Hello newcomer and welcome to Incredo!
This guide will give you all the information you need to know about Inbound marketing, Hubspot, project handling and reporting, communication, problem solving and solutions, before starting your work in our company. Make sure to read through this to maximize your knowledge and results. Lets dive in!
We use 2 communication platforms here at Incredo: Trello and Skype.
We use Skype for daily communication (chat) between our team and clients to discuss any matters that arise in between our work on a project and calls/meetings with our clients to discuss any major campaigns, changes, challenges, strategies, etc.
Trello is an online communication platform that consists of boards, lists and cards. Each board refers to a specific project where we discuss and perform all tasks concerning that project.
Lists are made to better organize the ongoing project topics and split the work between the team members. Topics are made around whatever needs to be done, that will include short term all long term groups of tasks. Examples of lists” Ongoing tasks, Completed tasks, Review tasks and so on.
Cards are created inside the lists and have a specific task assigned to one or more group members and usually include a deadline of competition. The deadlines may vary depending on specific tasks, their volume, etc.
When communicating via Trello, team members make constant updates on the task status, so that everyone knows in what stage it is in, unless it’s a very small one and doesn’t need updating. When updating or asking a question to somebody, team members tag the specific person they want to refer to in their comment, and that person will receive a notification on any update on that specific card.
Every 2 weeks on Mondays we organize team meetings where we all gather in one room to discuss our success, opportunities, challenges, suggestions for improvement and practically anything that is bothering us.
Team meetings usually last one hour. Project reports also happen during the team meeting, when each person responsible talks about the problems, suggestions and success they had with anything concerning their project.
Everything here at Incredo is transparent, so everybody is aware what the other teams are doing for their own project, and can offer suggestions, solutions to problems or help with anything that might be needed.
At the end of every month, we organize a team activity somewhere to relax and have fun together. Might go drinking, eating, playing different games, etc. We choose diversity in those activities and always try something new!
You already know the best practices of Inbound Marketing through the Hubspot Academy training videos, but I will give some more information regarding each of those topics. Let’s start from the very bottom and go gradually.
Inbound Marketing is based on 2 key principles: Buyer Personas and Buyers Journey. All the content we create, every post, every article and offer revolves around those 2 key principles. Each Inbound marketer has to have a complete and clear understanding of this 2 aspects, in order to be successful in his work.
Buyer personas are semi fictional representations of your ideal customers. They are created based on market research and real data about your current consumers. Every inbound marketer has to understand their buyer personas for every specific industry and project, because each industry is different and therefore, customer needs, demands and pain points vary. All the content we create is targeted towards our buyer personas and used to address their issues, solve their problems and relieve their pain points.
After we have learned everything about our Buyer personas, we have to start mapping out their Buyer’s Journey. Buyer’s journey is the continuous navigation route of a visitor who first came to your site and eventually has to become a customer. Buyer’s journey consists of 3 stages: Awareness stage, where people start to understand that they have a problem which needs to be addressed and turn to the web for help, Consideration stage, where people already have some kind of information about their issue and are now considering several options, and Decision stage, when buyers have 1 or 2 solutions they think are the best for them and now need to make a decision on which one to use.
Mapping out the buyer’s journey correctly is crucial for generating leads and customers for any business. If potential consumers cannot find the logical continuation on your website easily, they will just leave and turn to someone else for help.
A landing page is the key instrument for you to acquire leads. Landing Pages are mostly plain, easy to understand pages outside of your website that exist for that sole purpose of generating leads. All kinds of navigation has to be removed from a landing page, in order to not distract potential leads.
A Landing page consists of an offer (usually free), minimal, yet informative and important content, a relevant image and a form. It’s very simple, you offer your target audience something useful and free, in exchange for some information about them and they will agree to those terms, if you created your buyer personas correctly and they are in the corresponding stage of the buyer’s journey.
The further your offer is according to the buyer’s journey, the more information you can get from your potential leads. Learn more about Landing Pages.
Thank You Pages
Thank you pages are the next step of landing pages, where you thank your newly acquired lead for downloading your offer. A thank you page may be used for encouragement to continue their buyer’s journey or just show an inline thank you message and a promise to deliver your offer exactly as you said in the landing page before. You have to always keep your promise in the exact way you said you would, otherwise you are going to lose the trust of your potential leads and they will leave your page.
Call to Actions (CTA)
Call to actions or CTAs, are eye catchy, visually appealing, clickable images that marketers use to attract visitors to landing pages. They are usually placed at the end/side/top of blog posts or articles on your website, your homepage or anywhere else where they can be appropriate. The message on the CTA has to match the content that your potential lead was consuming at that moment, otherwise it will seem irrelevant. More about CTAs.
As we learned, leads are considered to be those visitors that complete the landing page form and download your offer. However, not all leads are equally important for your business, in fact there may be visitors who don’t want to have any business with you or your company whatsoever, they just needed the offer. These leads are called unqualified or bad leads. There are also active leads, marketing qualified leads, sales qualified leads and leads that need to be nurtured.
