As a digital marketing agency in Philadelphia, we spend several hours a week taking courses, attending meetups, and watching webinars to make sure we stay up-to-date with the best practices and methodology. Over time, we have tried out so many different learning tools that we have a deep understanding of what’s out there. Whether you’re a marketing professional or someone who needs to learn marketing from scratch, there are tons of excellent digital marketing education options available to you on the internet. The two resources we always turn to are Hubspot and DigitalMarketer.
Both companies offer online digital marketing education in many different forms, such as webinars, forums, or one sheets, and do an excellent job of breaking it into easy to understand, actionable items. While Hubspot and DigitalMarketer call certain approaches to digital marketing different names, they overall use the same methodology. However, there can only be one winner for best digital marketing education, so we looked at pricing, usability, resources available, and other aspects of both of these platforms to determine who is the best.
In a lot of ways, Hubspot is considered the king and queen of digital marketing education. If you Google nearly any topic in digital marketing or growth-driven design, they are the first or second result. While there are tons of free Hubspot blogs floating around, they do also have Hubspot Academy, which is filled to the brim with educational tools on any digital marketing topic you can imagine. Hubspot Academy allows you to get certified in a variety of topics following a webinar and quiz. Here is a breakdown of some key points:
Price – easily the best part of Hubspot’s Academy is it’s free. All you need to do is sign-up to create an account and jump in to start taking courses.
Knowledge level – many people consider Hubspot to be the worldwide experts in digital marketing, which is why they have an almost cult-like following. There’s no doubt they have a methodology that works and the resources to prove it. However, I don’t feel like they ever have anything new to say. It’s always the same information year after year. I would love to see a new spin on this strategy they keep pushing. I’d also like to see them push their products less and have lessons tailored to smaller businesses with fewer resources available.
Course structure – Some of these courses are incredibly long, with most certifications being around four hours long. Thankfully, they are broken up into chunks, so you can dedicate 20 minutes to a lesson whenever you can. With so many topics available, there is a lot of overlap between courses, so it can occasionally get repetitive, but it does help beat the methodology into your head. They do a good job of breaking each topic down into tiny pieces and then slowly building on top of these pieces until you have a deep understanding of the topic.
Webinar presentation – the webinars are well produced and have a variety of team members teaching the lessons, so you aren’t staring at the same person all the time. Some of the people are annoying, but at least they don’t bore you to death. The webinars are a culmination of people talking to the screen, PowerPoint slides, and images. Each lesson offers takeaways and worksheets, and at the end, there’s a quiz you need to pass to be certified.
Usability – they recently updated their platform, and I find it difficult to navigate. Maybe I’m biased because the previous version was very straightforward and simple to use. The webinar courses are now called tracks, and there’s a new section with short, independent videos called lessons. Less items appear on the page now, so you can’t quickly read the names of all the “tracks” they offer. The only valuable thing I can see is you can separate videos by beginner, intermediate, or expert, but my overall all feelings are if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Resources available – there are so many they are hard to keep track – webinars, short lessons, forums, blogs, infographics, templates, instructions, ebooks – literally any type of resource you can imagine, they have it. Guess that’s why they are digital marketing experts.
Overall, and this is my own personal opinion, so Hubspot worshippers shouldn’t get all worked up, I think Hubspot has become a little ego-driven. They are the best, they have the best methodology, they are loved by everyone, they have the best products, they know everything about everything – the list goes on and on. I’m less concerned with them telling me they are the best than I am with staying up-to-date on the latest in digital marketing education. I’d rather the content speak for itself.
DigitalMarketer’s answer to the Hubspot Academy is the DM Lab and DigitalMarketer HQ. HQ is built for companies, agencies, and teams. It contains tons of training and certification courses. The Lab is for entrepreneurs or marketing professionals who operate as individuals. It is the largest digital marketing community around and joining gives you access to discounts, software, and a ton of educational resources to grow your entire company and stay in-the-know on the latest in marketing. Here is a breakdown of some key points:
Pricing – unlike Hubspot, you have to pay for DigitalMarketer. You can pay $95 a month for one user or $295 for five users. However, they do say the membership pays for itself immediately because they not only provide digital marketing education, they provide actionable steps for growing your business.
Knowledge level – when I use DigitalMarketers’ resources, I learn new things every time. They took the inbound marketing methodology pushed by Hubspot and put a unique spin on it. Some of the courses I’ve taken have taught me so much that I get genuinely excited to put the new things I’ve learned into action. It’s very refreshing to not just hear the same things repeated and actually receive new strategy that will be different and as successful as everyone else. Even though many people swear by Hubspot, I feel like DigitalMarketer is slowly creeping up to their tail because they offer tremendous educational value.
Course structure – the course structure is very similar to Hubspot’s. They offer more than 20 lessons, which are all broken up into several smaller chunks. They are as long, if not longer, than Hubspot’s videos, but I have found there is less overlap and repetition in content. Each individual video is under 10 minutes long, so it’s very easy to watch a couple videos here and there. At the end of each section, there is a short quiz. When you complete all the sections, there’s a final test that you need to pass to be certified. When you pass, they mail you a fancy certificate!
Webinar presentation – the information in the webinars is excellent and incredibly valuable. However, the videos can be insanely boring. All the videos are the most standard looking white guy standing in front of a white screen and next to a TV with PowerPoint slides. Why is the environment so sterile? Where’s some color or pizazz? The production value is significantly lower than Hubspot’s. Thankfully, the content is great because if it weren’t, these videos would be unwatchable.
Usability – while it’s not particularly fancy, the content is organized in a simple, easy to use format. All the courses are listed in a grid, so you can quickly scan to see what topics are available, what courses you’ve started, and how far you are in each course. They all have cute graphics associated with each course, so it adds a little pizazz to an otherwise plain looking page. Once you sign into the HQ version, all that’s listed are the courses, so it couldn’t be any more straightforward.
Resources available – If you have the HQ version, the only thing you’re paying for are the courses, which seems a little pricey for sure. When you use the Lab, you get access to the courses as well as an library of step-by-step guides and resources, online forums to chat with other digital marketers, and savings on marketing tools.
Look, the videos can sometimes be breathtakingly boring, but the content is excellent. They aren’t ego-driven. They are driven solely on the mission of helping as many people succeed in marketing as possible, which is refreshing. They claim to be like Netflix for marketers, putting thousands of people in touch with fabulous digital marketing education in seconds.
While they both are great tools for digital marketing education, I personally prefer DigitalMarketer over Hubspot. Even though you have access to fewer resources, and you have to pay to use it, DigitalMarketer provides you step-by-step instructions on how to use what you learned instead of teaching you information and cutting you loose. If you aren’t sure if it’s worth the money, definitely take advantage of their free trial and see for yourself. You’ll learn unique and successful marketing strategies that you can master and implement in no time.
Want to learn more about digital marketing education? We can help! We offer different educational opportunities throughout the Philadelphia area and online. Email us at email@example.com to learn more.