Some of the SPROUT Content team is reminiscing over a whirlwind week at HubSpot’s annual conference, INBOUND. From keynote speakers like Michelle Obama to comedy from Judd Apatow to the latest in inbound marketing strategies, it was a busy week of inspiration and meeting new friends in our industry. Just like every year, it was also packed with new HubSpot product announcements.
Founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah began their keynote address as Muppets but then morphed into business leaders excited to share important news about the future of their inbound marketing software company.
One of the biggest reveals was the move into the customer service market, described as “the inbound way of doing customer service.” Customer Hub will be released in 2018 and will include features such as inquiry management, feedback, sentiment analysis, automated testimonial captures, etc. Users can go from frantically “solving tickets” to actually helping customers quickly and efficiently.
Right alongside is the announcement of HubSpot Conversations, a unified “inbox” aggregating customer communications from various channels including Slack, text messaging, email, etc. HubSpot’s goal is help you and your team have better one-to-one conversations with your customers in the format they want. With the rise of instant messaging, you’ll be able to connect with your customers however, whenever and with whatever they want.
Here’s how Conversations will work:
- Stores messages from your prospects and customers in a single, central place so you can view, manager and reply with ease.
- Seamlessly pulls in conversations from every messaging channel, and allows you to bring any member of your team into a thread.
- Deeply connected to the rest of the HubSpot CRM Free, giving you context on every contact so you always have the full picture.
- Automation rules and bots help you manage conversations at scale, routing incoming messages and taking care of simple tasks.
This advance in technology surrounding chatbots is possible due to HubSpot’s recent acquisition of motion.ai, which they hope will change the future of messaging in marketing.
Sales teams can also upgrade to Sales Professional, an upgraded version of the current sales software which will be available November 1st. Halligan says this isn’t meant to compete with the higher end salesforce.com which he concedes is a better fit for large enterprises. Rather, Sales Pro is attempt to service the SMB customers who are somewhere in between SalesForce and HubSpot’s basic sales tool.
Sales Pro is designed to help sales teams scale personal conversations. Once again bringing artificial intelligence into the mix, Sales Pro adds advanced automation and custom reporting to the CRM. Its job is to tackle the administrative aspects of sales, so salespeople can focus on relationships.
Of course, HubSpot’s Marketing platform wasn’t left out of the mix of new bells and whistles.
Here’s a quick recap of what you can expect to come soon:
- Content Strategy: Get more traffic with less content? That’s a marketer’s dream! HubSpot has proven it’s possible with their own experiment into topic clusters associated with pillar content. This was definitely a prevalent theme at INBOUND this year as it was revealed that search engines are rewarding websites whose content is organized by topics rather than just keywords. The new tool helps you organize your content into clusters that define and elevate your influence in search engines. That means better search rankings and more, higher quality traffic to your website. We’ve already been implementing this strategy for ourselves and clients. Check out this example of a pillar content piece.
- Campaign Reporting: This powerful new reporting engine helps you tie even the broadest marketing campaigns directly to traffic, leads and revenue.
- Facebook Ads: LinkedIn has been removed from the Ads Add On, but the focus is now solely on Facebook. Easily convert more people with new formats like Facebook Lead Ads.
- Instagram: Tee up posts and get mobile reminders to publish your content on Instagram.
- Native Shopify Integration: Seamlessly sync product and sales data to HubSpot so that you can benefit from analytics, workflow emails and more.
Stay tuned next week for a more detailed recap of our team’s favorite takeaways from the conference.
Are you interested in learning more about HubSpot’s all-in-one marketing software? SPROUT Content is a Platinum Tiered HubSpot Partner Agency, so we can help you use the software to its full potential whether you are new to it or a veteran user. To start, download our free guide: How to Get the Most from your HubSpot Investment.