By Bradford Coffey, Chief Strategy Officer at HubSpot
Most companies focus on the customer, the problems their customers have, and solutions that will help them. HubSpot is one of these companies, but we’re also students of human behavior. I attribute much of our success to the fact that we go beyond technology and study the way humans consume media, buy, and learn about new products. It’s how Brian and Dharmesh first developed inbound marketing.
Over the years our marketing team started looking at these consumer changes as opportunities. There would be a big shift in the market and our team would start experimenting with new content and strategies to try to leverage these shifts. As word spread internally about these experiments, our product teams would take our marketing team’s best work and productize it.
This very organic process took sophisticated marketing solutions and democratized them in a way that solves for SMBs. It’s a huge part of the HubSpot secret sauce and plays a part in almost every new product we launch.
When it comes to changes in consumer behavior, we’ve witnessed few as big, or impactful, as Facebook. It has reshaped the way people consume content, shop, and discover new ideas. Our CEO Brian Halligan likes to say, “People now live inside of the greater Facebook nation.” He’s right. “Facebook Nation” includes Facebook Desktop, App, Instagram, and Messenger and it’s where people spend the vast majority of their time online today.
Facebook today is what TV was 20 years ago.
Our marketing team saw these changes coming and started experimenting.
- They used new ad formats like lead ads to capture leads from mobile first users.
- They increased ads ROI by leveraging advanced targeting and Facebook machine learning.
- They engaged new audiences with Instagram.
- They tested Facebook Messenger.
HubSpot has featured Facebook integrations since 2010, but after seeing the success our marketing team was having, we made a strategic decision in early 2017 to bring Facebook into our product in an even bigger way. It was time to turn our marketing’s team experience into features designed to help SMBs grow better using Facebook.
How recognition from Facebook benefits our customers
Both HubSpot and Facebook care about helping B2B companies with one of their primary challenges — generating leads. Last year we brought the full functionality of Facebook ads to all HubSpot users, free and paid. Integrating Facebook ads with HubSpot has been one of those win-win-win partnerships: great for us, great for Facebook as we reach more of the SMB audience together, and great for our shared customers.
B2B marketers don’t always have the easiest time getting their prospects to convert on mobile (we know this from personal experience). Facebook’s lead ads solve that problem by eliminating the classic landing page, and auto-populating forms in app to collect leads. Those leads then jump into HubSpot for nurturing, allowing a B2B marketers to close more deals and generate a better ROI from mobile audiences. The work we did on the ads integration paved the way for us to become a Facebook Marketing Partner.
Working with Facebook as a Facebook Marketing Partner, we get expanded access to Facebook’s API. This means that, as of February 27th, our customers can now post and schedule content directly to Instagram.
And our customers are already enjoying this new feature (we’re looking at you B2B Marketing Lab). Access and support for the new direct publishing API needed to make this happen is only available to Facebook Marketing Partners. The speed and completeness with we brought this to market couldn’t have been happened without that badge.
2018 is the year of messaging and Facebook Messenger represents a massive opportunity.
Today, over 2 billion messages a month (the b is not a typo) are sent back and forth between consumers and businesses via Messenger.
Like we did with ads, our focus with Facebook Messenger will be to build solutions uniquely suited for the SMB audience.
After that? The sky’s the limit.
As a badged Facebook Marketing Partner, we’ll continue to work with Facebook to understand where they see their platform going. More importantly, we’ll continue to stay true to our SMB audience to help them leverage Facebook in the ways that make sense for them. This strategy will lead to new tools, better strategy, and most importantly, growth for the small businesses we serve.
Watch this video for a quick overview of all our work with Facebook.