I transitioned to marketing at protocol 80, Inc. from a parallel universe: journalism. For a long time, I was a newspaper writer and digital communicator covering local politics, crime, education, and interesting features.
My style now is inbound marketing, where content is king and our B2B client companies rule. In this universe, I’m a part of helping our clients (and ourselves) increase website traffic and drive sales leads through creating and promoting remarkable online content.
There’s a process behind learning the right tools. The free Inbound Marketing Certification training through HubSpot Academy was the first of many steps to build up that toolbelt.
The Inbound Marketing Certification Teaches You How To Increase Website Traffic
You’re learning to fish, to borrow a tired (but true) analogy.
But completing the Inbound Marketing Certification helped me to evolve to a different philosophy behind the same communications skillset. It was a crash course into what an inbound marketer needs to know.
Yet, it’s refreshingly detailed, spread over about 4-and-a-half hours of videos, with quizzes and study guides, ending in a timed test.
You learn about:
- The buyer’s journey and other essentials behind the inbound strategy
- Search engine optimization and the immense power of carefully chosen keywords
- Blogging fundamentals
- Boosting reach through social media
- Calls to action, landing pages, and thank you pages
- Closing with strong emails
- And then, of course, delighting your customers with follow-up discussion and education
‘Content Is King’
You hear the inbound credo “content is king” all the time. We take it a step further. It really should be “great content is king.” Online content is useless if it goes virtually nowhere and helps no one.
But what does remarkable content look like? Well, content can take a bunch of different forms (from blogging and social media to video and infographics … and much more). What makes it remarkable is how it gently educates and attracts your ideal buyer.
- Does he see it on the right social media channel and feel compelled to click?
- Does she use a search engine to find something and your blog about that something shows on the first page of results?
- Does he come away educated, fulfilled, and maybe even a little entertained?
- Does she value the info and consider your brand memorable?
- Will they then be enticed to take further action (which you hope is buying your product or service)?
The Inbound Marketing Certification stresses the importance of becoming the thought leader in your industry. But don’t be intrusive. Annoying ads and other outdated outbound marketing ploys SCREAMING FOR ATTENTION now get lost in the ether or ignored entirely.
You want a streamlined, effective approach to increasing website traffic by enlightening potential customers. You want to attract the person looking for you and give him exactly what he needs to learn more and take action.
Location, Location, Location (and Timing)
For your ideal buyer (an abstract character known in inbound as your buyer persona) to value your content, she has to find it out there first. You’re creating SEO-geared content, but that’s only half the job.
In today’s world, your brand, your product, your blog, your eBook, your video, your whatever are nothing without social media promotion. Create it and toss it out there for the world to see.
But be careful, it’s not like throwing in a fishing line any time, any place and landing your whopper. In fact, if you do that, you’re more likely to end up coming home empty handed with nothing but tall tales to tell your friends.
Timing is the key, and analytics are your guide. Figure out when your buyers are scrolling through their newsfeeds and hit ’em with the bait right then. Not all social media channels are created or treated the same, though:
- 72% of adult internet consumers use Facebook, of which 63% find it valuable for news and events
- 25% of adult internet consumers use LinkedIn, which is valuable to reach the 46% of all college graduates out there with profiles
In these two examples (of course, there are A LOT more), which best suits your needs? Do you want to reach a wider audience on Facebook? Or would it be wise to devote resources to specific segments of college-educated crowd with LinkedIn? How about both?
Start With The Inbound Marketing Certification To Increase Website Traffic
There’s a lot to learn whether you’re working for a professional inbound marketing agency or just trying to drive more sales leads out of a business you started in your garage. The HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification gets you started along that path.
Good news, there are about a dozen other (free and paid) training certifications available through HubSpot. They all teach you how to fish for leads.