#Unpacked EP 15: HubDB
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George: All right, Remington, and we are live.
Remington: This is much more convenient when we're together.
George: Look at this. Look at this when we're together, it's super easy to just hit a button and go live and we want to look at that camera right there.
Remington: Not ourselves right there.
George: Not ourselves, although that's a good looking video right there, but we want to look at the folks. So as you come into this episode of Sprocket Talk Unpacked, make sure you let us know that you are watching. Give us a thumbs up, some type of emoji. Make sure you let us know too if you are... All right, flood insurance guru in the house. There you go. Let us know if you are actually watching on the Sprocket Talk Unpacked Live page or just watching on YouTube.
George: What's up, Daniel Sullivan, the man, the myth, the legend and look, I love that we can actually... Here comes trouble.
Remington: See the face.
George: See here's the thing, I think they might be actually really correct here, Daniel, as for as trouble because today we are talking about HubDB, so I'm going to be the not nerdy guy.
Remington: And I'm not trying not to be.
George: But I think that it probably be very interesting what you'll learn that you can do with HubSpot if you're looking at HubDB. But Remington as we get into this, we should also let everybody know watching that we just launched a new course in Sprocket Talk VIP Plus. It is the email drag and drop course. If you are not a paid member, you may want to check that out. We're probably going to even maybe unlock a couple of the videos so you can start to watch it. But even on the YouTube channel there is a email drag and drop overview video that we've created. So check that out. But to get started with HubDB, Remington, why don't you kind of explain to the folks who are watching this Unpack Live, in a human way, what is HubDB? In just kind of it's like this is what it is?
Remington: Sure. So an Excel spreadsheet or a Google sheets document on steroids. The ease of editing like a spreadsheet, but the power of a fully setup database that would power your website. So there is a lot of potential opportunity there for dynamic pages or dynamic content on your website, and that kind of thing. That's the filtered version.
George: Yeah. I feel like I want to ask what are some, the steroids pieces of that, right. You said "on steroids" and there's a host setting section that you may even pull out and talk about things. Now I'm going to just say what I like about HubDB. What's up Joe? Glad to see that you're here with us. What I'm going to say is I like the fact that it sounds like it should be nerdy, but when you actually get in and start to work on the, what I would call Excel spreadsheet part, it's not that nerdy.
George: Now, the part that you work on typically that takes that Excel spreadsheet and does the magical things on page with it, that gets nerdy.
Remington: I think you're loud is what they're saying.
George: Oh, volume.
Remington: Volume. Are you running [crosstalk 00:03:10]
George: Can you guys... Well maybe. Talk.
Remington: So now this is me talking.
George: It might be me.
George: But it's saying...
Remington: All right, we'll keep going. Maybe hold it a little bit further away.
George: Volume begs man, can you hear Remington or not hear Remington? I don't know, but I'll keep it down towards the...
Remington: So when we're thinking about some of the on steroids pieces, we start to... I'm too quiet. That's a first.
George: Wow. Holy, don't tell him that. And I think you're...
Remington: Is that any better? I'll speak louder.
George: There you go.
Remington: All right. So when, when we're talking about the on steroids park, when you dig into HubDB, one of the things that you don't, a lot of times people don't realize is there's a settings part, especially when we're talking about dynamic pages. And now, let me rewind for a second. HubDB works really well when you're focused on the actual HubSpot CMS, like HubDB's going to allow for you to leverage how everything's coming together and that kind of thing.
Remington: So when you're leveraging HubSpot CMS, you're good. If you're on WordPress or something like that, it's going be somewhat limited but you can use it on those pages. It is part of HubSpot CMS, which is the $300 upgrade essentially for for sites, as they put it. They've talked about it, CMS or sites, and it is amazing. And we've got a couple of Unpacked episodes that talk about website pages and things.
George: Yeah. So what I like, I'm just going to go into a thing that I like about it because that's why people are here is to get kind of the nitty gritty, nuts and bolts of this. What I like about HubDB is typically for a non-developer type person to wrap your brain around being able to filter content in a certain manner, it can get difficult. It can get a little bit weird and wonky and especially if you want to filter in a secondary or tertiary way after the fact.
