Marketing, Webinars

The Only Inbound Marketing Plan You’ll Ever Need

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Imagine a world where everyone came to you for advice.

Almost like you were the old ninja warrior at the top of the mountain, and everyone took the journey to seek your wisdom.

I doubt anyone reading this is a ninja warrior, so let’s take this idea and apply it to you and your business.

What if everyone in your industry came to YOU for all of their information?

A situation where you were the “New York Times” of your industry, and everyone trusted your information to be the #1 resource.

More importantly, not only did your target audience trust you, they were customers of your’s for life.

This is a world many entrepreneurs and business owners would love to live in.

Enter Mike Volpe – Head of Marketing at HubSpot

Inbound Marketing Plan

I was almost convinced a world like this existed, but once I talked with Mike Volpe, I realized that it absolutely does.

I guess it’s important to know what HubSpot has done before you also believe in this inbound marketing plan.

They currently have over 4,000 clients that pay them over $250 a month (with a large amount paying much more) to help them get more leads, traffic, and sales.

In short, the’ve become a resource.

Not only any resource, they’ve become the MAIN resource for people who want to get more leads, traffic, and sales online.

Inbound Marketing Tips

Mike talks about how HubSpot’s‘ main goal is providing useful content on their own site that attracts new customers and loyal fans.  Some of these resources they offer include webinars, videos, blog content, tool sheets, ebooks, reports, case studies, and more.

Mike mentions some very interesting statistics in this video about how most of their sales come from inbound leads (go figure).

Between blog post, free ebooks and webinars, which resource do you think converts the best for HubSpot?

The answer is in this video interview below.  In my opinion this interview is required viewing for every small business owner, entrepreneur, marketer, and all others looking to learn how to get more inbound leads, free traffic, and more sales.

Mike makes Inbound Marketing sounds easy, and in fact… it is.  Make sure to watch this video and let me know what you think.

It’s the greatest “free” marketing plan in the world.

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I strongly suggest you watch this video, but for those that would rather skim the content faster, make sure you check out the full transcript below.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about inbound marketing.  Are you implimenting some of the suggestions Mike uses in this interview?  If so, what strategy is converting the best for your business?  Please take a minute to share this video on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.  Also, make sure to follow and say hi to Mike Volpe on Twitter HERE.

 

Inbound Marketing Transcript

Lewis Howes: How’s it going everyone?  This is Lewis Howes, and I’ve got a pretty cool guest today: Mike Volpe.  I keep wanting to say “Vople” but it’s “Volpe”.  He is the Director of Marketing for Hubspot.

And if you guys don’t know about Hubspot, I’m sure you probably do already, but if you don’t:

  • They offer a lot of great content on their blog.
  • They do a lot of free webinars.
  • They give away a lot of free resources, ebooks, guides, downloads, checklists, everything in between, you name it.

They’ve also got a great software and some other services in their company that they offer for small businesses and businesses online trying to get more leads, more traffic and more sales.

Is that pretty much the main concept of the software?

Mike Volpe: You’ve got it.  What we found is that small-medium-sized businesses want an all-in-one system. They don’t necessarily want to use a separate tool for all the different aspects of their online marketing. And that’s what we’ve been building.

We’ve been around for 4 years and we’re up to 3900 companies using the software.

Lewis: Awesome. Very cool.

Now, tell us a little bit about your background before we get into the questions.

I’ve been wanting to ask you questions for months, because everyone’s talking about Hubspot and the marketing genius that you are.

So, tell us a little bit about your background and then we’ll get into some good questions.

Mike: Yeah, I’ve done marketing for a while.

You know, I started off my career actually in investment banking.  So, I’m very sort of taking that sort of analytical experience… I’m a relatively analytical marketer.

But I’ve done marketing for a while and I was part of the early team at Hubspot.  I was the fifth employee and so I’ve lead marketing since we started the company basically… through, you know we’re up to 200 people.  That’s what I’ve been doing in the last 4 years.

