Hubspot promotes itself as an Inbound marketing tool. Before we dive deeper, we need to understand what Inbound marketing is.
Inbound marketing is advertising a company through content. Content is the primary citizen of content marketing strategy. As compared to outbound marketing which uses cold calls, cold emails, flyers, news paper advertisement and other shout out methodologies, inbound marketing focusses on intriguing people through content. You want the reader to be intrigued enough to contact you rather than you reaching out to them.
In my mind, a good citizen of the content world, would pledge to produce highest quality content to her ability which focusses on being useful to the reader than merely trying to sell. The primary purpose of content is to claim authority on the subject of your business, boost your brand value and most importantly initiate conversations. Of course you have a chance of a sale, but that is not what your primary mindset should be.
Here are a few things why we decommissioned Hubspot:
FOCUS ON QUANTITY NOT QUALITY
Hubspot integrates with google analytics and gives you analytical information. Analytics can be done on quantitative data, not quality data. So Hubspot is mixing up quantity and quality right there.
What you see on the dashboard is Number of visits, leads and conversions. I would rather want to see parameters that showcase how well I am writing the content. This can be based on number of conversations it is generating, rating quality of the article and shares.
That being said, Hubspot promotes having more content, writing more blogs, having several landing pages. This is primarily for SEO purposes. 100% of the times, as you go up on quantity, you deteriorate on the quality. The purpose of content strategy of producing highest quality content is defeated right there.
Since the parameters that Hubspot chooses is conversions, it has to give you the tools to plug in to monitor them. Welcome to Call-To-Action buttons. Call to Action on a blog might not always be necessary. However, they highly recommend having one on all of your blogs. That implies your primary focus was to convert the reader rather than giving information. Though this might sound the right thing to do, you want to understand that content strategy is a long term game. You cannot be short sighted in this game. You need to play it with the right spirits. Your intent should be to intrigue enough interest so that someone will find a way to contact you.
LOOK AND FEEL IS NOT EASY
The blog engine, CTA buttons & the page manager is not very sophisticated nor customizable. You have to contact their team to help you build the look and feel. It works for the first time, however, if you want to do it more often, it becomes frustrating.
PROMOTES KEYWORD FOCUS
Content science believes that a high quality content is searchable better by search engines. Hubspot blogging engine fosters search engine friendliness the old fashioned way. It fosters having a keyword in the title and stuffed in the article, makes you do the meta tags with keywords and other things that we use to do in early 2000. More so, it provides a sophisticated keyword tool to see how you are ranking in google with those keywords. Though google ranking is one of the aims, it’s not the purpose. These tools drag you away focussing on producing high quality content towards trying to rank higher in google.
TRYING TO BE EVERYTHING BUT CONTENT
Hubspot offers keyword tools, social media scheduling and monitoring tools and blog engine, CTA and content tools. I agree that all of these, but keywords are part of content strategy, but the tools do not focus on producing high quality content.
YOU CANNOT CANCEL WHEN YOU WANT TO
You would imagine a SAAS product would have a cancel button right on your face. However, Hubspot ties you down on 6 months contract. So even when you tell them you don’t want to use their services, they play the trump card of you signing a contract. I was honestly not aware of this long term relationship as it would have been hidden in the fine prints. That sounds pretty unfair. A good SAAS citizen would let you go as soon as you want to.
All that being said, I strongly feel that search engines are coping up to work more and more on content. But the fact of the time is that old fashioned way still works a lot on keywords and things that Hubspot provides.
However, I wanted to do only one thing and that was highest quality content. Hubspot did not fit the bill.
Below are a few things I would like to see in an Inbound Marketing tool:
WAYS TO IDENTIFY BETTER BLOG TOPICS
Blogs topics occur either by reading some other blog or by aha moment. However, it does not mean you can write a blog at that time itself. You might want to preserve the thought into a thought bucket with reference URL’s for writing the blog at later stage.
HELPING ME WRITE A POWER TITLE
There are a clear set of power verbs. If the tool could identify and help me find better words and way’s to write power titles, that would increase my chance of creating the right impact. This could be extended to content itself.
WAYS TO WRITE BETTER BLOG CONTENT
When you start writing a blog, it would be great if the tool can help you write better content. It could start dragging information from the reference URL’s or over the internet.
WAYS TO PLUG IN IMAGES
A simple istock integration to search and buy images right from the blog page would help add good quality images onto the blog to improve it’s look and feel.
WAYS TO MEASURE CONVERSATIONS
Writing a content and not understanding how the content measures in terms of quality and goal is a shot in the black hole. Once the blog is out, it needs to measure how it is doing on social media and how is it helping generate more conversations around the topic.
There are many more thing’s you could add, but it should revolve around pledging high quality content and nothing more. Without helping write high quality content, Inbound marketing will fall on it’s face. Hubspot provide’s some tools to measure things, but I feel it is primarily geared towards quantity than quality and that needs to certainly change.