For every ten items you write on your shopping list this season, there’s always that one thing you’ll forget. For me, it’s something to crack all those walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds with. Without a real nut cracker, I usually start by trying the cheap wooden soldier-shaped nutcracker on the mantle and eventually end up with a hammer. The results, I should tell you, are poor every time. I dislocated the soldier’s jaw last year and the hammer leaves little left of the shell or the nut. Now then, Can You Do Inbound Marketing Without a Tool like Hubspot? The answer is yes, but why would you want to?
Of course you know that Hubspot is a highly-recognized, often used automated inbound marketing tool—not to mention an all-in-one solution. But it certainly isn’t free and marketers have long been making progress by piecing together a similar framework using freeware and other standalone applications. Deciding how much priority you should put in an all-in-one tool like Hubspot versus what’s always been done (and seems to still work)—can be tricky.
These questions might help:
How do you define inbound marketing?
Though the inbound marketing movement continues to catch on, not everyone practices inbound marketing the way it was meant to be. If someone asked you what inbound marketing was today, would you answer with any or all of these:
- Blogging on social media
- Using SEO best practices
- Providing podcasts, ebooks, enewsletters and other free content
Yes to one or two of the above is great. Yes to all? Good job! But that’s not inbound marketing. They are simply some of the hundreds of techniques you can use to get you the uptick in traffics, leads and ultimate conversions that inbound marketing promises.
Inbound marketing isn’t a handful of really great techniques—inbound marketing is a solid approach and commitment to doing marketing a certain way. And what way is that? In this article highlighting his top suggested inbound marketing techniques, Neil Patel, Cofounder of KISSmetrics puts it like this:
Inbound marketing is more of an approach than it is a list of tactics. Inbound marketing, at its core, is about attracting prospects to your business rather than going out to find those prospects.
This drawing in to the core (or the “Hub” hence, the name “Hubspot”) of your marketing operations is what inbound is all about—and is what separates a tool like Hubspot from piecemeal inbound marketing components in terms of efficacy.
What is “good enough” getting you?
In a recent attempt to understand the real differences in an all-in-one automated inbound marketing solution like Hubspot and pieced together inbound marketing set-ups, this company discovered that both deliver an impressive level of success. Sampling 14 B2B and B2C companies receiving the same level of inbound marketing services (but divided by those using and not using Hubspot) over a 12-month period, this is what they found:
Companies not using Hubspot saw an increase in organic search traffic of 170% in the span of a year. Impressive right? Inbound marketing, it seems, really does work. But can it be better? The answer—a definite yes! How so? The clients using Hubspot as their inbound marketing tool saw an increase in organic search traffic of… (drumroll, please)…
Given a chance at nearly 2X as much search traffic from your inbound marketing efforts or nearly tripling that, what choice would you make?
How is Hubspot able to put up such big numbers?
Remember the hammer and the nut? Without a measured approach to inbound marketing—one that is dialed in specifically to do the job at hand—you run the risk of overdoing it in one are or leaving stacks of missed marketing potential in another.
Using an all-in-one tool for inbound marketing is a way to keep everything together, under one “roof” so to speak, so you don’t leave any opportunities to optimize behind.
The ability to drive social media, analytics, email and other digital efforts from a centralized, online location simply makes sense. Everything that is needed to manage your inbound marketing effort—including the A/B testing to continually optimize your activities—is connected. Consistency and efficiency like this is impossible to come by any other way.
So yes, you can in fact “do” inbound marketing without a tool like Hubspot, but why would you? For many, foregoing the a la carte route for an inbound marketing all-in-one like Hubspot has meant the difference between so-so stats and incredible results. Or, if you prefer the nut analogy, it’s the difference between using a hammer to smash at what you want and using a precision tool that leaves you with the best pieces intact.
But HubSpot isn't a set and leave it tool. Learn how to put it to work for your business in our free download, How to Get the Most from Your HubSpot Investment.