For like the 6-8 years before that I was doing marketing as well and during that time I also got an MBA from MIT with a concentration in marketing and entrepreneurship.  So, yeah…

Lewis: Wow, that’s cool.

Mike: I love to market to marketers.  That’s what I love about my job at Hubspot is that I get to talk about marketing to marketing folks all day long.  It’s a blast… it’s fun.

Lewis: Fun topic and fun industry. Awesome stuff.

Well… very cool. I’m excited.

I want to ask you some questions; hopefully I won’t put you on the spot too much.

Webinars

And I’m excited because I’m always talking about Hubspot to people that come on my webinars.

I do a lot of webinars. I give away a lot of free resources.  Myself, I’m blogging constantly.  So, I pretty much follow the model you guys have in a way, but I’m sure you guys do a lot better things than I do because you have 200 employees and you’ve got 3900 people who are using your software, so…

Lead Generation

Let’s just go over some questions and feel free to answer back and forth a little bit.

What has been the single most valuable efforts for getting the leads for you guys, getting the sales?

Would it be:

  • The blog?
  • The webinars?
  • The books?
  • The guides?
  • The social networking?
  • Or something else?

Mike: So, I think all those things you mentioned have absolutely been really, really valuable.  Tremendously valuable.

Website Grader

I think though there’s one other thing you didn’t mention that I think is probably been, especially in the earlier days of the company, in the first couple years… was the most important thing, which was Website Grader.

So if you go to websitegrader.com you get a free report about your website. And, as you know, people love “free”.  They love free resources.  But what’s cool about this is that it’s a custom report about your website.

So you type in your URL and you can actually type in some of your competitors as well.  And it:

  • Ranks you
  • Gives you a score
  • Gives you feedback on what’s working, what’s not working.

And that tool has attracted a ton of folks. Over 3 million companies have put their website into that tool.

Lewis: What?!

Mike: Yeah!  I know, exactly. Isn’t that great?

So, it’s a… that one is phenomenal. It’s been a really valuable tool.

Lewis: So, you got 3 million leads from that because you got all the information, right?

Mike: I mean, yeah… you know, it’s… we obviously… we don’t call all 3 million of them, so there’s some scoring and qualification.  And we tend to actually only approach the folks that run the report and then take the next step after that.  So either download a webinar as well, or start our free trial as well.  Something like that.

So yeah, if you use Website Grade you’re not going to get a phone call from us.  We actually don’t even collect phone numbers on the site. You might get a phone call, or email, or something like that depending on the segmentation.

But, yeah, it’s gotten us in front of 3 million companies.

And again we didn’t do any promotion for that.  It basically just took off virally.  We launched that at the beginning of 2007.  We’ve updated it over time and made it better.

Lewis: That’s funny, because I remember actually going through that a couple years ago.  Probably around 2008-2009 and I completely forgot about it to be honest, because I’ve just been seeing so much of your great content ever since.  And I guess, you know, once you do it once you don’t need to do it again type of thing maybe, or… but I mean, I’ve just been following your content.

Mike: Yes, absolutely.

Other Lead Generation Sources

As we’ve grown the company I think that a lot of these other channels have become important as well.

  • Our blog has grown in time in terms of the numbers of subscribers.
  • You know we were talking about webinars before we started the interview and we do lots of webinars.
  • We use lots of other free resources and things like that that we do as well.

And I think they’ve grown in importance over time.  And they’re sort of, you know, it’s between Website Grader, the blog and like the webinars, are probably the 3 most important things we do now.

So you’re right.  The other things have sort of grown as well, but definitely, if I had to point to one thing it was Website Grader.

Lewis: Wow. OK.

My next question was actually, what are your top 3 lead sources. So, you’d say:

  • Website Grader
  • The blog
  • Webinars

Right?

Mike: Yeah. I think those are… and they’re important in different ways.

I think the Website Grader and the blog tend to be how people first find us, whether it’s through SEO and searching on search engines and finding a blog article, or hearing about Website Grader from a friend and kind of coming in that way.

