The principles of inbound marketing
It is a big word with a lot of interpretations but actually the principles of inbound marketing are simple and can be formulated in 4 steps:
- Attract visitors to your website.
- Gain as much information about your visitors as possible.
- Make your visitors engage with you.
- Create meaningful statistics to evaluate popularity and success.
HubSpot and its content engine
When taking a look at HubSpot we can identify a lot of features being grouped into distinct fields:
Content, Social, Contact and Reports
For now we want to focus on the content block. The other blocks will be part of future posts. If you want to see a specific block in the near future, let us know so we can try to get onto that as soon as possible.
So we want to have a closer look at the HubSpot content section. The basic stucture can be understood as in the following figure.
The content engine provides everything to create your own web presence. And it provides all basic elements to depict the 4 steps of inbound marketing.
- With the integrated SEO advisor it optimizes the findability of your website. The blog and a set of landing pages attracts visitors to your site where first information are collected.
- Those information can range from stupid IP addresses (and thereby the location the visitor is coming from) to more complex data about how much time the visitor spent on which page.
- Visitors can engage with the Call-To-Action elements (CTAs) that can be placed everywhere on your content (in a blog post, on your website or on any landing page).
- And a set of basic statistics are created and displayed either based on campaigns or in general in their dashboard.
So everything is there to start over. But is there an alternative that is providing the same functionality or maybe even more? And what is the cost in comparison to the all-in-one-suite HubSpot offers?
WordPress and its eco-system
WordPress is a famous platform (53.8% of all CMS used out there is attributed to WordPress) and is constantly used for blogging and content management. But how is it positioned for the creation, administration and evaluation of landing pages?
Landing pages in WordPress
Before talking about WordPress and its landing page possibilities we should ask ouselves: What is a landing page? There are different definitions out there but let me put it in my own words.
A landing page focuses on one specific purpose.
You do not offer the whole portfolio of your company, nor do you give general information about you or your business. You want to describe one product or service in a coherent way that stirs up curiosity.
A landing page is supposed to convert visitors.
Once you aroused your visitor’s interest it is crucial to make him or her engage with you. The landing page must offer so-called Call-To-Actions (CTAs) which only have one goal: make the visitor addressable. Mostly they collect email addresses or directly guide them to concrete offers.
With that common understanding of a landing page we want to have a closer look at WordPress.
Single landing pages
The easy approach is to have a single landing page in your wordpress site. With a proper template (e.g. from Themeforest) a usual WordPress page can be converted into a beautiful landing page.
The problem is, that we have a landing page now but no functionality behind it. How can we test different designs with an A/B testing approach? How can we get the conversion rate? How can we easily manage, what the functionality of a CTA is? Oh, and how can we integrate CTAs at all?
Multiple landing pages
The problem is becoming even bigger, when we try to host multiple landing pages in one WordPress installation. How can we configure sub-domains? How can we use different CTAs for different landing pages? How can we get statistics about the success of our landing pages?
WordPress can host single landing pages. But the real advantage of landing pages (like A/B testing and conversion rate analysis) cannot be taken with the standard installation.
In the upcoming posts we want to have a closer look at suitable plugins and how they can be used to create a proper feature set for inbound marketing.
HubSpot is powerful. It offers a featureset that is unique within one single solution. But there is no reason for us to consider ourselves satisfied. We will keep on investigating alternatives, so stay tuned and follow us for the next round in the competition “HubSpot vs. the rest of the world”.[polldaddy poll=8182350] [/row]