No marketer is a finished product. The reality is, our industry is always evolving and changing, and unless you’re able to make a concerted effort to keep up, you will eventually find yourself recommending an AOL Instant Messenger account to a dude on a hoverboard. You will feel very old and confused.
That’s especially true for those of you who employ the services of an inbound agency, no matter how involved you are in the day-to-day marketing efforts. We’ve stressed in recent weeks just how important it is to be on the same page across your organization and with your agency. Obtaining certifications and beefing up your inbound marketing knowledge makes a huge difference in that regard.
One of the best things you can do for yourself and your agency partner is to constantly look for ways to expand your knowledge of inbound marketing. That’s not easy on your schedule, of course, but we know of two courses that can be done in less than 30 hours and will give you the satisfaction of expanding essential knowledge and getting a certification you can brag about.
So, where to start? Just like a comfortable (and educational!) blanket, we’ve got you covered.
HubSpot Academy Inbound Certification
When I first took the inbound certification way back in 2012, I found it immensely useful as a novice marketer. Now I like it even more.
The inbound certification should take you less than twenty hours in total to obtain, assuming you pass the test the first time, and it lasts for two years. If you don’t pass, you’ll have a chance to re-take it, and successful completion gives you bragging rights and an easy-to-share badge for LinkedIn, Inbound.org, and other platforms.
The upshot is that having your entire team certified gives everyone an excellent crash course in inbound, exposure to a wide variety of concepts and best practices, and a better idea of what your inbound agency is doing on your behalf. That’s valuable, and while time is also valuable, that’s all it will cost you.
We asked Sarah Bedrick, who heads up the certifications program for HubSpot, why she thinks the inbound marketing primer and other courses are worthwhile.
“With there being so many places to learn online today, it’s more important than ever to be thoughtful about where you learn and what you learn. To increase knowledge and skills in marketing, I’d recommend taking one of our free HubSpot Academy certification courses.
“You’ll consume cutting edge content based on industry research, which is then boiled down into easy-to-understand classes. Each class covers the why behind each marketing activity, the best practices of how you can complete it with success, as well as examples, quizzes, and workbooks to reinforce learning. And if you’re super driven, take your professional growth to the next level and combine the courses to gain compounding benefits.”
Be sure to explore HubSpot Academy for additional courses. You can, if you wish, learn more about growth-driven design, sales, content marketing, and much more, further bolstering your marketing knowledge and setting you up to succeed.
Google Analytics Certification
Google offers certifications for a variety of skills and tools, but analytics are our focus today. Even if your inbound marketing agency partner is handling all your reporting for you, it helps to understand what they’re reporting on. If you’re handling your own analytics, gaining a deeper understanding is imperative.
The complexity and richness present in Google Analytics is pretty startling for a free service, and I don’t think most of us fully understand all the functions offered, no matter how veteran we may be. The Digital Analytics Fundamentals and Google Analytics Platform Principles courses will spackle the gaps in your knowledge and make you a more savvy analytics user or reviewer. You may even be able to make suggestions to your agency partner for behavior or page flow analyses they’ve missed, once you’re fully up to speed.
If all goes well, it should take you under ten hours to pass these courses, which is extremely worthwhile given how much utility Google Analytics offers. By the end of the course, you’ll better understand how to segment your data, read the reports you’re getting from your agency partner, and prioritize segments of your audience. You’ll read your reporting with a more knowledgeable, critical eye once you take this course.
Just be ready to study the materials closely, because there is a lot to take in. This is one of the few times where you’ll be prompted to print your certification, so prep your office walls, too.
Once you’ve passed these courses, you’ll have a great grasp of inbound marketing principles and a core reporting platform that helps you quantify your inbound marketing results. That not only helps you during your communications with your agency but also equips you to expand your marketing efforts and knowledge to help your company achieve greater things. Why not start?