HubSpot certification and the future of digital marketing

In 2015, when I started using HubSpot, I knew I needed to focus intently, given the limited amount of time I had to help manage the initial implementation and first campaign (roughly August-October).
In August 2015 I got re-certified in the Inbound Methodology and studied the how to best use the product (which includes digital marketing basics). I passed the test, which was the first part of the certification process. To give you an idea of what was included in the test, I’ve included some of the study guide questions at the bottom of this post.

HubSpot Certification Exam content:

In addition to being knowledgeable on the above topics, I also passed the practicum, which required meeting requirements in a Blog or Landing Pages and 9 of 13 of Goals, Personas, Content, Keywords, Social Publishing, Social Monitoring, Calls-To-Action, Forms, Thank You Pages, Contacts, Lists, Email, and Sources.

How HubSpot’s focus relates to trends in digital marketing

In terms of how that relates to digital marketing this upcoming year, I’ve been helping EduWeb Digital Summit with social media posts (seeing a lot of predictions for 2016), I’ve seen some new information but a lot of what’s been true this year, specifically that “Competition for organic visibility will increase” and “Pay to play is now the standard on more social networks.” These facts/predictions both re-enforce the need for good inbound marketing and attention to SEO in addition to the fact that organic reach on platforms is likely to decrease. While PPC and search ads are important, thankfully social media advertising has improved its advanced targeting and conversion tracking ability and is likely to increase its share of online advertising.

Looking at the tracks for this the 2016 EduWeb Digital Summit (which relied heavily on feedback on attendee feedback and looking at current trends), one can see that having relevant, goal-based and data-informed campaigns is important regardless of what your focus is in digital marketing.

This tracks focuses on identifying goals, determining success or failure and overall best social media practices.

Track: Using Data & Analytics

This tracks focuses on how Universities should pursue a path to uncovering the important information in their data and making insight-driven decisions that add value.

Here is a sampling of the questions for the HubSpot certification exam:

– What is the SMART goal setting framework?
– Why is it important to set SMART goals?
– What does the acronym SMART stand for?
– Why is it important to set measurable goals?
– What three SMART goals should you always have
set for your inbound
– How do you access the HubSpot Goals Application?
– What key pieces of information are needed when entering a SMART goal into your HubSpot Goals application?
– What benchmark data does the HubSpot Goals application provide?
– Why is it important to set a due date for your goals?
– Why is it important to examine your current situation before setting SMART
– What is the Inbound Methodology?
– What are four different phases (or actions) that make up the
– Why are Buyer Personas and the Buyer’s Journey considered fundamentals
of inbound?
– What are the benefits of tagging your work to a campaign in HubSpot?”
– What is Search Engine Optimization
– In what ways does SEO help your inbound marketing?
– How do search engines find,
understand and rank pages to show in search
– What is the difference between paid results and organic results?
– How does the Buyer’s Journey factor into your research?
What are the common types of keyword searches that fit into each stage?
– In what ways can you expand your list of keywords?
– How can you determine which keywords people are using to find your site?
– What is the difference between short and long-tail keywords? How difficult is it to rank for each type?”
-What is search intent, and how do search engines use it to produce the most relevant results?
-Why is it important to optimize a blog post for search engines?
– Where should you place your long-tail keyword and why?
– Is the exact structure and wording of your long-tail keyword important to preserve? Why or why not?
– Where and why should you include links within the content of your blog post?
hat is the difference between implicit and explicit data?
– What are some examples of explicit and implicit data that HubSpot collects about prospects and customers?
– How can you optimize your emails for mobile readers?
– Why is it important to define a clear goal for your email?