Last week, I had the chance to attend HubSpot Partner Day, a workshop for agency partners to get exclusive access to HubSpot’s leadership team. Agencies who attend can learn about the latest products, trends and tips from the software company to help better service their clients.
The training covered advanced strategies and tactics for using HubSpot in addition to new updates that will help agencies get a leg up on the competition. While many of the innovations I learned about are confidential and can’t be shared here, the learnings are equally fascinating.
Here are some of the biggest trends I learned from Partner Day 2017:
Video’s explosive growth
It’s no secret that videos have taken off in digital marketing as engagement metrics across social media posts, email campaigns and landing pages skyrocket when they are included. But their use continues to evolve. Marketers need to stop looking at video as the big homepage welcome video that costs thousands of dollars to create. Instead, they need to look at creating a series of videos that accomplish a variety of objectives.
Creating videos is easy. It doesn’t require a big brainstorm or creative development to put together an engaging video. Start with existing marketing content such as a whitepaper or blog post and use the main points from that post to create your video.
Keep in mind that most people watching your video are going to do so on a mobile device, often without headphones. To account for this trend, use captions with clear, legible fonts for mobile to get the most engagement from your video. Viewers should be able to watch your videos with no sound and still get the point of it.
Videos can be used for thought leadership, product announcements, optimizing conversion rates and a lot more. While it’s easy to want to address several topics at once, the most effective videos are ones that speak to one topic and have one objective.
Bridging the gap between sales and marketing
Alignment between sales and marketing teams has always been difficult to achieve. The phrase, “marketing has a sales problem and sales has a marketing problem,” was used frequently throughout the day.
Marketers often complain when leads are funneled through to sales but aren’t recognized as contributing to revenue, while sales will bemoan the lack of leads from marketing. This creates a lot of distrust on both sides.
One of the biggest points HubSpot drove home was the importance of having salespeople track everything in a CRM and having sales included in nurturing campaigns. For instance, when a prospect converts at the bottom of the funnel, your marketing automation system can send an automated email from the sales rep offering additional content or an offer to book a demo.
The benefits of this are two-fold.
First, it provides a quick and easy way for marketing to rotate qualified leads to sales. This allows marketing to provide the right context to sales so they can use previously engaged activity to work the sale. It also provides marketing with full visibility to see which leads are being worked and how they’re engaged.
Marketing needs to be able to demonstrate their role in revenue growth. By proactively working with sales to ensure their leads result in booked meetings or sales, marketers can close the gap with sales reps and become indispensable.
Prioritization of secure websites
The need for cybersecurity has been shown in nearly every industry and website development is no exception. Thousands of websites suffer cyberattacks on a daily basis and the impact can be costly.
Whether it shuts down an entire e-commerce business for days at a time or compromises the personal information of your visitors, getting hacked is painful for any type of business. The problem is that most websites aren’t properly protected until it’s too late. Not only does an insecure website leave your site open to a cyberattack. It also hurts your ranking on Google. The bigger problem is that Google may try to prevent users from accessing your site if it believes you’re vulnerable to a data breach.
Even if you’re taking proactive measures to protect your website, they can at times be costly to implement and don’t necessarily prevent all attacks. In fact, many CMS providers make it difficult to protect your website from a cyberattack as they don’t work in tandem with a security provider. If your company has done all the legwork to protect itself, your site can still be vulnerable to a data breach if another website on the same CMS is hacked.
To counter this problem, HubSpot’s tech experts recommend using a CMS that automatically includes SSL certificates for each of its sites. This not only protects the entire network, but ensures your site doesn’t get penalized for being unsafe.
Marketers need to do the legwork of finding a provider that’s not only fast and easy to use, but is also secure. The last thing any business wants is to make the news as a result of a data breach.
Being in the same room and meeting with some of HubSpot’s top brass allowed me the opportunity to get fresh ideas and taught me how to do my job better to get clients the results they deserve.