<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1885943951671421&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Join us at the next HubSpot User Group

Tune Up Your Sales and Marketing Goals

Posted by Carrie Koos on Aug 25, 2017 11:00:00 AM


august 2017 hug (1).png 

Marketing and sales alignment is a common problem businesses face. How do you achieve marketing and sales alignment goals for your business? Once you reach those goals, how do you maintain a healthy relationship betweens those teams in a growing company? 


Adam Singh, Online Marketing Manager at ShipStation, has helped multiple companies work toward marketing and sales alignment. At this month's HubSpot User Group, Adam shared his experience and tips for implementing a marketing and sales alignment plan from what's he learned along the way.


Some tips Adam shared include:


Make a data dictionary

A big part of the disconnect between sales and marketing comes from miscommunication. Let's say your marketing team defines a subscriber as someone who provides an email address or subscribes to the blog, but sales defines a subscriber as someone who signs up for your service. Those are two very different things. Without having a company-wide definition, you're going to have some issues understanding where someone is in the funnel.
To combat this, Adam recommends making a data dictionary. Go through every stage your prospects go through—from first touch with your company to becoming a customer. Define what happens and 'who" they are when that happens (Marketing Qualified Lead, Subscriber, etc). 

Conduct customer interviews

You want to understand your personas, and you've probably put a lot of effort into finding out about their pain points, preffered methods of communication, and more. If you want to know more about potential customers, you have a great resource available to you: your current customers.
Reach out to your customers for interviews. Ask where and how they found your company, what motivated them to take an action like try a free trial, and what made them decide to be a paying customer.  

Pro tip:

Adam's team at ShipStation pooled together the most common questions people have before signing up for a free trial with ShipStation. They took these questions and answers and put them in an FAQ on a landing page. Having the FAQs alongside the free trial sign-up form helped prospects overcome objections to the trial—and they saw a big increase in conversions!

Check out the deck below for the full presentation!




Some of the questions after Adam's presentation:
How often would you recommend revisiting the SLA? 
That depends on what kind of growth your company is experiencing. 
What is the top metric your marketing and sales teams care about? We want to know where our paid customers are coming from—paid social? Organic? We look for information that tells us where we need to invest time and money in order to get paying customers. 
Are there any common areas of cultural disagreements that you see in the different companies you've worked with for sales and marketing alignment? It varies by company. The most important thing is to take the initiative and build relationships. Show the teams you're interested in helping them hit their goals. If you're taking their time, that's time away from them working on goals. You need to show you're invested in them as people and their time. 

Coming up next for the Austin HUG:

  • Inbound2017 is September 25-28, 2017. See you in Boston!
  • October HUG Meeting: The Best of Inbound on October 26, 2017 at the Flying Saucer
Join us at the next HubSpot User Group

Topics: Meeting Recap, sales and marketing alignment

How to Build a Reliable Email List and Increase Sales

Posted by Carrie Koos on Jun 23, 2017 10:00:00 AM

june 2017 hug blog post.jpg


This month, at the Austin HUG meetup, guest speaker Jenna Fortunato of Justuno shared with us how to build a reliable email list and increse sales. Most businesses today spend a lot of money on brand awareness and acquistion. But when it comes time for conversions, companies aren't always looking to spend more money. Why spend all that money and effort on acquisition if you're not working on conversions? Jenna shared some tips and best practices for conversion rate optimization, and how using tools like HubSpot's Lead Flows can increase conversion rates on your website. 


See Jenna's full presentation deck here:



Austin HUG upcoming events:

  • No meeting in July. Enjoy some sweet Austin summertime!
  • August 24: How to Create Sales and Marketing Alignment with Adam Singh of ShipStation
  • September 25-28: Inbound Conference in Boston. In keeping with tradition, we will have an all-Texas HUG happy hour in Boston. Be on the lookout for more details coming soon!


Topics: Meeting Recap, Inbound, Email Marketing

How to Hire Top Inbound Marketing Talent

Posted by Carrie Koos on May 19, 2017 9:45:00 AM



may 2017_how to hire inbound talent (1).jpg


What's a top challenge for executing effective inbound campaigns? Technology, time, and budget may all come to mind, but there's a major road block to successful inbound campaigns that every company faces: finding (and keeping) the right talent.


This month, we had guest speaker Brad Voeller of Digital Creative Institute teach us how how to grow our inbound marketing teams by recruiting, hiring, and developing top inbound marketing talent. In his presentation, Brad went through the process to build an inbound recruiting funnel, rigorously vet candidates, and proactively develop key skills for your employees. 

