Do you want to learn more about the world of digital marketing?
You are not alone.
Considering that digital advertising in the U.S. is now a $30 Billion larger market than TV advertising, it makes sense to stay in the loop of all things digital.
But how do you keep up?
Digital marketing courses are a fantastic way to refresh and improve your knowledge.
I jumped into the cold water and tested four (free!) online courses.
Here's the result:
Hubspot: Content Marketing Course
Hubspot offers a variety of free courses that also provide certificates as proof of completion.
I personally completed their content marketing course several months ago and I really enjoyed it.
They offer a well-balanced curriculum and their lessons are easy to navigate.
What can you expect from the content marketing course?
Here's a list of topics that are covered:
Hubspot Content Marketing Topics:
Content ideas generation, story-telling, content strategies, frameworks, effective writing, content repurposing.
Keep in mind, this is only a small selection.
The full course consists of 13 lessons with a video length of more than 4 hours. If any of the topics spark your interest though, chances are you will like the rest.
The primary lessons are served in video format but almost every section provides additional .pdf guides and sheets to assist you.
Every lesson is instructed by a different teacher which keeps the modules interesting.
Like most online courses, you can take the lessons at your own pace. Once you completed all of the lessons, you can start to take the exam.Get Started
The exam consists of a multiple-choice questionnaire that covers topics from the entire curriculum. You have 3 hours to complete the exam but the estimated time is around one hour.
Once you are finished, you will receive the final result.
If you passed the test and are happy with your score, you can go ahead and download your certificate right away! You must correctly answer 45 out of 60 questions.
You also have the option to retake the test if you fail or are unhappy with the score. There is however a waiting time of 12 hours.
In addition to the course material, you will be able to benefit from some of their free resources, such as guides, slides and additional blog posts.
My personal opinion.
Despite being free, I learned a lot of valuable information from the content marketing course.
In fact, it inspired countless ideas for me to implement with my own business.
Even if you are already experienced, you can still pick up a few nuggets here and there that are worth checking out.
If you struggle with your content marketing efforts, especially in establishing a solid routine and structure, you will definitely love this course!
Hubspot found a great balance between theory and practical knowledge and strategies.
I often found myself wanting to apply some of the strategies right away.
Here are their most popular courses:
Google: Digital Garage
Imagine you could call yourself "Google Certified". Sounds great, doesn't it?
Well now your dream can come true - and it doesn't cost a dime!
Google's Digital Garage covers the entire digital marketing spectrum. It is not as in-depth as some paid alternatives out there, but you will learn the fundamental basics.
There are 26 modules in total that span 40 hours worth of content.
The lessons are served in video format and once you earn badges for all the 26 individual segments, you are ready to take the final 40-question exam.
Overall, the course is well balanced. Some modules feel very easy while others may introduce new concepts to you.Get Started
If you aim for the certificate, I'd suggest following every chapter thoroughly to increase your chances of acing the test.
Twitter Flight School
In case you were dreaming about becoming a pilot, I have to disappoint you: The Twitter Flight School doesn't teach you how to fly. Instead, you will get the chance to learn more about Twitter's advertising tools.
The visual layout is minimalistic and each segment displays a range of statistics and interesting data on digital advertising. The course isn't very lengthy and you can complete it rather quickly.
There are a few multiple choice questions at the end of every chapter. All in all, it feels more like an extended blog post. You will, however, receive your certificate at the end.
Can I recommend this course?
Unlike the other courses mentioned in this article, the Twitter Flight School is primarily intended to raise awareness about Twitter's advertising tools.
However, if you are interested in paid marketing on Twitter and want to learn how to make the most of it, the Twitter Flight School is a great start.Get Started
If you never thought about the impact of running a paid ad campaign before, the presented case studies can be really eye-opening.
Since Twitter is a very popular brand, adding the certificate to your resume certainly won't hurt either.
Optimizely offers a range of different courses with a primary focus on data analytics and experimentation.
While the courses have a close connection to Optimizely's products, they offer some additional value as well.
If data analysis and experimentation are two topics you didn't consider yet, the courses will certainly help you to gain a different perspective.
The primary difference is that Optimizely serves most of their lessons in text format. Don't worry though: There are also images and the occasional video that demonstrate or explain different processes for better understanding.
Unlike any of the other courses, you can even start without signing up for an account.Get Started
However, if you are interested in receiving a certificate and tracking your progress, you will need an account. Yet, if you are completely new to the world of online courses, you may enjoy the fact that you can "test drive" the courses first.
Since digital marketing is an ever-evolving industry that keeps changing at a fast pace, most of the certificates are only "valid" for 1-2 years.
Hubspot, for example, has a valid date that is displayed on each certificate.
Here's a screenshot of mine:
Keep this in mind if you intend to add these certificates to your CV.