Although they’re technically a SaaS (software-as-a-service) company, HubSpot is generally best known as the pioneer of the Inbound Methodology.
Their thought leadership truly transformed digital marketing and sales, and their content is often cited by HubSpot software users and non-users alike. But out of all their content, I’ve gotten the most value from the free courses offered under the HubSpot Academy banner.
Here are the five certifications that I believe will benefit anyone who wants to improve their digital marketing strategies and tactics — especially founders, entrepreneurs, and startup marketers.
1. Inbound Marketing
HubSpot Academy has a general Inbound Certification, but I’d recommend that if you’re pressed for time, you skip ahead to the Inbound Marketing Certification. Not only does it review all the essentials around the Inbound Methodology, but there’s a lot more value there in terms of specific marketing best practices.
Inbound Marketing covers everything you need to create a functional funnel — creating SEO content that attracts leads, optimizing for conversions, and nurturing leads all the way to a purchasing decision. It’s great if you’re a beginning marketer, or a veteran looking to brush up on the fundamentals.
2. Inbound Sales
The Inbound Methodology doesn’t just apply to marketing, but sales as well. After all, what’s the point of generating all those inbound leads if you aren’t going to drive a portion of them to make a purchase?
That’s where the Inbound Sales Certification comes in. One of the great things this course teaches is how to prioritize active buyers over passive buyers — without sacrificing the necessary hustle and hunger that salespeople generally have.
This is one I’d recommend not just for salespeople, but anyone involved in the revenue process — marketing, sales, and customer service.
3. Content Marketing
I probably wouldn’t be very good at running a content agency if I didn’t recommend the Content Marketing Certification. Take this course, and I guarantee that you’ll improve your skills not only in creating content, but using it to drive business results. I know I did when I took it.
Any good content marketer must have both a creative writing skill set, as well as that of a marketing manager. This course provides training on both: from elements of good storytelling to auditing your organization’s content and developing a topic cluster strategy for SEO.
4. Sales Enablement
In a small organization, the lines between marketing and sales are often blurred. In my opinion, this is actually a good thing. The more collaboration between the two teams, the better they can each reinforce the other’s efforts, which leads to more revenue.
The Sales Enablement Certification is excellent for fostering better marketing-sales alignment, both from a managerial and team perspective.
This course taught me a lot about how to communicate with salespeople, provide resources that assist them and, ultimately, make sure I’m marketing to the people who will actually qualify and convert into customers.
5. Growth-Driven Design
Success in content marketing is dependent on a solid website. However, this is an area where so many organizations become easily overwhelmed and slow their progress.
The Growth-Driven Design Certification is especially useful to those who’ve never taken on a massive website launch project (and they often are massive) and turn it not only into something manageable, but something you only have to do once.
If you’re in a small organization and you’re growing frustrated with how long your website launch is taking, this is the course for you.
There are many certifications available to you through HubSpot Academy — including courses on social media and email marketing. The ones I listed here will give you a solid foundation, not only in the Inbound Methodology, but also in the strategies and best practices that will drive results for your business.