Best Digital Marketing resources online to try in 2021

Tharushi Botheju

Social Media Executive

The COVID-19 pandemic has made everything “go digital”, including businesses. With an increasing demand for digital solutions and talent, it’s now more important than ever to pick up the right skills to stay ahead of the curve. There are countless online resources you can refer to boost your knowledge in digital marketing and stay updated on trends.

We have put together 24 online resources sectioned into the following categories:

  1. Digital Marketing
  2. Social Media Marketing
  3. Content Marketing
  4. Graphic Design
  5. Data and Analytics
  6. All-in-One Learning Spaces for Digital marketing

1. Get the full scope of Digital Marketing with these online courses

These online resources will open the door for knowledge in digital marketing and new digital skills. Here are a few for you to get started.

Fundamentals of Digital Marketing

Offered by: Google Digital Garage, Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe, The Open University
Certification: Available
Skill Level: Beginner Level
Cost: Free
Duration: 40 hours

The Fundamentals of Digital Marketing, formerly known as Digital Unlock, is a free online certification awarded by Google Digital Garage, Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe, and the Open University.

There are 26-course modules in total for you to complete. At the end of the course, you are required to face a 40-question examination to earn the free certification.

The course topics cover:

  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Pay-Per-Click Advertising and Display Advertising
  • Google Analytics
  • Content Marketing

Key learnings:

  • Have a clear understanding of your marketing efforts
  • Focus on engaging with your customers
  • How to pick longer-tail, less competitive keywords
  • How to get listed locally
  • How to start your business small and invest moderately

Digital Marketing Specialization

Offered by: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Certification: Available
Skill Level: Beginner Level
Cost: Free
Duration: 8 Months

Illinois offers a free Digital Marketing Specialization certification that is part of the university’s Masters of Business Administration degree program. The program is conducted by a prestigious faculty, one of them being the Head of Analytics at Google.

As an enrolled student, you should complete a hands-on project at the end of the course. Once you finish the course, you may even want to continue with the full Master’s program at the university — that is 100% online!

The course topics cover:

  • Digital Marketing
  • Data Analysis and Visualization
  • Pricing and Product Strategies
  • Marketing Mix
  • Data Collection
  • Analytics

Key learnings:

  • Learning motivations behind data collection and analysis methods
  • How to evaluate and choose appropriate web analytics tools and techniques
  • Measuring customer’s digital actions

Seth’s Marketing Blog

Offered by: Seth Godin
Certification: Unavailable
Skill Level: All Levels
Cost: Free
Duration: Flexible

Seth Godin is the author of 20 bestselling books, founder of two internet companies, and a three times TEDx Speaker! He is also the owner of the #1 marketing blog online with over 7000 entries.

He also hosts podcasts, videos (of his interviews and talks), and workshops, which you can access via his blog. The ‘Modern Marketing with Seth Godin’ on Udemy e-learning platform is also a popular course among 100,000+ students along with his freelance master classes.

His blog topics cover:

  • Marketing
  • Leadership
  • Band Stories such as Google and Apple
  • Helpful tips for your day-to-day life

Key learnings:

  • How to blog while building trust
  • How to specifically market for your customers
  • His insights into Permission Marketing
  • How to embrace failure as an emerging marketer

Hubspot’s Digital Marketing Course

Offered by: HubSpot Academy
Certification: Available
Skill Level: Beginner Level
Cost: Free
Duration: 4 Hours

The latest Digital Marketing course by Hubspot Academy includes nine video lessons and 11 quizzes to test your industry knowledge.

Students searching for an introduction to digital marketing and marketers who want to broaden their skills are welcome to take this course. With the free Hubspot-certified certificate, you will also get many learning materials such as workbooks to complete different marketing exercises.

The course topics will cover:

  • Digital Marketing Fundamentals
  • Content Creation Framework
  • SEO Strategy
  • Email Marketing
  • Paid Search Advertising

Key learnings:

  • How to optimize your site for search engines
  • How to create a non-paid strategy grow your followers
  • How to an ad strategy to amplify your business message to your target audience

2. Try These Resources to Step Up Your Social Media Game

If you want your brand to grow online, social media is the perfect platform. Here are a few courses to help you gain insight into popular social networks.

YouTube Creator Academy

Offered by: YouTube
Certification: Unavailable
Skill Level: Beginner Level
Cost: Free
Duration: 15-90 Minutes

YouTube Creator Academy is an excellent place to brush up your skills in content creation and video marketing. It only takes one and half hours to finish.

