Certificates As a Marketing Tool For Small Businesses – How to Use Them?

Certificates can become a powerful marketing tool in small businesses’ hands. Do you have one? Get tips and tricks on how to achieve that!

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Sergey Butko

Updated: June 25, 2024

16 min read

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The use of certificates is limited to large companies only? Absolutely not!

Any small company can enjoy the benefits of these digital credentials. Especially since it is also a source of marketing information. 

If you still need to figure out how to use your certificates as a marketing tool for your company, we'll tell you more about it today.

So, buckle up!

The Importance of certificates for small businesses

Many people try to develop themselves from different angles to improve their professional skills. There may be two reasons for this situation.

1️⃣ The first is the fear of being fired

If an employee fears redundancy, they begin to wonder – what next? Their current job is something they've been doing all their lives, and most often, it's the only thing they know how to do.

But fortunately, access to courses or other forms of learning is easy now. You can find a lot of reliable sources on the Internet that provide valuable knowledge, so you can earn a lot of digital badges and certificates that will help you find your next job.

2️⃣ The second reason for development is self-motivation

Self-motivation pushes forward and helps acquire new knowledge for all those who are thirsty for it.

Thanks to such activities, we are constantly increasing our knowledge, developing our skills, and can achieve something more in the future. As a result, we grow in more or less popular directions and increase our value in the job market.

Again, if one is passionate about marketing, one can easily find a wide range of certified events online. Documents from these events can be valued by job candidates.

Therefore, small companies, in particular, can gain a lot of benefits if they choose to issue certificates to participants of their programs.

Among them are:

  • certificates can be done at a small cost

  • can provide evergreen and relevant content

  • will generate additional revenue

  • will be a source of marketing insights

Thus, if small businesses decide to issue certificates, they can meet with great interest! And get a powerful marketing tool.

⏩ Also read: How To Use Certificates in B2B or B2C Marketing - Certificates as a Marketing Tool

How small business can benefit from certificates?

When it comes to starting and growing a business, there are many potential challenges that entrepreneurs must face. One of the biggest obstacles for small businesses is gaining the trust and support of potential customers. But they can overcome this by issuing certificates.

It's an effective way for small businesses to increase their reach and appeal to potential customers. 

But certificates can give them much more than that.

#1 Increase brand recognition

When certificates are properly prepared, they become powerful weapons in your hands, as well as your learners' hands. First of all, because they have a positive effect on increasing awareness and recognition of your company – and so its services and products. 

Brand awareness is about recognizing a brand from others – listing its distinctive features, communication, and marketing activities to create brand associations. 

Surely you know that many companies are similar to yours on the market. Still, nevertheless, your company has something distinctive that no other has and is recognized to some degree. Certifications can further assist you in increasing your visibility. 

Certificates that are often shared on the Internet or social media channels will reach a larger audience. This is an excellent opportunity for your business to grow. And with amazing tools, you will be able to grow your social media campaigns and build a competitive edge.

Example: Mark, a graphic designer, recently saw on social media platforms that his friend had taken a course on "The basics of marketing" because he had shared a certificate on his profile.

Graphic of a happy boy.

After looking closely at the certificate, he saw some advertising agency had issued it. He decided to check out this company, and it turned out that they had great courses for graphic designers. Therefore, he thought he would also take part in a course from them.

In addition, he noticed that the company was holding cool events in the city, so he promised he would attend the next one

#2 Build your customer base

Every business should absolutely decide to build up its customer base systematically. Why?

Because a properly built customer base creates a community and is a kind of indicator of success that every company cares about. Its creation is, therefore, an important goal.

With a customer base, you can communicate with your audience, prepare personalized offers for them, develop relationships, and allow your business to grow. 

So, if you are conducting a course or a webinar and have acquired customer data to contact your audience, don’t miss this opportunity and build a bond between yourself and your customers. Your customers can then be contacted via email with an email outreach software or cold email software, both of which are effective methods of building these bonds.

Example: Imagine that you got the email addresses of your students and have already sent them certificates. And here, some companies end the customer relationship at this level. What a waste, right?

Graphic illustrating the group of certificate email recipients.

After all, by having the email addresses of your learners, you can create a large audience and: 

👉 enhance your email marketing strategy

👉 invite them to subscribe to your newsletter

👉 tell them about a new course

👉 or inform them about an article that popped up on your blog

And if you develop a relationship with them, some of them may become loyal customers. So therefore, getting new customers in the market is a key part of any business.

#3 Shape your brand's reputation

Well-run courses and properly delivered certificates can have a positive impact on building your brand's reputation. All classes, even though they are a reward in themselves (as they expand your audience's knowledge and allow them to grow) – should be completed with the issuance of certificates. 

If this stage goes quickly, and smoothly, and each student receives their document (which, on top of that, is a work of art), you will prove that you are a professional and that using your services is a pleasure.

If everything goes according to plan, indeed, the positive news will spread, and more people will recommend your company.

Example: Your course was a great success. It attracted crowds of interested people, so you made a lot of money. But a problem arose when issuing certificates. Namely, it took you too long to send the documents.

Graphic of a boy who throws of a paper airplane.

The course participants wanted to receive them quickly because many of them were applying for jobs. However, by completing everything by hand and being alone with it, you couldn't speed up the process.

As a result, negative comments about your services began to appear online. Despite the fact that you delivered a great course, the interest in it wasn't that great, as the unfavorable opinion took its toll. 

Pst! We have a great solution here – send out certificates automatically and all at once. Do you want to be faster than Usain Bolt? Check out Certifier.

#4 Add value to your product

Having a certificate adds value to a brand in the eyes of its customers. You establish your brand as the industry leader who guarantees high-quality products. It is a sign of trust, and that's why many customers are willing to pay more for certified products.

