Ranya Barakat

4 things I learned from HubSpot’s Content Marketing Certification

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content marketing certificationHubSpot's Content Marketing Certification opened up a range of topics, practices and tools I was eager to dig into in more detail, as it's the perfect complement to an Inbound Marketer developing and writing a content strategy.

When I joined IDS Agency nearly a year ago, I took HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Certification to gain insight and best practices to create a content machine that captured qualified leads through your company’s website.

The certification was a concise and thorough approach to the buyer persona, the inbound marketing methodology, automation, and we got a glimpse of the importance of the best content practices to work with Inbound.

It was so mind-blowing that I wanted to learn more, to put the best of content for both the agency and its customers. When HubSpot announced a specific Content Marketing Certification some months ago, I just couldn’t wait:  I was eager to see what they’ve put together.

And it was bedazzling.

Here are some of the most important insights I got out of the content certification:

1. Understanding our content machine

When I first heard the term "content machine", I pictured myself writing content like a machine when, in fact, it's the commodity for our entire Inbound Marketing strategy. HubSpot said it best. Success relies on content and inbound marketing. Content fuels our Inbound engine, but our Inbound Marketing strategy has so many valuable areas, like SEO, automation, and interaction that may not be in the scope of the content marketer.

I began researching, supplying and adapting content when I started looking at how this was put in motion through HubSpot. But what goes on behind the scenes to promote that content, repurpose it, disseminate it through social media, email marketing, forums, and workflows, turning it into a conversion machine still overwhelms me.

2. Picturing a complete Inbound content framework and process

I heard about content strategy endlessly throughout college and my professional career. It only happens that there is not a single one-size-fits-all content strategy, and the course provided a watertight content creation framework to conceptualize, as well as plan and set timelines, create a workflow, review content and organize it internally.

This is specifically critical when writing for a buyer persona in an Inbound Marketing campaign, and even more important when you’re working as a team at a marketing agency delivering ideas to clients.  

2. The value of repurposing content

At this point, the content I think of seems to fit into a jigsaw puzzle. It’s just one piece of a bigger picture we’re unveiling to our buyer persona.

I remember finishing a jigsaw with the picture of London’s iconic “Mind the Gap” logo for its underground, later placed on mugs, screensavers, T-shirts and can openers. It’s a message that is showcased on different distribution channels today.

If it had stuck just on an underground station in Piccadilly Circus, I wouldn’t be implicitly keeping my distance from the train on the Santiago Metro!

Content marketing in the context of an Inbound strategy pulls the same principle. It gives us the ability to rank in our SEO results, and work beyond our blogs and into social media on video, audio or syndication, to expand reach.

Watching the certification videos, a case study presented by HubSpot reminded me that: they create an awareness stage content offer with similar extracts on a blog post. Later, they promote it week after week on social media and using targeted social ads, and then republishing it on a third-party site and emailing it to their subscriber list.


3. The work of HubSpot Analytics blends with storytelling

Two of my passions in life are stories and data analytics. It is rather a strange mix, and they didn’t blend in so much before I began working Inbound Marketing. On one side, I had blogs, articles and stories deeply researched and put together. On the other hand, numbers, figures, graphs and trends on anything in this realm.

Using content marketing success cases and very well thought examples, it all clicked and blended. I pictured the use of web traffic data to channel specific content topics and subsequently feeding our online marketing funnel, or which content pitches were simply not working, as they were not getting the right conversion rate or engagement, etc.

Data is helping me decide what to write about, how to approach it, and who to direct it to in ways I never imagined.

4. Growth driven content marketing

At one point, any average copywriter or storyteller will be just pleased that their content has been published and that a freshly designed eBook is available for everyone to read.

What happens when the content looks good, there’s nobody there to read it?

  • What if our eBook masterpiece was a shooting star at a given moment of the year, but we can make the most of it alternatively?
  • How do we extend the value of our content?  
  • What if the buyer persona needs another pull?

We need a long-term vision that comes along a short-term motivation, making the most of all the marketing assets at our disposal.  But it doesn’t end there, and it mustn’t finish with the send or the publish button.

Are we making the most of it?

Sounds farfetched, but as a content marketer, I felt I was just grasping the tip of the iceberg. Therefore, I’d better get into work to unleash the best and the most of what these best practices must offer!

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Ranya Barakat

Ranya Barakat

Ranya is an entrepreneur with over a decade experience in pulling up her sleeves and getting S*** done. She is specialized in inbound marketing and inbound sales.

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