As the content marketing wave starts washing over corporate America (and laps at the edges of business in Australia), it’s a good idea to stand back and look at HubSpot, considered by many to be the “poster child” for smart marketing in today’s hyper-connected age.
Massachusetts-based HubSpot sells and services all-in-one marketing software that helps more than 6,000 companies in 45 countries to attract leads and convert them into customers.
According to Wikipedia, the company grew 6,015% from 2007 to 2011. Not bad growth during what were constrained economic times.
HubSpot is a pioneer of what it calls “inbound marketing” – a concept based around the notion of earning the attention of potential customers and attracting them to your website.
Whereas most marketing is about pushing your message out to unsuspecting consumers who are largely disinterested in what you have to say, inbound marketing is all about attracting people to your brand via relevant and interesting solutions-based content.
HubSpot do this better than most.
A quick look at HubSpot’s blog shows considerable depth and breadth of ideas, insights and advice packaged into digestible multimedia content for anyone who’s interested (often it’s people who sit in the company’s target market).
And by the looks of things, plenty of people are interested because they’re sharing HubSpot’s content (and in doing so, promoting the HubSpot name and endorsing their brand) with their own personal networks. It’s not uncommon to see individual HubSpot blog posts retweeted anywhere between 400 and 800 times, “liked” on Facebook up to a 100 times and shared on LinkedIn between 200 and 300 times.
HubSpot is a prolific producer of blog posts, so think of the cumulative effect of all that sharing, not to mention the copious links back to their blog (and the traffic that brings).
A key tenet of content marketing is that it’s not about you or your brand. People by and large aren’t interested in your products and services, they want to know what’s in it for them. They’re wanting solutions to problems and pressing needs.
If you can provide compelling and interesting information as well as solutions via your content – video, blogs, podcasts, eBooks, reports, whitepapers, webinars, graphics, infographics, etc – people will not only be attracted to your brand but will share your content freely with their peers, colleagues and broader personal networks.
If you can provide compelling content with strategic keywords and key phrases included, so much the better. Google will love you, and prospective customers will find you more easily.
Back to HubSpot.
HubSpot’s target audience is made up of CEOs, business owners and marketing folk. They share a common challenge and that is attracting quality leads among the noise of today’s information-overloaded marketplace and then converting these leads into customers. This is an audience that needs help navigating today’s ever-changing new media landscape and the challenges it throws up.
This is where HubSpot helps out, by providing heaps of valuable free content on its website and blog, plus through its social media channels (although for the more “meatier” content, you will be required to stump up your email details).
If you get a minute, check out HubSpot’s marketing resources page. It features on-demand eBooks and webinars, detailed marketing kits, marketing tools (such as http://grader.com/), marketing whitepapers, videos and vodcast (200 episodes of the video podcast, HubSpot TV), plus dozens of marketing studies and reports.
Not only are these guys masters at creating valuable content, they’re also pretty good at building a community of advocates and supporters of their brand.