Hubspot

New Orleans HUG is Having Its 1st Meetup!

by Christi on April 16, 2012

You may be wondering, what is a HUG? A HUG is a HubSpot User Group. HubSpot is an all in one inbound marketing software platform. It is also, a highly effective, cutting edge marketing methodology. HubSpot has attracted many investors that include Sequoia Capital who said:

Sequoia Capital has a long history of partnering with founders to help them build long-term, multi-billion dollar companies, including Google, LinkedIn, AdMob, YouTube, Yahoo!, Apple, and Oracle. “We back companies that are transforming their industries,” said Jim Goetz, General Partner at Sequoia Capital.

Another investor, Google Ventures Partner, Rich Miner (co-founder of Android) said,

We agree with HubSpot’s belief that search engines, social media, and mobile devices have fundamentally changed how businesses should market themselves. We’re thrilled to support their efforts to help thousands of small and medium businesses reach potential customers.

We are so excited that HubSpot is coming to New Orleans!  This meetup is for users and business owners and entrepreneurs who are interested in kicking up their marketing efforts with inbound marketing.

One of HubSpot’s Product Managers, will be traveling to the event from the company’s Boston headquarters to be on hand to discuss HubSpot and inbound marketing and to answer questions.

SPACE IS LIMITED

Our first meetup will be April 27th from 10 a.m. to noon. This is a great opportunity – don’t miss it! The event is free, but you must register to attend. Space is Limited. Get more information about location, time, etc. and register for the event HERE.

Join the Linkedin HubSpot New Orleans User Group NOLA HUG.

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New Orleans HubSpot User Group to Meet!

by Christi on March 28, 2012

We are so excited to be hosting the first NOLA HubSpot User Group (HUG) meetup. You may be wondering what in the world that is. HUGs are groups of people that use the HubSpot Inbound Marketing software and strategies to attract more visitors and leads for their businesses.

HUGs usually meet about every other month, getting together for a few fun, social hours to talk about how they use HubSpot. People attend to learn new strategies, share their results, talk about challenges, and become better marketers. It is a great opportunity to network with other people who are working to become marketing superstars for their own businesses.

Joining a HUG is also a great way to brush elbows with a HubSpot employee once in a while. HubSpotters frequently fly across the country to attend HUG meetups whenever they can. Generally, they will come to share new features, answer questions, and collect feedback.

So, what is HubSpot anyway? HubSpot is an All-in-One Marketing Platform that takes all of the best inbound marketing methods and consolidates them into one integrated software package. HubSpot provides tools to help your website get found on the internet, tools to convert website visitors into customers and tools to analyze your internet marketing effectiveness.

With HubSpot’s Marketing Analytics Tools, you can analyze site traffic from first visit to most recent conversion. Their Competitor Tracking compares important site performance metrics to key competitors to help you stay ahead of the game. And HubSpot’s in-depth Blog Analytics make it easy to assess the impact of your blog.

Want to join us for our first NOLA HUG meetup? The meetup will be at our home in New Orleans on April 27th at from 10 am to noon. This is the first day of JazzFest so plan ahead! You can get more details on the registration page. Click HERE to register!

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HubSpot Certified Partner in New Orleans!

by Christi on November 30, 2011

HubSpot Certified Partner in New OrleansAs we are entering the 2011 holiday season, we would like to wish you a happy Christmas and a blessed new year in 2012.

2011 has brought many changes to Wharton Marketing. In 2011 we became a HubSpot Certified Partner. This allows us to offer our customers even more options in reaching their target audiences and converting them into customers. The certification required many hours of education and a comprehensive exam. We also have the great opportunity of continuing education on the very latest and most effective internet marketing techniques.

2011 has been a year of growth.  Our customers are from several states and many types of businesses. We are now planning our expansion for 2012 which includes some very exciting developments. We are expanding extensively into the New Orleans area in the coming year. We are very excited to become a part of one of the fastest growing markets that has been named in the top 10 entrepreneurial cities in the nation.

We look forward to providing the best internet marketing services to New Orleans and the surrounding area. We are in a transition mode right now so we’ll catch you again when we get established and settled.

Happy Holidays!

Joe B. and Christi Wharton

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Converting Website Visitors Into Leads

by Joe B on October 25, 2011

Does your website have a process for converting your website visitors into leads for your business? If it does, you are one of the lucky few because most websites today are glorified online brochures.

You see, in order to convert a website visitor into a lead, you must give the visitor a compelling reason to do so, such as a free white paper download offering more information. You do this through a call to action whereby the visitor gives you his name and email address in exchange for whatever you are offering. The problem with most websites is that their only call to action is the “contact us” form. The “contact us” call to action is the most common and least effective call to action. The reason it is not effective is because it offers no specific reason to take action. What will the website visitor get in return for contacting you? A sales pitch? That’s what they are thinking.

Most small business owners mistakenly believe their sales funnel is shorter than it really is. They believe that once somebody sees their beautiful website and reads how great they are, that person will pick up the phone and call them. Studies have shown that people who use the internet to research their purchases spend a lot of time researching before making person to person contact with a business. And the more expensive the product or service, the more time spent on online research.

