5 Free Ways to Upskill in Digital Marketing

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Digital Marketing is a field that is constantly shifting--some might say shifting under our feet almost! You’ve got to keep up with all the changes to have the edge over your competitors.

We try to provide you with as many written resourcesinterviews with experts, and explainer videos as we can, here at Optily. Sometimes you just need a more structured approach to serve as a refresher or introduction to a particular stream of marketing you need to buff up your skills.

So whether you’re a new grad looking for practical knowledge to help you in interviews or a seasoned marketer who needs a refresher–there are plenty of sources out there–almost too many. But we’ve got you covered!

We’ve gone through and picked out our top 5 sources for free courses on digital marketing.

1. Hubspot Academy

Format: videos (with transcripts)

Skill levels: Beginner-Advanced

The masters of inbound marketing, naturally, are providing their target audience (marketers) with plenty of resources. Hubspot Academy is a collection of hundreds of courses on a variety of topics for all levels. Of course, they cater to Hubspot users and upskilling people to take full advantage of their own services and reports, but they go way beyond that.

Their marketing courses cover a wide array of topics, including:

  • Contact Management
  • Content Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Inbound Marketing
  • Lead Generation
  • Reporting and Performance
  • SEO
  • Social Media
  • Web design

What’s great is you get a nice certificate of completion at the end of each course that you can add to your resume and show off on your LinkedIn profile.

2. Google Digital Garage

Format: videos (with transcripts)

Skill levels: Beginner-Intermediate

If you’re in marketing you can’t really get around using Google. So, who better to hear from than the proverbial horse’s mouth?

Google Digital Garage provides over 150 courses of varying lengths, specializations, and knowledge levels. Beginner-level courses cover topics like getting your business online or the basics of business communication, while the more advanced classes can teach you how to build an AI or work with Machine Learning. While not all the courses are free (some are associated with international universities), most are and you’ll get a certificate of completion at the end.

3. Facebook Blueprint

Format: Written and interactive
Skill levels: Beginner-Advanced

Unless you’re solely in the search marketing world, you’ll likely need to familiarize yourself with the giant of social media: Facebook. Facebook Blueprint is growing a collection of courses to help not just marketers, but developers, community leaders, business owners, and charities learn how to make the most of the presence across their family of apps.

While the courses are all free and vary from really basic to quite advanced and technical, the certifications are a bit on the pricey side. They cost $150 and are valid for a year, so you’ve got to keep up-to-date. They’re pretty rigorous too and are proctored either in-person (or because of COVID) online with computer and webcam monitoring (so make sure your roommates know to put a shirt on while you’re taking your exam!).

The certification courses currently available are:

  • Digital Marketing Associate
  • Marketing Science Professional
  • Creative Strategy Professional
  • Media Planning Professional
  • Media Buying Professional
  • Marketing Developer
  • Media Buying Professional
  • Advanced Marketing Developer
  • Advertising API Developer
  • Community Manager

As you’re completing the lessons you get a certificate for each section you finish and some very exciting confetti across your whole screen. It’s the little thing that stands out for me 🎊

4. Constant Contact’s Social Media Quickstarter

Format: Written, collection of articles
Skill levels: Beginner-Advanced

Constant Contact is known for its marketing platform, but the intro courses that cover the major social media platforms are top-notch. Social Media Quickstarter goes into detail on each platform to help you decide if it’s right for your business. They then show you how to build up a social media presence on each one.

The programs they currently offer are:

  • Facebook 101
  • Twitter 101
  • LinkedIn 101
  • Pinterest 101
  • Instagram 101
  • Google My Business
  • YouTube 101
  • Snapchat 101

There’s tons of good information, but there isn’t any kind of certification associated with them. So if you need something to back up what you’ve learned, you might be better off with another option.

5. WordStream’s PPC University

Format: Written, collection of articles
Skill levels: Beginner-Advanced

If you’re looking for everything from starter courses to expert-level search and social marketing courses, look no further than WordStream’s PPC University. This collection of their best articles from PPC and SMM experts is a great resource.

They really get at the meat of what you need to know and keep their articles fresh and up-to-date as things change.

Their topics are grouped under the following categories:

  • PPC 101
  • PPC 102
  • Advanced PPC
  • Social Ads 101
  • Facebook Ads
  • Guides

Beyond the organized progression of articles for each course, WordStream also offers 3 great tools for marketers to use: free keyword tool, Google Ads grader, and Facebook Ads grader.

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