Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Inbound Marketing University - a must for marketers!

I just attended a fantastic series of FREE webinars, hosted by Hubspot and dubbed Inbound Marketing University. Consisting of 10 virtual classes over the course of 5 days, Hubspot recruited some of the industry's smartest experts to share their knowledge, with classes including the following:
  1. How to Blog Effectively for Business, with Ann Handley & Mack Collier, MarketingProfs
  2. SEO Crash Course to Get Found, with Lee Odden, Top Rank Marketing
  3. Social Media and Building Community, with Chris Brogan, New Marketing Labs
  4. Successful Business Uses for Facebook and LinkedIn, with Elyse Tager, elymedia
  5. Viral Marketing and World Wide Raves, with David Meerman Scott, author of New Rules of Marketing & PR and World Wide Raves
  6. Advanced SEO Tactics: On Beyond Keyword Research, with Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz
  7. Calls to Action and Landing Page Best Practices with Jeanne Hopkins, MECLABS, Marketing Experiments
  8. Inbound Lead Nurturing, with Brian Carroll, MECLABS, InTouch
  9. Successful Email Marketing with Eric Groves, Constant Contact
  10. Analyzing Inbound Marketing with Marshall Sponder, Monster.com, Web Analytics Association for Social Media

The series concluded with a wrap-up session, led by Mike Volpe, a Hubspot VP, and also included a certification exam. I dutifully attended all of the classes, tweeted with my classmates, attended the review session...and found the test (surprisingly) challenging. Makes the certification very desirable!

With a very few exceptions, the speakers were all outstanding. I especially enjoyed David Meerman Scott's presentation—if you ever have the chance to hear him in person, run, don't walk, to buy tickets. I had never considered writing an e-book before hearing David's class, but he was so inspiring that I recently added that to my "must do" list. Chris Brogan's discussion on Social Media and Building Community was very enlightening; they don't call him a social media rockstar for nothing. And the SEO classes made me wish that I had the budget to overhaul my corporate website again—but that's a topic for another day.

The Hubspot team did an amazing job coordinating this massive project, and also went above and beyond the call of duty to help us all keep in touch with our fellow classmates, developing its own online forums, and creating groups on both LinkedIn and Facebook. Bravo!

If you're looking to get up to speed on all things inbound marketing, you MUST attend IMU. For those who didn't attend the series, Hubspot is offering more classes later this summer, and the full IMU program will make an encore appearance in August. Don't miss out.

5 comments:

  1. Hi Sarah,

    I really enjoyed IMU, as well. Like you, I'm glad the exam was actually challenging. It gives integrity to the certification. The most helpful part for me was the "Analyzing Inbound Marketing" course. I need that knowledge in order pitch social media to my boss. Without numbers, he'll never buy into it.

    I think most people were really happy with the program. I did hear one grumble about Hubspot promoting a webinar for their product at the very end of the very last class. That short mention didn't bother me at all, though. IMU did a great job of practicing what they preached. That is, they gave us information that was useful to us and didn't make the interactions about their products.

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  2. I thought IMU was awesome overall. There are a few improvements that can be made here and there (all of which were out of the Hubspot container) but the courses selected and the fit of each was spectacular.

    With all the time and effort Hubspot put into getting industry experts and producing a very high quality event (FOR FREE ... hello!), the fact that they plugged an upcoming event of their own for a few seconds was of no consequence to me. I've spent 30 minutes on webinars before when almost half the content was dedicated to little more than a commercial.

    We got 10 hours of quality content, another hour of review, a challenging test which still needs to be graded and results distributed, and what I must imagine is an incredible amount of behind-the-scenes planning, tracking, and late nights for the staff to pull this off. Trust me, they DESERVED a little love back at the end of all that.

    It was really good and I hope they get enough out of it to cause them to think it is worth doing again.

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  3. I thought the program was great. MarketingProfs would have charged hundreds of dollars for top quality webinars like these. The information was fairly basic (and the slide design was poor), but covered all of the inbound marketing bases. The test at the end really made people pay attention!

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  4. Great wrap up Sara - I agree the course was great. I only found out about it at the last minute, but am happy I did. The only problem I found was finding the time to watch 2 hours of content a day without being interupted 100 times. I also found the exam to be challenging, which is a good thing. It took me back to my University days!

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  5. Great summary, Sara! I think HubSpot really packed in the content and provided a ton of value, especially since it was free. I'm working through my own review and summary of the courses and am picking up even more the second time around (although now I wish I'd done that before I'd taken the exam!)

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