Regardless of whether you run a startup or have been operating your own small business for decades, it’s so important to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing. This holds true even if you hire an in-house expert or outsource to a marketing agency. You should be involved in decisions pertaining to what digital marketing avenues to pursue, how to approach them, what goals to set, how to measure results, and how to continuously improve the strategies.
If you feel a little (or a lot) left behind, or if there are just some aspects or tactics of digital marketing that remain a mystery to you, it’s not too hard to catch up. All you need is a commitment to your professional development and some spare time. The latter may be easier said than done, but if you’re motivated enough, you’ll figure it out.
Take advantage of some or all of the following free online digital marketing courses. That’s right; you don’t need to shell out any cash to learn about the basics. They’re all offered by reputable sources and are geared toward those with beginner-level knowledge.
Also, we cheated with a few of these. Some links below don’t go to individual courses, but to category pages. Each of these contain a handful (or more) of courses dedicated to a particular field of digital marketing. So, there are actually way more than 20 classes for you here.
Free Digital Marketing Classes on the Web
1. Inbound Marketing Certification Course – This HubSpot program is great for getting an overview of inbound marketing (what’s inbound marketing?). It covers fundamentals of SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, calls to action, landing pages, and more. And, if you take and pass the test at the end, you get a nifty one-year certification badge for your LinkedIn profile and other uses.
2. Internet Marketing for Smart People – Delve into this program from Copyblogger for an expansive, enlightening exploration of digital marketing. The materials come as 16 e-books and 20 emails, all provided for free, to go through at your own pace.
3. Content Marketing Certification Course – Here’s another great offering from HubSpot, which also made our list of recommended digital marketing blogs, by the way. It explains what content marketing is, how to develop a strategy and execute it well, how to improve writing quality, promoting your content, analyzing results, and so on. This one too lets you get a certification badge at the end, also for free.
4. The Strategy of Content Marketing – Dive deeper into the nuts and bolts of developing and launching a successful content marketing strategy with this class. It was created by content marketing authority Copyblogger in conjunction with UC Davis Extension. It’s a commitment of two to three hours per week over five weeks.
5. Viral Marketing and How to Craft Contagious Content – Coursera hosts this free course created by the University of Pennsylvania. Go through more than 25 videos over four weeks to get great insights into how to maximize your chances of going viral with content and reaching huge new audiences online.
6. Content Marketing for B2B Enterprises – A video class on content marketing tailored specifically to B2B organizations, this Udemy course takes under 40 minutes to complete. Learn about understanding your audience’s content interests, developing a strategy, creating content that speaks to your target, promoting what you publish, quantifying results, and more.
7. Email Marketing Certification Course – OK, here’s another suggested program, complete with certification badge, from HubSpot. It introduces the fundamentals of email marketing, creating the right messages, building and segmenting your address lists, effective email writing and design, nurturing email leads, measuring results, and other related topics.
8. Email Marketing – QuickSprout’s category page has a few different courses dedicated to this topic. In particular, there are two about building your email list; one covers using Facebook and the other is about using your blog to grow your contact list. These make for a helpful, more focused supplement to the HubSpot course above.
9. Copywriting Blunders: Do You Make These 10 Common Mistakes? – This 1-hour video course from Udemy goes over the 10 most common, most detrimental copywriting mistakes and shows you how to improve copy. Whether you write it yourself or review the work of employees or contractors, this is a quick, eye-opening class that will help.
10. SEO Training Course by Moz – Moz, one of the foremost authorities on SEO (and another of our top recommended digital marketing blogs), put together this great crash course, and it’s hosted on Udemy for free. Spend 3.5 hours with the video at your own pace and gain lots of insights into what SEO really is and how to use it to your brand’s benefit.
11. SEO – QuickSprout’s SEO category page has over 30 free video courses about search engine optimization. It’s a lot, so the best way to use it might be as a supplement to the Moz course above. Find individual classes that cover narrower topics you want to explore more thoroughly.
12. Social Media Marketing – This one too takes you not to a single class, but to QuickSprout’s entire category of free video courses related to social media marketing. There’s general information, plus courses specific to Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, and more.
13. Social Marketing Training – Here’s another collection of free courses, this time from Hootsuite, creator of some of the best free and paid social media marketing tools available. The classes cover a lot of ground, with insightful information about so many of the details involved in social media marketing.
14. Social Media Analytics – Brought to you by Quintly, this provides valuable instruction and insights about the analytics on social media sites. Without an understanding of these built-in tools, you really can’t develop, monitor, and tweak an effective social media marketing campaign.
15. Facebook Blueprint – This is Facebook’s own set of self-paced free courses for learning how to market your business with its various features and tools. It’s highly recommended if you want to capitalize on social media marketing on the leading social network with incredible engagement, promotional, and branding potential.
16. Paid Advertising – Here’s another of QuickSprout’s category pages chock full of free video classes. They cover numerous areas of paid advertising online. It’s a treasure trove, mostly about Google AdWords, but there are a few about Facebook and YouTube advertising, too.
17. Digital Marketing Course – Who better to teach you about Google AdWords than Google? This is go-to instruction straight from the horse’s mouth. If you intend to get involved in the most-used platform for paid advertising online, save yourself a lot of headaches, trial and error, and cash by completing this training first.
18. PPC University – There’s a wealth of information about everything you need to know pertaining to pay-per-click advertising here. It’s from Wordstream, and it starts with the most basic information and proceeds all the way to really advanced stuff.
19. Reputation Management – QuickSprout’s category page on this often-overlooked aspect of digital marketing has a few video courses. Learn generally about managing your reputation on the web, and don’t miss the video on the all-important topic of responding to negative online reviews.
20. Inbound Sales Certification Course – We’ll end by drifting slightly away from marketing for those of you interested in upping your sales game. This is another valuable HubSpot training program and certification. It’s highly recommended if you have to close sales based on leads you get via your company’s inbound marketing tactics.
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