. We get our landing pages, our content, our blogs, our files ... for some clients our website, their social campaigns, the CRM, all of our mailing lists, the smart lists ... Everything's going to be under one roof, and everything's going to talk to each other.

When we get a lead that comes in through a piece of content, we can track that lead through their buyer's journey and understand what types of content they're interacting with, where they're kind of at in their buyer's journey and what might be the next best move for them. As that person engages with us, we can use smart lists to track them even better, so it jumps them through different nurturing campaigns to make sure that we're giving them the right content at the right time.

Now, if you don't have a piece of software like that, you're going to have to piecemeal this together. You need to use something like MailChimp which is a great tool for email automation to build your email list there. You need to build specific landing pages on your site and then you need to make sure that you can make those lists speak to each other, whether you're using gravity forms with a Zapier Zap that's going to put that content into your MailChimp campaign. You're probably going to need a social media tool like Hootsuite or Buffer and then once again try to find a patch to speak to that.

As you can see, now we're trying to piecemeal this thing together, and it can get confusing, and things can start to fall through the cracks. One of the biggest advantages to having an all-in-one marketing software and automation software is everything is kind of on the same page, so you know where people are, you know where they're ending up and they're all in the same place whether it be on the marketing side or the sales side, which is actually going to help you close the sales loop even faster.

When you have to piecemeal this product together, you aren't always quite sure where everybody is. Yes, you can look at a big overview and kind of track it, but you've got to log in and out of all these different software platforms to make sure that people are following the steps that you've made for them and that you're tracking them appropriately. So just the simple ease of it helps an agency like ours do a better job delivering for you.

If we've got to track all those different software tools, we've got to charge you more money. The reason we've got to charge you more money is that it takes more time to make sure that we're figuring out what's going on in each one of these pieces of software. For our agency, we won't do that because it's not worth our time and honestly it's not going to give you the best ROI in the long run.

Another reason we use marketing automation software is it just helps deliver better results. When you've got some tools speaking to each other, especially like in HubSpot, we can look at the key web research tool. We can look for trends. They've got a couple of new awesome content tools coming out this year that are going to help people even do a better job of targeting topics and not just specific keywords. We can deliver better results because we can deliver better content because we have better research.

Companies that chose to do like an inbound marketing campaign saw about 170% increase in traffic just by using inbound, by blogging, by reaching out, by educating their viewers. People who use the HubSpot tool saw a 590% increase in organic traffic at the same time. This was a study done by the HubSpot agency, which I'll post a link to that at the bottom of this video. Awesome results and the reason why they were able to deliver even better results is that they had better research. Better research used to create better content is going to generate better results time and time again.

Let's talk about lead generation, because really when you're doing inbound marketing you're hoping to generate leads, the leads that you can nurture and build relationships with and in the long term turn into clients. B2B companies that used HubSpot saw 125% increase in their leads every single month. Companies who used HubSpot in the B2C category saw 294% increase in leads.

What makes HubSpot so great at converting more leads? Well, they have some awesome tools built into the system, once again, that don't have to do with extra coding or extra research or tying other things into the process. It's all part of the product.

The first thing is the landing pages. They help you create just great simple landing pages that convert. They also let you build customized call to actions, it's in the software, that look and feel really good. But not just regular call to actions. You have the opportunity to build smart call to actions, so call to actions that can be tweaked and altered based on the user and their preferences and experiences, how they found your site and even what list they're on, what stage they're on in the buyer's journey.

That's probably the most important tool is the smart lists. List segmentation is crucial to nurturing those leads into customers. Now, HubSpot's smart lists allow you to set rules, and those rules can track on some different criteria by how you set it up. We do it based on a lead score. We have a lead score set up inside the HubSpot software and as a lead takes those steps and interactions they get moved from a subscriber list to a leads list to an NQL list, to an SQL list. What that allows us to do is make sure they're getting the right content that matches where they are in the buyer's journey to help nurture them along. It also helps the sales team because when the sales team gets engaged, they know where that person is in the life cycle and they can start to have an educated conversation.

Automation software isn't going to do the work for you, but what it's going to do is it's going to help you work smarter. So HubSpot normally you can do base for $200. Professional is right in that $800 a month range, and enterprise is $2400 a month. A lot of people look at that and say, "Wow, that's expensive. That's a big investment," but here's the deal. When you make an investment in your business in a tool like this, it starts to pay for itself pretty quickly. It helps agencies like mine do a better job delivering results.

When we started our journey, I took that leap and said, "You know what? I don't have another choice. I need to try something different," and I signed on the dotted line. It scared me because it was a huge commitment and it was something that I didn't have, but I drink my own Koolaid, and I was dedicated to the process. I put my head down and I hustled. I wrote blogs, and I created content, and I created offers, and slowly but surely, we started to see this pay off, and as you continue to do more it compounds.

It's like compounding interest. You keep investing. You keep investing. You keep investing the time and the energy into the product that you purchased, and then you start to see amazing results. The last 18 months our agency has grown 540% and now we're a HubSpot Gold Partner, and we're continuing to move forward and go faster and faster. I believe that we'll become a platinum partner in no time because we're dedicated to producing great results, but one way that we're able to produce great results is by having the right tools.

HubSpot's not the only tool we use, but when it comes to creating and really executing inbound marketing at a really high level, having the right automation software, and for us HubSpot's that software, is crucial to having success and getting the results that your company not only wants but needs to succeed in today's extremely competitive online marketing culture.

Hope you learned something new in this episode. If you have any questions, whether it be on inbound, SEO, design ... any of those things, or even HubSpot, please comment below or feel free to shoot me an email at Ryan@smamarketing.net. Thanks a lot and happy marketing.

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Ryan Shelley, CPBI

By Ryan Shelley, CPBI

Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works have also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

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