After much research and discussion, you’ve decided to invest in HubSpot. Your marketing automation journey is about to begin! But first, onboarding. As with any new platform, the quality of your HubSpot setup will determine how rapidly you start seeing a return on your investment (ROI). A good setup will help you generate more leads and customers quickly, as well as improve productivity and efficiency. A poor setup will lead to frustration, time and resource wastage, and a lower ROI.

As a long-standing HubSpot partner and onboarding accredited agency, we’ve seen it all, and we've identified the six key things you can do to ensure your HubSpot onboarding processes are seamless.

1. Have a strategy or goal

What do you want to achieve in your first year on HubSpot? If you can’t answer this then you need to slam the brakes on your onboarding project and work this out first.

No doubt, there were a number of pain points that led you to invest in HubSpot. Maybe you wanted access to more analytics, better sales and marketing alignment, or one central location to manage and schedule all your campaigns and content.

You can use these challenges as a starting point for your onboarding strategy and goals. What are your priorities for the first year? What do you want or need to achieve first? Are there some steps that need to happen before others for success? With all this information, set yourself some SMART goals for Year One and create an onboarding strategy that will help you achieve them efficiently.

2. Audit your content

There’s no point migrating your outdated, poorly written or disorganised content (no shame here, we all have it!). Therefore, switching to a new marketing platform is the perfect time to review your content. Conducting a content audit will help you create a complete inventory of everything on your website, and analyse how it’s performing. With this information, you can decide what needs updating, merging, deleting or boosting, as well as where you have gaps that need filling.

Not only does this mean you can start afresh with your strongest content, but it may also provide insights into the best way to structure and organise your website on HubSpot. As an added bonus, content audits are a great way to better optimise your website for Google search.

3. Clean your data

Our third mistake is in the same vein as the second. Just like you don’t want to carry your bad content with you to HubSpot, you don’t want to drag along your messy data either.

Marketing relies on good, clean data. Without it, your efforts will be inefficient and inaccurate, and your results unhelpful. In fact, poor data can cost your business up to $12.9 million per year. It will also likely cost you more on HubSpot as pricing is based on the number of marketing contacts.

Clearly, improving the accuracy of your data before migrating to HubSpot is in your best interests. To get started, HubSpot recommends a five-phase project:

  1. Fix formatting and case issues
  2. Remove whitespace and unwanted characters
  3. Consolidate and standardise
  4. Remove unnecessary data
  5. De-duplicate entries

4. Establish conventions

Picture it: you’ve audited your content and cleaned up your data, now you upload it all to HubSpot and… you can’t find anything? Uh oh.

Just as important as having accurate data and a content inventory is your system for naming information in your database, enabling you to track, organise and find it. Establishing a naming convention for your files and campaigns will save you time, enable more automation and make it easier to analyse your data.

Some general guidelines for establishing naming conventions include using descriptive, meaningful names, keeping names short, using dates and sequential numbers, and avoiding spaces in file names.

5. Start small

We get it. A new marketing automation platform is EXCITING! And you want to try everything now. But this is a mistake we see a lot of businesses making. There are so many tools within HubSpot, but if you try them all straight away, you will do none of them well. It takes time for a new system to be fully embedded into your processes, not to mention that your team also has to learn how to use the new tech. Take our word for it, you’re better off starting small and implementing tools one at a time, rather than going too complex too early in the HubSpot onboarding process.

6. Generate demand first

You’ve built a beautiful, complex nurture that sends shivers down your spine each time you see it. So why is it not delivering you a slew of marketing-qualified leads? It’s probably because you skipped straight over demand generation and went right to lead nurturing . Demand generation is about getting people interested in what you have to sell. Without this, you simply won’t have enough leads to funnel into your beautiful nurture.

How do you generate demand? In short:

  1. Start with the basics, such as buyer personas and the buyer’s journey
  2. Consider all stages of the funnel, from building brand awareness through to repeat customers
  3. Use a marketing automation platform (such as HubSpot!)
  4. Use a mixture of tactics to distribute your content such as organic and paid social media.
  5. Start small. Test, test, test. Optimise.

Now you know what mistakes to avoid, you’re ready to start your HubSpot onboarding journey! We recommend engaging an experienced HubSpot partner to support you through the setup and implementation of your new marketing platform. You can learn more about Brand chemistry’s award-winning experience as a HubSpot onboarding agency here.

Brand chemistry is a b2b marketing agency winning your customers' hearts and minds through inbound, brand, content, lead generation and digital strategy. Our marketing specialists achieve stellar results with the latest lead generation techniques.

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