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HubSpot CMS vs WordPress, Contentful, etc., from a content strategist

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HubSpot CMS vs WordPress, Contentful, etc., from a content strategist

It's about 3 p.m. on a Thursday, but a chat I had a couple hours ago still has my head spinning – in all the right ways – which means I know I need to take a few minutes and get this out of my brain.

In short, I listened to someone share a new and different perspective of why the HubSpot CMS Hub is such a powerful option for businesses.

It's not that I needed to be convinced of it; if you know me, my favorite thing is to help humans maximize their potential for growth through HubSpot and inbound, and the HubSpot CMS is freaking amazing at helping teams do just that with their website.

They simply shared a case for it that I think organizations, teams, and marketers who are looking at content as a way to drive traffic, leads, and sales for their business need to hear. 

But first, a little background, so you have some context.

"Content is a priority, and we are also looking at replatforming our website"

Earlier today, I met with an exciting company to talk about their current challenges and objectives, as well as their goals for the next six to 12 months, so we could see if there could be a potential match.

Since they also mentioned content strategy was a primary focus area for them, I decided to invite Liz Murphy, a content strategist and brand messaging expert, to join our conversation. 

πŸ”Ž Related: What does great lead-attracting content look like?

About halfway through the conversation, they mentioned they were in the middle of choosing where their website's new CMS home would be; the current platform they're using no longer meets their needs, and they're looking for a CMS that will help them achieve their awareness and revenue goals they have on the horizon.

While they are currently using HubSpot for marketing and sales, I was told they were not considering the HubSpot CMS Hub as an option. Instead, they were looking at options such as WordPress, Drupal, and Contentful. 

Mind Blown Reporting

I was surprised by this for a few reasons, which I shared – the primary being that they were already using HubSpot, so why take a key piece of your digital strategy and put it in a different place than the rest of your marketing and sales automation? 

Still, as someone who has spent more than a decade working alongside hundreds of companies of various shapes and sizes, I know that where you land as a company for your website CMS is a personal decision that must align with your unique needs. 

A little later on, Liz asked if she could share her thoughts on the subject – on why she'd recommend HubSpot as someone who:

  • Isn't affiliated with HubSpot, nor receives any benefit in recommending it.
  • Is a content strategist and is looking at it through the lens of someone looking to start up a robust content strategy where revenue and ROI will be closely measured. 
  • Has worked inside other CMS platforms as a content marketer, including WordPress and Contentful. 

Here's what she shared with us. 

Intelligence and reporting with HubSpot CMS + HubSpot Marketing and Sales Hubs

Liz started off with one of my favorite things about having an integrated HubSpot ecosystem for your website, marketing, and sales. But it was interesting to hear it underscored from the content strategist's point of view.

If you're already using HubSpot Marketing and HubSpot Sales – or even just one of them – and content is a big part of your plan, you would have to work hard to find a compelling reason not to go with HubSpot CMS Hub. The sheer scale of seamless business intelligence and reporting power you will be able to leverage in doing so valuable, you lose more than gain going anywhere else. 

πŸ”Ž Get help: HubSpot CMS website design and strategy 

According to Liz, if you're looking to measure the ROI of your content efforts (i.e., how much money your content makes for your business), reporting with ease and confidence in the accuracy of your numbers is only truly possible when your website, marketing, and sales assets are all under one digital roof: 

"When you have everything in HubSpot – your website talking to HubSpot Marketing Hub and your CRM – you have a bulletproof reporting ecosystem that will allow you to capture, analyze, and report on the ROI of everything you're doing in a single portal. 

On the other hand, let's say you have your website on WordPress and everything else in HubSpot, that's no longer true. You will never have a single source of truth without having to bootstrap integrations together that aren't always exactly reliable if that's even an option. You'll always have to burn extra time and resources just to see how you're performing, which is a waste."

Being dependent on someone else because you can't use your site

One of the things I love about HubSpot CMS Hub for myself as a business owner and content creator is I don't have to look to someone else to implement quick changes and ideas.

For example, when I have an idea for a new website page, I can create it without having to engage with a website developer. My site is already set up with my theme and brand styles, so all I need to do is create a website page with the same degree of "easy peasy" that you'd expect from a landing page.

That's because HubSpot's drag-and-drop page builder tool is super intuitive and easy to use. 

πŸ”Ž Related: 47 questions to ask when creating your content strategy

Liz also called this out as a key feature she loves as a content strategist and creator, because it's a pain to constantly have to engage a designer or developer any time she wants to make basic changes for an under-performing piece of content or create something new. 

"The more you have to rely on someone else to do basic tasks like historic optimization, building a new pillar page, or something else like that ... it's going to hurt.

You'll never be able to move as quickly as you want to, so it will take longer for you to make necessary changes when something isn't performing as intended. Or, if you have an unexpected business objective that demands a new piece of content, you're trapped waiting until someone else has time for your needs.

Your strategy will depend on the bandwidth of someone who has different priorities than you, and that sucks."

Sophistication and flexibility of the HubSpot CMS Hub

The last thing Liz mentioned was based on her experience with WordPress, Contentful, SquareSpace, Drupal, and other CMS platforms – if she has her choice, she'd prefer the HubSpot CMS Hub because of the diverse range of features, its sophistication, and how flexible it is to use.

She had a few reasons for this:

  • WordPress is only as powerful as the third-party plugins (SEO, forms, e-commerce, self-service scheduling, etc.) you add on, which come with no support from WordPress. Are there great plug-ins out there? Yes, but they depreciate, can be easily exploited by hackers, and can often be abandoned by developers, which leaves you having to look for a replacement solution.
  • When you get into CMS environments that are super customized and hardcoded to your needs, down to the very last detail, you are in a very rigid environment that will require lots of money if something needs to change. Or worse, it'll just continue to break and be less valuable over time because no one has paid to fix it or really knows how to use it. 
  • Options like Contentful are exciting, because it shows that companies are recognizing how hungry marketers and other business leaders are to have more control over their website. However, HubSpot still has the edge in terms of platform sophistication. Contentful and other headless CMS options are really good, but still fall short. "It reminds me a lot of Android when it first hit the market – absolutely brilliant OS destined for success, but no one was developing for it. Apple had the edge."

This is the tip of the HubSpot CMS Hub iceberg 

To be clear, this is not the last time I will be showing up in your feed to talk about the HubSpot CMS Hub – whether you're considering it or already in it, this is a subject I could spend hours, day, weeks talking about. In fact, you may hear it come up in a HubHeroes podcast episode in the near future. 

That's because the HubSpot CMS Hub brings so much to the table in terms of growth potential for companies investing their time or money into HubSpot or even just inbound marketing in general. For now, however, let's just focus on the new point of view I was able to get first-hand today. If you're serious about your content strategy, HubSpot CMS Hub is the way to go


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