Thought Hive: The Beginner's Overview to HubSpot's Inbound Methodology


Inbound marketing is unlike traditional, outbound marketing. It’s all about bringing the customer to your brand by addressing their needs through the four necessary stages of the buyer’s journey, i.e., attract, convert, close, and delight. And if you’ve heard of inbound marketing, chances are you’ve heard about HubSpot.

If not, HubSpot is a marketing automation platform that utilizes inbound marketing tactics to improve your marketing strategy from social media marketing to lead nurturing workflows and so much more. In fact, let’s review the basics of inbound marketing and how you can use these marketing tactics to build a better brand with HubSpot.

The Inbound Methodology: Consists of the attract, convert, close, and delight stages. See each individual stage in order to see how each one works together for marketing success.

How does inbound marketing work?

Smart Content
Responsive Design
Social Media
Landing Pages
Page Analytics
Video Analytics

The Attract Stage: Attract strangers to your brand and convert them into returning visitors using relevant and optimized content.

Key Takeaway: You are building brand awareness. Do not attract people to your brand by solely talking about your products or services. It’s about talking about your audience’s needs and how to solve them.

The Convert Stage: Convert your visitors into leads using strong calls-to-action with landing pages and forms to help capture that data.

Key Takeaway: This is the first point of sale between you and your newly converted lead. The transaction begins because they want your valuable content. In turn, they will give you their email address and other information for it. So make sure you are providing what you say you are, because your goal here is to establish customer trust in order for it to be nurtured in the next stage.

The Close Stage: Nurture your leads. The goal here is to solve their pain points gradually converting them into customers. You can do this using email marketing and lead nurturing workflows in order to send them personalized messages directly into their inbox.

Key Takeaway: Timing is everything. Schedule out your lead nurturing content and make sure it solves a specific pain point. Don’t send content that is irrelevant or offer a product just for the sake of making the sale. Because in the end, you will be disappointed when they unsubscribe or no longer become interested in your brand.

The Delight Stage: You’ve attracted them to your brand. You’ve converted them into leads who are ready to seek help from your brand. You’ve closed them into customers, nurturing them into the sale because you can solve their problems. Finally, it’s time to delight them in order to not only thank them for the sale, but also to keep a stable relationship with them for potential repeat future purchases.

Key Takeaway: Delighting is more than just a thank you. It’s about cementing a bond between you and your customers. So shouting them out on Facebook or providing them with a coupon are just a few small ways to delight your audience.

Buyer Persona: A buyer persona is a profile you create through targeted research. For example, if you are a business that works with solo entrepreneurs, your buyer personas might target beginner and intermediate solo entrepreneurs that need help building their brand awareness. With that pain point, i.e., the struggle to build a brand by yourself, you can create products, services, and other types of content like blog posts and infographics that are tailor made to solve this problem.

Key Takeaway: This is not fiction. Conduct interviews, collect surveys, and use social listening to gather as much accurate data as you can about your key audience. The rookie mistake to marketing is not knowing your audience.

Be thorough in your research in order to define your target audience and create strategies and campaigns that gives solutions to their needs.


“Buyer personas are holistic ideals of what your customers are really like, inside and out. Personas encompass the goals, challenges, pain points, common objections to products and services, as well as personal and demographic information shared among all members of that particular customer type. Your personas are the people around whom your whole business is built.”—HubSpot

Content Marketing: This form of marketing is a way to plan, strategize, and create high-impact, relevant media for your audience. Deliver valuable information by fostering education and engagement as tools to increase brand awareness and lead conversion.

Key Takeaway: Diversify and decentralize your content. Whether it’s creating interactive images or video, spice up your content by keeping up with your audience’s interests. And once you’ve created that new type of content, be sure to allow your content to live outside of your website. You can do this by creating content specifically for social media while creating calls-to-action that redirect your audience back to your website.


You need to create ridiculously good content – content that is useful, enjoyable and inspired.—Ann Handley

Email Marketing: Create emails that are personalized to the needs of your audience. Each person on your email list is coming in with a different need and a different placement in the buyer’s journey. Meaning, one person may have done more research than someone else on the same list. So use your buyer personas and other data in order to create segmented lists. That way, your emails still seem personal to one specific person’s needs.

