Inbound Certified! Now What?

When I started blogging 6 years ago, not that many people talked about having a marketing strategy for their blog. As I wrote my first few blog posts, I wasn’t really sure what I was going to write about. I knew I wanted to share my experience with others but didn’t know if I was going to talk about travelling, living abroad or marketing.

To be honest, my first few posts were a mix of all these.

Very early on, I came across the concept of attracting readers to my blog instead of chasing them on social media (I even mentioned it in my ebook – Anywhere in the World Manifesto).

Very quickly I realised that it was something interesting. It was not just for big businesses with large marketing budgets but it could be applied to any kind of professional with an online presence: business coach, marketing consultant, lawyer, photographer, accountant, personal trainer, travel writer, you name it!.

My first few months were dedicated to perfecting my blogging skills, learning to create videos and developing my very own personal brand just by applying some simple and actionable techniques.  About the same time, I came across Hubspot, a marketing automation company that coined the term Inbound Marketing. Immediately I adhered to their way of thinking and enjoyed reading the articles shared on their blog. Looking back at my bookmarks, I started keeping track of their blog around July 2011.

I’ve been learning and applying inbound marketing techniques for the past 6 years but it is only recently that I got Inbound Certified.Sabine Panneau INBOUND certified

10 years ago, a handful of marketers steered away from the traditional ways of doing marketing towards what they coined Inbound Marketing.

The concept of Inbound Marketing over the years went from some innovative marketing techniques to something that now could be considered as mainstream marketing as more and more businesses, not-for-profits and individuals apply these techniques first laid-out by Hubspot.

Inbound Marketing is based on 4 pillars: Attract – Convert – Close – Delight.

Attract = Create quality content for your blog – optimise your content for search engines (SEO) – and then distribute it to social media.(Hint: don’t talk about yourself but solve your readers’ problems)
Convert = Create high-quality content in ebook or downloadable formats to be delivered via a capture page to grow your mailing list. (Hint: the money is in the list)
Close = Engage with your readers now that you have their name and email address. (Hint: you will want to have something to sell because now they are listening!).
Delight = Look after your client if you want to see repeat sales and recommendations. (Hint: upsell/down sell)

Many marketers have been doing content marketing for many years in the form of writing blog posts, publishing ebooks and white papers and other types of material for their targeted audiences. But Inbound Marketing is so much more than just content marketing as it combines social media marketing, search engine marketing, automation marketing, customer relation marketing (CRM) and nurture marketing.

Now what?

Getting the certification only confirms that you understand Inbound Marketing but the most important part is to apply these techniques.

Here is what you will need to conduct an effective inbound marketing campaign for your business:

  • An optimised website (with UX design in mind)
  • A review of your past content focusing on SEO – See if you need to improve meta description and keyword focus
  • 4 or 5 “Buyer Personas” or ideal customers  that will really help you to focus on creating content that “speak” to your readers
  • An editorial calendar for your blog
  • A social media strategy
  • Ebooks and other checklists ready to be downloaded
  • Landing pages for your ebooks and downloads
  • Call-to-Action strategically placed on your website
  • An email marketing provider
  • Google analytics reports
  • A regular review of your reports (analytics, opening rates and click rates of your emails and finally conversion rates)

Here you go, if you have not gone through the training on Hubspot website, I highly recommend you to check their Free Inbound Marketing Course & Certification. Marketing consultants could easily charge you over $500 for similar content.

If you are indeed Inbound Certified, then let me know if you’ve been able to implement it to your business.

If not, reach out to me or leave a comment below and I will see how I can help you with your inbound marketing campaign.