How to Make Digital Credentials Your Most Impactful Marketing Tool

How to Supercharge Your Marketing with Digital Credentials in 2024
In today‘s crowded digital landscape, cutting through the noise to reach your target audience and build brand recognition is harder than ever. Fortunately, digital credentials have emerged as a powerful marketing tool that organizations in a variety of industries—from corporate training to higher education—are leveraging in innovative ways.

If your organization issues digital credentials like badges or certificates, you have a major opportunity to boost your brand‘s visibility, credibility and engagement. With a creative, multi-channel approach, you can harness digital credentials to:

  • Increase brand awareness and recognition
  • Drive quality website traffic
  • Strengthen your reputation and validate your expertise
  • Generate more leads and convert them into customers
  • Turn credential earners into enthusiastic brand advocates

Ready to make digital credentials your marketing secret weapon? Here‘s an in-depth look at 10 ways you can maximize their impact across your marketing efforts in 2024 and beyond.

  1. Showcase digital credentials on your website

Your website is the hub of your digital presence, so it‘s the perfect place to show off your digital credentials. Create a dedicated landing page that displays your available credentials, explains their value, and allows visitors to learn more and begin the process of earning them.

By driving traffic to this page through your other marketing channels and SEO, you‘ll generate greater awareness of your credential program. You‘ll also have a chance to engage web visitors and convert them into leads.

For example, HubSpot has a page on their website devoted to their Academy certifications. It features eye-catching images of the badges, descriptions of what each one validates, and clear calls-to-action to start learning.

  1. Empower employees to share credentials earned

Your employees can be one of your greatest marketing assets, especially if they‘ve earned certifications or badges. Encourage them to add digital credentials to their email signatures and share them on social media. This lends credibility to your employees‘ expertise while amplifying your brand to their networks.

Employee advocacy is a major marketing trend that will continue to grow. In fact, content shared by employees received 8 times more engagement than content shared on brand channels, and was re-shared 25 times more frequently, according to data from LinkedIn.

When employees use digital credentials to showcase their skills and champion your organization, it builds trust and authenticity in a way that feels organic rather than promotional.

  1. Engage credential earners on social media

Social media networks are powerful tools for connecting with your audience—including people who have earned your digital credentials. With over 4.5 billion social media users worldwide as of 2024, these channels have enormous potential reach.

Make it a priority to engage with credential earners whenever they share their achievements on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Like, comment on, and re-share their posts to show your support and appreciation.

You can also use hashtags and keywords to search for people posting about your credentials and proactively engage with them, even if you‘re not directly connected. These interactions make your credential earners feel valued and give your brand visibility with their followers.

  1. Create shareable content about your credential earners

Take your social media engagement a step further by creating content that directly features digital credential earners and invites them to share with their networks.

For example, you could publish brief LinkedIn posts or Instagram Stories congratulating people who recently earned a certification, with their headshot and a few details on their achievement. Tag the earners so they‘re likely to re-share the content and spread it to a wider audience.

You can even invite top credential earners to provide quotes or participate in case studies about their experience, which you can publish as blog posts, videos, or other content. Seeing real people explain the impact of earning your credentials is a powerful form of social proof.

  1. Add digital credentials to your email marketing

Email continues to be one of the most effective ways to nurture leads and build lasting customer relationships. But with the average person receiving over 100 emails per day, it‘s essential to make yours stand out.

Digital credentials can add instant credibility and brand recognition to employee email signatures. Consider having your staff include an image of a badge or certification they‘ve earned, with a link to where the recipient can verify it or learn more.

You can also send targeted campaigns announcing new credential offerings to segments of your email list, or highlighting people who have recently become certified. Just be sure to follow email signature best practices and keep your design clean and focused.

  1. Include digital credentials in sales collateral

If your organization has a sales team, providing them with compelling marketing collateral is crucial to their success. Digital credentials can be a valuable addition to one-pagers, slide decks, proposals and other sales content.

Displaying your badges and the skills they represent helps establish your brand‘s authority and credibility right off the bat. Prospects may be more receptive to a sales pitch if they can see unbiased, verifiable proof of your expertise.

You can also mention if your employees hold industry-recognized certifications. This assures potential customers that your team is highly qualified.

  1. Feature digital credentials at events and trade shows

In-person events and trade shows are returning in force, with over 25% of marketers planning to invest more in this area than during the pandemic. These gatherings provide valuable face time with potential customers, partners and hires.

Featuring your digital credentials at conference booths and other events is an eye-catching way to showcase your offerings and competencies. Large poster displays or interactive screens explaining what your badges represent can attract attention and spark conversations.

Organizing an event of your own, like an awards ceremony or meetup for credential holders, is another option to build community and generate buzz. Whenever credential earners gather, it‘s an opportunity to celebrate their achievements while strengthening their affinity for your brand.

  1. Leverage credentials in lead magnets and content upgrades

Producing valuable online content like blog posts, eBooks and webinars is a core strategy for educating your audience and generating leads. But persuading people to hand over their contact information can be tricky.

Offering a relevant digital credential as a lead magnet or content upgrade is one way to entice more signups. For instance, you could give webinar attendees a badge for completing the session, or allow people who download your eBook to take a short quiz to earn a certificate.

Not only do these offerings provide extra incentive to engage with your content, they also help you identify highly qualified leads. Someone willing to spend time earning a credential is likely to be more interested in your paid offerings down the line.

  1. Co-market with other organizations through digital credentials

Joining forces with another business or influencer to cross-promote your offerings can help you reach new audiences and add more value for your existing customers. Digital credentials open up exciting opportunities for co-marketing partnerships.

For example, you might team up with an organization to create a series of co-branded badges that demonstrate mastery of your combined products or services. You can share the costs and rewards of marketing these credentials to your respective audiences.

Just be sure to choose partners that are complementary to your brand and align with your values. The goal is to create a credential program that provides real benefits for each company‘s customers.

  1. Recognize and reward top credential earners

Your digital credential holders are more than just leads or customers—they‘re valued members of your brand community. Acknowledging and rewarding your most engaged earners can turn them into loyal advocates while incentivizing others to follow their lead.

Consider launching a rewards program where people can redeem points based on how many credentials they earn or how often they share them on social media. You can offer perks like discounts, exclusive content, or one-on-one coaching sessions.

Amplifying top earners or inviting them to join an advisory board also shows your appreciation while boosting your brand‘s credibility. When potential customers see that industry experts trust your credentials enough to put their names behind them, it inspires confidence in your program.

The ultimate marketing win-win

From building awareness to generating leads to strengthening customer loyalty, digital credentials can have an outsized impact across the entire marketing funnel. By enhancing your web presence, content, events and more with badges and certifications, you‘ll stand out in an increasingly noisy marketplace.

Issuing credentials also creates a ripple effect that turns your audience into an extension of your marketing team. When people are proud to show off your badges and recommend your offerings, you‘ll reach far more potential customers through authentic word-of-mouth.

As new technologies and shifting consumer preferences continue to reshape marketing over the coming years, expect to see more organizations using digital credentials in innovative ways to grow their brand communities. Will yours be one of them?