George: Right. So yeah, tertiary, I used the word, it's a Scrabble word but the idea here is I can have a HubDB database and I can say I want to filter, let's say for instance in Sprocket Talk by sales, by marketing, by service or by CMS. And we can use that to filter if people want to see sales or marketing or CMS type content. But then a week later, two weeks later I can go, oh you know what, I'd actually like to filter it by this way too. And so then you can easily add in another row or column, I guess it might be-
George: Because row's this way or columns this way, column, row. Anyway, it doesn't matter. You can add another section and you put in another filtering place that then if you have somebody nerdy like Remington, they can grab that new information. And so it's easy to update the ability to filter the type of content that you're delivering. So I really love that part of it.
Remington: Yeah, thanks. So I love that you brought up Sprocket Talk. So sprockettalk.com, which most of you who are on this are seeing and if you're watching this as a recording, obviously you're in, all of the listings that we have for the resources that are there with all the videos that is powered by... That's in fact powered by HubDB. The videos themselves are hosted on Wistia. The links are... Imagine links being in a link column in a spreadsheet and then what we've done is we have the same database powering multiple pages.
Remington: So if we have just a tutorials page, there's a bunch. Another area where we use it is in our courses, so between the HubSpot membership tools and then HubDB, that's how we actually built out the LMS version of the HubSpot portal that we have in Sprocket Talk and then of course even the course listings.
Remington: So that's two different databases that are in HubDB or two different HubDBs, if you would. The final one is the testimonial rotator that is on the homepage of sprockettalk.com is another area where we have HubDB as an example. And what's cool about that is in the future as we start bringing out more agencies into the group or bringing on more individual users, depending on who you are with smart content, we could change which testimonials would show automatically so nothing manually has to be done. So that's where you can start to think about it.
George: We need to unpack just like what you said right there because honestly if you were paying attention, if you rewind this when you get a chance to rewind, Remington listed out probably three, four if not five different use cases that we're using HubDB for and that's what I really want everybody to realize is that it's such a thing that you can use it for like you want to build a dashboard, you can use HubDB to show what's on your dashboard. You want to build an LMS for a educating people. You can use HubDB for that. You want to tie in HubDB with the actual gated content feature, you can do that. You want to create a video gallery and bring it in. You could use HubDB for that. You want to do an image gallery, you could do HubDB for that.
George: Remington, here's another piece that I'd love as I'm kind of, notice I was laying a foundation there, right, to to pass you a baton because this is another piece that I love about HubDB is you can build it for a testimonial and you can have content in that database. But talk to the viewers about how you can pull information from one database into another database and then reuse this on multiple pages.
Remington: Awesome. So the nerdy side of that is pulling in child table. So if you've got two databases, so the easiest way to mention this is you've got database one, which is a list of all of your category types of customers or no, let's say categories of products, right? We'll go more like e-commerce. So you have a list or a database of all of all your product categories and then in your other database you'll have all of your products.
Remington: So what you can do is in that products table, one of your columns can be that child item, which would reference the categories. So if you had, we'll say our course, the HubSpot course that we just put out on the email drag and drop builder. That course could be for anyone that has marketing Hub or also we could multi-select. We could say also people who are using the free CRM and that could be how the categories drop out.
Remington: The other way you could do that is digging into like job listings. I know Daniel Sullivan was talking about that early on in the comments. You could have different types of jobs in one table, which would be categories, and then you could have the types of people... Then you could have all the individual jobs and then kind of break it up by categories. So it allows for you to use those two to be very dynamic in between the two. You could start filtering a lot throughout the site.
George: Yeah. Yeah. Without a doubt. So we've got a question on is the HubSpot agency portal built on HubDB? I don't know because I don't work for HubSpot.
Remington: Yeah, we don't work for HubSpot but I believe it is powered by HubDB.
George: One would think.
Remington: But yeah, you should jump in the HubSpot partner channel and ask them.
George: Yeah. So here's another thing and I think today what really, if you haven't realized it's about the power that you can gain from understanding that it's even a feature and understanding that it's actually easy to use on the front end. So today you could go from this and build a table and start putting information in and then you can either learn the nerdy side of it or you can reach out for somebody to help you with the nerdy side of it.
George: But even down to things like Remington, when you showed me this, shoot, maybe a year ago, my mind was just blown like, oh my gosh, really? Is that possible? Many of you have hero images across your website or you have pieces or pages that have pieces of content that have images in them. And so, but what happens if you don't have the exact right image for a section that you're trying to build out immediately and being able to say, well this is a set of topics or this is a set of products or this is a set of services and here's a bank of images that we don't mind using or would be willing to use for anything tagged with that.
