6 Savvy HubSpot Setup Tips for Manufacturers

Can inbound marketing benefit manufacturers? It’s a question we hear often. While many industrial manufacturers continue to rely on traditional outbound selling tactics (tradeshows, trade journals, and cold calling, to name a few), more and more companies are embracing inbound marketing to reach new potential buyers.

Now more than ever, buyers rely on Google to find their next essential machine part, conveyor belt, or non-slip mat. That doesn’t mean that traditional marketing methods are no longer valid; it means that your marketing approach should change as buyer behavior changes.

With the competition spending more than half of their marketing efforts on inbound, perhaps the real question is: can you afford not to invest in inbound marketing?

If you’ve decided to use HubSpot to help manage your inbound marketing efforts, then you’re already on your way to a successful inbound marketing strategy. But before you launch your first campaign, you’ll want to make sure you’ve fully set up your HubSpot portal. 

→ On the fence about Hubspot? Read: Why Go Hubspot? 8 Unique Reasons for Businesses to Make the Switch


Here are some expert HubSpot setup tips for the manufacturing industry so you can begin to build a digital inbound marketing machine:

1. Import your contacts.

If you have a database of subscribers, leads, and customers, be sure to upload them into HubSpot. By doing this, you'll be able to:

  • Clean up your list. HubSpot will automatically de-duplicate your list, so you have a clean set of contacts.

  • Segment your contacts and nurture them with targeted content. Once you've added contacts to your database, you can send more relevant emails based on the information you've collected. There are numerous ways to break your database into more homogeneous groups. Just for starters, you can create lists based on contact properties (industry, job role, company size, etc.) or behaviors (a particular form submission, page visit, etc.). With a more segmented database, you'll be much better equipped to engage (or re-engage!) your contacts with high-value content—and ultimately, your product or service—and start them on the path to becoming customers.

  • Get lead intelligence. Once your contacts are integrated with HubSpot, you can receive alerts when they click on an email or CTA, visit your site or submit a form, so sales will know when it might be a good time to make a call. All of this information is stored and readily accessible in a contact's record.

The lead intelligence delivered through HubSpot is vital for keeping tabs on your contacts and knowing which content they're interested in, allowing you to continue to provide material that matters to them most. 

2. Integrate your CRM with HubSpot.

HubSpot integrates seamlessly with the majority of popular CRM software. Now that you have your contacts in HubSpot and collecting such valuable data, it makes sense to integrate this data with your CRM. Doing this allows data that you choose to be passed between HubSpot and your CRM, allowing both your sales and marketing teams to view the same up-to-date information.

Marketing will have greater visibility into those contacts that become customers, allowing them to analyze which marketing campaigns resonated with them. Moreover, this will enable them to revisit and refine campaigns to keep those leads flowing in. On the flip side, the sales team will be better able to see those new leads that have come in through marketing campaigns without logging into HubSpot. 

3. Create and Add Your Buyer Personas

Consider your ultimate goal using inbound marketing. Is it to attract more visits to your site? Close more visitors into leads? Establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry? Whatever your goal may be, the messaging you use needs to be tailored for your specific audience.

Buyer personas are fictional people that represent the characteristics, needs, and goals of your ideal buyer. Who are you selling to? What is their role? What kinds of problems do they have that your product can solve? 

Once you've developed your personas, add them to the Persona tool in HubSpot. This will allow you to segment your content and contact database based on persona. To segment your audience by persona, consider adding descriptive fields to your forms. Form fields allow you to segment your database into personas that will target offers that they will find more valuable. These fields could be a job title, industry, or even questions (i.e., in which services are you interested?)

By directly addressing your personas' needs, you can more effectively move them down the funnel. The sooner you create these buyer personas and incorporate persona identification fields into your HubSpot forms, the better; it's much harder to segment all those leads without this data.

Here’s how to create Buyer Personas in HubSpot.

4. Set Up Your Social Media Accounts

Social media is a powerful tool for manufacturers. Buyers from all backgrounds are using Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to research companies. A solid social media presence can help you differentiate your business.

Add your social accounts to HubSpot’s Social Media tool. And here’s a time-saving pro tip: You can set your social accounts to “Auto-Publish,” which will automatically update your social accounts with blog posts you publish through HubSpot.

Here’s how to connect your social accounts in HubSpot.

5. Implement HubSpot forms.

If any of your website pages are not hosted on HubSpot, be sure to replace all forms on your site with HubSpot forms. Doing so will allow you to track where your leads came from, what pages they viewed and when they revisit your site. You'll be able to create segmented lists and execute workflows based on this data.

In addition, using HubSpot forms will allow you to leverage progressive profiling by way of "smart" fields, increasing the amount of information you can gather from your visit-to-lead conversions. Smart forms use cookies to identify returning visitors so that they do not present any fields that have already been filled out; instead, it allows you to queue up questions that may be more appropriate for a lead that's further along in the sales cycle.

PMG tip: Create a Hubspot lead flow to generate new leads in minutes for a quick win. 

6: Evaluate your Page Performance

Fifty-seven percent of industrial and manufacturing companies said that growing website traffic was a top priority within 12 months. While multiple factors contribute to search engine optimization, on-page SEO continues to be crucial to helping visitors locate you on the web.

The Page Performance tool in HubSpot helps you evaluate how your web pages are optimized for on-page SEO. Organize your pages by highest traffic. Then make sure each page is optimized for a target keyword.

Having a streamlined and efficient inbound marketing setup will help avoid speedbumps in your efforts down the road. Failure to set up the foundation of your inbound marketing strategy from the beginning could lead to lost segmentation and reporting opportunities.

7. Create workflows based on lifecycle stage.

HubSpot’s lifecycle stage has built-in options according to where your contacts are in the sales process. These are:

  • Subscriber
  • Lead
  • MQL (marketing qualified lead)
  • SQL (sales qualified lead)
  • Opportunity
  • Customer

To keep your marketing and sales teams aware of where contacts are in the funnel, you can create workflows to change lifecycle stages based on the actions they take on your website. If they fill out a form for an offer, for example, a workflow could change their lifecycle stage from lead to MQL and send a notification if they return to your website. Suppose they fill out the Contact Us form. In that case, the lifecycle could be automatically set to change to SQL, and a notification would be immediately sent to Sales so they can time a response appropriately.


These are just a few ways to maximize your investment with HubSpot and take your inbound marketing to the next level. The time you take to dive in and learn about all of its capabilities will be well worth it when you see how easy it is to monitor your new leads and keep marketing and sales in perfect alignment!

Have questions on how to best set up your HubSpot portal? PMG has been a valued member of HubSpot’s Agency Partner Program since 2008. Our team of marketing experts will make sure your inbound strategy is on the fast track to success.

Free Download: Content Marketing 101 for Industrial Manufacturers

Kate Moore | Content Strategy & SEO Director
About the Author
Kate Moore, Content Strategy & SEO Director

Kate Moore is a Content Strategist by day, HubSpot expert by night. When she’s not getting distracted by her many fans (ahem – work emails and phone calls), she’s hunkered down, plugged into Spotify and writing about stuff that will make your work with HubSpot smooth and simple.