Active leads are those people that engage with your company via social media, comment on your posts, ask questions, want to know more etc.
Active leads turn into marketing qualified leads, making them ideal to make more and more offers (not the direct product or service yet, but something that is not absolutely free anymore), get more information about them and strengthen the bond between them and your company.
Marketing qualified leads then turn into sales qualified leads and are considered ready to purchase your product or service. They are usually being handled by the sales team of the company.
Lead nurturing is the active process of engaging with your fresh leads to find out who needs more attention, who is active and who needs to be filtered out or marked as a “bad lead”. Learn more about lead generation here.
There are lots of different uses for emails when it comes to Inbound marketing. There are follow-up emails, no reply emails, informative emails, invitational emails and so on.
Follow-up emails are automated emails that your fresh leads receive after they complete the landing page and go to the thank you page. They usually contain a thank you message, and the download link, just in case the thank you page failed or some other problem happened that could prevent your lead from downloading the offer.
No reply emails are used to inform or remind your target audience about a specific event or program or whatever it might be. They are short, cannot be replied to and basically used for convenience.
Informational, invitational and some other types of emails of this category are mainly used for the lead nurturing process mentioned above. Getting your leads ready, tips and tricks to ease pain points or offering samples are some of the examples that they may contain.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO or search engine optimization is done to help your website and content appear in the search engines. SEO is very important, because we might actually have the best content ever, but its useless if nobody can find it.
SEO can and should be done for all the max visited pages, like homepage, offer pages, blog, contact information, etc. There are a few different factors that should be taken into account when considering SEO: On page SEO, specific keywords, Meta descriptions, visual images, image alt text, referrals, URLs, etc.
On page SEO means that every specific page has to have a small group of core keywords that you use in the headline, sub headline and body of your text.
Keywords are the core words and phrases that people search most on search engines and what to find more information about. We pick the keywords that are most relevant to our business and construct all the content around them.
Meta Description is a 150 character max sentence or combination of phrases that appears under the headline of your content in a search engine. It should tell the reader what your content is about, but usually you don’t want to tell them all the key points, just tell something that will interest people enough to actually click and read more.
Visual Image is a very important part of your content, in some cases it is actually a piece of content on its own, like Instagram for example. You want to have relevant, eye catchy, engaging images to make your content more appealing.
Image alt text is the “name” of the image in a search engine. It can be useful to name the image after the headline that it is used for. It can also include keywords and help your content rank up in the search engine results.
Referrals are links to your website or site page that are placed in other sites on the web. This is a great way to make your content easier to find, even if initially the user isn’t consuming your content at first.
URL is the web address of your website, site page or any other content you have. Generally it should read the same name as your page headline, unless it is modified by a tool, to make it shorter.
Keywords are very specific, short words or phrases that are searched by people frequently via the search engines and are most relevant to your business. If you want to rank up on search engines and come to the front page, you have to utilize keywords a lot.
Although keywords are not the most essential part of your content (great, educating, valuable content IS!) they are still very important to make your content easier to find and consume.
Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing is one of the most important tools for every business. Here some hey points you should know about it.
The main social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn should be utilized by all businesses. The rest can be useful as well, if you are a social media heavy industry like fitness for example. YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest, etc. are also great channels if you are a social media focused business.
Facebook is the top channel when it comes to user base. Facebook posts and messages usually have a large lifespan, so it’s good to have 2-3 posts a day on Facebook. Message length is generally long, since people on Facebook tend to read more, than for example Twitter. Visuals of any FB post are a must, and your content should be a bit more fun and engaging for this channel. Time of day and hashtags aren’t very important for Facebook in terms of posting, since people will generally check out your FB page, if they are interested in your content. For more information about Facebook, check out our guide.
Twitter is the fastest channel in terms of daily messages. The lifespan of one twit is less than 1 minute, which means that your message can be used to its maximum potential during a single minute, then it drops dramatically. This makes time of day posting and hashtags essential for this channel, since you can’t simply post 1440 minutes every day, it’s not worth it. However, you still need to post more frequently, like 7-9 times a day and use the correct hashtags and time to engage most of your target audience. Twitter message length should be the shortest across all platforms. Visuals are important, but not a must like in case of FB.
Instagram is the king of visual content of social media. All the content on Instagram relies of images and videos mainly, and the only written parts and links is in your account description or image description. For this reason, it’s okay to write longer messages in your descriptions. Hashtags are also important for this channel, but time can be taken more lightly. The number of posts can wary from 2-7 depending on preferences and goals.
LinkedIn is the most professional social media channel. Here you want to have more professional looking and high level content. The fun and engaging parts can be left out here. Visuals are important, number of messages are about 405 per day, length should be moderate, no hashtags here and time of day can be taken lightly. For more information about LinkedIn, check out our guide.
