HubSpot's range of free training materials and certifications are a great way to learn more about inbound marketing, the HubSpot platform and more.
Whether you are an experienced inbound practitioner or just starting out, HubSpot certifications have something for everyone
HubSpot have always kept their core certificates (inbound marketing, HubSpot and HubSpot partner) up-to-date, which is great. Recently they've also added a number of new courses as well as making chunkier updates to some of the existing ones.
Here's an overview of what's new in the HubSpot Academy
New: Inbound sales certification
In recent years, HubSpot has steadily turned up its focus on sales, starting with the introduction of its excellent, free CRM. They identified that sales needs to adapt to new buyer behaviour and preferences, just as marketing has had to. The term inbound sales was coined. It also recognised that, with a few adjustments, many of the internet enabled technologies that power inbound marketing could help sales people develop this new approach to sales.
In the new Inbound Sales training course and certificate, HubSpot describes the inbound approach to sales, how to implement it and the tools and techniques that can be used to maximise results.
A sizeable part of the course is really about using technology and data to 'listen' to your market. Through their interactions with your content and website, their use of social media and their engagement with your sales processes, buyers can really tell you everything you need to know in order to qualify and sell to them.
It also emphasises the importance of helping, or adding value, to the buyers decision making process rather than simply selling. With so much information and peer opinion available on the web, buyers don’t need sales people to regurgitate product specs and benefits. Therefore, you will only be successful if you bring additional added value and problem solving capabilities to the discussion.
Whether you are directly or in-directly involved in sales, the Inbound Sales Certificate is a real eye opener.
The teachings of the certificate naturally tie in well with the features of the HubSpot Sales products. Previously known as Sidekick, these tools enhance your sales function by helping sales people to monitor interactions, collate data and optimise their efforts.
Updated: Contextual Marketing Certificate
The Contextual Marketing Certificate is a relatively recent addition to the range and underwent its first major update recently.
The term contextual marketing really refers to the use of HubSpot's smart content features (available in Pro and Enterprise versions) to personalise parts of your website to specific segments - which differs from personalisation to individuals using personalisation tokens.
Example uses of contextualisation include displaying different CTAs to leads at different lifecycle stages or display different website content to different personas.
The updated contextual marketing certificate builds on the original, which covered the basics of creating smart content and segments, to think more about the ideal strategy for using this approach, and what limitations to consider.
Contextual marketing, by any name, is still relatively in its infancy (outside of ecommerce), so the certificate does leave some questions unanswered. Despite this, it's still and effective primer on how and when to use the tools at your disposal.
New: Email Marketing Certificate
The Email Marketing Certificate is another new addition and looks at the role of email in inbound marketing.
When used correctly, email remains one of the most effective channels available, particularly in B2B marketing. Yet many companies still misuse, and even abuse, email sending mass, un-targeted email blasts to cold (often bought) data and satisfying themselves with single digit open, click and conversion rates.
The Email Marketing Certificate looks at the right way to use email now that your buyers and their email clients have become more effective than ever at ignoring unsolicited messages. It looks at ways to send timely, personalised emails that resonate with and engage your contacts, rather than irritating them. The course also covers the right way to design and build emails for optimum deliverability and performance, and how to segment your database to maximise engagement.
The section on analytics and optimisation is particularly interesting and describes simple strategies for measuring and increasing email performance though monitoring and testing.
All in all, the Email Marketing Certificate is a useful resource which covers a wide range of topics, from fundamental to more advanced, and is a good reminder of the right way to use email in your marketing mix.
New: Growth-driven Design
The Growth-driven Design Certificate covers HubSpot's new approach to website design and development.
The traditional approach to website design, of large, infrequent projects that often run over time and budget, is not effective in today's marketing environment.
Inspired by the Agile methodology for software development, Growth-driven Design transforms website development into an on-going process that continuously builds upon and improves upon a initial, minimum viable product - a launch pad website.
The Growth-driven Design Certification looks at this new method primarily from the agency perspective, covering how to package and sell the service, but it also covers all the key aspects of applying the approach - which can be used by any one responsible for the design or redesign of a website.