The best online marketing courses and certificates
The best marketing courses online -- and the certificates they grant -- can help you prove you’re the marketer you say you are. Becoming a better marketer is hard. It requires time, patience, and dedication. Even when you put all those elements into your craft, you still may not have much to show for it.
Campaigns flop, good ideas get nixed, and in the end, if you’re trying to prove you’ve got the chops you say you do, you may find yourself relying on your soft skills - your people skills - instead of your results. The best marketers are data-driven marketers. People skills are great, but we all know results are what matter.
These online marketing courses, lots of which are free to obtain the certification, offer you the chance to verifiably show that you know your way around the biggest social media and tech platforms in the world, and that you can be the one trusted with the advertising budget, the one trusted to deliver the goods.
Facebook Ad Manager is one of the biggest advertising platforms on the planet, and it makes sense since over half the world’s population is on Facebook. That includes someone you want to reach.
Blueprint, Facebook’s free marketing certification, shows you exactly how to do that through the various types of ads and ad sets you can create, to the custom audiences you build from your Pixel.
While it will take you a lot longer than simply going through the courses to master this platform, it’s well worth your time to become Blueprint Certified. The exam to receive certification does cost $150, but the courses are free. So be sure you’re well prepared before you write that check!
Google is the king of search and they have a comprehensive curriculum to help you get started advertising on their platforms. Whether you’re just hoping to improve your organic SEO, or you want to master search engine advertising (SEA) the Google SkillShop has you covered.
It doesn’t stop there though, Google also offers a rich variety of courses and tutorials for one of the biggest social networks, it doubles as a search engine, and is probably the most lucrative place to advertise on the internet right now: YouTube.
Advertising on YouTube is a surefire way to reach a captive audience of millions. And it’s not nearly as hard as you might think. The course for Google video ads runs 4 hours. A small time investment that can lead to outsized results.
As if that’s not enough, and you need to get extremely creative AND need to reach a captive audience that’s also extremely transient - Google even offers fundamental tips for advertising on Waze through Waze Academy. That can lead to some extremely imaginative advertising campaigns, like this example from Burger King.
HubSpot Academy: Social Media Monitoring and Analytics course
HubSpot is your go-to resource for all things inbound marketing. Or at least, it should be. Besides their many outstanding tools they offer valuable content, and in the eyes of other marketers - valuable, free marketing certificates that prove you’ve completed the online coursework, and are the right person for their needs.
The world of social media marketing is big, and while HubSpot covers practically everything under the sun in that world, we’re focusing here on the thing we value at Talkwalker - the social media monitoring and listening course. This free marketing certification tells strategists, branding professionals and everyone else that you are a social listening professional, ready and willing to deliver insights gleaned from social media.
LinkedIn Learning courses and certificates
LinkedIn Learning is a full digital learning academy with courses ranging from executive leadership, to sales and web design. For our purposes of course, we want to focus on what it offers to marketers.
LinkedIn Learning offers the first month for free, and then costs $19.99 a month after that. LinkedIn Learning has courses that digital marketers should absolutely explore including how to build ads on LinkedIn, Sales as well as more structural topics like Lead Conversion and Funnel Expansion.
Whatever courses you choose, you can get a shareable button to certify your knowledge on LinkedIn, and get a step up on your way to your next opportunity.
Flight school, from Twitter, who doesn’t dream of being a pilot?
With this certificate you can pilot your own career as a digital marketing expert, and a Twitter guru to boot.
Twitter likes to boast they are the platform where things happen, and that’s true. It’s also where hyperactive users congregate, creating culture that spreads across social media.
My favorite thing to say, “I saw it on twitter already” 😂😂😂— ♡ taliwalie ♡ (@turntuptali) March 23, 2020
It’s a great place to advertise, and a great place for your brand to be seen. Dive in with a Flight School certificate and prove you’re the culturally connected marketer they need.
Amazon Advertising free certification
Amazon Advertising is a completely different beast from the rest of the free online marketing courses and certificates you can find on this list. I’ve included it in case it’s of interest to the solo-preneur or anyone else who advertises on the Amazon ecosystem. There is a whole learning module around returning value while advertising on Amazon.
Remember, if you’re advertising in a space where consumers are already in the mindset to buy things, your calculation as a marketer needs to shift too. These are bottom-of-the-funnel leads already.
So you really want to catch them all, huh?
The ghost with the most
has cool ways to post
and unique features to boast.
-- Old marketers’ wisdom commonly heard on Madison Avenue circa 2019
Snapchat is a very different platform from all the others. It’s only format is vertical. Your ads can be a face filter! Or a game. Or both! But don’t be cringey, please.
Either way, it’s a more complex and technical ecosystem to master, and as far as certifications go, there are none. You’ll have to rely on your knowledge and campaign results if you want to prove you know the platform.
Now, don’t let that scare you. Snap’s YouTube page makes getting started easy, and like all things when it comes to advertising, and especially when you’re on a unique platform, you are only limited by your own creativity.
Go get 'em!
There you have it, the main social media platforms and how to become an advertising master on each of them. Which platforms will you focus on?
By downloading our quick guide you can learn all the estimated times for completing each of these courses. You’ll also find, as you work your way through different platforms that you are developing overlapping skills that should make it easier, and quicker for you to progress.
Do you have questions? Leave them below!