Your website is a marketing tool. It should be generating leads for your business. If your website is basically a glorified brochure and your only call to action is contact us, maybe you should rethink the purpose of your website.

We use a software platform called HubSpot to help us generate leads through our website. If you’d like to learn how HubSpot can help your website generate leads for your business, click the button below.




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The Inbound Marketing Process

by Joe B on September 20, 2011

Businesses often say they want to increase the amount of traffic to their website. What they really want is to increase the number of customers they get from their website. Increasing website traffic may or may not increase the number of customers you get from your website. You need to attract the right kind of traffic and then convert it into customers. This is where the Inbound Marketing Process comes into play.

The Inbound Marketing Process

In its simplest terms, the Inbound Marketing Process is:

  1. Attract,
  2. Convert,
  3. Analyze.

To attract potential customers to your website, you need to:

  1. Determine the keyword phrases customers are using to find your product/service on the internet,
  2. Do keyword research to determine which of these keyword phrases are used the most, and
  3. Write blog articles using these keyword phrases.

As I’ve mentioned before, your website/blog is like a fishing trotline with every page/post being a hook baited with your keyword phrases (Google bait). The more pages/hooks you have, the more likely your website is to show up in search results (catch something).

Once you have attracted potential customers to your website, you need to convert them into leads and then customers. You do this through your calls to action. Your calls to action can range from downloading a list (top of the funnel) to signing up for a product demonstration (bottom of the funnel). Once a visitor responds to one of your calls to action, she becomes a lead. As you move from the top of the funnel to the bottom, you request more and more information from the lead. This information can help you convert the lead into a customer.

Throughout this process you are analyzing what works and what doesn’t. What keyword phrases are attracting visitors and are those visitors converting into leads. What calls to action are visitors responding to and are they eventually converting into customers. The beauty of this process is that it is measurable. You can see what is working and what is not. You are no longer guessing.

Most business owners think the sales funnel for their product/service is much shorter than it actually is. Usually, the more expensive the product/service the longer the sales funnel. With the advent of the internet, consumers are spending more time researching their purchases.

Is it time your business considered using the Inbound Marketing Process?




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Use HubSpot and Stop Guessing

by Christi on September 2, 2011

It is amazing how many business owners have websites and don’t have any idea as to how effective their website is. Many don’t know how many visitors they get per month or how those visitors were directed to their site. They don’t know what keywords visitors used to find their site or what pages those visitors looked at on their websites.

Many business owners will give you their ideas on how visitors got to their websites or what those visitors did once they were there. But it is a guess, speculation, on their part. They really don’t know.

That’s why we use HubSpot. HubSpot is an All-in-One Marketing Platform that takes all of the best inbound marketing methods and consolidates them into one integrated software package. HubSpot provides tools to help your website get found on the internet, tools to convert website visitors into customers and tools to analyze your internet marketing effectiveness.

With HubSpot’s Marketing Analytics Tools, you can analyze site traffic from first visit to most recent conversion. Their Competitor Tracking compares important site performance metrics to key competitors to help you stay ahead of the game. And HubSpot’s in-depth Blog Analytics make it easy to assess the impact of your blog.

So why keep guessing when you can have real answers to how effective your website is. Let us show you how HubSpot can help your business.




request-a-hubspot-demo



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lead generating machineIs your website a traditional advertisement for your business or something more?

About.com defines advertising as

the paid, public, non-personal announcement of a persuasive message by an identified sponsor; the non-personal presentation or promotion by a firm of its products to its existing and potential customers.

That sounds like a lot of websites we see. Websites are paid, public promotions by firms of their products to their existing and potential customers. But where websites can and should differ from traditional advertising is websites can be personal. It is possible to have a personal interaction on a website.

Traditional advertising is what we refer to as “outbound” or “interruption” marketing. The traditional advertisement has to interrupt you and gain your attention before it tries to promote its products or services. That’s why we see and hear so many goofy ads. They are trying to gain your attention through silliness.

Websites are examples of “inbound” or “attraction” marketing. Websites are found by people searching for the information they contain. Websites can increase their “attraction” or likelihood of being found by increasing the amount information on them that people are searching for. One of the best ways to do this is through a blog. Each blog post gives your website a new opportunity to be found.

So don’t look at your website as an advertisement. It can and should be so much more. Don’t waste your money or your visitors’ time with silly gimmicks to gain their attention. You already have their attention. Remember they were looking for information and found your website in the process. Give them the information they are looking for.

Make your website a lead generating machine. Let us show you how.




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Software As A Service (SaaS)

by Joe B on August 30, 2011

HubSpot Certified PartnerAccording to Wikipedia, Software as a service (SaaS) is a software delivery model in which software and its associated data are hosted centrally (in the cloud) and are typically accessed by users using a thin client, usually a web browser over the internet. It has become a common delivery model for many business applications.

