There’s been a lot of big-dollar activity in the social media marketing space this year, with Oracle buying Vitrue in May ($300-million), Salesforce buying Buddy Media in June ($689-million), and Google buying Wildfire in July ($350-million).
So it might be easy to overlook Monday’s announcement that HubSpot had raised a measly $35-million mezzanine round, bringing its total raised to $101-million. HubSpot sells a marketing automation suite that combines content publishing (blogs, landing pages, and websites) with email marketing, social engagement (on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn), search-engine optimization (SEO), campaign tracking, and analytics.
In my opinion, the HubSpot news further validates this year’s most significant marketing trend – social marketing has become a central component in most company’s business strategies. Social marketing? Think of it as marketing with a magnet instead of a megaphone.
What’s different is HubSpot’s focus on marketing by generating content that’s valuable to readers, rather than simply broadcasting a vendor’s message to a target audience. Campaign tracking and analytics tools are great, but they’re only valuable if the underlying blogs and social media posts are authentic enough to organically generate sharing.
Better still, HubSpot aims to create marketing that people love. That’s a four-letter word you don’t see too often in marketing, despite the fact that outstanding marketing can provoke very strong emotions in people. This time, it’s a good fit – social media connect people in new and powerful ways, a shift that is changing marketing forever.