“Content marketing” is a term that continues to be tossed around and inserted into business conversations, but how do you really know when you’ve mastered it? To deepen my own understanding of content marketing, I obtained a HubSpot content marketing certification, which not only increased my skill set but also improved my credibility as a marketer. Below I’m going to walk you through the certification process and how the certification can be applied to your career. Best of all, this certification is free! So why not get started?
The HubSpot Content Marketing Certification Process
This process not only tests your ability to answer “fill in the blank” questions that rely on rote memorization but also tests your ability to apply the information to real-world scenarios. Upon completing the exam, you receive an email with your score and a PDF version of the questions you answered both correctly and incorrectly, as well as a certificate of completion. The process consists of:
Approximately 6-hour completion time
Here’s a closer look at three of my favorite lessons from the certification process.
Storytelling is the most effective way to tell your audience about the value and mission of your business across a variety of channels. I also find digital storytelling to be the best way to make an authentic connection with your target audience. Humanizing the brand and relating to the reader builds trust and makes them want to work with your company. Stories also help communicate your company’s value proposition and competitive advantage.
When framing your story, keep Simon Sinek’s “Golden Circle” in mind. This is an inside-out process that promotes communicating with feelings instead of analytics. When using the “Golden Circle,” consider the following questions: Why do you do what you do? How does it help your audience? What is it you’re offering?
Planning Long-Term Content Strategy
It’s easy to get wrapped up in executing short and seemingly easy tactics, but it’s imperative to also plan a long-term strategy that can serve as a content roadmap. Buyers go through three stages in the decision-making process: awareness, consideration, and decision. Content drives your audience through this funnel. A roadmap also serves as a basis for contingency plans as various obstacles arise in your company’s marketing journey. Finally, this long-term strategy will assist all members of the marketing team to stay organized and accountable.
Becoming an Effective Writer
You may have the most mind-blowing content to share, but if your writing isn’t effective, your content loses its impact. Effective writing establishes the reader as a top priority and shows that you understand their pain points. Effective writing is thought-provoking and compelling, drawing your reader in and ensuring that they become loyal to your brand. This type of writing also establishes you as a thought leader rather than a salesperson… but don’t forget that the goal of content marketing is to lead your audience through the buyer’s journey.
HubSpot Content Marketing Certification: for Marketers
Whether you’re new to marketing or a seasoned professional looking to strengthen your skills, obtaining a certification from HubSpot establishes you as an expert and a thought leader among your peers. HubSpot encourages writing your content from the middle first, then subsequently building out the introduction and conclusion. Most writing happens in a linear fashion: introduction, body, conclusion. But marketing isn’t linear, so your writing shouldn’t be either.
HubSpot Content Marketing Certification: for Freelance Writers
Once a reader is exposed to your content, you only have a few seconds to grab their attention and draw them in. In a society where content marketers and writers rely on “likes” and “shares,” freelance writers need to know what to say and how to say it…fast. Since freelance writers act as the voice of their clients, this certification teaches writers the best practices to communicate the client’s ideas to lead customers through the decision-making funnel. This certification also helps freelance writers think about new ways to frame their ideas and effectively create content.
Final Thoughts: HubSpot Content Marketing Certification
HubSpot promotes never having one large piece of content but rather having a large idea that is broken down into smaller, re-purposed ideas and pieces of content over time. Suppose you’re a marketer looking to deepen your content marketing expertise or a freelance writer looking to make yourself stand out. In that case, the value of HubSpot’s Content Marketing certification is well worth the time investment.