George: And then the hero image dynamically changing based on the images in the database, referencing the topic of what the page is about. Like I was like, what? What just happen? Like that is super crazy cool. And so we always talk about smart content from like a textual content perspective with smart content modules. But really you're using HubDB to make an even smarter content or smarter pages from a visual standpoint. I don't know if you want to talk about that a little bit or...
Remington: Well, we'll tell people where they could go. So if you go to impulsecreative.com and go to any of our service pages, you'll notice that we've got these alternating blocks and some of them are set. But if you were to go to any one of those pages and refresh, the images would change. And what we have is types of imagery like categories of imagery that would show. So that's essentially what George is talking about.
Remington: We wanted to make it as easy as possible for our team to deploy a new page because we hit... We've got some pretty aggressive goals in regards to new page creation, but we wanted to remove all those barriers. And so what we do is that we have that you can set an override, the automatic, on any page, but you don't have to worry about it cause it's going to bring in an approved image to fit into a lot of those places where we just want to show the human side of Impulse.
Remington: The other area of personalization that gets super nerdy, and this is something we're testing and we're about to drop a case study about it, is the personalization we have on the homepage. So on our homepage at impulsecreative.com you'll see a persona selector and it says, "I am a... And I'm interested in doing X." Right, and so if you choose the IMA, it essentially is going to dynamically drop in the other items. And that entire module itself is powered by HubDB. So if we want to add in another IMA, we don't have to talk to a developer, we just drop it in. And so this thing can organically grow as we go.
Remington: And one of the coolest parts about that is once you choose what you are and then you click the services button, that's tying into another database which has all the services, which are then tied into these personas too. So you can go through the... On our homepage, you can hit the services button in the hero right underneath the the persona selector. And if you've chosen the other two options, that'll bring it across. So super powerful stuff.
George: And so, yeah, Daniel, you could do it based on persona. You could do it based on the job listing or job type, all sorts of things like that. Another thing, Remington, that we've worked on previously with some folks that I was like, oh my gosh, this makes what might like historically be difficult, easy. And some of you might have pricing pages and some of you might even have pricing pages that list features out, right? And some of you might have those features in an actual table, which by the way, doesn't resize properly on mobile. Go check it if you're watching this and you're like, "Ah, yeah, I didn't pay attention to that."
George: But being able to build a pricing table where let's say all of a sudden you've got this piece of software and you add a new feature. Now instead of needing to go and redesign this row and make it this color and add in these things and work with some... You literally just go into HubDB, you add a row, you add your information, you hit submit and boom, it's done.
George: And even to the fact where again, you could have one of those columns and you could say, it's one check mark or three check marks or for the different features of...
Remington: Gold, silver, black.
George: ... Gold, silver, black, and I'm right there. And so it makes what, again, and this is why I think I love HubDB, so much once it's in place, it makes what historically has been complex, super simple for the marketer or owner or salesperson, whoever's going to be involved with it. So I definitely loved that as a use case of pricing tables for HubDB as well.
Remington: So before I'm done, I want to make sure I just rattle off a whole bunch of ideas on it. But before then one of the other use cases we had is we have a... We've got a client who has about I think three, 400 locations, and so they want location pages and specific contact information and specific forms that go to those individuals. But they don't want to have to create multiple landing pages. right? So what we did is we actually created one landing page that was dynamic that based on the location changed out the default info.
Remington: So imagine a request a demo page that's general for your corporation, but then you've got 50 franchises, you can make it so that if it's slash Fort Myers or slash Babcock Ranch after the demo, it actually creates a demo version of that page that is specific to that location without that areas, information or anything else. So what we've done is we've made it so that they automatically from Salesforce, when they get a new location that pops up, it automatically drops into that database and connects the form and the notifications. So everything is handled internally, dynamically and I think they're up to like 350 landing pages and all we did was create one for about $4,000 bucks.
George: And see I don't know if anybody else heard that, but I always, I tried to listen to the words in between Remington's words and I heard the word Salesforce, which we started this out as like its HubDB and it's in HubSpot and it works with the HubSpot CMS. But what I just heard is that you could have third party apps that are doing things and pull the information into that HubDB table to be then displayed on your Hub Swap pages. So that right there is super nerdy, awesome, amazing.
