Seattle Pacific University offers its Certificate in Digital Marketing program in three distinct flavors—concentrations in Inbound Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), or Social Media Marketing.

All three programs share a core of fundamental digital marketing skills, which participants will learn together through combined classes and projects.

But when it comes to diving into a specialty area, which is right for you? If you’re unclear on the distinction between these concentrations or not sure how each applies to a career, this article is for you.


Inbound Marketing Classes

“Inbound marketing” is an umbrella term for any digital marketing efforts that are designed to draw customers in and create relationships with them before, during, and after they make a purchase.

Inbound places a particular emphasis on creating digital content—blogs, apps, videos, photos, and so on—that is useful to a target group, and then distributing that content to the group and measuring the results with analytics.

But inbound as an overall methodology involves many particular strategies, including email marketing, video marketing, events and webinars, SEO work, and social media engagement.

For this reason, you can think of the Inbound Marketing Concentration as the broadest choice, focusing on the strategy itself.

We’ll especially look at the lifecycle of attracting, converting, closing, and delighting customers, and how to do these things on time, under budget, and targeted to the right groups. We’ll cover advanced segmentation of audiences and how to use analytics tools like Google Analytics to measure everything and make strategic adjustments as you go.

Choose this program if:

  • You love thinking about the big picture
  • You’re most interested in the management of a strategy
  • You want to learn how to create, distribute, and measure the performance of content across a variety of channels


SEO Classes

Search engine optimization is the technical process of iterating on digital content so that it appears more often and more immediately in search engine results.

Search engines are designed so audiences can effectively navigate large oceans of information—quickly finding what’s relevant and high-quality. For that reason, it’s important to understand how search engines read and rank your website and digital content, and refine the code, design, and content in ways that will increase your rankings.

The SEO Concentration is the most technical choice of the three programs.

We’ll teach you how to set up a website with analytics platforms, and how to use and read those analytics to make improvements. We’ll cover some HTML/CSS/Javascript, and show you how to use your skill to refine your website to better reach search users.

Choose this program if:

  • You want to learn highly sought-after specialty skills
  • You are excited about digging into metrics and the inner workings of the web


Social Media Marketing Classes

Social media gives us the opportunity to create relationships directly with the people who will be interested in our business or cause.

Social media marketing applies inbound strategies to the realm of social platforms—including offering helpful content, listening and learning through analytics, and delighting people before and after they invest in your business or brand. Each social media platform has specific use cases and serves different purposes. Each is a channel that can be harnessed differently.

The Social Media Marketing Concentration is a direct application of digital marketing principles with the goal of engaging audiences.

We’ll cover the inbound marketing lifecycle, advanced segmentation, and analytics on social platforms, as well as the deployment of ads. And we’ll look at how to integrate social media into the overall strategy for meeting your goals as a company.

Choose this program if:

  • You want to engage audiences
  • You need a strategy for social media and you need to learn how to measure its effectiveness in terms of business goals
  • You love thinking about the nuances, vocabulary, and strengths of different platforms


Talk to an enrollment coach about how one of these concentrations can take your career to the next level.