On Top of Your Game: 8 Digital Marketing Courses to Help Your Career
Digital marketing is everything. Whether you're someone trying to get followers on your personal Instagram or you're working for a company, you have to know the basics.
The problem is, the basics keep changing and growing, which makes it seem impossible to keep up on your own.
Thankfully, these best digital marketing certifications make it a little easier to learn. Take your pick out of the eight free options, below.
1. Google Analytics
Unless you live on another planet, anytime you're doing digital marketing it involves Google. Most of the time, Google makes the rules that digital marketers have to follow.
And since they're a kind dictator, they offer free courses so you can better understand their methods.
There are a range of different courses, for making ads, understanding analytics, and various SEO tasks.
We recommend you start with Google Analytics for Beginners and follow it up with Advanced Google Analytics.
To get the certification you'll need to take an exam. The exam isn't easy and involves application-type questions.
So don't rush through the course, take notes, and give it your full attention - even if you only get through 10 minutes a day.
2. The Google Ads Certification
If you're doing anything with PPC, creating ads, or want to understand the process better, take this course. It's free, like the other courses Google offers and takes about the same amount of time.
The same is true for the test in this "class" as above, so give it your best effort. You'll need at least an 80% to pass.
Note that once you pass the course your certification is dated, so you'll need to take it every year or two to keep up on current trends.
3. Fundamentals of Digital Marketing by Digital Garage
The third-course suggestion on this list is, you guessed it, also by Google. It's where you should start if you're a complete beginner, like one that doesn't know what PPC or B2B stands for.
There are 26 topics in the course, including core concepts like ad copy and consumer attitude.
Interested in worldwide marketing and need to know the American vs EU differences in GDPR? This course is global marketing friendly.
Don't know what that acronym stands for either? This course should cover it.
4. YouTube Certification
Google owns YouTube, which made it easy to choose our next must-take course.
This course goes through the rules and regulations of YouTube, which are constantly changing. Most recently the video giant has notified people they're going to "unverify" creators if their algorithm thinks they're not legit.
And while that probably won't happen to a corporate account, YouTube is one place you have to play by the rules. The minute you think about breaking one they'll demonetise you.
Take this course to make sure none of that happens to you or the people you work for.
Plus, if you're not that well versed in video creation, the tutorials on this course will give you a leg up. It's free - so you have nothing (but time if you don't pay attention) to lose.
5. HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification
When it comes to understanding the basics of content marketing, this is the most in-depth course you're going to get for free.
Some employers won't even look at your CV unless you have this specific certification.
This is a great course for anyone involved in creating buyer personas or target audiences, as it walks you through what marketing should look like as the seller and the buyer.
If you've been working in marketing for a while, most of these topics should just be refreshers for you, not new concepts.
Still, pay attention when you take the test and then rejoice when you pass with flying colours.
6. Stanford University's Machine Learning Certification
We're living in the Matrix - with Alexa listening to our every word, it's hard to deny.
And since machine learning is inescapable, you might as well learn how to understand the machines, at least when it comes to marketing.
Why? Think about how someone would word a query for an AI-assistant versus typing it in their phone.
Your ad copy and SEO optimisation need to prepare for both organic-spoken questions and short typed ones.
This course is free, but it'll take you a while - 11 weeks, according to Stanford (who publishes and created the course).
In a world that's constantly trading out machines and algorithms for people, getting ahead is worth a shot.
7. Deep Learning Specialisation Certification
On that note, this is another free Course offering that teaches you about deep learning, one of the AI intellect types.
It's a long one too - it's timed out to take up to three months.
People who've taken it recommend you take the Stanford course above first, then move on to this one.
Think of it like getting ahead of the AI curve, step 2.
8. Twitter Flight School
Finally, let's round out this list with another official social media/search engine offering. Twitter's "Flight School" is comparable to the YouTube course.
It walks you through the Twitter features you have access to and shows you what not to do, for success on the platform.
And while Twitter audiences are getting more niche-specific every day, you shouldn't write off the light blue bird just yet.
Plus, this course is free and the shortest on this list. Go ahead and splurge with your time and do both the Marketing Leadership and the Executive Leadership courses.
The Best Digital Marketing Certifications: To Pay or Not to Pay?
When it comes to online certifications, you don't always get what you pay for. Some courses that have costs in the thousands are just as content-heavy as freely available courses.
That's why we kept this best digital marketing certifications list short and free. If you need more certifications after, go ahead and pay for them.
But milk the proverbial cow with the courses above, first, before you apply to the jobs on our site!
Next up: What Does A Digital Marketing Job Involve?