George: Think of you as the viewer, think of some of the tools that you're using and if it's easy or if you've even thought that it would be possible to pull some of that information in and display it on page to be of value to your customers. And that I think that's... We're big on that as like how do you add value at the end of the day, how is it value to your customers?
George: And so if when Remington starts to list out even more ways or more ideas for HubDB, think about which ones can you jot down in your notepad and collective. Like, man, if we had that, it would add value. If we would have that, it would add value. Because one thing that I don't want people when they're watching this to go, "Well, I've got to do HubDB because it's a feature." No, not necessarily. But if it makes sense and it adds value to your clientele, then absolutely.
Remington: Yeah. All right, so you're going to count and I'm just going to rattling.
George: Okay. Yup.
Remington: So first one is the...
George: RSS feed.
Remington: Okay. So we'll start with Daniel's. So if you use Zapier, you could, any job listing grabbed from an RSS feed, you could build a HubDB table and drop that on your website. Absolutely. So you'd have to use Zapier to make that happen. And you'd have to use JSON script in order to make it happen [crosstalk 00:19:15]
George: Ding, ding, ding, ding, nerd moment. The nerd moment of the episode. That's it right there. [crosstalk 00:19:20]
Remington: ... Automatic, but we can probably help with that.
George: We said JSON, nerd moment. Okay, so number one.
Remington: So number one was that. So dynamic background chooser is another. Number, number-
George: No, I'm counting, you just got to go.
Remington: So testimonial slider image gallery, you could do a real estate listing database, you could do a team page, you could bring in content from a Eventbrite and you could display it correctly on your site. You can create a smart content based on persona for certain pages. You could do the homepage switcher like we have. What else we got? We got a lot of stuff. Oh-
George: Pricing tables.
Remington: The pricing tables [crosstalk 00:20:11]
George: If I move my thumb, we're at 10, but if I move my thumb I'm going to drop the mic.
Remington: So dynamically create pricing tables. You can also make it so that you dynamically drop CTAs on the bottom of blogs so that they automatically happen by default, if one is not chosen. Video, you could create your video channel, you can create an LMS, so a course library, you can create a website conversion report like we did on Impulse Creative. It's super awesome and give recommendations. You could do... Oh, come on. I know I've got more.
George: That's a lot though. Like-
Remington: Oh, a dynamic resource library. So based on where it is in the funnel, you could show them certain resources that are relevant. You can create a dynamic menu for your blog so that the topics can go second level down so you can add some organization. These are things that we've done mostly by the way. And you could create a course directory for... We did this on piloxing.com, so a listing, a public listing of profiles for people who train. You got a course directory of where to go for workshops and then you also have a directory of the.. I already said [inaudible 00:21:37] break.
George: Could you do a partner program with it?
Remington: You could totally build a partner program with it.
George: And there we go.
Remington: Yep. And then at the end of the day you could totally start gamifying things as well. If you can connect to the API, how many of them?
George: That's 20.
Remington: All right, so-
George: That's 20 different ways right there that you could add value or pick several out of those 20 to add value to your customers. And here's the thing, because we're leading with value to your customers, but also the other thing as you hopefully jotted down those 20 that you're thinking of is how can you optimize your workflow? How can you make your day easier? How can you speed up a process that might be taking you 10, 20, 30 minutes and it could be one, two, three minutes allowing you to focus on other things that you need to work on in or on your business. Remington, you didn't know I was going to ask this.
Remington: Oh, here we go.
George: You did not know I was going to ask this, but I'm super curious because you are the guy that I think knows more about HubDB than probably almost... Maybe the people that built it, they might know more about it. If there was one thing that you could add to HubDB to make it even better than it is, is there something that immediately comes to mind? Are you like, "No, it's good."
Remington: Yeah. So it's a little nerdy. The ability to choose personas or like choose contact fields that you want to reference would be one. [crosstalk 00:23:03]
George: Oh, like from your actual database?
Remington: Yep. And then being able to choose and then also being able to choose... So we can already choose files and we can already choose HubSpot videos. But being able to, dammit, there was another one, just ran away.
George: It's all good.
Remington: Being able to choose CTAs and forms in the chooser. So right now you could do it with just a form IDs or the CTA IDs, but being able to just put the [crosstalk 00:23:32]
George: Yeah, like in HubSpot how you can almost have that search functionality and I want this form. But being able to do that in... Ooh, that would be dope.
