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The Hubspot Story: How Inbound Marketing Drove 0 to $600M

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Written by Houston
Founder & CEO, BAMF Media
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A lot of people are familiar with Hubspot.

I mean, it's one of the best platforms out there.

They’re one of the biggest players in the digital marketing industry and, like many of us, they started out as one of the little guys.

For those unfamiliar with the Hubspot story, it’s a remarkable one.

From coining the term inbound marketing to a relentless dedication to their innovation, they’ve become one of the biggest examples of B2B growth in the last two decades.

And, they did it all with inbound marketing.

Inbound Marketing

In 2004, Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, founded Hubspot because they knew that marketing and advertising were shifting into a new direction.

hubspot story,inbound marketing, The Hubspot Story: How Inbound Marketing Drove 0 to $600M

They were aware that the internet was going to be one of the biggest driving forces of innovation, and current methods of advertising were dying.

Nobody liked marketing that was in your face anymore.

People had more access to information, and they were willing to put in the research on the solutions that they were purchasing.

A lot of this research was being done over the internet.

It was time that they did something about this opportunity.

And, it was also this time that the term inbound marketing was coined.

Everyone is familiar with outbound marketing.

But, inbound marketing has been steadily becoming one of the strategies of choice even for many larger companies.

Here’s why it’s such a good strategy.

Inbound marketing is a non-intimidating, guided, and informative way to sell solutions.

The founders from MIT knew that people didn’t like to be pushed to buy, they’d rather be helped.

It was basically commonsense.

Nobody likes a pushy salesperson, but helpful ones are appreciated.

Hubspot invested heavily into fulfilling the needs of their prospects first, before offering them anything.

Content was used to inform prospects about solutions, provide answers to questions, and guide them until enough trust and rapport is built between prospects and providers.

And, that is how Hubspot’s leads started pouring in.

The Importance of Content

Here’s some insight into their commitment to content marketing.

The second person they hired was a reporter.

Yes.

Someone who writes for a living.

That’s how important getting quality content is for them.

By releasing content that’s thought-provoking, inspiring, and informative, they could guide people further into their sales journeys and create real qualified leads.

Before Hubspot even started their first products, they were already heavily invested in blogging as a means of lead generation.

They knew the importance of content and how it can be used as a passive marketing tool for inbound lead generation.

What Kind of Content?

It started with normal blog articles that aimed to inform people about solutions to their problems, but that quickly grew to encompass everything.

Hubspot still maintains a popular blog that deals with everything from:

  • Actionable guides
  • Inspiring articles
  • Case studies
  • Infographics
  • Whitepapers
  • Research papers
  • Statistics
  • Videos
  • Templates
  • Examples

Their pillar pages alone cover a tonne of digital marketing solutions for every problem that you may have.

If you need solutions to SaaS, B2B, ABM, Facebook, and even general lead generation tricks, they're the resource to check out.

If it brings value to a prospect, you’ll be sure that they’ve covered it in their work.

How Did They Grow?

Hubspot didn’t have millions of dollars to start with.

In fact, they started with almost nothing.

The first people they reached out to were their own network.

But, with such an innovative approach to marketing, everyone knew they were going to make it big.

In 2005, just the following year, they were able to open their office in Massachusetts.

They didn’t stop there, the founders believed in their concept so much that they decided to put it in a book called “Inbound Marketing” in 2010, which is still a must-read for people who are new to content marketing.

hubspot story,inbound marketing, The Hubspot Story: How Inbound Marketing Drove 0 to $600M

Constant innovation and a focus on improving their inbound marketing strategies led to the NYSE for their IPO, cementing Hubspot as one of the pillars of the digital marketing industry.

What Did Hubspot Do So Well?

Apart from its success in content and inbound marketing, there are a couple of things that set Hubspot apart from the competition and turned it into the powerhouse it is today.

  • Focus on Value – You rarely see any fluff on Hubspot, because they are centered on providing people with the tools that they need to get the job done.  This is the same focus we have in BAMF that helped ups grow tremendously over the past couple of years.
  • Complete Suite – Their CRM solutions are among the few that covers almost all the important and critical aspects of your daily digital marketing operations. This allows their users to use just one hub (hence the name) to control eveyrthing.
  • Customer-centric – The growth in the usage of Hubspot’s tools can be attributed to how intuitive their UI is, they make sure that even first-time users can use their CRM tools effectively without having learn complexities. However, just because it’s simple to use doesn’t mean it lacks in any way.
  • Scheduling and integration – Hubspot’s full suite of applications allowed marketers to focus more on the creative side of their jobs while having access to a suite of features that integrated well with their current apps. You can schedule posts on any social media platform seamlessly.
  • Reporting – “You can’t growth hack if you can’t track” is something we always say, and Hubspot is no slouch with its reporting features. Getting feedback and creating flexible campaigns has always been a breeze on their platforms.
  • Community development – Hubspot wasn’t just focused on their own growth, but the growth of other people, too, launching their academy with free courses and certifications. This led them to be recognized as real market leaders.

Discover how our LinkedIn Marketing Solutions can help with inbound marketing.

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Hubspot Today

Hubspot is one of the most fully-featured marketing tools that you can use for your organization, and they offer a full-service CRM platform comprising of five “hubs”:

  • Marketing Hub
  • Sales Hub
  • Service Hub
  • CMS Hub
  • Operations Hub

You can use any of them individually, or you could get yourself the entire package depending on your needs.

However, their customer-centric UX doesn’t just stop there.

They offer close to 900 different app interrogations as of the time of this writing allowing a complete integration of their services with whatever platform you may be using.

Apart from their software solutions, they also maintain the Hubspot blog that is one of the best resources of marketing information that we’ve seen online.

They do a lot of primary research, too, and even top marketing agencies use their resources in a pinch.

However, that’s not all.

Apart from the book, their commitment to helping people become better marketers also continues to the Hubspot Academy, which offers free courses.

The Results of Inbound Marketing

We all know the respect that Hubspot commands today, but let’s take a moment to appreciate their numbers.

Over the past 17 years, they’ve managed to go public.

They have close to 5,000 employees in more than ten offices around the world.

hubspot story,inbound marketing, The Hubspot Story: How Inbound Marketing Drove 0 to $600M

They’ve served more than 121,000 customers in more than 120 countries, and they maintain 150 plus user groups in 21.

And, in 2019 alone, their revenue went past $670 million.

This is the real power of inbound marketing and this is the Hubspot story.

Takeaways

The Hubspot story is a remarkable one.

They were the first ones to popularize inbound marketing, and as a result, they were the first ones to reap tremendous growth.

And, it was all because they understood how their prospects work.

Inbound marketing is so powerful because it is customer-centric.

It puts the customer first.

By doing this, they provide value and build real relationships.

That’s what matters the most.

There are so many lessons to learn from Hubspot, but what's most critical of all is how a company that looked towards the future and understood its customers managed to become the biggest player in the industry.

So, how’s your content marketing lately?

Let’s help you bring in growth to your inbound marketing today.

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About the Author

The name’s Houston Golden. I’m the Founder & CEO of BAMF ― a company I’ve grown from $0 (yes, really) to well over $4M in revenue over a span of 3 years.
How did I do it? Well, it’s quite simple, really. I’ve helped hundreds of business owners and executives get major traction (because when they win, we win). I tell you how on this blog.
Growth hacking is a state of mind. Follow along as I explore and expose the unknown growth strategies and tactics that will change the way you think about marketing.

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