Without digital marketing, your business could fall behind the times.
Any business that doesn’t have a strong digital presence misses the opportunity to connect with potential customers in any of the more than 99,000 Google searches that take place every second.
The key to your business’ success may lie in digital marketing: targeted messaging delivered through digital media to promote brand awareness, attract potential customers, and increase conversions.
The great news is that any business owner can learn how to use digital marketing to their advantage with no previous experience. We’ve put together a list of our six favorite online digital marketing courses that teach entrepreneurs to leverage the internet for greater engagement.
Why learn about digital marketing?
Digital marketing is everywhere. Many successful businesses — including brick-and-mortar stores — use it to expand their reach. In fact, 55% of all marketing in 2022 was digital.
Digital marketing has many advantages, including:
Broad connections: Traditional advertising is often limited by geography. TV advertisements and billboards can only extend so far. For businesses with national or global ambitions, developing a marketing plan is challenging, expensive, and time-consuming.
But on the web, even the smallest businesses can connect with customers outside of their immediate communities — and throughout the world. Many digital marketing strategies are virtually borderless, meaning they have the potential to affect more people.
Lower costs: Digital marketing is less expensive than traditional marketing but just as — if not more — powerful. It remains cost-effective whether a business is marketing locally or globally.
Because of its affordability, digital marketing allows smaller businesses to compete in the same spaces as larger corporations.
Targeted messaging: Digital marketing tools often provide the necessary data to analyze leads and customers in-depth. Entrepreneurs can study various demographics, their spending habits, and how their purchasing patterns evolve.
Assessing customer behavior allows businesses to quickly grasp changing demands and tailor their marketing strategies to suit evolving customer needs.
6 digital marketing courses to kickstart your learning
Wondering how to get into digital marketing? Many free and low-cost online courses offer in-depth learning, provide professional certificates, and keep business owners on top of the latest trends and technologies.
Whether you have marketing experience or are a complete beginner, everyone has room to learn. Choose a course based on your current knowledge and skill level, budget, and resources.
Here are six of the best digital marketing courses available online:
1. Fundamentals of Digital Marketing by Google
Google's Fundamentals of Digital Marketing course was created by Google trainers to help beginners in their businesses and careers.
The program covers the fundamentals of digital marketing in 26 comprehensive sessions. Topics extend from content marketing to data analytics and everything in between, including insights about their proprietary Google Analytics and Google Ads software.
The course consists of short modules, quizzes, and a final exam with 40 questions. If you pass the exam, you receive a digital certificate of completion.
- Who’s it for? This course is for beginners looking to understand digital marketing basics and Google’s in-house Analytics and Ads tools.
- How long is the course? It’s estimated to take 40 hours to complete. But there’s no time limit on the course — you can work on the 26 modules across several days, weeks, or longer.
- How much does it cost? This is a free marketing course with an accredited certification.
2. Viral Marketing and How to Craft Contagious Content on Coursera
Viral Marketing and How to Craft Contagious Content is offered by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The course is taught by Jonah Berger, a marketing professor at Wharton who has a 98% content rating from over 14,700 reviews.
The course is inspired by Berger's bestselling book, "Contagious: Why Things Catch On," and highlights the underlying principles of viral marketing. Berger teaches how to sell ideas, services, and products through social media and word-of-mouth.
The course includes lessons on viral content, copywriting, and other digital marketing skills and tools.
- Who’s it for? This course is ideal for those already familiar with the basics of digital marketing who want to grow their content on social media or create viral marketing campaigns.
- How long is the course? This four-week course is divided into 27 videos and spans four hours.
- How much does it cost? Enrollment is free, but if you want an official Wharton School certificate, it costs $95 at the end of the course. Financial aid is available.
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3. Digital Marketing Foundations by LinkedIn
LinkedIn's Digital Marketing Foundations course offers concise video lessons covering topics including search engine optimization (SEO), copywriting, and more.
This course doesn’t offer in-depth explanations of digital marketing specifics, but it provides a strong overview of the industry to empower you to identify potential areas of interest for your business. LinkedIn Learning also offers longer modules on each concept introduced in this Foundations course.
