A Tale of Getting Inbound Marketing Certified

As most readers of this blog and our articles/white papers know, we talk a lot about marketing tactics, what’s happening in the HR industry, creating and promoting relevant content, using social media to market your product/service, search engine optimization, etc. And since I speak with marketing/ PR professionals and business owners every day about their marketing strategies and struggles, I decided to attend Inbound Marketing University, hosted by Hubspot a few weeks ago. It was a series of 10 FREE webcasts over five days. They pulled together some industry experts who covered all things related to inbound marketing. Class topics and presenters included:

  1. How to Blog Effectively for Business, with Ann Handley & Mack Collier, MarketingProfs
  2. SEO Crash Course to Get Found, with Lee Odden, Top Rank Marketing
  3. Social Media and Building Community, with Chris Brogan, New Marketing Labs
  4. Successful Business Uses for Facebook and LinkedIn, with Elyse Tager, elymedia
  5. Viral Marketing and World Wide Raves, with David Meerman Scott, author of New Rules of Marketing & PR and World Wide Raves
  6. Advanced SEO Tactics: On Beyond Keyword Research, with Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz
  7. Calls to Action and Landing Page Best Practices with Jeanne Hopkins, MECLABS, Marketing Experiments
  8. Inbound Lead Nurturing, with Brian Carroll, MECLABS, InTouch
  9. Successful Email Marketing with Eric Groves, Constant Contact
  10. Analyzing Inbound Marketing with Marshall Sponder, Monster.com, Web Analytics Association for Social Media

And to enhance the whole “university” experience, they finished the series with a certification exam to become a “Certified Inbound Marketer”.

Some of the best sessions, in my opinion, included Chris Brogan on Social Media and Building Community and our friend David Meerman Scott on Viral Marketing and World Wide Raves. There were some incredible SEO tidbits presented by Rand Fishkin in Advanced SEO Tactics. My favorite term he used was “link juice” in regard to the power of external links from reputable web sites into your site.

The common thread throughout the series was about creating valuable content, and then promoting it, linking to it, etc., which we are constantly talking about with our own clients, so it was nice to hear it from so many other thoughtful marketing experts. For our take on this topic, check out our latest article “Using Original Content to generate Online Visibility, Web Site Traffic and Sales Leads.”

When you create valuable content – whether it’s a blog post, a best practices tip sheet, a white paper or an eBook – you are sharing your expertise and thought leadership, which effectively communicates why a prospect should trust you, and ultimately why they should come to your organization when they need a specific product or service.

Are you providing content that is valuable to your audience – information that helps them solve a problem, or helps them do their job better? Are you sending search optimized press releases to promote your content, and in a form which allows you to include keyword hyperlinks to help with your SEO? (By the way, don’t link your company name – you should hopefully already be found by that! But use the keyword phrases that you want to be found by when people are searching the internet.) Are you sharing that content in places where your prospects can find it – i.e. – through social media - LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and our own HR Directory? If not, why not? It is the direction marketing and public relations are heading, so it’s time to dive in.

By the way – I passed the certification exam! :-)

Post by Jocelyn Cook

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