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Certification isn't a Status Symbol; It's a Necessity for Inbound Marketing

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Posted by: Alison Schroeder on Thu, Apr 07, 2016

You wouldn’t let someone without a driver’s license drive your car, would you? Or let a pilot without the required hours of flying captain your plane? Would you let someone draw your blood who isn’t a trained phlebotomist?

Maybe you’re a risk taker and rules, best practices, and certifications don’t matter to you. Congratulations; you’re my life idol. At Leighton Interactive, certification is important to us. We know it adds value to what we do on behalf of our clients, which is the bottom line. The more we know, the wider our net of information is, the better experience our clients have.

Certification matters in inbound marketing and where HubSpot is concerned. Here’s why. 

 

Inbound Marketing by Definition

Alison-Inbound-Certified.pngInbound marketing refers to activities that bring visitors in, rather than marketers having to get prospects’ attention. Blogs, keywords, social media, forms, call-to-actions, landing pages, email, workflows … all of those elements are part of inbound marketing’s methodology. Now, each of those elements is its own powerhouse, and with that comes about 700 things to learn, master, hone, execute, and measure. I could spend months learning about how to be a better blogger, for example. But I don’t have months. The inbound certification covers the expanse of the entire methodology and devotes the right amount of time and attention to each marketing activity. And, how each relates to the rest of the methodology.

And because marketing and consumer behavior is so dynamic and swift, certification is one surefire way to stay connected. What I learned a year ago during my certification is different from the re-certification I took a week ago. And, I love the systematic approach to the inbound certification. There is a clear study path, and my OCD brain loves the order. Even if there are pieces of the certification that I know don’t apply to what I do in my position (remember taking Art History in college as a business major?), I value the subjection because it grants me an appreciation of what the rest of my team does. It gives us all that ultimate sense of belonging by being tethered to the same thing. I know Travis is the king and resident guru of workflows, but in order to respect his time, I can utilize my certification and the training course material to learn as much as I can to be dangerous. Then I can involve him on my issue or challenge and learn even more until I’m confident in my own ability to be a guru.

And because I value continuing education and believe that relevancy is crucial to brand’s successes regardless of industry, here are five reasons you should consider inbound certification of your own:

  1. It’s free
  2. You’ll learn how to create marketing that people love
  3. It applies to all brands from every industry – if you’re trying to reach people, try inbound
  4. Everything is inbound
  5. You’ll have perspective on what your inbound team of marketers is doing in the name of your brand’s success

 

And Then There’s HubSpot

HubSpot Academy is like Google, Phone-a-Friend, and Asking Your Dad all in one place. Don’t know why your landing page isn’t redirecting to your thank you page, or how to make your contact lists more powerful for your sales team? Ask HubSpot. HubSpot isn’t just a platform or software that lives in its corner of the Internet; it’s a real company with real people that fosters an entire community of users, partners, and evangelists. And, those evangelists didn’t get there without being HubSpot certified, the other certification our team carries. If you consider the elements of inbound marketing – like the aforementioned blogs, keywords, and social media – as cogs, you need a machine for those cogs to move in. That’s where HubSpot comes in. It houses all the stuff, and does all the things. There. That’s your layman terminology.

LI-HubspotAcademy-Certifications.jpg

HubSpot is an inbound marketing software platform that helps brands attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. It includes all the tools needed to do inbound marketing, plus offers support and community to users. The certification includes the same system and strategy as the inbound certification does, but is tailored specifically to the platform. I like to think of the certification as the user’s manual – but unlike the little papery booklet that came with my iPhone 6S that I have never looked at – it’s an interactive one that specifically empowers me to do my job to the best of my ability. At the end of the certification exam, there is a practicum section that requires creating real inbound strategy on behalf of a client or brand. It’s HubSpot’s way of proving what was learned can in fact be applied in real life. Sure you can pass a test. But can you prove your capability? It’s an extra checkpoint to assess comprehension and execution, while offering feedback in real time.

the rest of the tribe's certifications

While what we do here is inbound marketing, we don’t live exclusively in HubSpot. There are other certifications our team members possess that continue to round out our expertise and exposure to the tools of our trade. Aside from inbound and HubSpot certifications, there is:

  • AdWords – Google’s professional accreditation for people who demonstrate basic or advanced proficiency of their advertising service.
  • Google Analytics – the data and measurables that track and report website traffic. The certification proves knowledge and application of the service.
  • HubSpot Design – meant primarily for web designers, certification showcases user’s ability to create rich, personalized experiences in HubSpot’s Content Optimization System, or COS.
  • HubSpot Partner – if the inbound and HubSpot certifications speak to the individual’s ability and proficiency, the Partner certification illustrates topics important to the business like sales, reporting, and staffing.

 

How Our Certifications Benefit You

I don’t know how to find your vein, or even how to properly sterilize the draw site, but here I am with a needle. Ready? Now apply that logic, or lack thereof, to letting me handle your marketing efforts without any clear training, fortification, or exposure to the inbound methodology or the platform giant I’m using to drive efforts. You’re not seriously considering partnering with me, are you?

Think of your position, and your company’s brand. You are the expert in your field. You took necessary courses, programs, training, and even certifications of your own. You know what it takes to be the best, to be viewed in your field as a thought leader and innovation driver. Trusting a team to handle any piece of your brand’s success takes guts; it also requires you to ensure with absolute certainty that the people you trust are the experts in their field as it relates to yours.

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Alison Schroeder

About The Author

Alison Schroeder

My fire is fueled by the relationships I make, build, and cherish. I love hearing people’s stories, what makes them who they are, and where I fit into their lives. As the Creative Content Lead at Leighton Interactive, I'm a storyteller. I’m lucky that I can use my natural ability to help people find their voices, tell their stories, and reach their goals so their businesses can get results. Outside the office I get excited to find sunshine, consume iced coffee, work out, or add unique pieces of jewelry to my ever-growing collection. I also tell stories on behalf of AAF and serve as District 8's Second Lt. Governor & NSAC chair.

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