Like peanut butter and chocolate, some things feel like they were always meant to go together.
So it is with HubSpot and StoryBrand. One is a software platform built to support a marketing approach devised by two tech executives. Another is the brainchild of an essayist and public speaker.
But despite having different backgrounds and no formal relationship, HubSpot and StoryBrand seem almost pre-ordained to work side-by-side. They are two marketing-enablement companies with the same philosophy: Elevate the customer.
Quick Recap: What Is HubSpot and What Is StoryBrand?
Many of you reading this will already know what HubSpot and StoryBrand are. If that’s you, feel free to skip over the next two paragraphs. If you’re new to either HubSpot, StoryBrand, or both, here’s my two-paragraph explanation.
HubSpot is an all-in-one software platform that automates, simplifies, tracks, and analyses how your brand relates to customers across three “Hubs”: Marketing, Sales, and Service. HubSpot features a robust content management system (CMS) and a streamlined customer relationship management (CRM) system. The HubSpot tools are purpose-built around the inbound marketing methodology, an approach that “attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them.”
(Get a crash course in HubSpot and the inbound marketing methodology here.)
The StoryBrand Framework is a way to clarify your brand messaging by casting your customers as heroes trying to surmount challenges and your brand as a helpful guide. Author Donald Miller explained the StoryBrand Framework in his book, “Building a StoryBrand,” where he drew from storytelling conventions that are as ancient as humanity itself. The starting point for building your StoryBrand is the BrandScript tool, which offers helpful prompts to get you thinking about your customers, the problems they face, and how you can aid them.
(Learn much, much more about StoryBrand and building your first BrandScript here.)
Even if all you know about HubSpot and StoryBrand are the basics, it’s probably pretty obvious what they have in common. Both encourage brands to get out of their own way, stop talking about themselves, and focus on what their customers need and want.
I like to think of it this way: the StoryBrand Framework takes the form of a quest. HubSpot gives you the tools to guide your customers through that quest — which ends in success for your customers and growth for your brand.
Forget about chocolate and peanut butter; that’s the dream combination!
Here are a few of the ways StoryBrand and HubSpot complement each other:
1. You Can Create Your Messaging With StoryBrand and Bring it to Life With HubSpot
Donald Miller says that most brand websites are confusing and full of noise that distract and frustrate potential customers. His mantra: “If you confuse, you’ll lose.”
Your website is one of the first ways customers interact with your brand, and so (as we wrote recently) your website is the perfect place to start integrating your highly-clarified, StoryBrand-inspired messaging. In fact, wireframing a website is a key step in the StoryBrand marketing process.
Because the inbound philosophy and StoryBrand Framework are so similar, HubSpot is perhaps the ideal CMS for constructing a site around your BrandScript. HubSpot will take you from wireframe to reality with tools that make it easy to build and maintain a website, a blog, and landing pages.
If you don’t want to work from scratch, the HubSpot marketplace is full of responsive templates designed to clear away the clutter and put your customers’ needs front and center.
2. StoryBrand and HubSpot Are All About Knowing Your Buyers Well
You can’t have stories without characters. According to the StoryBrand Framework, your customers are the main characters in the story of your brand. Your brand plays a critical supporting role.
HubSpot promotes your buyers to a central role, as well. One of the first things the inbound methodology counsels you to do is create buyer personas. Personas, according to HubSpot, are “fictional, generalized characters that encompass the various needs, goals, and observed behavior patterns among your customers.”
Not only does HubSpot offer a “Make My Persona” tool, but the concept of personas is baked into the entire platform. You can use HubSpot’s CRM to segment your contacts according to their personas, delivering them email and content that aligns with their interests and their progress along the buyer’s journey.
This sequence of content, delivered automatically, will create workflows that lead — or in the parlance of StoryBrand, guide — your customers beyond their problems to success (and a great impression of your brand).
3. HubSpot and StoryBrand Both Feature Calls-to-Action
Almost since the day it launched, HubSpot has been encouraging users to win the hearts of website visitors by offering useful, valuable content through dedicated landing pages. To bring visitors to those landing pages, HubSpot suggests using calls-to-action (CTAs): attractive, action-oriented buttons on blog posts, website pages, and emails.
And almost since the day it launched, HubSpot’s users have been struggling to:
- Come up with content offers that deliver value to prospective customers.
- Craft enticing copy for landing pages.
- Create CTAs that get noticed.
StoryBrand solves all three of these problems. The call to action is an essential element of the framework. Your completed BrandScript will identify two calls to action:
- A direct call to action such as “buy now,” which leads straight to a purchase.
- A transitional call to action, such as an ebook, video, or webinar, which positions your brand as a guide and keeps your prospects engaged.
I won’t go deeper here on the specifics of direct and transitional calls to action. (I can’t recommend Donald Miller’s book enough!) But my point is the StoryBrand Framework will help you identify the offers and messaging that will inspire prospects to interact with your brand — and when they do, HubSpot will capture their contact information and nurture them towards a sale.
4. HubSpot Can Automate StoryBrand Email Campaigns
Lead nurturing through email and sales letters is a central element of the StoryBrand sales funnel. But Donald Miller and the StoryBrand team don’t expect you to email each of your contacts manually; that would get overwhelming pretty quickly.
Miller says he loves email marketing automation because its personalized (compared to generic newsletters), proven to be effective, and works 24/7 behind the scenes so you don’t have to.
When done right, email automation allows you to tailor messages to different types of customers and deliver them at precisely the right moment in their buyer’s journey (as determined, of course, by a BrandScript).
There are many email automation tools out there, but few are as powerful and deep as HubSpot. As HubSpot describes, its email tools let you design eye-catching messages “without ever touching a line of code” and then choose from dozens of triggers, conditions, and actions to make sure they get to the right contacts at the right time.
HubSpot’s workflow editor is both simple to use and incredibly sophisticated, allowing you to easily envision and create complex, branching email nurturing campaigns that make your leads feel like your brand gets them on a personal level.
HubSpot and StoryBrand Can Do So Much More Together
There is plenty more to say about the relationship between StoryBrand and HubSpot. For example, I haven’t even mentioned how HubSpot’s SEO tools let you research and track the words and phrases that speak to your customers with the most clarity.
But I hope these four points have sufficiently demonstrated that HubSpot and StoryBrand are a match made in heaven.
If you’re interested in getting the most out of this powerful combination, you might want to consider working with a full-service marketing agency that is certified as both a HubSpot partner and a StoryBrand Certified Agency. There aren’t many. Media Junction is one of the few, and we’d love to talk to you!