Each industry has a channel that is more important for them compared to the rest, like Instagram for fitness industry, Facebook for IT companies or LinkedIn for professional services. You should find the one that is essential to your success and focus heavily on that one with deeper research, however the rest should not be neglected.
Hubspot is the online marketing platform we use for all Inbound marketing activities. It’s actually a huge platform with lots of important things to know, but we will go over the basics and some key points.
After logging in you can choose the account you want to work with from the little “arrow” button near your picture in the top right side of the page.
After you select your desired account, you land on the Marketing Dashboard. Here is a list of your buyer personas, marketing performance, email, landing page and blog performance.
We usually create buyer personas with Hubspot. for a reference you, you might already be familiar with our Buyer Persona Templates.
File manager is used to store all of your files online on the Hubspot servers.
Design manager lets you create custom templates or pages for your website, or modify existing ones.
Site pages is a list of all pages on your website and their performance. You can make all the necessary additions or edits here.
Landing Pages contains all of your landing pages, thank you pages their performance. You can create new ones, choose desired templates, make edits, publish/unpublish LPs, etc.
Blog is linked to your company blog and all of the articles that you post here go into your website blog.
Emails are listed under the email tab with their content, numbers and performance.
CTAs are located under the CTA tab. Again you check their performance and make all the desired edits or new ones here.
Campaigns are made around a specific topic and contain and track everything related to them. They include blog posts, social media messages, articles, emails, landing pages etc. Campaigns make it easier to track information and see if your content is actually working as intended.
Everything concerning social media can be found in this section.
Monitoring contains streams that are created for specific words, phrases and hashtags to track them through the social media channel and see what relevant information can you find, how many people are using those words and phrases etc.
Inbox tab allows you to see all the messages and interactions on all the social media accounts that are linked to Hubspot in one place. You can answer comments, favorite posts, check your posts performance, etc. here.
Publishing tool helps schedule your posts across all channels in one place. You can set the desired day, time, content, preview image etc. and schedule it to publish. Once scheduled, your posts will go off on the exact settings that you put in, regardless of your computer being turned on or off.
Social reports show you the results of your social media messages in a detailed way. You can check the messages with most interactions, number of followers you acquired, number of traffic from social media to your website, social click through rate (CTR), engagement, impressions, reach and more.
Social CTR is a way to measure the effectiveness of your social media campaigns based on the clicks you get from your audience. CTR can also be used for the other marketing platforms like emails, landing pages, etc.
Impressions are the number of times a post you shared has been displayed, whether the post is clicked or not. People may see multiple impressions of the same post. For example, someone might see a Page update in News Feed once, and then a second time if their friend shares it.
Reach is the number of people who received impressions of a post. Reach might be less than impressions since one person can see multiple impressions.
Engagement could be a click to a landing page, a reply to a tweet or a comment on a Facebook post. Basically any positive interaction is considered an engagement, and naturally, the more the better.
Content calendar allows you to organize all of your content in one place for better time management and posting.
Publishing schedule allows you to select the most relevant times of every day of the week to save them and not manually put in the exact time you need every time you schedule a post.
Contacts are your leads and customers that have filled out any of your landing page forms. You can see them all here, information about each of them, their contact history and so on.
Lists section allows to organize any number of contacts into group for easier use. For example if you want to send an email to, say 80 people, you can just make the list of those people with the help of choosing criteria as to what contacts to include in that list, and send the email to that specific list without having to manually add each contact.
Forms section contains all the forms of your Landing Pages. It’s important to have a separate form for each landing page, in order to be able to track its performance and not get mixed in with all the rest. You can create, modify, edit and see the performance of each form here.
Here you can analyze your marketing efforts and see how far you have come.
Sources section shows you the website traffic that you acquired during the chosen time period, and also shows which visit came from what source and visit to lead/contact/customer conversion rate. For example social media, organic search, direct traffic and so on.
Page performance shows all of your website pages and their performance and also any issues associated with them. The top 20 viewed pages should not have any critical issues in order to maximize results.
Keywords tool has all the keywords that you input and tracks their performance. You can see how many searches a keyword gets, how difficult is to rank up for those, and what rank is your website on a specific keyword, meaning on what search engine page you will appear for that keyword. The tool also helps you find new keywords with suggestions, and offers ranking opportunity keywords. These are good keywords for your company to go after.
Competitors section shows your current position compared to your competitors. There are different metrics to take into account and evaluate your performance among competitors
This manual is the starting point of your journey and you need to be familiar with all of the aspects of Inbound marketing and Hubspot listed here to be able to show good results in your work. Of course, there is much more to learn as you go along the way, and it cannot all be listed in a single guide, but these are the fundamentals that you need to know to have a great start.
I hope you learned a lot from this guide and memorized it. You can refer to this guide if any questions arise, or if the problem persists, ask one of your fellow co-workers for help. I am sure they will do whatever they can to help you resolve your issue.
P.S. If you read all of this until the very end, you deserve a cookie. Claim it when you come on your first day!