One of the benefits of SaaS is its pricing. Unlike the pricing structure of traditional software, which is typically sold as a perpetual license with an up-front fee (and smaller ongoing support or upgrade fees), SaaS is usually priced as a subscription fee, typically a monthly or annual fee. This allows the initial setup cost for SaaS to be lower than the equivalent enterprise software.

Centralized hosting allows the SaaS provider to offer better support. Since the software is hosted at the provider’s location, the provider doesn’t have to be concerned with the software being compatible with thousands of computer/OS configurations.

We use a SaaS called HubSpot for ourselves and our clients. HubSpot has taken all of the best inbound marketing methods and consolidated them into one integrated software package, so you can blog, tweet, optimize, capture leads and nurture them all in one place. This software would have cost tens of thousands of dollars if it were sold at a one time price. But because it is SaaS, it is only a few hundred dollars per month. And worth every penny. In fact, we became Certified HubSpot Partners because we think this is such a valuable SaaS.

We also use another SaaS for our e-commerce clients that integrates e-commerce, social media and mobile marketing all in one solution. The monthly fee is based upon how many products you have for sale.

SaaS is a great way to get comprehensive software and great support for a great price. If you would like to learn about the HubSpot software and how you can use it to grow your business through Inbound Marketing, contact us for a demo.




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Who Controls Your Business?

by Joe B on August 11, 2011

business keysHow many of you have a website for your business that requires you to call up your web designer or IT person every time you want to make any change to your website? If you do, this is akin to requiring an employee or vendor to meet you every morning to let you into you business and paying them to do it.

A few years ago we started using a content management system (CMS) for all of our websites. With a CMS, a client can do anything from correcting a misspelled word to creating an entirely new page. They can make the changes they are comfortable in making. Sure, they can still call us to do anything they don’t feel comfortable doing; and for some, that’s most everything. But the choice is theirs. They are in control.

Last year, Marcus Sheridan said in his blog The Sales Lion that you have lost control of your business if you answer ‘NO’ to any of the following questions:

  • Could you tell me within the next 30 seconds how many visitors (customers) your website had today?
  • If you noticed a typo in some text on your website, could you change it immediately?
  • If you needed to make a company announcement on your site that was time sensitive, could you do so within the next few minutes?
  • If you wanted to add an amazing photo to your website of some work your company just completed, could you show it now?
  • And finally, if you wanted to add a video of a customer testimonial you just made (with your cool little flip camera) to the ‘testimonial page’ on your website, could that happen right away?

He says over 90% of small business owners have to contact their webmaster to do what a 6 year old could do with the right tools. And not only do they often have to wait days for their changes to be made, they’re getting charged for it. With the right CMS, you could answer “Yes” to every question in the list.

Get The Right CMS

We suggest using an “Open Source” CMS. These are usually free, so there is no special software you have to buy to use them. Three of the oldest and most popular Open Source CMSs  are: Drupal, Joomla and WordPress. There are some new up and comers that are also good. One good thing about these CMS platforms is that they each have a large community of designers that use them. Therefore, if you decide to leave your current web designer, for whatever reason, you should have no trouble finding a replacement.

Beware of the proprietary CMS. Many website designers and developers have created their own Content Management Systems. The problems with these are:

  • They may not be as secure because the developer doesn’t have the resources to test it as well as an Open Source Community
  • It may cost quite a bit to get a special feature implemented
  • Only that particular design company has the right to use the CMS, so if you leave them, you have to start all over

Do you have the keys to your business? If not, call us and let us make you a set of your own keys.




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Can HubSpot Save Your Business?

by Joe B on August 9, 2011

For one of our fellow HubSpot users, HubSpot did save his business. Marcus Sheridan, owner of River Pools & Spas, writes in The Sales Lion “Just How Much Can 800 Days of Inbound Marketing Change Your Life??” I suggest you read it.

Marcus and his two partners started their pool company in 2001. By 2005 their swimming pool business was in shambles. They had just found out they had suffered a $200,000 embezzlement and the IRS was after them. After fighting tooth and nail for threes years, they were just beginning to see the light when the economy tanked. Many swimming pool companies started closing shop.

In March 2009, Marcus stumbled across a company called HubSpot and learned about Inbound Marketing. By November 2009, he was shocked at how well this Inbound Marketing stuff was working. While many of his competitors had gone out of business, his business was gaining ground. Today their swimming pool company has orders to install pools practically to the end of the year. This is happening in this economy.

As Marcus says, “the lesson remains the same- consumers trust those persons that are willing to openly and honestly give as much helpful information as possible.” Marcus learned how this thing called “blogging” could help his business. If he would simply answer consumer questions, Google would reward him with more visits. And by using HubSpot and its process, he could turn those visits into leads and ultimately sales.

We’ve found the same to be true for our business. We started using HubSpot in December 2010. Since that time, we have started blogging every weekday to provide useful information to small businesses. And we, like Marcus, have seen our number of leads and sales increase over the last 8 months.

If you’d like to know more about HubSpot and how it can help your business, email us at [email protected] or call us at 870.404.1985.




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