Digital Creative Institute is a transformative 12-month digital marketing apprenticeship program. DCI focuses on giving recent college graduates the necessary skills to thrive in the workforce and providing local businesses in San Antonio and Austin with highly qualified and productive talent. Since the DCI team is already in HubSpot daily for marketing automation, they took advantage of its many functions and now utilize the software as an applicant tracking system too. 


Learn more about the hiring and training funnel and framework helping digital marketing teams grow with qualified, engaged talent. See Brad's presentation from the May 2017 HUG below:



Looking for great inbound marketing talent? Let us know!

Let us know about openings for inbound marketing or sales positions at your company. Complete the form on this page, and we will send the details to our Austin HUG community to help you find the talent you need. 


Win an Amazon Dot! 

Your attendance at the April, May, and June HubSpot User Group events enters you into our contest to win an Amazon Dot! With each attendance, your name is entered into the contest. We will draw a winner at the June HUG meeting on June 22, 2017. 

Topics: Meeting Recap, Inbound Hiring

Facebook Ads: Your Inbound Program's Secret Weapon

Posted by Carrie Koos on Apr 28, 2017 10:00:00 AM

facebook ads inbound hug.jpg


Ads: can they really be a part of an inbound marketing program? 

In this month's HubSpot User Group meeting, Parker Short of Jaxzen Marketing Strategies shed some light on how social advertising, particularly Facebook ads, fits into the inbound methodology and how you can use these ads to help engage customers at every stage of the buyer's journey. 


Learn more from Parker's presentation below:


Read more about using Facebook ads in your inbound marketing program:


Upcoming Events

  • May 18: “How to recruit, hire, and develop top inbound talent” with Brad Voeller of Digital Creative Institute
  • June 22: Building your email list with Jenna Fortunato of JustUno

Amazon Dot Contest

We’re giving away an Amazon Dot for some of our most regular attendees! You’ll be entered into the contest once for every meeting you attend between the April, May, and June HUG meetings. We’ll draw a name after the June meeting. See you there!

