HubSpot is not an inexpensive investment. Depending on the level you choose, the inbound marketing platform can cost up to $2,400 a month (soon to be $3,200 for Enterprise). Those costs increase depending on the number of contacts you add to your portal. In addition, there's a mandatory onboarding training that costs $3,000. As these costs add up, you’ll have to ask yourself the logical question: is HubSpot worth the investment?
Full disclosure: We are a full-fledged HubSpot Connect Partner. Our answer to the question above is a resounding “yes,” and it always will be. It’s not an unqualified yes, however. HubSpot customers need to generate ROI on their own for the platform to be worth it. Generating an ROI means pursuing a complementary marketing strategy.
What does that strategy look like?
Using HubSpot: How Not to Churn
Since before their IPO, churn has been a major worry factor when it comes to HubSpot deployments. In 2013, the Hubspot customer retention rate hovered around 82%, compared to 90% for similar SaaS companies. This is partly because much of the HubSpot customer base is comprised of small businesses and startups. These are companies with small budgets and fast burn rates – therefore, they tend to swiftly jettison products that don’t provide value.
As we’ve seen from the continued success of HubSpot, however, it is clearly possible to obtain an ROI (and then some) from the platform – even if you’re starting small.
But here’s the big piece that’s often missing in the ROI equation: content creation.
As we mentioned above, HubSpot has a huge array of tools that help you create content, but no one from HubSpot is going to write blogs and whitepapers for you. One of the earliest (and extremely positive) reviews of the HubSpot platform indicates that many customers may be misled into thinking that using HubSpot by itself is what generates new leads, new, opportunities, and new sales. They may be in for a rude awakening when and if they realize how much content you need to create for HubSpot to be effective.
So, How Much Content Are We Talking?
We’re talking a fair amount of content, and of the highest possible quality (more on that in a bit). Research from HubSpot customers shows that companies who post at least 16 blogs a month get three-and-a-half times as much traffic that companies who post once a week or less. Small companies have the potential to reap the most benefit, ironically. If you’re a small company that posts a lot of blogs, you’ll get more benefit from each additional blog post that a large company that posts the same amount.
Benefits don’t just accrue to companies that have been posting frequently – they also accrue to companies that have published a large backlog of content. If you’ve published four hundred blogs or more, you’ll begin to see twice as much traffic as companies that have published less. You may also expect to see three times as many leads.
Of course, more doesn’t always equal better.
The Role of Quality, Relevance, and Topics
Apart from volume, it’s become clear in recent years that quality and relevance reign supreme. You could post 20 times per day, but if subject matter doesn’t align to your product, or to the interests of your audience, then it’s not going to move the needle.
HubSpot has talked about this extensively, but it’s also something they’ve built into their platform, most notably in the form of the Topic Clusters feature. They’ve given brands the ability to pinpoint the exact terms and topics that will help them increase awareness and generate leads – but again, offer no active support in terms of execution (i.e. writing). This is not a knock on HubSpot at all. It’s simply not the business they’re in.
HubSpot's Topic Cluster tool:
The Bandwidth for Content Creation
Once you’ve come to terms with the requirements for content volume and quality, it then becomes a matter of logistics. Who’s going to write this content? How often will they be able to deliver? And how will it all be tracked? These questions are of vital importance when it comes to generating a positive ROI from the HubSpot platform.
Chances are, your company does not have a full-time staff of writers, which means you’ll need to be creative in how the workload is spread out. Here at nDash, we’ve positioned this as creating a “content community” consisting of:
- In-House Staff: Even though you may have zero full-time writers on staff, it’s important that everyone within the company (sales, marketing, product, customer support, etc.) is involved in content production on a regular basis, even it’s just one post per month.
- Freelancers: You’ll also want to have a vetted, reliable team of at least 2-3 freelancers available on-demand to meet your requirements around volume, expertise, or both.
- Influencers: If possible, you should have someone with name recognition in your industry (an author, speaker, or consultant) to write high-level, brand-neutral thought-leadership pieces.
You can read more about this concept here. The key takeaway though is that content is not a one-person job, It must be a sustainable, organized and well written to achieve success. Often, that means engaging a content creation agency.
Build a Content Community on nDash
Since 2016, nDash – the world’s first content community platform – has been helping HubSpot customers (and agencies) maximize the ROI of inbound marketing through original content creation. HubSpot provides all the tools and technology, while nDash provides the talent. Backed by a community of 6,000+ writers with expertise in nearly every industry vertical, nDash can help teams of all sizes scale content production without sacrificing quality. You can learn more on our website.
To close, we’re happy to extend a special offer for Optimize3.0 readers:
- Step 1: Create a free company account on nDash using this custom link
- Step 2: Upgrade to our Pro membership with the coupon code “optimize” to get 3 months at 99% off (normally $30 per month)
- Step 3: Receive a $100 credit towards your first post when you activate the nDash-HubSpot integration