A Behind-the-Scenes Look into HubSpot’s Newest Content Marketing Strategy (Part 1 of 3)


This put up is a component of Made @ HubSpot, an inner thought management sequence by way of which we extract classes from experiments carried out by our very personal HubSpotters.

How do prospects uncover new merchandise these days? Despite there being some ways of changing into conscious of a product, there’s a easy path to contemplating it for buy.

If you’re like me, you do it each time you’re seeking to purchase or attempt one thing new:

You flip to your pals (and in lots of circumstances, Google) and ask, “What are the best X products?”

If you’re utilizing Google, your question seems to be one thing like this:

  • Best form builder
  • “Best fitness tracker”
  • “Best business scanner app”
  • “Best restaurants in Dublin”
  • “Best bars in Boston”

surround sound strategy hubspot best red wine search

Although typically, you drop the qualifier (the “best” of) and easily seek for a broad transactional class:

  • “Marketing automation software”
  • “Hotels in Tallinn”
  • “Language learning apps”

surround sound strategy hubspot best form builder

Sometimes, these exploratory key phrases exist in relation to an present resolution:

  • “Canva alternatives”
  • “Mailchimp competitors”
  • “Ahrefs vs SEMRush”

surround sound strategy hubspot best canva alternatives

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As entrepreneurs, we all know search queries like these are essential for 2 fundamental causes.

  1. The buyer journey — the one we write about at HubSpot quite a bit — features a Consideration stage, the place prospects try to coach themselves concerning the obtainable options in the marketplace, and maybe the professionals and cons of every.
  2. We have some good ol’ quantitative information about how a lot search quantity these key phrases get and what the estimated CPC is for backside funnel search phrases.

Take, for instance, a time period like “form builder.”

surround sound strategy hubspot form builder ahrefs

It has a excessive quantity and excessive CPC. This means it’s each a excessive site visitors and excessive intent key phrase. That’s comparatively uncommon however actually a candy spot.

Same goes for a time period like “best red wine.” I Googled it and took the highest rating URL and put it into Ahrefs. Here’s the information:

surround sound strategy hubspot best red wine ahrefs

One can assume this weblog put up has a fairly stable ROI.

Without even taking a look at any information, you realize how one can inform these key phrases are excessive worth? Just have a look at any web site that monetizes by way of affiliate partnerships.

Examples like adamenfroy.com, ryrob.com and GrowthMarketingPro come to thoughts, the place the bulk of their content material follows this format.

surround sound strategy hubspot growthmarketingpro

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Now, I’m not breaking any information to entrepreneurs with quite a lot of years expertise — of course it’s essential to search out enterprise vital key phrases like this. It’s essential to construct out product pages for decision-level key phrases, architect a pillar and cluster content strategy, construct some hyperlinks, and attempt to rank for these phrases.

What I’m saying is that simply rating your web page isn’t sufficient. Rather, you wish to seem all over the place a buyer is looking when they search out merchandise like yours. You need your model to activate encompass sound.


How People Discover (and Buy) New Stuff

Imagine you’re at a proverbial cocktail celebration, and also you wish to know what your fellow companions have been studying these days. You ask the group, “What have you been reading? What should I read next?”

surround sound strategy hubspot

A few years in the past, a minimum of one particular person within the group would pipe up and say, “Sapiens. You have to read Sapiens.”

surround sound strategy hubspot

Now, if just one buddy out of your entire group recommends that you just learn Sapiens, it’s most likely not going to face out above the noise (relying on how a lot you want your buddy, I suppose). The ebook is now in your radar, however it’s no extra or no much less outstanding than some other ebook you’ve heard about.

surround sound strategy hubspot

Now, think about all people else within the group abruptly chimes in and agrees, “Yes! You need to read Sapiens. Best book I’ve ever read.” It’d be like a refrain impact (one would possibly even say a “surround sound” impact).

surround sound strategy hubspot

In this case, in the event you’re not a minimum of just a little bit interested by studying Sapiens, then you definitely’re insane. It’s extremely possible, in the event you respect your pals, belief their recommendations, and have the cash to purchase it, you’ll purchase Sapiens and test it out.

surround sound strategy hubspot

Our proverbial cocktail celebration represents a myriad of totally different influences in the true world. These embody podcasts, newspaper articles, ebook bibliographies, and, sure, buddy recommendations as nicely.

surround sound strategy hubspot

With this in thoughts, we will say that “Surround Sound” technique means:

“The more frequently someone hears about your product from multiple sources, the more likely they are to buy your product.”