And the webinars are where sort of the rubber meets the road and we can have a little bit more of a conversation with folks.

Obviously, they’re… you know, reading a blog article is maybe 5 minutes, but attending webinars is usually 45 minutes or an hour.  So it’s a little bit more detailed conversation.

But yeah, we’ve had some really successful webinars.  We get… for many of our webinars we get thousands of people to sign up for them.

They’re a lot of fun.  We have a good time and they’re mostly educational.  Then there’s a little bit of, if you want something else from Hubspot, you know, here’s sort of the next step.

Webinar Format

Lewis: You know, let’s talk about webinars for a second because I’m a big proponent of webinars.

I think I’ve done about 300 of them live over 2010. I was doing about, you know, 3-8 a week depending on the week to various audiences.

Mike: Wow!

Lewis: Yeah.  And each one was exactly the way you guys would do it.  I would spend, you know:

  • The first 15 minutes, whether it would be if it’s to my audience or to someone else’s audience, introducing myself: kind of what we were talking about, the agenda of the day.
  • Then 45-60 minutes of pure content: actionable content, step-by-step things that they could do to take action on whatever it was we were talking about… usually social media for business.
  • And then at the very end, it’s, you know, if you want to take this to the next level, here’s what we offer, or you can use what we just gave you and kind of do it by yourself.

And I watched a couple of your webinars and it seems like you bring on an expert to talk about SEO, or blogging, or some other type of things for online marketing, and they do the exact same thing.  You’re talking about, you know:

  • You go over an agenda for the day
  • Then give a lot of good content
  • And at the very end, you’re like, if you want to do this yourself, go do it yourself, or just signup for our software.

Webinars

How well do those leads convert from the webinar, from the free webinar to the paid software, or the service that you have?

Mike: Yeah.  They convert great.

I mean, the webinars are one of our strongest lead generation tactics, especially for the conversion step.

Educational Webinars

I think we do the vast majority of our webinars… especially the more popular ones are exactly like you talked about there: primarily educational content. And that’s how you really attract a lot of people by providing that value.

Demonstration Webinars

We do have another set of webinars that we do as well that are more, sort of like a demonstration of the software and things like that, which are also valuable.

And obviously the conversion rate on the ones where you’re demonstrating the software is extremely high.  You know, sometimes 10-20% of the people that sign up for those will actually end up buying.

Lewis: Wow!

Conversion From Webinars

Mike: Obviously, the conversion rate for the ones that are more educational is much less.  But the thing is, those are the ones where you can get hundreds or thousands of people.

We’ve actually… our record internally for us, we had 13,000 people sign up for one of our webinars. It was really big.  It was about the science of Facebook and we had a bunch of research and things that our social media scientist Dan Zarella did about how to use Facebook for business and things like that.  It was really, really successful.

But, I think it’s great that you do so many and I know that you talk to other folks about them a lot.  But webinars are a really, really powerful tool.

Lewis: OK. Perfect.

Well, everyone… I’m always telling people you need to do more webinars.  So, you saying that they are a really powerful tool will just solidify my backing.  So maybe they’ll listen to you as opposed to me.

Live Webinar Participation

What would you say is the average amount of attendees from the signups you have, the registration?  Do you get 50% or is it more?  20% or… how many people actually come on live when you’re doing them?

Mike: Yeah.  That’s an interesting question.

We run between 40-45%.  So I think our average is around like 42%, something like that.

I mean, it’s definitely a great experience for people to attend live, you know, because they get the Q&A and things like that.  But we also provide the recording afterwards, so I think a lot of people have sort of learned over time, that maybe they prefer that format, and things like that, but yeah… it’s usually about 40-45% for us.

Call To Action At The Bottom Of Blog Posts

Lewis: And what I’ve seen you do really well, just recently I saw this, so you might have been doing it for a while, is you’re having an on-demand webinar, but you’re having people opt in at the bottom of a blog post now, which I think is genius.  So I’m going to actually start doing that myself.  I don’t know how long you’ve been doing that, but it’s a great idea.