The course topics cover:

  • YouTube Channel Foundation
  • YouTube Content Strategy
  • Video Production
  • Channel Optimization
  • Monetization

Key learnings:

  • How to set up and brand your channel
  • Learn how to enhance your channel reach
  • How to earn money through YouTube Partner Program (YPP)

Social Media 101

Offered by: Constant Contact
Certification: Unavailable
Skill Level: Beginner Level
Cost: Free
Duration: Flexible

The Social Media Quickstarter is a platform dedicated to anyone interested in learning all about social media. You can learn about all the popular social networks through their detailed blog articles.

The blog topics cover:

  • Facebook 101
  • Twitter 101
  • Instagram 101
  • Youtube 101
  • Pinterest 101
  • Snapchat 101
  • Linkedin 101
  • Google My Business

Key learnings:

  • How to build your social media presence for your brand
  • How to develop your target audience
  • How to increase your brand’s visibility on social media

Hubspot’s Social Media Marketing

Offered by: Hubspot Academy
Certification: Available
Skill Level: Beginner Level
Cost: Free
Duration: 4 and ½ hours

Hubspot’s Social Media Marketing course curriculum has eight lessons consisting of 40 videos and 29 quizzes. This free certification offered by the course is valuable for all social media marketers and marketing managers who want to increase their knowledge in social media.

The course topics will cover:

  • Social Media Strategy
  • Social Media Monitoring and Listening
  • Social Media Advertising
  • Social Return on Investment (ROI)

Key learnings:

  • How to develop an effective social media strategy for your business
  • How to build an inbound strategy that delights your customers
  • How to Increase the power of social media to transform your business and your career

Context is Key: Social Media Strategy in a Noisy Online World Course by Gary V

Offered by: Skillshare
Certification: Available
Skill Level: Beginner Level
Cost: Skillshare Premium (US$2.49/mo or US$8.00/mo)
Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes

In this 23-lesson program, Wine Guru and CEO of Vaynermedia, Gary Vaynerchuk, breaks down how to tell the right story on the relevant platform — Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest — in under 90 minutes.

The course topics cover:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing
  • Business
  • Content Strategy
  • Social Media Strategy

Key learnings:

  • How you will build long-term relationships with customers
  • How to tailor your content to your audience
  • How to apply real-world examples to your online campaign

3. Online Resources to Master The Art of Content Marketing Along with SEO and Blogging

Content Marketing is undoubtedly a business’s best friend as it helps your business stand apart from the rest. Content is also a part of your efforts in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media, Business Blogging, Public Relations, and Inbound Marketing.

Blogging for Business

Offered by: Ahfres Academy
Certification: Unavailable
Skill Level: Beginner Level
Cost: Free
Duration: 5 hours

The Blogging for Business course is designed by Tim Soulo, Chief Marketing Office at Ahrefs. It provides an overview of growing your blog past 100,000 monthly visitors and turning many of your readers into paying customers. The 5-hour course contains ten tutorials in three to twelve-minute video lessons.

The course topics cover:

  • Content Marketing
  • Blog Strategies
  • Keyword Traffic and Difficulty
  • Great Content Creation
  • Building backlinks

Key learnings:

  • How to use keyword research extensively
  • Why backlinks are essential to rank high in Google results
  • How to find great content ideas with high business value
  • How to create great content that promotes itself

Ninja Writing: The Four Levels Of Writing Mastery

Offered by: Udemy
Certification: Available
Skill Level: All Levels
Cost: $13.99 US
Duration: 4 hours and 30 minutes

Former Editor of Wall Street Journal, Shani Raja conducts one of his popular writing courses to master flawless writing — Ninja Writing: The Four Levels Of Writing Mastery.

With 90,000+ students on board, the course reveals four writing mastery levels: narrative, paragraph, sentence, and word. It also contains video lessons and ten downloadable resources for writers to hone their writing skills.

The course topics cover:

  • Paragraph writing
  • Narrative writing
  • Sentence Writing
  • Importance of Word Choice

Key learnings:

  • How to write killer intros
  • How to make blogs, marketing copy, and general business writing
  • How to make your writing stand out from peers

SEO Learning Center

Offered by: Moz Learning Center
Certification: Unavailable
Skill Level: All Levels
Cost: Free
Duration: Flexible

Search Engine Optimization can be a complicated subject area to explore. Moz learning center offers a series of learning materials to improve your knowledge further on SEO. The online materials can be accessed freely and read as a guide.

The guide covers topics related to:

  • Keyword Research
  • On-site Optimization
  • Technical SEO
  • Link Building
  • Site Audits
  • Ranking and Visibility

Key learnings:

  • How to rank higher and increase visibility online
  • Learn about the elements of a website
  • How to audit ranking power of content
  • Learn how to find keywords and phrases
  • Master the knowledge to get your business found online

Content Marketing Toolkit

Offered by: Semrush
Certification: Unavailable
Skill Level: Beginner
Cost: Free
Duration: 3 hours

SEMrush suite is known for its SEMrush Academy. You can watch exclusive videos to learn all nine lessons in three hours. From SEO training to Brand Monitoring tools, learn how to use many content marketing tools.