Key Takeaway: Creating effective emails takes research and strategy. Take the time to really learn the ins and outs of your audience in order to create the messages that they want to hear and that lead them closer to ready for the sale conversion. For more information, check out this behind-the-scenes video to effective email marketing:


Wistia video thumbnail - Behind_the_Scenes-Wistia_2


Growth Driven Design: This is a new concept that changes the way we approach web design. Usually with traditional web design, you create a website and then won’t update that website for two or more years later. With Growth Driven Design, you are continuously redesigning your website with a quick website launch process. You build your website with the essentials, launch it, and then allow your users to play around with it—determining what works and what needs improvement in the process.

Key Takeaway: Your website is not static. You need to change it just as often as the needs and pain points of your audience change and fluctuate. For more information on the effectiveness of traditional website design and growth driven design, learn more from the following blog posts:


You can’t be everything to everyone but you can be something to someone.—Drew Davis

Inbound Marketing: A marketing method that is used to attract customers attention through unobtrusive, personalized marketing, converting them into leads, nurturing them into sale readiness, and delighting them before and after the sale.

Key Takeaway: Inbound marketing is all about talking with your audience and not at them. Especially since there’s so much noise both on and offline when it comes to marketing, it’s time to get more personal with your audience—creating top of mind awareness and building a relationship based on trust and value even from the first interaction your audience has with your brand.

Interactive Marketing: Based on your research, you can use that information to create content or improve your website design in order to fit the needs of your audience.

Key Takeaway: Interactive marketing takes accurate data and good analytic tools to capture specifically the what, where, how, why, and whens of your audience. For more information on interactive marketing as well as how it provides solutions to your marketing strategy, explore the following blog posts:

Marketing Automation: Create segmented, lead nurturing workflows that allow you to send personalized messages through an automated system. Still want to know how it works? Watch the following insight:



Key Takeaway: Know your buyer personas as well as where your audience is individually placed in the buyer’s journey.

Personalization Marketing: HubSpot allows brands to tailor their marketing efforts to their brand’s specific buyer personas—allowing for customization, smart marketing features, and delivery methods where every move is tracked and documented to better assist sales teams.

Key Takeaway: Research, understand, know, and develop content under the premise that you must present the best user experience possible for your audience.

Social Media Marketing: Create content for a variety of different social platforms by engaging with your audience through diverse mediums. For example, with Instagram, you can visually engage your audience through images or video. With Twitter, you can live tweet with your audience. With Facebook, you can create a group and intimately engage with your audience with live video chats.

Key Takeaway: Know how to be social on each specific social platform. Don’t post a whole bunch of text on Instagram. Save that for LinkedIn or even Facebook. Don’t use salesy language. Social media is not the place for that. Allow your content to organically create an audience.


People don’t want to be marketed at in the social channel. This is where they want to talk to each other, and brands are there by invitation. They have to be a great guest at the table.—Veronica Fielding

Thought Leadership: Foster thought leadership by striving to educate your audience in everything that you create. From your blog posts to webinars, everything you create should be educating your audience and solving their problems at the same time.

Key Takeaway: Thought leadership is not complicated. You just have to create a strategy that works for both you and your audience. For more info on how to become a thought leader in your industry, learn the ins and outs of thought leadership through the following blog posts:

Video Marketing: Video is here to stay, and it is only becoming more and more interactive. You can create webinars with Google Hangout, live streams with Facebook Live and Periscope, or create a video series to be uploaded and shared on platforms like YouTube and Vimeo. Video is vast in what you can create—making it an effective and freeform tool to accentuate any marketing strategy.

Key Takeaway: Answer this question: “What are you looking to provide your audience with by using video?” If you need help getting started with video marketing, we took the time to answer all of your video marketing questions here.

This is just an overview on some of the key tactics that work together to make your marketing effective—putting you in the starting gate for future marketing success.

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You might also be interested in:

How to Video Marketing: Tips for Start-Ups

White Hat Ways to Build Inbound Links

Interactive Design and Online Video Marketing Strategy

A Review of Inbound Marketing Best Practices

Back to the Basics with Buyer Personas


Topics: Thought Leadership, Marketing, Hubspot Tips, Inbound Marketing

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