Mike: Yeah, I’ll tell you on that we added what we call a “Call to Action” at the bottom of every single one of our blog posts and tripled the number of leads that we’re getting from our blog.

So I think it’s interesting that… you know, a lot of people have like calls to action, or offers like in the sidebar of their blog, and those work.  But having one… and again, it wasn’t the same one on every single article, it was tailored to that article.

So if you’re reading an article about, you know, optimizing landing pages you’ll have an offer at the bottom of that blog article that has something to do with a landing page optimization webinar or something like that.

Same thing if it’s about social media, whatever.  So tailoring the offer that you have to the content you have and doing it on that sort of micro basis, I think can really work.

Lewis: How important is it to have a call to action after every article? Do you think it’s extremely… well I guess you tripled your leads, right?

Mike: It’s critical. Right. Exactly!

If you triple your leads, I think it’s critical.

I mean our blog has always been a strong part of our lead generation but that change of adding a call to action tailored to each article, after every single article was huge.

Lewis: Yeah. I love that.

And how important would you say is it for everyone to do that?  Is that like, are they missing out on leads for everyone if they don’t do that?  Or is it just certain blogs, or certain companies, or what do you think?

Mike: I would say it’s pretty much everyone.

You know, it’s one thing if… I don’t necessarily… sometimes people have, you know, pop ups or other types of advertising… I think if it’s after the article, at the end of the article, you know, and it’s like:

  • “Hey, well here’s the next step. If you enjoyed this article, here’s something else you can do.”

I think it’s great. I don’t think people find it offensive.  It’s just an offer, another offer to get some more content and I think you’re missing out on a big opportunity if you don’t have some call to action at the end of all of your content.

Lewis: Hmm… and it’s probably best to piss off some people because then you know you’re doing something right if you piss off one percent of the people, right?

Mike: (Laughter)

That’s right.  It means you’re making a difference in the world.

Lewis: Exactly.  I mean you’ve got to sell eventually. You can’t just be kumbaya all day long.  Right?

Mike: That’s right.  We’ve got to pay the bills.

Lewis: Exactly.  OK. Cool.

Let me see, the next question. I’m loving this content by the way.

Conversions

Where do your most powerful conversions come from within the free leads?  With webinars, your blog, your ebooks compared to paid leads?

Do you guys even do any paid leads?  Do you do any paid advertising?  Or is it all free stuff?

Mike: Yeah.  Good question.  So…

Inbound Marketing

We’re huge believers of inbound marketing.

We’re huge believers inorganic search and things like that obviously.

We talked about that a little bit earlier.

Comparison of Results From Inbound & Oubound Marketing

And we really feel like a lot of your philosophy, we’re very much in agreement, that those are the types of things where you tend to get the lowest cost leads and also the highest quality.

And the conversion rate from those leads, if you compare organic inbound leads versus what we would call outbound, or paid, the types of things where you’re ignoring people and kind of getting in their face… the comparison between the two of those, the conversion rate is more than double.

So it’s more than twice as high for the organic leads or the inbound leads.

Paid Advertising

We do some paid, because you know we’re a growing company and we have these big aspirations and I think there are times where it makes sense to use some of that.

  • We do some pay per click advertising which I think it makes sense a lot of times.
  • And we do some sponsorships of like an email newsletter here and there that are targeted to our community.

But that’s only about 25% of the lead generation that we do.

So about 75% of our lead generation is inbound.  It’s focused on the blog, on the webinars, on Website Grader, on other things like that that we’re doing.

What Other Companies Do

Again, I think most companies have the mix as the opposite: 90% of what they do is paid and 10% is sort of this little bit of inbound that they do.

And I think that most companies have it totally wrong.  That ratio should be the other way round.

Inbound Marketing Budget & Results

Lewis: So, what I hear form that is that:

You spend more energy, time and resources or money on creating content, or creating free software, free downloads, free webinars.  So you’re putting that paid advertising money into the free stuff, which is converting twice as well as the paid stuff.  Correct?