Note: I’m borrowing this concept from Tim Ferriss when he talks about product launches: “Especially on the first few days of your launch, you want people to see your project everywhere – on blogs, Facebook, Twitter…everywhere.”

This isn’t a brand new concept in advertising and marketing — get tons of folks to speak about you favorably, ideally across the similar time. In the following part, I’ll cowl extra of the speculation from promoting in addition to search on why this works (and the way it can work for a lot of totally different channels and corporations).

I ultimately purchased Sapiens, by the way in which, as a result of this CRO guru and fellow Austinite raved about it on Facebook and at joyful hours sufficient instances:

surround sound strategy hubspot sapiens

Think concerning the final ebook you learn, TV sequence you watched, or new piece of client tech you bought. I guess it adopted an analogous trajectory (latest examples that come to thoughts are Sapiens, Tiger King, Game of Thrones, and the Oura Ring — a minimum of within the circles I run in.)

People Comparison Shop (and Frequency Matters)

We’ve walked by way of my anecdotal journey to buying and having fun with Sapiens. Now, right here’s the information that backs this up on a broader spectrum.

First off, in promoting, it’s widespread knowledge that repetition is a variable by which you’ll be able to predict the success of a marketing campaign. Media patrons historically look at two things:

  • Reach (who you’re concentrating on)
  • Frequency (how typically they see/hear your advert)

As it seems, frequency of messaging results in increased ranges of consciousness and buy intent. The extra you hear or see an advert, the extra seemingly it’s to be efficient.

surround sound strategy hubspot awareness and intent increases with exposure

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Clearly there are nuances right here; it’s not at all times the case that the effectiveness of a marketing campaign will increase linearly with every further publicity (it’s virtually by no means that case, really). But it’s a superb rule of thumb and a easy heuristic when excited about capturing your audience’s consideration.

The different truth I wish to level out is about comparability purchasing. Anecdotally, you realize you go to a number of web sites earlier than making a purchase order. It’s completely unsurprising, then, that there’s information to again this up.

Research says that, on common, customers go to three web sites earlier than making a purchase order. The similar examine tells us that the extra web sites a client visits, the extra money they’re prone to spend.

Google can be placing out some cool analysis on the shopper journey these days, and once more, it’s unsurprising in its winding and comparative form:

surround sound strategy hubspot car buying process

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So, we’ve received three items of information:

  1. Product or service-related key phrases with excessive site visitors and excessive intent exist (a minimum of for many classes)
  2. People view many various websites earlier than they buy or attempt a product
  3. The extra often somebody hears a few product from a number of sources, the extra seemingly they’re to purchase it.

Put all of these collectively, and the thesis is kind of clear: seem on all of the search outcomes for one of these key phrases.

The Surround Sound Strategy for Search Engine Optimization

If you’re promoting a client product, like a ebook, possibly your potential prospects learn a couple of magazines and some podcasts. You can simply discover this information utilizing Google Surveys (or analyzing your individual personas’ preferences like I outlined here) and discovering predictive clusters of totally different publications folks eat.

When you discover which publications folks eat, you craft a plan of assault, and close to your launch, you discover a option to seem in all of them. This creates a encompass sound impact.

The search key phrases that correspond to HubSpot merchandise are likely to have fairly good search quantity, and content material advertising and marketing is a reasonably large channel for us.

