Content marketers look at marketing conferences the same way kids look at the toy aisle in the weeks before their birthdays. Everything looks so good — but you know your ability to get what you want is ultimately in someone else’s hands. Sure, you can make a list of what you want and promise that it will be “educational,” but the sad truth is that parents don’t always buy that Xbox and executives don’t always approve those travel budgets.

So, if you find yourself without that Xbox marketing conference you absolutely need, then it might be time to start looking into other options. If you’re a kid, that may be a used gaming system — but if you’re a marketer, you have significantly better options from which to choose.

The truth is that there is such a wealth of information available for cheap or free that you don’t really even need to go to that marketing conference you really want to hit. Don’t worry, we won’t tell your executive leadership if your travel budget was already approved. However, just in case they tell you “no” the next time you ask to attend a conference, consider these alternatives instead.

[bctt tweet=”These cheap or free online #contentmarketing resources can make you forget about those big conferences your travel budget doesn’t allow you to attend.” via=”no”]

Cheap (and free!) alternatives to content marketing conferences:

Websites and blogs are free/cheap alternatives to content marketing conferences.

Websites and blogs

You know those speakers who are invited to all the major content marketing conferences? Well, those same speakers almost always have websites and blogs. The content on those websites and blogs includes many of the tips, strategies, and tactics that the marketing evangelists share during their speaking engagements.

Sure, there is something to be said for hearing some of your favorite content marketers in person and even interacting with them, but if you can’t do that, these websites and blogs are a good place to visit instead:

*Bonus tip: Use an RSS reader like Feedly to aggregate the feeds of several of your favorite blogs for easy aggregation and consumption.

HubSpot Academy

HubSpot Academy promises to help users improve their marketing skills by offering a number of courses, lessons, and certifications. The best thing about all of these courses is that they are free to marketers to use.

Some of the free certification courses offered by HubSpot include:

Some of the shorter courses or lessons the company offers include:

Webinars are free alternatives to attending pricey marketing conferences.


Webinars are often full of great information; however, most webinar organizers also have an additional motive to try to get you into their own marketing funnel when they host a webinar. That shouldn’t be a major deterrent, but it is something you should be aware of.

Due to the fact that most webinars are also marketing to their own audiences inside the webinar (think “Inception” for marketers) it is rare there is a cost to view a webinar.

A few of the top webinar sources for marketers include:

Marketing conference on-demand viewing

If you can’t get to a conference, bring a conference to you. Many of the top-tier marketing conferences film every session and offer an on-demand viewing package that allows attendees — as well as those who weren’t able to attend the conference in-person — to watch any of the sessions at their own leisure from the comfort of their own home or office.

These packages often cost money, but typically much less than you would pay if you were to attend in-person.

Some of the conferences that offer on-demand viewing include:

Follow along with these marketing conference hashtags to learn content marketing advice for free.

Conference hashtags

One unconventional way to learn from what is being shared at a marketing conference is to simply follow along with the hashtagged content that is being shared from the event live on Twitter. Most marketers love to share compelling content from these conferences, so a bevy of information is usually only a hashtag away.

Some of the hashtags used by conference attendees that are likely to yield compelling content on Twitter include:

ClearVoice blog

Not that we want to toot our own horn, but have you taken a look at all of the free content we have for marketers, freelancers, and other creators? It’s kind of staggering.

We’ve tagged most of our blog content into one or more of about two dozen different categories, so it is fairly easy to find free-to-use information on the ClearVoice blog.

A few examples of tagged content categories include:

YouTube is a great free content marketing resource.


It should come as no surprise that the same platform that many marketers use to distribute their video content is also full of valuable messages meant for marketers themselves.

A quick search of “content marketing” yields thousands of results. Rather than diving through all of the “content marketing” results on the platform, instead consider subscribing to a few of the channels that consistently provide valuable, high-quality content for marketers.

A few examples include:


Perhaps there is no better way to plug-in to the marketing chatter happening on a daily basis than by subscribing to a podcast or two (or three or four).

Thanks to the fact that listening to a podcast could be an active experience (taking notes, making plans) or a passive experience (commuting, doing yardwork), there are many opportunities to engage with podcast content.

A few of the worthwhile podcasts for content marketers and creators include:

In addition to all of the above-mentioned ideas, it is very likely you have some professional marketing organizations or communities of practice in your local area that you can join.

These organizations often sponsor meetups, conferences, and other small events that may not compare with the breadth of some of the bigger conferences, but are valuable for amassing knowledge and gaining expertise from peers.