Mike: That’s exactly right.

The cost is lower per lead and the conversion rate is twice.  So the cost per customer… it’s 3 or 4 times better. It’s fantastic.

And you’re right.  I think… so we spend some money on creating content and the way that you typically do that is that you end up hiring people.

So I think that in the long term we may have much more as the percentage of marketing budget going to the team and, you know, the people that are blogging and doing webinars and creating content versus buying media.

Building Versus Renting

And I think the interesting… you know, the other analogy if you think about it that way is that:

  • If you’re buying media or advertising from someone else, you’re really renting the capability of attracting an audience because you have to pay them every time you wan to do an ad.
  • If you’re building up your own blog, if you’re becoming your own media company, you’re building something.  You’re purchasing real estate and building your own real estate.  And obviously what you typically want to do is own those assets over time and things like that.

So just like you do with your blog and everything that you do, you’re building up yourself as this media agency, right?  And if you were to take a month off, you would still get a ton of web traffic because you’ve built this up over time.  If you stop paying that bill to that company you’re advertising with, you get nothing the next month, right?

So I think, again, you should want to build and not rent, and that’s another way to sort of think about it.

But, yeah, I totally agree with the philosophy.

Lewis: I love everything you’re saying right now.  And I hope everyone watches this, because this is going to be good stuff people.

Basically you recommend:

  • Become the go-to resource, or the go-to person in your industry, or your niche
  • And create content because that content over time is going to continue to bring you those leads free as opposed to paying.

That’s what you just said right there, correct?

Mike: That’s exactly right.  At the core, that’s what inbound marketing is.

You want to become the #1 resource for your industry or niche.

Those 3900 of them, a lot of them have done some interesting things on this.

So, we have with…

  • There’s a company that does in-ground pool installation in Virginia, River Pools and Spas.  They started blogging about pool installation.  And they got like five or ten times more web traffic.
  • A guy who runs a golf school outside of Atlanta… a guy who runs a murder mystery company out of Chicago…

You know, if they can become the key blogger, the key media property in that niche and then they own it.  Right?  It does phenomenal things for your business.

Lewis: Exactly. Awesome.

So, what you just said right there is:

  • It’s really important to be the go-to resource in your industry to attract those leads.

Mike: Yeah.

Lewis: Awesome.

Inbound Marketing ROI

What’s the true… I’ve got about 4 or 5 more questions, if that’s OK.

What’s the true ROI of becoming a resource to your customers in terms of numbers?

Like… can you give me some hard numbers?  For sales, sign ups… you know, becoming the go-to resource…

Mike: Yeah. Um… you know, I guess it’s maybe hard to talk about the individual numbers, but like, what I will tell you is that:

  • We’ve been able to build a business and grow it to 3900 customers.
  • Our revenue run rate is well in excess of $20 million.
  • We’ve got 200 employees
  • And we’ve been able to do this by becoming that resource for customers using inbound marketing to grow our customer base.
  • That’s enabled us to attract a lot of customers at a very low cost which has enabled us to scale the business very quickly and grow from nothing to this pretty big business in just a couple of years.
  • There doesn’t seem to be any sign of that slowing down.

We also had an MIT graduate student do a study of all of our customers; so, not us but our customers who use our methodology, use our software.  And they found that the average customer who uses Hubspot and follows our methodology after 5-6 months they get 4.2 times more leads.

Again, it’s so funny because so many people don’t know about this information and things like that.  And if they just paid attention to you and did the things you say, did the things that we say, many, many businesses would be having these effects, so…

This stuff really, really works.

Lewis: Right.

How To Convince Companies Of The Value Of Inbound Marketing

So how would you convince a company to put so much effort in becoming that resource?

Or how did you convince Hubspot?  It sounds like Hubspot was already on board in the beginning.

Mike: Yeah. I mean…

Hubspot, that has been our philosophy since the beginning.  That’s why Brian and Dharmesh founded the company.  For us it was easy.