Join us at the next HubSpot User Group

Topics: Meeting Recap, Inbound, Social Advertising

Ask Me Anything with Justin Champion

Posted by Ben Murray on Apr 17, 2017 11:14:22 AM
Justin Champion AMA-1.png
We had Justin Champion from the HubSpot Academy join us last week for an exclusive Ask Me Anything (AMA) with the Austin HUG Slack team. There were so many great responses that we thought we’d share them so you could access these key insights on content creation.
Q: How’s the road trip going?
A: Amazing! My wife, Ariele, and I left Front Royal, VA two weeks ago – since then we’ve traveled through six states, and we’re currently in an RV park near downtown NOLA. A few days ago we were on the Gulf Shores of FL. My on-demand wifi made it possible for me work from the beach. Wow, just wow.
Q: That sounds wonderful! What is your favorite brainstorming method for coming up with new content ideas?
A: Going on a walk with a notepad. I like to brainstorm ideas on my own first, then review them with people – ideas become stronger based on the feedback of others. Also, leave time to reflect on your ideas. It can take me up to 1-2 weeks to fully flesh out an idea. This is because I have time to refine and challenge an idea to make sure I’m not selling myself short.
Q: That’s great advice! Any tips for how to write/produce in-depth content for a client in an industry you don’t work in? How do you go about immersing yourself in the correct jargon so that your content resonates with people in that industry?
A: Great question. Identify thought leaders and pick their brains. Not only will you get great content, but you'll build a promotion path by including others in your work. Inbound links FTW!
Q: Piggy backing onto that question- Justin, what are your thoughts on writing content in which you are not a subject matter expert?
A: Research, research, and more research. Definitely connect with others that have the knowledge you're looking for. That's a great starting point. Know enough to be dangerous (i.e. asking the right questions, putting together an outline). You don't have to be the subject matter expert, but you have to know enough to get the content you need.
Also once you create an initial piece of content, really try and stretch the value out of it. For example, a blog could lead to an ebook, could lead to a webinar, and so on. Repurposing is a content marketer’s best friend.
Q: On that note…. about how many different ways do you try to repurpose a piece of to get maximum value? For instance, let’s say I wrote a long-form blog post, which I then turned into a series of blog posts, which I then turned into an ebook… how many more ways should I aim to present that same content before it becomes redundant?
A: Think of repurposing as telling the same story through a different lens. I go for impact. For example, repurpose a blog into a video and post it to youtube. There's no limit to the amount of repurposing content. I use the ACE method which we'll talk more about at the workshop. (Get details on the workshop here)
Q: Great stuff! So what are some of the SEO benefits of pillar content?
A: The biggest benefit is it solves for the human (website visitor) as well as the machine (search engine bot). Search engines love quality content – their job is to provide the most relevant answers for what people are searching for. If you take the time to consistently write and connect like-themed content together with links, then it’ll pay off in the long run. For example, I created a comprehensive guide on creating a DIY truck camper and connected all relevant blogs to this page. The result? My organic traffic doubled in less than 5 months and I’m on the first page for the broad term “DIY truck camper”.
PS: that truck camper is coming with me to Austin
Q: How do you come up with the names for your trucks and campers?
A: My wife and I are Southerners. We both grew up in rural areas of Virginia. Our truck is named after George Strait, the king of country. Before I worked at HubSpot, my wife and I worked on the digital team for VF Corporation, and Wrangler Western was one of our clients. After going to numerous rodeos and country western events, the culture grew on me. Even with this, the names of our fleet came to us. We didn’t rush. We waited until the right name came to us, reflected on it. If it stuck, then we kept it. Dorothy (aka Dot) is named after Ariele’s grandmother – she was a sassy and sweet lady, just like our Airstream.
Q: If you’re a George Strait fan, you need to visit Gruene Hall when you’re here next week!
Do you use tools like HubSpot page performance report and blog analytics to help you find topics that are resonating and can be further expanded?
A: I’m in! I do [use those tools]. HubSpot makes it easy to do initial research for content I'm looking to create. I also do research on Google to see what content exists on a specific topic as well as buzzsumo to understand the engagement of that content. HubSpot is releasing a content strategy tool later this year, which I'm super excited about. It's a solution to help research and organize content creation.
Q: My business partner and I have just started (last week) down the path of content creation. One of our biggest challenges -- we think that we have a decent idea of who our buyer personas are, but honestly don’t have good enough data and intel at this point to make well-informed decisions. We’re debating whether it’s a better idea to write content to a broader audience at first to try and find out who specifically is out there (and paying attention), or if we should get tactical and narrow our focus based upon the information we currently have.
I realize it’s tough to speculate with such little context; we’re most curious about your thoughts on writing for a broad audience vs. getting tactical.
A: I definitely understand that pain point. Before you create content you need to determine 1) content mission statement (why you're creating content), 2) buyer persona's (who you're creating content for), and 3) buyer's journey (what does a buyer persona experience from not knowing who you are to becoming a customer)
Try talking to the sales team to get a sense of the people who buy your products/services and who don't. Knowing this could give you a starting place for content creation as well.
Q: In the content marketing classes you talk about spending as much or more of your time promoting content as creating it. So, you've just published a blog post. Now what? What are your typical next steps for promoting that content?
A: Oh, boy, we could go on for hours on this topic. To start, focus on the channels where your audience spends their time. There’s no use in posting to LinkedIn if it’s not a valuable channel for you. A few of the strongest places to start: 1) create a series of valuable snippets for pre-defined social posts, 2) send an email to your current relevant contacts or include the blog in your next newsletter, 3) find ways to connect that blog to your content via links, 4) repurpose the content into a new format, like a video (not only will this help enhance the blog post experience, but it’ll also help claim another search result if you post the video to a channel like YouTube), and 5) comment marketing – be helpful on other people's sites by answering questions. Then plug your content when you feel you have the opportunity to (don't just insert the blog post initially as you need credibility).
Q: Any idea when Hubspot will get instagram integration for analytics?
A: I'm not aware of a the timeline at this time. It depends on the API integration with instagram. I do know we're making progress though on social integrations.
Q: What's the future of content? Will it always be blogs? What else is emerging?
A: The written word will not go away. I don't see blogging going away anytime soon. The future of content is spanning though, which is why you'll see blogs like the sales lion have a post that also has a video and an audio file. The best thing you can do to equip yourself for the future is becoming a storyteller and spanning the message across multiple channels, especially social media. Social media will continue to rise and only become more competitive.
Thanks so much to Justin for giving such great advice! Be sure to join us this Thursday morning as Justin leads a workshop all about creating pillar content. Click the button below to learn more and sign up!
Austin HubSpot User Group content workshop