In previous blogs I’ve documented parts of my journey to improve my resume and get hired.
Part of my strategy is taking free online classes as a way to build out my skill set.
I’m particularly interested in classes that involve an exam or certification at the end to prove that I’ve really done the work. My hope is that these certificates signal to employers that I have the skills and that I’m passionate and motivated enough to do the work on my own – and that I’ll therefore make a great employee.
Hubspot offers an array of classes, many of them with certifications available at the end. Because I’ve previously taken Google’s Fundamentals of Digital Marketing and many of their paid ad focused offerings, I thought Hubspot’s Content Marketing course seemed like a good way to round out my learning efforts.
Who is this Class For?
My impression is that it is aimed at content marketing beginners, especially those currently employed in a multi-person marketing department at a medium to large company. This is not to say that others would not benefit or find value in the class, but most of the examples seemed tailored to this idea.
As a “one woman show” myself, I still found value in the course because the principles and tools can be applied to any stage or size of a business. There were even a few specific asides directed to people completely starting out in their ventures. But overall someone just starting out will have to use more imagination and resourcefulness to fully use some of the tools and advice given in the course.
What Does the Content Marketing Hubspot Course Cover?
This course looks at content marketing from a bird’s eye view, emphasizing organization, strategy, and long term planning. However, just because the course focuses on the big picture, don’t take that to mean it is lacking in specifics.
In my opinion, the most interesting modules dealt with examples of specific strategies to employ, such as guest blogging, pillar pages, and republishing. I also appreciated the very specific advice and tools recommended in the modules about content creation framework and content creation strategy planning.
The modules that fell the flattest were either vague or repetitive, leading me to one of my critiques of this course (though it’s a small one):
In keeping with Hubspot’s own advice, this course was obviously stitched together out of older courses and material. However I wish that a slightly finer comb was used to weed out the repetition. Some videos would reintroduce topics multiple modules apart, instead of having that material condensed into one section.
Additionally one of the guides linked as required reading had multiple repeated sentences and paragraphs which made it difficult to read.
Overall this is a very minor complaint, just something that bugged me as an editor.
What is the Time Commitment?
The main body of the course is made up of roughly 6 hours of video plus a 1 hour timed exam. Worth noting is that the videos can be played at up to 200% speed, which I found to be helpful during some spots that dragged, though I mostly watched at 150% speed. That means watching the entire course could run only 3 hours if you choose.
However there is more material than just this. There is a downloadable study guide, plus a few linked guides and blog posts linked as required reading, and then a wealth of guides, templates, tools, and external resources linked as optional additional information. Finally, each module has a few quiz questions to check your understanding.
You can put in much more time than just 6 hours diving into the study guide and exploring the recommended resources linked in each section.
I found myself watching the videos at a faster pace, but then taking my time to go through the written material.
What is The Exam Like?
At the end of the course you have the option to take an exam to receive a free certification. The exam is 60 questions in a 3 hour window. The estimate is that it should take about an hour to finish. It took me about 20 minutes.
Most of the questions came verbatim from the videos or practice quizzes.
I found most of the questions to be fair and reflect real understanding and knowledge, but some of the questions to be too easy or common sense. I found just a handful of the questions to be confusing.
Is A Hubspot Certification Worth It?
The best part of the course is that it is completely free! Including the certification exam!
Even if the only thing the certification is worth is your own pride, the course is worthwhile. But add into that all the valuable concepts you’ll learn and tools you’ll be given. It also can help establish trust for potential employers or client prospects. And for those already employed, it can signal to your boss that you’re motivated, driven to learn, and perhaps even ripe for a promotion?
Overall, Is the Hubspot Content Marketing Class Worth Taking?
If you’re a novice marketer, a copywriter, blog writer, or entrepreneur, I think you’ll absolutely find value in this course.
I found this to be at least on par with the Google sponsored training that I’ve taken and head and shoulders above the training from Acadium on similar topics. I’ll note that the Google Fundamentals of Digital Marketing class focused much more heavily on paid advertising (of course, since that’s one of their major products) so this course fleshes out the organic side of things, nicely.
I think even marketers with more experience could find use in this class as they do update it periodically with new information as the market and as Google search algorithms change. While it seems that in the first iteration of this class, keywords may have played a bigger part, they’ve nicely updated it to reflect the importance of topic relevance over specific keywords. I have no doubt that the team at Hubspot Academy will continue making these quality additions and edits as time goes on.
As an added motivation for you, Hubspot is donating $5 to UNICEF for every certification earned on July 10, 2020, so it’s the perfect time to check out the available classes and flex your learning muscles!