The course topics cover:

  • Content Analysis and Optimization
  • Content Research and Ideation
  • Content Distribution
  • Content Performance and Management

Key learnings:

  • Use Semrush SEO Writing Assistant and Content Audit tool to develop your content
  • Use the Keyword Magic Tool to research valuable ideas
  • Develop a distribution approach that will get your content noticed
  • Learn how the Post Tracking tool monitors the performance of your content

4. Learn How to Measure Your Brand’s Online Success With These Resources

Digital marketing analytics often provides comprehensive insights on how your business is performing online. The data and analytics you collect from your business’s social media engagement will help you make data-driven decisions. Take these online courses and learn how to scale your business.

Analytics Academy Courses

Offered by: Google Analytics Academy
Certification: Available
Skill Level: All Levels
Cost: Free
Duration: Flexible

The Analytics Academy is another helpful learning platform offered by Google. It helps you learn about Google’s analytical tools to develop your business through intelligent data collection and analysis. The academy also provides mini-courses on Youtube namely Google Analytics for Firebase, Google Tag Manager, and Google Optimize.

The course topics cover:

  • Google Analytics for Beginners
  • Advanced Google Analytics
  • Google Analytics for Power Users
  • Google Analytics 360
  • Intro to Data Studio
  • Google Tag Manager Fundamentals

Key learnings:

  • Learn the basic features of Google Analytics
  • Practice actionable analyses to track business performance
  • Gain insight into how you can benefit from Google Marketing Platform products
  • Learn about advanced Google Analytics features

PPC University

Offered by: WordStream
Certification: Unavailable
Skill Level: All Levels
Cost: Free
Duration: Flexible

Word Stream is famous for its PPC University, a free learning platform that provides information about Pay-Per-Click Marketing for free. It does not offer video-based learning but focuses on a series of blog articles exploring the depths of PPC Ads.

The platform will cover topics on:

  • Keywords
  • Remarketing
  • AdWords Mobile
  • Call Tracking
  • Facebook Ads

Key learnings:

  • Understand the basics of advertising in digital marketing
  • Learn how to advertise on popular social media platforms effectively
  • Learn how to keep up with your competitors with advanced PPC strategies
  • Learn how to enhance your search engine ranking with PPC

Marketing Analytics Course

Offered by: Future Learn (Accredited with University of Virginia and Darden School of Business)
Certification: Available
Skill Level: Beginners Level
Cost: Both free and paid (for $79)
Duration: 5 weeks

Together with the University of Virginia and Darden School of Business, Future Learn offers the Marketing Analytics e-learning course for anyone looking to learn the basics of marketing analytics. This five-week program can be learned at your own pace for two hours a day.

The course topics cover:

  • The marketing process
  • Metrics for measuring brand assets
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Marketing experiments
  • Regression basics

Key learnings:

  • Understanding how data-driven decision-making impacts marketing
  • Learning how to evaluate brand architecture
  • Learning how to test hypotheses
  • Learn how to interpret regression outputs.

Digital Analytics Foundation Course

Offered by: Simple Learn
Certification: Available
Skill Level: Beginner Level
Cost: $33 US
Duration: 6-10 hours

The Digital Analytics Foundation training program is designed to educate young aspirants getting into digital marketing and entry-level professionals on the various frameworks, tools, and digital analytics techniques. This paid certification includes downloadable workbooks, competitive intelligence tools, and simulation exams.

The course topics cover:

  • Organizational maturity
  • Digital Analytics managerial perspective
  • Key Performance Indicators KPIs
  • Marketing Management
  • Reports and Dashboards
  • Segmentation

Key learnings:

  • Learn to track campaign performance
  • Learn access visitor behavior
  • Gain the competitive intelligence to optimize your marketing campaigns

5. Put Your Talent for Design and Imagery with these online resources

Good graphics can tell the story of a thousand words — especially about your brand. Check these graphic design courses and master your design skills.

Graphic Design – Visual and Graphic Design

Offered by: Allison (Accredited with Continuing Professional Development (CPD UK)
Certification: Available
Skill Level: Beginner Level
Cost: Free
Duration: 2-3 hours

Allison’s Visual and Graphic Design online program has more than 200,000 students enrolled. It aims to provide students with knowledge and skills, including graphic design elements and design principles. Once you complete the assessment, you can obtain a free certificate in a PDF format and a physical copy.