I think for a lot of the other companies out there, most people have an inkling, or a feeling that something that they’re doing isn’t working quite as well.

They’re taking out Yellow Pages ads, they’re doing print, you know they’re doing all these things.  They feel it in their gut and they’re like:

  • “Ah, I know it’s not quite working, but I don’t really know what to do and I don’t know why”.

It’s a little bit like you put the frog in a pot of like luke warm water, and you turn up the heat slowly over time. And it’s like at a certain point it starts to get a little hot, but you don’t necessarily notice it because it’s not like a big change.

The number of phone calls you’re getting from the Yellow Pages ad goes down by like 5% a year for the past 10 years.  And all of a sudden, you’re like:

  • “God, what happened to my business, where did it go? How come we’re not growing the way it used to?”

And I think people usually sort of have those awakenings and then they hear something from somebody like you or somebody like us and then they’re like:

  • “Oh, right! I should be doing that kind of new stuff.”

Usually the pitch is somewhere around that.

Lewis: Gotcha.

How To Start Inbound Marketing

OK. So let’s give them a good example.

  • Say I’m a tech startup company.
  • I’ve got 10-25 employees.
  • I’m trying to grow.
  • I’m trying to get more leads.
  • I’ve got a free software, or a free service, but there’s a paid model as well, but I’m looking to get those free leads in to use the service first.

How do you guys collate the information through your blog, your books, your webinars, etc?  Do you hire… if you’re this company, do you hire someone externally?  Do you have members of the team who are doing different things; developers, CEO, running content?  Do you get all the members of the staff involved?  Or do you use one person?  How would you go about that?

Mike: That’s a really good question.

I’m a huge fan of getting the entire company involved in the effort.  I think we’ve had a lot of success and seen the best success among our customers if there’s more than one person.

Maybe you can have a leader, or a manager for your inbound marketing program, but unless you have multiple people contributing… you know, it needs to be the whole company.  You just sort of change your company philosophy to some degree to really make these things effectively.  We’ve seen the best success with companies that have multiple people contributing to the blog.

Because you get those different perspectives: the perspective from the VP of Engineering versus the VP of Sales and the VP of Marketing or the Co-Founders.  It’s going to be a little bit different.  And that helps you attract different facets of your audience.

Lewis: So, what if a company is not willing to do that?  Do you think you’ve really got to adopt this philosophy? Or you’re going to be struggling if you don’t?

Mike: You know…

  • It will still work to some degree if you have one person sort of dedicated to it and spending some time on it.
  • You will get better results if the whole team is dedicated to it.

IQMS Success Story

I’ll tell you a story about a company called IQMS.  They sell, sort of in that range, or I think they’re around 200 employees.  They sell ear piece software to manufacturers.  They’re based in California.  And what the CEO did, is he decided to basically…

You know it was like when Cortez came to the New World he burned his ships so all the people with him would committed to staying and making a life in the New World.

  • He did that.
  • He fired their PR agency.
  • He cancelled all of their print advertising.
  • And he told his marketing staff of only 2 people, that you need to embrace inbound marketing and make it work and here are your lead goals.
  • And they said, “Holy crap! What are we going to do?” Right?  And then they said, “Well, I guess we really need to make this work.”
  • So they started blogging.
  • And the CEO was great because they did have that leadership above.
  • The CEO created some content.
  • Some other people in the company started blogging and things like that.
  • And they’ve actually seen their business, I forget if it was 10% or 20%, but their business increased after having decreased the past 3 years.

And you know, we’re still not in a great economic environment yet, and they were able to see an increase in 2010 after having declined in 2008 and 2009.

He really attributes all of their success to that program and being really, really committed to it.

So again, you’ll have some success if it’s one person, but I would really recommend to folks that they think about really transforming their company.

Lewis: Gotcha.

How To Respond To Nay Sayers

And what would you say to someone if they’re like, “I don’t believe this works,” or “It won’t work for my industry,” or “I’m different.”  What would you say to someone like that?

