Although many brands have gone on to become successful media companies, very few of them have achieved the level of success that HubSpot has in this regard. This online blog site has managed to build not just one of the biggest blogs in the industry, but three – all of which are updated regularly with top quality content. Over the years, mention has been made that, thanks to its inbound marketing strategies, HubSpot is currently valued at the $1 billion mark.
The main driving force behind HubSpot’s blog marketing success comes in the form of Joe Chernov. His frequent contributions to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and Mashable in conjunction with his thought leadership enabled him to win CMI’s “Content Marketer of the Year” award in 2012. When interviewed by Joe Lazauskas, Chernov emphasized the importance of content creation for inbound marketing. Fresh content of the highest possible quality is what drives search, which in turn generates traffic. Traffic then yields regular site readers, all of which have the potential to become future leads or sales.
Chernov went on to mention that a tremendous amount of organization, along with a carefully structured marketing and content creation team, is what is largely responsible for the blog’s unsurpassed level of success over the years. Although outsiders or freelancers may be used to provide content for the site at times, this does not happen often. Instead, HubSpot prefers to rely on its in-house team to create the bulk of its content. If outsiders are used, it is usually due to there being unforeseen bandwidth or deadline constraints. The company firmly believes that it is far more beneficial for it to own the content and any other resources that it places on its blog.
HubSpot’s CMO, Mike Volpe, stated with regards to owning the blog’s audience as well as its content, “We don’t like to build houses on other people’s land.” In other words, it is best to own both of these resources instead of relying on purchasing advertising elsewhere in a bid to attract site visitors. It should be noted though, that owning an audience involves being willing to take on a huge amount of responsibility – especially with regards to “protecting” the current audience from the ever-looming shadow of online marketing. When the blog reached two million viewers in January, it would have been detrimental for the site if readers were bombarded with promotions or ads.
Another attribute that is responsible for HubSpot’s successful inbound marketing is the fact that all content is segregated into three categories, namely marketing, sales and agency.
The marketing blog caters for the sale of HubSpot’s marketing software and the sales blog assists with the sale of the blog’s sales software. An agency section was also incorporated because agencies are deemed as a vital channel for the blog as well. The main reason for segregating the blog as mentioned above is that it helps expose the agency and sales blogs to HubSpot’s marketing readers, which in turn are responsible for generating the majority of the blog’s marketing traffic.
One of the main aspects of HubSpot’s marketing strategies is the creation of personas. A lot of time and effort is put into what each persona may be interested in, what each one may be struggling with on a daily basis and what each of them may be curious about at any point and each piece of blog content is then created accordingly. This not only ensures that the widest possible ranges of site visitors’ needs are catered for on a regular basis; it also means that a large percentage of these visitors will be willing to become repeat visitors in the long term.
One of the most important things for site owners to remember is that patience is essential. No successful blog or website achieved its fame overnight. A dedicated readership is a by-product of a consistent supply of fresh quality content. Unfortunately, not nearly enough people are willing to put in the amount of time and effort that is required to make a blog or website successful. However, if a person is willing to “see it through” and persevere, they will eventually experience a turning point where readers become a community of long-term subscribers.
Although not many blogs or sites will achieve readership levels akin to those that HubSpot experiences, it is quite possible for them to increase their subscriber figures substantially if they are willing to put as much effort as possible into some of the above mentioned inbound marketing strategies.