The course topics cover:

  • Drawing elements and principles
  • Drawing systems
  • Product systems in Design
  • The Production Process

Key learnings:

  • Learn the basic principles of design, covering composition, balance, and contrast
  • Experience various design elements, including shape and line
  • Understand praline, orthogonal, isometric, and many other drawing systems

Canva Design School

Offered by: Canva
Certification: Unavailable
Skill Level: All Levels
Cost: Free
Duration: Flexible

Canva is a helpful tool when creating visual aesthetics for social media posts such as Instagram and Pinterest. With more than 100,000 students enrolled in each course, the Canva Design School offers three to four minutes of video lessons on various subjects related to design.

The course topics cover:

  • Personal branding
  • Social media mastery
  • Graphic design basics with Pinterest
  • Powerful presentations.

Key learnings:

  • Learn to use Canva to improve your fundamental skills in graphic design
  • How to leverage your personal branding on social media platforms
  • Understand how to use Canva for your presentations and classroom activities

Introduction to Graphic Design

Offered by: Udemy
Certification: Available
Skill Level: Beginner Level
Cost: $94.99 US
Duration: 12 hours

Introduction to Graphic Design on Udemy is a paid certification for those who are looking to expand their career in Graphic Design. The program consists of 5 modules and 54 lectures, including prior research.

The course topics cover:

  • Introduction to Design in Photoshop
  • Logo Design
  • Poster Design
  • Web Design
  • Making an Online Portfolio

Key learnings:

  • Learn how to work with Adobe Photoshop more confidently
  • Understand what it takes in making an online portfolio
  • Learn the process taken with design projects

Graphic Design Specialization

Offered by: CalArts
Certification: Available
Skill Level: Beginner Level
Cost: Free
Duration: Flexible

Here is another valuable e-learning course on Graphic Design offered by CalArts, California Institute of the Arts — Graphic Design Specialization in Coursera.

Improve your fundamental skills in graphic design, presentation, and typography and earn a certificate upon completion. This course includes videos, reading, quizzes following peer feedback, and graded assignments.

The four modules cover topics and tools, including:

  • Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Building Powerpoint resumes, and reports

Key learnings:

  • Gain the fundamental skills needed to be a graphic designer
  • Complete a capstone project to add to your professional portfolio
  • Communicate through image-making and typography
  • Learn about interface design, motion graphics, and editorial design

6. Explore Everything in One Learning Space

Digital Marketing is a vast subject area to explore. These are a few all-in-one online learning spaces that comprise extended topics related to digital marketing.

Linkedin Learning

Offered by: Linkedin
Skill Level: All Levels
Cost: Free and Paid
Duration: Flexible

Previously known as Lynda.com, Linkedin Learning provides subjects and courses to help you succeed in your professional journey — including Digital Marketing.

With more than 16,000 free and paid courses, the platform provides bite-sized video lessons from real-world instructors and industry experts. Having a Linkedin account helps you access these learning materials. With a premium account, you can have access to more courses in various subject areas.

Linkedin Learning includes topics covering:

  • Business
  • Technology
  • Creativity

QuickSprout University

Offered by: Neil Patel
Skill Level: All Levels
Cost: Free
Duration: Flexible

Quick Sprout University is the brainchild of a digital marketing giant, Neil Patel. Learn everything from one of the respected names in the industry. Every material you find in the university is free to access as blogs and you will come across topics like:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Link Building
  • Website Making
  • Paid Advertising
  • Email Marketing

Google Skillshop

Offered by: Google
Skill Level: All Levels
Cost: Free
Duration: Flexible

Google Skillshop provides you with free online training on a range of Google products with a free certification (valid only for a year) at the end of each course.

In 20+ courses, the Google product experts cover:

  • Google Ads
  • Google My Business
  • Google Marketing Platform
  • Google AdMob
  • Google Cloud

Surge Academy

Offered by: Surge Global
Skill Level: All Levels
Cost: Free
Duration: Flexible

At Surge, we have our own digital marketing learning platform — the Surge Academy. This free resource portal curates more than 100 live programs, courses, and videos from industry giants and thought leaders. Hubspot, YCombinator, Ahrefs, Gary V., and Seth Godin are to name a few.

Surge Academy covers:

  • Digital Strategy
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Facebook ads
  • Marketing Automation
  • Startup Essentials

So, there it is! Our 24 top online resources — picked just for you — to learn about digital marketing from scratch.

Keep in mind; digital marketing is not just about one course of study. It consists of various marketing principles such as Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Web Analytics, Content Marketing, Marketing Design, and more. Take your time, have patience, and move forward with your learning. You will get there in no time. Good luck!

Tharushi Botheju

Social Media Executive
Tharushi Botheju is a Social Media Executive at Surge Global based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She specializes in content marketing with a focus on social media. Majoring in English Language and Literature, Tharushi loves writing poems, learning languages, and watching historical documentaries in her spare time.

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