Mike: I mean, they’re entitled to their opinion and I look forward to one of their competitors beating them.

Lewis: (Laughter)

Mike: I mean, that’s one way of thinking about it.

The other way of thinking about it is, you know, if it works for a golf pro and it works for a software company, and it works for a pool installation company… it’s just like, you know what, your customers, they’re using the internet.  Almost no one doesn’t use the internet today, right?

Lewis: Exactly.

Mike: You can argue about whether their on Twitter, or whether they’re on Google, or whether they’re reading blogs, or what the most important channels are, but this type of marketing works.  And I’ve seen it work literally thousands of times for lots of different companies: chimney sweeps through to auto car dealers, through to again, lots of technology companies, medical device companies.

Really almost every industry.

Lewis: Gotcha.  Right.  OK.  Cool.

Let’s talk about, for someone with limited resources, limited money, limited effort… they’re putting all their time into growing a business, working on their product, whatever it may be.

What would be a simple plan for anyone to go about doing?

Would it be just one piece of content a day?

Or one webinar a month?

A Simple Inbound Marketing Plan

What would be a simple marketing plan for any company trying to get more inbound leads?

Mike: Yeah.

#1: Website Grader

I think the first thing is, I honestly would recommend Website Grader. It’s totally free. I’d run my website through Website Grader. Usually for many of the smaller companies, there’s usually one or two small changes they can make to their site to improve their search engine optimization, or how they’re site is displayed in search engines.  That’d probably be the first thing.

#2: One Blog Article A Week

After you’ve made a couple of those changes, I think the next most important thing is just to start to create some content.  So I would actually say about one blog article a week is probably fine.

You know, someone like you, you’re passionate about the stuff and you create tons of content. You’re doing hundreds of webinars.  If you can do that, that’s fantastic.  But for many of these folks they’re really nervous about getting started so even one blog article a week will have an effect.

#3: Good Lead Generating Offer

And then I think the third component that you definitely need is:

  • What’s that good offer that’s going to get people to convert and become a lead?

And usually I think a webinar is a great example of something that people can do.  And then you need to take that call to action, that offer to become a lead and put that on your home page, and put it on all of your blog content.

And I think that if you use just those 3 things, the blog articles and the SEO will start to attract more people to your site and you’re going to have that good call to action and you’ll start to get more leads through that call to action.

And then, you know, there are lots of ways to make it even better and do more with it, but those 3 things will get most people started.

Lewis: Gotcha.  OK.  We’ll go over one more question and then I’ll let you wrap it up.

Social Networking

This is some great content by the way.  But we haven’t talked about social networking really that much.  So, how important is:

  • Customer service on social networking sites?
  • Being involved in social media?
  • Building up a following, having a fan page, all that good stuff?

How important is that for companies?  Is it important for all companies? Or should it just be for certain companies online?  Or what do you think is the relevance of social media and to attract those leads?

Mike: I think it’s really important and I’d say that social media is one of those things where maybe 10 years ago people said:

  • “Well, why do I need a website?”

Now, it’s like:

  • “Of course!”

One of the first things when you start a business is you get some kind of a website.  I think that’s starting to happen with social media, where people are saying, well, why do I need a Facebook Page?  Why do I need to be on Twitter?  And I think people are starting to get to the point where they’re saying:

  • “Oh, OK. Of course, I’m a business. Of course I would interact with folks this way.”

Just like you’re going to have a phone number and an email address.  It’s just another way of communicating with people, so of course you’re going to do it.

And I’m a huge believer of integrating social media with the rest of your inbound marketing.  So, it’s not about having… you know, an intern comes in and tweets a little bit and does this thing.

It’s this new channel that you need to use. And just like you wouldn’t have one person responsible for all the communication via phone in your company, you know, you have a phone on every employees desk. And everyone… you know, customer service, marketing, everyone is using that technology.

Social media is not a program.  It’s not a strategy. It’s a technology.  And you should integrate that technology into your business or your marketing strategy.

Lewis: I love it.  Cool.