So the encompass sound, for us, signifies that when somebody searches a product-related key phrase (e.g. “best help desk software” or “best live chat software”), they see this:

surround sound strategy hubspot

There are two causes for this:

  1. We can seize extra click-through price and conversions for a similar quantity of search site visitors.
  2. Being on a number of lists has second order conversion price results as a result of comparability customers belief that we’re a high resolution. (This is the encompass sound impact!)

For the primary one, it’s a matter of what proportion of searchers click on on the primary, second, or third (or extra) URLs on a given search engine outcomes web page (SERP). If we will seem on extra of the outcomes, we will get extra site visitors again to our product web page, and we will convert extra searchers into product customers.

I’m not the one particular person to have observed this cumulative impact of proudly owning a number of search outcomes. Nick Eubanks wrote about the “SERP Monopoly” strategy and explains that the extra spots you possibly can occupy on web page #1 of a given SERP, the extra clicks you get, the extra site visitors you get, and the extra income you get:

surround sound strategy hubspot ranking CTR traffic

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This signifies that, with every further point out, we get a linear common enhance in click-through price to our website (which interprets on to portal signups, and thus, income). Keep in thoughts these numbers are averages, and if in case you have good model recognition, titles, or meta description, you possibly can enhance your click-through price from the SERP.

surround sound strategy hubspot serp spots

If the aim of showing on all of the outcomes doesn’t appear possible or interesting, think about the inverse: What in the event you seem on none of the outcomes? You’re not within the dialog.

Appearing on one result’s like one buddy piping up and saying you need to learn Sapiens once you ask a bunch of folks what to learn subsequent. Appearing on all outcomes is like everybody within the group telling you to learn Sapiens as a result of it is the perfect ebook ever.

Qualitatively, SERP domination looks as if a worthy aim.


How to Build Your Own Surround Sound Strategy

Follow this method to create your individual Surround Sound Strategy:

  1. Research your purchaser’s journey.
  2. Map influential touchpoints.
  3. Find a option to seem on all of them.

surround sound strategy hubspot getting started

When I write it out in steps like that, it may possibly appear a bit banal and maybe imprecise. Research the customer’s journey? How do you do this?

First, get to know your goal prospects and the way they make buying selections. Then, tactically determine tips on how to seem in these locations (could possibly be advertisements, could possibly be search engine optimization, PR, visitor running a blog, affiliate, influencer advertising and marketing, and so on. — all of it depends upon the particular scenario).

To illustrate this in motion, in our case, we wish to seem on all of the URLs that rank for prime intent product key phrases (once more, issues like “form builder”). Virtually all of these SERPs have some mixture of three web page sorts:

  • Product pages
  • Listicles
  • Review websites/boards

So, the playbook is to rank the product web page (not simple to do, clearly), get talked about on all of the listicles that rank, and get featured (prominently) on all evaluation websites.

It’s essential to trace this over time, as nicely. We at all times keep watch over our SERP actual property (doing so by way of a cool instrument we built in R and host by way of Shiny). We can pull any key phrase and see how a lot of the SERP we occupy, after which we will see a desk for which URLs rank and if we seem on that web page:

surround sound strategy hubspot

As you possibly can see, the technique is straightforward; the execution is the place you break a sweat.

Note: Stay tuned for the follow-up weblog put up the place we define our execution and outcomes.


The Surround Sound Strategy is a predictable and apparent play, given our parameters:

  • We perceive our buyer and the place they search recommendation or affect on product buy selections
  • We map out this buyer journey and discover probably the most influential and excessive impression touchpoints
  • We search to look favorably in all of these locations.

Where some of your advertising and marketing actions will fall into a extra experimental bucket, the Surround Sound method might be likened to the low volatility assets in a financial portfolio. Execute strongly, and the ROI might be steady and predictable all through time.

This article walked by way of the speculation of this technique. Stay tuned for Parts 2 and three that may dive into our outcomes in addition to the technical particulars on how we constructed inner instruments to assist us accomplish these feats.

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Originally revealed Sep 17, 2020 7:30:00 AM, up to date September 17 2020


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