Can marketing automation substantially help manufacturing companies? Well, the short answer is ABSOLUTELY! But let's explore in more detail how marketing automation can help marketers in manufacturing companies be more effective or realize a better ROI by using the analytics and reports that HubSpot provides.
Why HubSpot Analytics Are So Good
As a Certified HubSpot Partner, we have been fortunate to help manufacturing companies implement HubSpot as their marketing automation platform. The results have been very impressive. As with all technology, HubSpot is just a tool—a tool that helps implement inbound marketing and content marketing best practices. But because it is a fully integrated, well-featured tool set, rather than a narrowly-focused tool such as Constant Contact or MailChimp (which certainly have their place), it offers the manufacturing marketer an excellent platform from which to manage the majority of their marketing efforts. One of HubSpot's most powerful elements is its analytics capabilities that give marketers an exceptional competitive advantage over their non-marketing automated competitors.
That advantage is largely because HubSpot provides clear, concise, and actionable reports and analytics. All marketers are challenged to measure the effectiveness and/or ROI of their efforts. But typically, the metrics and measurement tools are lackluster, overwhelming, or just plain confusing. Sure, just about any analytics tool can give you metrics like page visits, but does that really give a marketer insights that help them know how their efforts are faring? I don't think so. HubSpot gives the marketer the access to metrics that marketing (should) care about most. Here are some of the most important.
- Identify traffic sources. The Sources screen of HubSpot gives clear indication of where your website traffic is coming from, and how well each source is converting.
- Contacts per lead source. Identify what lead sources generate the most contacts/customers, so that you can put more effort into those sources that are generating leads and stop wasting energy on the ones that aren't.
- Contacts by campaign or content. Identify how many contacts were generated by any specific marketing campaign or piece of content. Any marketer should know how well their initiatives or content are working, and this report helps you do just that.
- Page views. Okay, let's go ahead and get this obvious one out of the way. More to it than just raw views, HubSpot gives you additional information, including how prospects get to those pages and how well they convert.
- Time spent on page. Almost as boring as page views, time spent on page is nonetheless an important metric to determine if your audience is engaging with your content.
- Number of subscribers. Building your mailing list often starts with building your blog subscriber list. These folks are an audience that has not only given you permission to talk to them, but have expressed a significant level of interest in your unique expertise. That's great news for marketers.
- Conversions. There are few metrics that are more rewarding than conversions and conversion rates. It is important to realize that there is likely more than one kind of conversion, for example, form completion, downloads, newsletter signups, blog subscriptions, purchases, etc., and you should track them all.
- Visit-to-contact conversion rate. Also in the Sources report, this calculation of the number of new contacts divided by the number of visits provides insights into how well the website content is producing over a specified time period.
- Content driving conversions. It is critical to understand what content is working at driving conversions. By monitoring the CTA percentage of each page, landing page, or blog post, you will have a much better sense as to what content is driving conversions.
- Tracking actions taken before converting. By looking at the content consumption trends of your prospects prior to becoming a customer, you can magnify that part of the funnel, and perhaps shorten the conversion time of your next prospect.
- Most popular blog posts. By knowing what blog posts get the most traffic, you have a better appreciation for the questions future prospects are going to have.
- The number of each persona identified. Refining your personas is an ongoing process. The more information you have about your personas, the better you can connect with and attract them. By monitoring which personas are visiting and converting, you have better insights into where to put your content marketing time and attention.
- Month-to-month and year-to-year comparison charts (traffic, customers, etc.). It's important to monitor your progress over time, and HubSpot's comparison charts allow you to see trends and cycles.
- Social media lead sources. By studying this metric, you can identify posts that are grabbing your readers' attention. You might find opportunities for additional promotion or the production of additional related content.
- Social media reach. By identifying your social media reach (through HubSpot's social media reach report), you can ensure that your social media efforts aren't falling on deaf ears. The greater the reach, the greater the potential traffic.
- Revenue generated. Need help convincing your higher-ups that your efforts are working? This metric will be the most exciting for them! Only available within the Enterprise version (unfortunately), you can generate contact-based revenue reports, or company-based revenue reports to show how much revenue your clients are generating.
- SEO optimization. HubSpot's built-in SEO analysis tools are excellent at helping you make all of the prescribed SEO-friendly adjustments to your existing (or new) pages and blog posts. Through these tools, you can ensure that each page is well optimized.
- Email analysis reports. Email campaigns are a primary component of marketing automation, and reviewing the reports that analyze those campaigns is important. Who is opening and clicking on your emails? What percentage opened/clicked? What percentage converted? These are all important metrics to keep an eye on, and of course, built-right into HubSpot's marketing automation platform.
- Keywords report. One of my favorite HubSpot reports is the Keyword report. It shows you how you're doing with search engine optimization (SEO) and what your ranking is for the keywords you care most about. It shows you how many and which ones you have in the top 10 (page 1) and how many you have in the top 3 (which is definitely where you want to be). It also shows you if you've been moving up or down in the rankings for each keyword.
- Competitors report. This report just rocks! At a glance, it shows how you are doing with your online marketing efforts as compared to your competitors. It gives you rankings of metrics like your Alexa ranking (which ranks your website traffic compared to all other websites worldwide), number of linking domains (how many inbound links you have out there), MozRank (link authority and popularity according to Moz), number of Twitter or Facebook followers, etc. One of my favorite metrics on this report has it's technical glitches, but the Marketing Grade is still a great measure of your total online efforts (let's hope HubSpot doesn't kill this metric as they've been threatening to do).
While not an all-inclusive list, these are some of the key reports and metrics that you should track within HubSpot. While other tools give you some of this same information, HubSpot makes it easy to access through an intuitive interface. Because it is easy to use, and because much of the information gives actionable insights, it quickly became my favorite tool for analytics. Manufacturing firms can make great use of this tool set to increase their overall marketing performance and bottom line.
Your HubSpot and Content Marketing Partner
30dps is a certified Hubspot Partner and content marketing agency with a proven track record of helping manufacturing businesses excel in their inbound marketing efforts. The most common thing we hear from clients is that they have much of the needed expertise, but no time to implement the strategies that they know are critically important initiatives within their business. As a leading content marketing specialist in Colorado Springs, CO, Springfield MO, and Olympia, WA, serving clients across the country, we are here to help.
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