Future Trends

So, what do you think is… I guess final notes… what do you think is the trend for the next… this year, the next 3 years?  What do you think people are going to be doing more?

Are they going to be doing the same stuff you’re doing right now?  Or is it going to be new things that are gong to be evolving with mobile or other ways to get new leads?

Mike: Yeah. I mean… I think it’s going to be…

New technologies are going to continue to be integrated into the big trends that are happening right now.

I think one of the big trends is inbound marketing and people figuring out more and better ways to attract people at a lower cost and sort of in a more friendly relationship driven fashion.

And I think that started with search engine optimization, and then blogging, and then social media.  And then I think some of the next trends there are going to be mobile and location-based things, as well as I think video.  And we’re doing video now. I think video is going to continue to grow as well.

So I think it’s going to be more and more technologies that come down the pipeline, they’re going to be integrated into the sort of this comprehensive inbound marketing that I think is sort of the big growing trend.

Lewis: Awesome.  Cool.

Connect With Hubspot

Where can people find more information about Hubspot and yourself online?

Mike: Ah, we’re not online.

(Laughter)

Lewis: (Laughter)

Mike: You know it’s really hard to not find us. I think that’s the whole goal. That’s the whole point of this entire conversation.

Yeah, I mean, you can obviously search for Hubspot.

You can go to Hubspot.com and I mentioned WebsiteGrader.com that’s a great place to start.  It’s a free tool.

  • Just type in your website there.
  • Get a report back.
  • And there’s link from there to find more stuff about Hubspot and things like that.

So, yeah… it’s hard not to find us online

Lewis: Where can we find you?

Mike: You can find me, so I have a personal blog at MikeVolpe.com.  I’m on Twitter which is @mvolpe.  I’m also on Facebook.  I’m all over the place just like you are.  But probably a great place is MikeVolpe.com, I’ve got links to all of my different profiles from that site.

Lewis: Awesome.  Cool.

Mike I really appreciate it and hopefully all these companies will listen to this and start to take your approach and your marketing strategy.

Thanks so much today my man and hopefully I’ll see you soon in Boston.

Mike: Yeah!  We’d love to have you.  Again, we do this TV show, Hubspot TV, every Friday at 4 o’clock.  We’d love to have you on.  It’d be a blast.

Lewis: Awesome.  Thank my man.

Mike: See ya!

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12 comments
_nickoswald
_nickoswald

Great interview Lewis and fascinating to hear about Inbound Marketing in such detail from Mike.

I am launching a new website in the next few weeks which includes a Blog for the first time and the facility for video content so this interview webinar was perfect and the tips invaluable.

Many thanks.

digitalmktgeng
digitalmktgeng

Great post, thanks for laying it all out for us. I posted some helpful HubSpot info on this page for anyone that is interested - http://bit.ly/jYsGgS

Phylus Frazier
Phylus Frazier

Hi Lewis, Great content I took lots of notes and I will take a lot of action but thanks for the great questions you asked, and thank you Mike for the great answers.

Shilonda Downing
Shilonda Downing

I love the idea of a call to action on your blog. I've already been doing this with many of our blog posts, but if/when I start doing webinars, I'll also put the opt-in form on the post when I promote the webinars as well! :)

Shilonda Downing

Virtual Work Team LLC

http://virtualassistantblogs.org

canalgirl
canalgirl

This was awesome as usual! On the cutting edge! Thanks Lewis!

RobPene
RobPene

Nice job on the interview bro :) Great info...love the encouragement to have a clear "Call to Action" and build from there :)

JohnAguiar
JohnAguiar

Great Vid Lewis...Hub has been around a long time.. proof they know their shit. Thanks for sharing.

LewisHowes
LewisHowes moderator

@Shilonda Downing great stuff... I'm working on a new plugin that will make it easy to add any call to action after blog posts... stay tuned :)

LewisHowes
LewisHowes moderator

@JohnAguiar glad you liked it, I think it's a must watch for anyone trying to do business onlin.

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