For example, if you are running an online course on graphic design, providing your students with a certificate at the end will show them that they have gained valuable skills in this field. It will also help your business stand out from the competition. A bonus tip for adding value is to utilize link building tactics and strategically acquire backlinks for your certificates with help from a link building CRM so you can reap more benefit from them

But it doesn’t have to be a course to make it count. 

Example: You are an owner of a coffee roasting plant, and you want to create a certification program that measures how much people know about coffee. People can share their coffee specialty preparation skills and certificates with each other by playing the game. This can also be used in a slightly different way – you give the course free of charge to those who bought your coffee.

#5 Better social media visibility

A certificate also opens the door to plenty of opportunities for better social media visibility. After all, customers love freebies and rewards, so if you give out a certificate that is worth a prize, chances are your followers will be more likely to share it with their friends.

Furthermore, people like to brag about their achievements on social media, so why not give them something to talk about? By giving out certificates, you can help your followers show off their accomplishments and create a positive image of your business.

A person who is creating the content for social media for small business.

Example: You recently shot a series of videos for an online guitar course. You gave out certificates to the participants for completing the program. The students were so thrilled that they posted about it on their social media accounts and tagged your business in their posts. Suddenly, you got tons of followers, and people who had never heard about your company before started to take notice.

How to use certificates as a marketing tool?

So yes – certificates mean more than a simple award that can be hung on the wall. Would you like your company to miss out on these benefits? We doubt it.

But how to utilize these advantages for your small business?

Well, we do have some ideas for you. You just need to:

Tip 1: Ensure your certificates are branded 🎨

To make your certificates work as an online marketing tool, you can design them to be easy to identify with your company. In other words: make them branded. Thanks to this, you can make people see that these beautiful awards are connected to your company. 

To do this, use colors specific to your corporate identity, use your standard font, and, most importantly, remember the logo, which is one of the essential identifying elements. Including on the document a well-known advertising slogan is also a good idea. 

But don't overdo the branding. Of course, your certificate should be more than just an advertisement. But still, it should be consistent with the rest of your marketing channels and fit into your online marketing strategy.

As we have said before, such branded documents can increase your business recognition. It is simply profitable for companies to cultivate a high level of brand awareness for many reasons. 

For example, a simple certificate that has your company's logo and distinctive elements can:

  • foster trust in the eyes of your audience,

  • make it easier to build and strengthen relationships with customers,

  • increase brand value and competitiveness,

  • provide the brand with credibility.

Convincing enough?

Tip 2: Make them easy to share on social media networks 📥

Your certificates will be a great digital marketing tool if you make them easily shareable on social media platforms. People like to share new skills or even courses they've taken.

If, in addition, this badge is branded, it will be part of the promotion of your services!

And, after all, we know that information spreads in the blink of an eye thanks to social media posts.

This is especially important on LinkedIn, where users have the option to show their experiences, add info about previous jobs, or just implement digital badges and online certificates to their profile.

It's very practical to include your most important information on one platform, in one place, so that recruiters can easily access it and source new employees efficiently.

⏩ Check out this article to learn How to Add Digital Badge to LinkedIn and Other Social Channels

Tip 3: Use the right certificate maker 🛠

There are many popular programs that small businesses can use. Google Analytics, Google Ads, Google Trends, Google AdWords – all these amazing tools can help you with your marketing campaigns. But you need something more. Namely, certificate maker.

Certificate creators will help you manage and send these documents faster and generate a mine of marketing data about your credentials. Therefore, such a certificate maker can become your business marketing tool and a real keeper of valuable insights.

For example, many advanced tools will let you track email marketing efforts and user behavior. What happens to your certificates after they're sent to the recipients' email addresses? How many people have opened your marketing emails? Do they add new documents to their social media accounts? Or what does LinkedIn sharing statistics look like?

For excellent tools, this will be a piece of cake. 🍰

Also, such a maker will:

  • quickly send certificates to recipients,

  • make many activities automated,

  • eliminate the need for third-party email marketing platforms,

  • receive marketing statistics and data in real time,

  • save a lot of time working with certificates.

How cool is that?

Once you have all the essential data, you can take a closer look and analyze it and then make key decisions that can positively impact the growth of your business.

Get help from the Certifier!

If we’re talking about choosing the right certificate makers, we need to introduce you to Certifier – an easy-to-use, cloud-based software for creating, managing, and issuing certificates

Certifier provides its users with a wide range of features for creating beautiful awards. In just a couple of clicks, you are able to design from scratch documents or just use some templates and deliver digital certificates even faster. 

Certifier graphic illustrating the Certifier dashboard.

✅ Get the possibility to manage all your recipients, create groups of them, and upload a spreadsheet with their data, so you don’t have to fill in their names manually

✅ Use dynamic attributes and send bulk emails

✅ Our certificates are easily sharable as social posts – and you can monitor customers' social media performance right from the Certifier dashboard

✅ Get access to many marketing materials and analytics tools for your issued certificates

✅ Make data-driven marketing and business decisions easier –all without professional marketing teams

Turn visitors into customers and boost your marketing activities. Check out what this comprehensive tool can do for your small business here!

Over to You

Have you already found that certificates can benefit your business in many ways?

In case you weren't aware, issuing certificates can be an effective way for small businesses to gain marketing data and improve their email marketing campaigns.

So, use Certifier, our powerful tool, to improve user experience, boost your online presence, power your business with everything you need to issue certificates, and turn digital marketing strategies into real actions 🚀!

Sergey Butko avatar

Sergey Butko

Tech entrepreneur. Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe. At Certifier, Sergey’s work focused on revolutionizing the way credentials, certificates, and badges are issued and managed through cutting-edge APIs and software infrastructure.

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