Completion of this course earns a downloadable LinkedIn Learning Certificate and a badge that can be added to your LinkedIn profile.
- Who’s it for? This course is for people looking to understand the basics of digital marketing before pursuing specialized marketing techniques for their businesses.
- How long is the course? The course consists of nine modules plus an introduction and conclusion, totaling 90 minutes of learning.
- How much does it cost? Subscribers to LinkedIn Learning — including individuals with LinkedIn Premium memberships — can access the course for free, but subscriptions start at $19.99 per month. Those without a subscription can purchase the course for $29.99. Note that the platform offers a free one-month trial of LinkedIn Learning to first-time users, which leaves plenty of time to complete the course before the trial expires.
4. The Complete Digital Marketing Course by Udemy
Although Udemy uses video courses like other platforms, it uniquely emphasizes learning through practice. The Complete Digital Marketing Course covers categories from digital marketing strategy to website building. We recommend this course if you want to create a website for your business or update an existing one.
The course offers a hands-on experience rather than only feeding you information and notes. With over 700,000 students and a 4.5-star rating, this is one of Udemy's best selling digital marketing courses.
- Who’s it for? This course is great for anyone looking to learn digital marketing from scratch, especially entrepreneurs struggling to get their businesses off the ground. Many companies, including Volkswagen, Box, and Eventbrite, use this course to aid employee skill development.
- How long is the course? The course is just over 22 hours long. It includes 35 articles and eight downloadable resources.
- How much does it cost? The price of the course is $149.99.
5. Internet Marketing for Smart People by Copyblogger
Copyblogger’s Internet Marketing for Smart People isn’t your standard online digital marketing certificate program, nor is it a dedicated course in internet marketing. Instead, it’s a bite-sized way to learn digital marketing through a weekly email newsletter called “The Killer and the Poet.”
The email series offers different lessons and training on marketing using the “Copyblogger method,” which Copyblogger claims is a systematic way to create a profitable online business or promote your brick-and-mortar company using digital marketing.
- Who’s it for? This newsletter is great for busy business owners who don’t have time to sit through a 20-hour course and want weekly tips and tricks on digital marketing. We recommend “The Killer and the Poet” for bloggers and people looking to promote their business online by taking advantage of the latest marketing tools and trends.
- How long is the course? You’ll keep receiving the “course” in your inbox until you unsubscribe from Copyblogger’s email service.
- How much does it cost? “The Killer and the Poet” newsletter and all of Copyblogger’s blogs are free to read.
6. Content Marketing Toolkit Course by Semrush
Semrush’s Content Marketing Toolkit Course was created by a team of in-house digital marketing professionals to provide in-depth knowledge of Semrush's SEO tools.
The course structure is divided into nine modules, including SEO for social media platforms, learning to use a writing assistant, and navigating a marketing calendar. Each module is five minutes long and comes with a quiz to test your knowledge of the module's topic.
Once you've completed the course and passed the final test, you'll receive a certificate from Semrush Academy.
- Who’s it for? This SEO course is excellent for beginners with no prior experience in digital marketing. If you have a blog or want your business to be more visible on search engines and social media, this course is a great way to begin understanding the basics of SEO. We recommend this course for those who don’t want to spend a lot of time learning about multiple digital marketing strategies.
- How long is the course? You can complete the entire course in under an hour. The certification exam consists of 16 questions that must be completed in 27 minutes.
- How much does it cost? The Content Marketing Toolkit Course is free and earns a Semrush certification.
Use digital marketing to grow your website
Whether you’re a freelancer who creates digital marketing strategies for clients or a business owner looking to establish an online presence for your company, there are few ways to better grow an audience than marketing your business through a website.
Previously, you needed digital marketing specialists and industry experts to create websites. Now, visual web development platforms like Webflow offer powerful web design services and tutorials to help create websites on your own with no coding necessary.
Want to know more? Learn how various startups took their businesses to the next level with Webflow and build your own website today.