Digital marketing has fast grown to become essential and to include topics ranging from social media marketing, Search Engine Optimization, online marketing, e-mail marketing, online strategies, mobile marketing and content development.
It is very important for any business to have a presence online with online statistics in 2018 showing that 4.021 billion people are accessing the internet, 3.196 billion are connected to at least one or two social networks and 5.135 billion people are mobile users.
The most popular social network was Facebook and most used online service is Google. If you would like to take a short course to understand how to market and position your content or business to stand out on these services, the free courses below might help.
HubSpot is an inbound marketing company that has been around for a while and offers online marketing software that companies pay for to boost their online engagement and marketing efforts.
They tapped into their experience and offered a fully extensive course on digital marketing and strategy which has a wide scope on how to plan, implement, attract customers, follow up on email, maximise the power of social media and so much more.
Their inbound model is “Attract, Convert, Close, Delight” and they offer a test at the end of each unit to remind you and test your aptitude. The whole course itself is close to 4 hours minimum, but best be completed in a week for maximum retention.
HubSpot offers examples and situations one could apply to so as to best understand the material. They also offer free downloads of the course material.
It should be noted that HubSpot has become a big name in the digital and online marketing industry that their course is offered on Alison and they partnered with Udacity on its Digital Marketing Nanodegree. After course completion, you are offered a free certificate.
Google launched its Google Digital Garage and Google Digital Skills program accredited by IBA with the aim of empowering more than 20 million people with up to date new-age digital skills basics they could use for their businesses or lives.
Google Digital Garage was tailored for mostly Europe and Google Digital Skills 4 Africa was mainly tailored for much of Africa. The courses can be done online through their online portals supported by Googles Learn platform or through an event or at the premises of one of Google’s implement Digital Skills partner such as Centum Learning in Kenya or Blu Flamingo in Uganda.
Google Digital Skills give an overview and some activities around online marketing, SEO, social media marketing, e-commerce and entrepreneurial skills. You can read the transcripts or watch the embedded video.
At the end of each unit, you take a test to measure your progress and to assess your weak points to improve on. When you finish the entire course, you are given a Google Digital Skills certificate.
FutureLearn has been in existence for over eight years now, and the company has built a reputation for its massive open online course learning platform offering different informative content. The platform’s free digital marketing course is surely one of the best in the market right now as it offers any beginner who wishes to equip themselves with digital skills and knowledge a quick start.
The course was developed by Accenture and is offered by FutureLearn as free content with a duration of two weeks. It offers the learner a comprehensive learning experience in digital marketing strategies and techniques covering areas of online advertising, SEO, Email marketing and much more.
The digital marketing course is part of the Grow Your Career initiative from Accenture and is designed for people who are looking for a new job or just want to learn more about jobs in digital. It was also recently included in the UK’s DfE’s (Department for Education) Skills Toolkit as a must-have skill.
As of June 2020, FutureLearn has over 175 UK and international partners, including non-university partners, which means they offer accredited courses that are delivered in association with colleges such as The University of Edinburgh and University College London.
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Twitter is one of the biggest social networks in the world and more so one of the best social networks to use for your brand or personality. Considering that for the first time in a very long time, Twitter posted its first major profit at the end of its financial year in 2017 from strategic promoted content and ads.
If you want to build a powerful brand using Twitter, you will find that there is a lot of noise out there and very few resources give you a full exhaustive insight on how to leverage its power.
That is why Twitter setup Twitter Flight School and Twitter Business resources, their two platforms to help provide original content and inspirational information that agencies, businesses and digital marketers can learn from to build better brands and marketing campaigns.
Twitter Flight School lets you choose a Flightpath such as “Executive” to determine the best content that might suit you. Depending on the path taken, the time needed to complete that particular course and the course material will be slightly different and tuned to you.
The program also offers numerous real-life examples from successful strategies and promotions employed by big name brands on the platform such as Coca-Cola, Nike, etc.
Every course path you finish will earn you a free Twitter endorsed certificate after passing a short test.
Alison might be a recent global entrant from Ireland in the e-learning platform space but has quickly grown to amass tons and tons of very educative courses and material plus credibility.
Alison’s major strength is having courses on almost everything that could benefit the random user who is in business, school or professional career such as Algebra, management skills, social media marketing, caring for children and so much more.
The course provider started out specializing in only professional self-development courses, all courses on the platform are free and can be studied at any time of convenience while tracking progress but to earn a certificate; you have to pay a small fee and it is printed, sealed and shipped for you alongside the digital version emailed to you for download.
They were probably once the only network providing a diploma in social media marketing, all other websites were only offering certifications or free courses.
When Alison revamped their website last year (2017), they retired the old social media marketing course and provided an even better more revamped one. Alison didn’t stop there, they made a partnership with HubSpot to also offer the Certified Inbound Marketing Course in their platform.
The best thing about Alison is that some certificates are free whereas the ones that are paid for, the price is determined by the location to help those in less fortunate areas attain a chance at education and self-development.
Facebook Blueprint is Facebook’s little known online academy. It might have more content related to and curated by Facebook than all the above including Instagram tips and resources.
In fact, it has social much content that when you don’t know exactly where to start from for your learning goal, you can easily get lost or dissuaded the first time you sign up.
The good thing about it though is everything you need to know on how take advantage of Facebook is there, a little similar to Twitter Flight School except less organized and guided like Twitter did. If you sign up Facebook occasionally sends you examples of brands that have successfully used Facebook business, ads, Instagram and strategies to succeed.
They send you some short courses to undertake, at the end of some of them you get free certificates of completion. It is a combination of both video and text transcripts.
If you feel you are ready, you can do the Facebook Blueprint exams which are for the Facebook certified ad planner and Facebook certified ad manager but the exam is ridiculously hard even if you have experience with Facebook marketing and there is no guidance on what to read ahead of doing it.
Are there any other online free digital and online marketing courses you have encountered and find worthy of this list? You can let us know in the comments or through the contact us form.
Lawrence writes about tech, lifestyle, politics, business, crypto and occasionally entertainment. He writes for Newslibre and Spur Magazine while consulting with numerous international companies on strategy, community management and marketing.
He has contributed to the journalism, open source, film, youth, web, Andela and Mozilla communities.