Digital marketing skills are essential not only to those actually working in the field but also to entrepreneurs, senior managers and anyone looking to talk to their customers via the channels they want to use. We can all see that digital marketing expanding day by day: the digital economy represents 6% of Ireland’s GDP which represents €12.3 billion. It is expected to expand about €21.4 billion (%7.9) of GDP by 2020.
As a digital marketing masters student in UCD Michael Smurfit in Dublin (I graduated last week, yay!) I am working as a marketing specialist for RattleBerry Talent Solutions. I am very glad that I did masters in Digital Marketing as I had a chance to improve myself in many areas. I also know that there is no substitute for getting on and doing. There are a tonne of online resources out there and one does not necessarily need to commit to a full-time Master’s to break into this growing industry.
So, with this in mind I thought I would do a deep dive to review a broad range of digital courses out there, both free and paid. As with anything in life, there is no substitute for getting real practical experience, but the following course should help you open that door a little or give you the additional skills you need to really take your digital marketing career to the next level.
Without further ado is my list of the top 9 free and paid online courses to build your digital marketing skills:
FREE ONLINE DIGITAL MARKETING COURSES
Hubspot Inbound Marketing Course is a big-picture overview of digital marketing. The first advantage is that it doesn’t require a huge time commitment: the certification consists of 12 different classes and approximately 4.5 hours of video and text.
As a participant, you can learn the basics of inbound marketing:
- Landing page, blogging, conversion optimization, lead nurturing, SEO and email marketing. Since the course is a series of videos, you can access on your own time and can make your own schedule. -It is a good opportunity for full-time workers-.
The course is worth taking it if you are looking at entering inbound marketing world. It is good to know that the certification is only valid for 1 year. However, you will always remember what you have learned in your life.
HootSuite University is the educational program offered by the HootSuite and it offers a social media certification program to people who want to build their social media marketing skills.
HootSuite Social Media Marketing Certification has many course options including optimizing social media profiles, social media strategies from A to Z, growing your online community, content marketing fundamentals and social advertising fundamentals. After each module of its course, participants need to take a quiz (and successfully pass those quizzes). Upon successful completion of those, you become a HootSuite Graduate and provided with a “HootSuite Certified” badge.
Hootsuite is a good program with a great content, however, it is technically not a certification. It is a training program with a badge for those who complete.
Pay Per Click University, offered and created by WordStream is a totally free online learning source to build PPC and digital marketing skills.
Within the course, you will learn everything about:
- Pay per click (terminology, structring and more)
- Keyword research
- Landing page optimization
- A/B testing
- PPC for lead generation
- B2B fundamentals
In the course, there are different modules for each level with additional modules for social advertising. Also, PPC University offers search-marketing webinar, PPC analysis and an entire library of e-books and guides that could help advance your capabilities and make perfect your search marketing presence. It is good to know that the course is all about Pay Per Click and digital advertising.
The Skillshare Class, which is offered by Skillshare and created by Buffer, is a great opportunity to learn every detail about social media marketing. You will find many choices in many categories depending on topics you are interested. You will basically learn and deeply understand content marketing, paid advertising strategies, using the right marketing tools and more.
Whether you are looking to increase brand awareness, website traffic or drive sales; learn how yo make a social media strategy to achieve your goals on social media.
The course is ideal for beginner and intermediate levels.
The course is free for 1 month. After a 1-month trial, the premium membership is €8 per month. If you become a premium member, you have access to 15,000 premium classes apart from 1,300 free classes. Also, you can download and watch videos offline.
Digital Garage is an online certification course for digital marketing fundamentals. It is great that you take quizzes and exams following each of the 89 lessons without watching each 2-4-minute video.
Each set of lessons follows a certain digital marketing topic and allows you to earn a badge. In total, there are 89 lessons, 23 badges also after each section there is an exam on the material presented. Finally, you take the final exam which takes 5 or 10 minutes to pass. In approximately 3 hours, you can complete the training and receive your certificate in PDF format with your name on it.
It is a great opportunity for small business owners or entrepreneurs who are just getting started with digital to learn:
PAID ONLINE DIGITAL MARKETING COURSES
Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing is a great opportunity with an introduction to key digital marketing fundamentals, from mobile marketing and social media marketing to email marketing, PPC marketing and SEO.
The course is better for beginner students who want to have an in-depth understanding of how to effectively strategize and implement powerful digital marketing campaigns.
The course duration is 30 hours and after the course, there is a certification exam for 3 hours. Here, you can find their online brochure.
The module includes:
- PPC advertising
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Email marketing
- Digital display marketing
- Mobile marketing
- Social media marketing
- Strategy and planning
The fee for the course is €1,750 and the next enrollment deadline is August 9th.
Digital marketing specialist aims to give you an in-depth understanding and advanced knowledge of digital marketing domains. During the online training, they offer an industry recommended learning path, monthly mentoring sessions by experts, on-the-go learning with Android and IOS apps and at the end of the course you earn a Masters Certification on completion. Here, you can watch their introduction video.
- Digital marketing certified associate
- Advanced web analytics
- Advanced search engine optimization
- Advanced pay per click
- Advanced social media
- Advanced content marketing
- Advanced conversion optimization
- Advanced mobile marketing
- Advanced email marketing
From their website, you can check the content for each course and preview videos without enrolling.
The price for the masters program is 1,299$ and you have 365 days online access.
The University of Vermont is a public research university based in the United States and it’s the fifth of the New England higher education institutions established after Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth and Brown.
According to their website, they provide you to advance your career in digital marketing and learn the latest innovative digital marketing strategies. The University of Vermont’s Digital Marketing Fundamentals Certificate can be completed in 12 weeks and it requires 8-10 hours of your time per week.
- Overview and introduction of Digital Marketing
- Paid search
- Email marketing
- Display advertising
- Social marketing
- Mobile marketing
For last 3 weeks, students are required to prepare a Digital Marketing project, which is a great advantage and different than other programs, and present the project. The objective of the project for students to gain experience in developing an executable digital marketing plan.
Here, you can check descriptions for each module. Each topic is taught each week by seasoned lecturers.
Fall term starts on September 27, 2017 and the price for 12 weeks online certification is $1,695.
My personal idea is this program would be number one considering that is one the most affordable, respected and fast-paced programs.
Coursera is an education-focused tech company based in California, US. According to their website, you will explore several aspects of the new digital marketing environment with this course. It is good to know that The Digital Marketing Certificate was the top coveted certificate on Coursera in 2015.
Five courses including topics:
- Digital marketing analytics
- Search engine optimization
- Social media marketing
- 3D printing
It is a good chance to have this certification in only 5 courses: each course requires 32 to 40 hours over four weeks to complete. At the end of the course, you have a chance to have a richer understanding of new digital marketing landscape and acquire a new set of concepts and tools.
In all, the entire specialization track takes 26 weeks and the individual courses are priced at $79. If you want to enroll for the entire package, it is priced at $426.