Online courses and study programs are widely available and accessible from anywhere – but which are time well spent and will make the most difference to your prospects of landing your ideal digital marketing job? We run through our top picks for digital marketers at every stage of their careers.
Whether you’re an accomplished marketer keen to expand your skill set into new areas or want to build an impressive resume to put you ahead of the competition, digital marketing courses are a great place to start. Most online courses allow you to learn at your own pace, and you can pick from thousands of options, from general digital marketing masterclasses to defined courses aimed at SEO, social media, and content creation.
Why bother with an online course? The reality is that formal education and university courses are time-consuming, expensive, and rarely compatible with working a full-time role. Studying online means you can enhance your knowledge during the evenings or weekends and either select short-term courses requiring just a few hours of effort or ongoing study sessions to achieve formal certifications.
Even better, there are plenty of courses that are 100% free of charge. However, if you’re after a specific accreditation, you may need to consider paid studies focused on areas of interest or certain abilities you need to qualify for your dream position.
1. Udemy Complete Digital Marketing Course
Udemy is one of the best-known online course providers. While you can choose more targeted courses, The Complete Digital Marketing Course is a great option for general knowledge, covering 12 areas within one program, including:
- Digital marketing strategy
- Social media marketing
- Data analytics
- Email marketing
Of 165,812 ratings thus far, the course has scored 4.4 stars out of five. It is available in English or Arabic, covering 22.5 hours of video, articles, and downloads, all available on-demand via any device, including a mobile.
Once you’ve finished, you receive a certificate of completion and can check out a preview online if you’d like to see whether the content is relevant to you. The course costs $99 in total, with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and is available for life – there is no timeline for completion, and you can take as long as you need to work through all the modules.
Another option, particularly if you’d like to enroll in several courses, is to sign up for the personal plan, with a paid monthly fee after a free trial period. You can cancel any time if you’ve finished studying all the courses you’d like to.
2. Google Fundamentals of Digital Marketing
Our next course is free of charge and provided by Google, always a popular choice for studying the intricacies of SEO marketing and using the search engine to boost brand awareness! The course is all online, covering 26 modules, with practical exercises to test your understanding and case studies to explain how theories work in practice.
Fundamentals of Digital Marketing covers multiple areas, such as:
- Taking your business online
- Making your business easier to find
- Reaching more local visitors
- Advertising online
- Tracking web traffic
The course takes about 40 hours in total. It is designed for beginners or perhaps those looking to gain a better grasp of digital marketing or transition from conventional to online marketing. You can register with Google Digital Garage to find other relevant courses, and although they’re all pretty focused on Google, the level of study is good.
With an updated iteration published in March 2023, the course is up to speed and has been rated five stars by 505 users. You can also opt to take a final exam, called a certification assessment, to gain a formal certificate to add to your resume.
3. LinkedIn Digital Marketing Foundations
Another beginners course, is LinkedIn’s Digital Marketing Foundations, which was first released in 2021 and updated in August 2022; a shorter-form class requiring just over an hour and a half to complete.
Users can log in through a mobile or tablet and work through ten chapters with quizzes at the end of each, receiving a certificate of completion if they complete all the modules and achieve a passing mark.
The content is split into sections, including:
- Connecting with customers
- The building blocks of digital marketing
- The marketing funnel
- Creating a buyer journey map
New users can register for a free month of LinkedIn online learning or buy the course as a one-off, currently available for $29.99. A subscription, with tuition courses included, costs $19.99 per month for an annual subscription, or $39.99 a month without a tie-in period, with one month free.
4. Copyblogger SEO Masterclass
Copyblogger has a wide range of courses, each available to purchase individually – although there are lots of free tutorials and explainers also available through the site. While the cost of the paid courses is somewhat higher than average, they are suited to experienced marketers and concentrate on focused topics in much greater detail than a general overview.
As a few of the courses currently available, titles and prices include:
- The Email Marketing Crash Course – $149
- Five Day SEO Workshop – $149
- How to Create Automated Funnels That Work – $149
If you’re interested in SEO, for example, you can read the Copyblogger’s SEO guide as a starting point, entirely free, and then decide whether you’d like to enroll in the more advanced course to gain certification.
Their SEO Masterclass includes three live training calls, exercises, worksheets, lifetime access to all the sessions, and other resources and materials to deep dive into SEO and fine-tune your knowledge.
5. HubSpot Academy Digital Marketing Course
Back to another freebie, HubSpot’s Digital Marketing Course is aimed at beginners, marketing managers who need to learn more about digital marketing, or content markets looking to study a broader scope of areas.
It covers a range of topics over nine lessons, 11 quizzes, and 37 videos, requiring about five and a half hours to work through, including:
- Optimizing websites for SEO
- Creating organic search strategies
- Using paid advertising programs
There are also other courses, equally free, available through the HubSpot platform, so once you’ve registered, you can keep enrolling in new classes or studying more detailed subjects as your knowledge increases.
Certifications include Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Inbound Marketing Sales, Digital Marketing, and using HubSpot Marketing Software – all accessible through the HubSpot courses page.
While each of these online courses is slightly different, and you may expect a contrast between a specialist, paid-for course, and free online learning opportunities, all are highly rated and delivered by respected providers who are considered experts in their fields.
If in doubt, we’d recommend browsing through the course content before enrolling to ensure the digital marketing courses you choose are a great match for your current expertise and will help add something special to your resume.
- How to Become a Digital Marketer with No Experience
- How To Write a Digital Marketing Resume
- How to Start a Career in Digital Marketing
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Is the Best Digital Marketing Course for a Beginner?
All the courses listed here are great options, although some are specifically created for those new to digital marketing. You can also uncover insights and expand your understanding by browsing our blogs and information resources to help build a baseline of knowledge before you decide which courses to take.
Platforms like Udemy, Google, and HubSpot are the most popular since they’re well-known and their certifications are recognized by the vast majority of employers. However, depending on your objectives, you can also browse online courses through other platforms like Skillshare, Udacity, FutureLean, and Mindvalley.
For example, Mindvalley is all about personal skills and mindfulness, which can help build resilience, communication, and problem-solving; perfect for digital marketing jobs where you need to collaborate with other team members to tackle issues quickly. Udacity is a good choice for free single courses, although you can also subscribe to Nanodegree Programs for $399 a month to secure a formal qualification.
Are Free Online Digital Marketing Courses Worth the Time?
Absolutely – the more you know, the better positioned you will be to apply for diverse digital marketing jobs. Better yet, if you can study courses that offer certificates of completion or other accreditations, this is a great way to summarize the breadth of your knowledge on your Resume.
It’s also worth re-doing courses when they are updated. Some hirers will prioritize candidates who are clearly committed to continued professional development and have invested the effort into upskilling or refreshing their knowledge. Hence, they are on point with changes to things like the Google ranking algorithm or the latest best practice in content marketing.
Is a Paid Online Digital Marketing Course Better Than a Freebie?
The amount you should pay for online courses depends on your budget and what you hope to get from it. If you don’t have the finances to pay for higher-level tuition, free study is accessible, low-cost, and can bolster your resume – you can also study lots of micro-courses or short study programs to have some recent certificates to add to your educational experience.
Of course, paid tuition may have extra features like the live coaching calls available through Copyblogger, but if you’re a beginner, this may have limited value.
In short, any training from a reputable provider is worth doing, and if you have a great budget and can afford the more advanced courses, that’s a great way to augment your resume and improve your chances of landing your ideal job. If not, free courses remain a valuable resource and can help grow your knowledge so you’re able to tackle those tricky interview questions with ease.