Remington: So CTAs in forms would probably be the biggest, and that would really change the workflow if you thought about it, like you have this default form, but then you can go, oh, on this page I want this form to be a little different.
George: Yeah, that's cool. Very cool.
Remington: Yeah, that's probably it.
George: Very cool. So my question to you, a Sprocket Talk viewers, as you watch this either live or on the replay is what, and you can put in the chat pane or you can hit us up. What out of what we've listed today, are you going to take action on? What is the hashtag one thing or two things that you're going to actually implement for your business to help either optimize your time or add more value to your customer? Because that's why we do what we do on this show, to optimize your time or help you give more value to your customer.
George: Let us know in the chat pane or hit us up. He's at @RemingtonBegg, I'm @GeorgeBThomas on the tweeters and probably everywhere else, but let us know for sure. Remington, what are some parting words of wisdom? Somebody's all hyped up. They're like, "Oh my God, this was amazing." And they're going to go jump into HubDB and start to mess around with it. What are some words to the wise that you would give them?
Remington: Awesome. So you can have a maximum of 10 HubDB calls per page.
George: So what's a HubDB call?
Remington: So yeah, so here's, so that's that. So you can only, so that testimonial listing, right. If we have a testimonial listening, a course listing and we've got each one of those that accesses the loop or the list of items in your table is a call.
George: Got you.
Remington: If you don't have that many, I just saw this happened in the developer channel. If you don't have that many viewed on the screen, it means your developer coded it weird. But if you should be able to handle up to 10 and if you don't, or if you go over 10, it'll shut off all of them. So if you got errors, that's because you've got some weird stuff going on.
Remington: The other thing to know is plan it in your spreadsheet first, right? So if you think about the content you want and you want it to be tabular data, go through and itemize out the stuff. There has to be a filter in your database that you could filter by in your spreadsheet if you want it to be able to be filtered on HubDB. And then the final is have an intent purpose for it that helps with that workflow or helps with something being dynamically shared across multiple pages. Because if not, it might be easier just to put it on page.
George: Yep, yep. Here's my question for you. If you feel like a HubDB course would be something that you would be interested in and put a thumbs up emoji in the chat pane.
Remington: We'd have to get nerdy. and pain.
George: If you're watching this and it's not live right now and you're like, yes, we would love to have a HubDB course, hit reply on an email or email us firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. Just give us a thumbs up and a hub... Yeah, email me. Nevermind. Just email me HubDB with a thumbs up and that will be one of the courses that we would obviously work on moving forward.
Remington: Yeah, so we have a couple questions here. Are those HubSpot videos any integrated platform or just Vidyard? So you can display videos in HubDB. You would just need the full URL and we've got some magic that we dropped in just from a code point of view, but you wouldn't be able to pick and choose your file like you would on the file manager. So yes, you can use any, but in specific to the actual video module, it's ones not with Vidyard per se, but it's actually videos that are uploaded into the file manager of HubSpot that you would be able to access. And you can only access if you enable the video services in your file manager, which is not super complicated. So that answers that one.
George: And that's for Vidyard though, right?
Remington: Well, but yeah, but if you want the video field to work, you've got to use that to choose from.
George: Got you. But I think everybody should know that you can do a textual and just put like Wistia or YouTube or Vimeo or Brightcove or 23 or, oh, I'm sorry, I got stuck in a loop. See what I did there? I really wasn't really a loop because it didn't repeat... Anyway.
Remington: So the final thing there in regards to those videos is you can create conditional logic to make one field do multiple things based on content. So, for instance, on Sprocket Talk, we could drop in YouTube videos into the feed and it would display exactly like the Wistia ones would because on the output we're building the [forma bed 00:00:28:29], but we have conditions that if it includes a Wistia URL, then make it Wistia. So you could go in a couple of different directions there, but overall, super powerful tool. Think about how you could increase the context of your marketing with HubDB. And we would love to nerd out on that with you.
George: Yeah, for sure. Let us know. Hit us up. Until next time, he's Remington Begg, I'm @GeorgeBThomas. We're saying, remember to be a happy, helpful, humble human. And along the way, make sure you're doing some happy Hub spotting.
George: See I can't get to the button quick enough before you did that.
Remington: I know. Toodles.