Top 4 Digital Marketing Courses for 2018

By Rhonda Bradley / 20 November 2018

Find out which skills and courses are most important for marketers in 2018.

There are hundreds of online opportunities for marketers who want to learn how to improve their skills. 

Blogs, news sites, case studies, and content libraries are some of the ways that marketers keep up with the changing nature of the industry.

Until five years ago, there were no online courses that marketers could take to help them learn and master their craft. However, since the inception of Coursera.com and EdX.com in 2012, the educational opportunities have grown immensely.

Now the question is: When you’re ready to brush up on important skills or learn new ones, which courses should you choose?

In this article,  we show you some of the top digital marketing courses of 2018. You’ll find the top courses in the following subjects:

  • Inbound marketing
  • General digital marketing
  • SEO
  • Google Analytics

Some of the best classes for marketers are available online. 

1. HubSpot’s “Inbound Marketing” Emphasizes Customer-First Marketing

Course: Inbound Marketing Certification Course, HubSpot

This course covers inbound marketing techniques such as:

  • Content creation
  • Content marketing strategy
  • Social promotions
  • Lead nurturing
  • Conversion optimization
  • Topic clusters 

This course is for: Business owners, professional marketers wanting to improve their digital marketing knowledge, or anyone who wishes to work in marketing. 

The course includes over 4 hours of video plus a free downloadable study guide. It consists of 11 classes, each containing between 2 - 5 video lessons and a quiz.

Also included with the course are bonus materials, outside learning resources, and recommended reading.

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HubSpot Academy Inbound Marketing course teaches modern digital marketing, direct from the company whose CEO coined the term “Inbound Marketing” in 2005. 

According to HubSpot, inbound marketing is both a business strategy and a mindset. The inbound method seeks to attract, engage, and delight customers. Its roots, however, are based on a philosophy that believes in genuinely serving its customers.

HubSpot inbound marketing flywheel
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The concept of inbound marketing grew in response to the  blackhat scammers who made millions by manipulating the SERPS and spamming online users. This created an online environment that caused many people to assume that the internet was largely comprised of criminals and scammers.

Today, blackhat techniques aren’t as effective as they once were. Instead, the practice of creating content and building relationships is the “status-quo” among brands and marketers. 

HubSpot co-founder and CEO Brian Halligan is largely responsible for the change. His unique approach, called “inbound marketing,” was introduced to the world in 2005 and scoffed at by many of the the era’s marketers

Not only did inbound marketing seek to share free content, but it also demanded a kinder, more-giving mindset. Its philosophy of service was an extreme change from the standard practices of the early Google days.

Today, Brian Halligan and his company, HubSpot Marketing, are the global leaders and original authority on inbound marketing. HubSpot Academy’s Inbound Marketing Course is important because its methodology drives nearly every facet of today’s marketing, including:

  • Content marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • SEO optimization

PRICE: The inbound marketing course is free of charge and prepares you to test for HubSpot’s Inbound Certification Exam.

Over 4,000 people have given HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing course an average 4.5-star rating.

More top marketing courses by HubSpot include:

All HubSpot certification courses offer in-depth training for professional marketers.

2. LinkedIn’s “Online Marketing Foundations” Covers a Wide Array of Skills

Course: Online Marketing Foundations, LinkedIn Learning by Brad Batesole

This course guides you through the current digital marketing landscape by covering a wide skill set that includes:

  • SEO
  • Email marketing
  • Web analytics
  • Content marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • Social media marketing

This course is for: Anyone wanting to brush up on their marketing skills, start a business, or improve their understanding of digital marketing concepts.

The course includes over 4.5 hours of video split into 13 lessons, plus quizzes, exercise files, written transcripts, and an online notebook.

LinkedIn Learning
Source

Online Marketing Foundations is a course that offers a thorough foundation in digital marketing, covering all of the crucial marketing basics. In this course, you’ll learn important skills such as how to:

  • Build a digital strategy
  • Evaluate your website
  • Integrate analytics into your workflow
  • Understand SEO basics
  • Create text and display ads

Brad Batesole is the Chief Marketing Officer at RentTrack and an instructor for  LinkedIn. In the course’s introductory video, Batesold explains: “Marketing is a fundamental part of every business, and in today’s market it moves fast,” summarizing the need for LinkedIn’s course. 

The purpose of this course is to teach you to drive awareness and connect with customers online.

LinkedIn Learning screenshot

Online Marketing Foundations is also an important marketing course because it’s the first in an American Marketing Association-approved series of courses designed to help people master digital marketing. 

This course is designed to help professional marketers prepare for the American Marketing Association’s Professional Certified Marketer Digital Marketing exam.

Whether you’re heading up marketing for a large firm, starting your own business, or hoping to earn a marketing certificate, this course is an excellent way to learn or solidify your marketing skills.

PRICE: The course is subject to the LinkedIn Learning fee structure, which cost $29/month or $299 annually. 

However, LinkedIn Learning offers a free trial month to new members, which is plenty of time to complete the course.

If you’re interested in pursuing The American Marketing Association’s digital marketing certification after completing Online Marketing Foundations, you can find the full learning path on the LinkedIn Learning platform. Topics covered include:

  • Social media marketing
  • Google Ads training
  • Google Analytics
  • Content marketing

LinkedIn Learning offers valuable learning opportunities, both in the Online Marketing Foundations course and beyond.

3. SEMRush’s “SEO Fundamentals” Teaches Basic SEO Concepts

Course: SEO Fundamentals with Greg Gifford, SEMRush Academy

SEO Fundamentals is an SEMRush course that teaches SEO techniques.

This course covers SEO-related topics such as:

  • How search engines work
  • Crawling, indexing, and ranking
  • Search engine results pages’ layouts
  • Technical SEO
  • Ranking signals
  • International and local SEO

The course includes 4 hours of video over 31 lessons. Also included with the course are plenty of additional reading resources, plus practice tests.

The SEO Fundamentals course offers a strong understanding of what search engine optimization is and how it works. In addition to content optimization, this course also touches on some “back-end” technical basics.

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While marketers don’t need to master the technical side of SEO, it’s crucial that they understand how and why certain content works. Understanding technical aspects also helps marketers work better and collaborate more efficiently with their teams.

This course is valuable because it thoroughly covers what marketers need to know about SEO. It also includes just-enough technical SEO to offer a basic understanding of how Google works.

Started in 2008 by a small group of SEO and IT specialists, SEMRush is now a world leader in competitive research for online marketing. Its mission is to “make online competition fair and transparent, with equal opportunities for everyone.“

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SEMRush is one of the leading authorities on search engine marketing, making this course a reliable top resource for digital marketers.

PRICE: This course is free of charge.

Additional top SEO courses:

SEO is an important part of digital marketing success. Search engine optimization and marketing is a complex topic. Try different courses if you find SEO Fundamentals too challenging.

4. Google Analytics for Beginners Offers Basic Training for Beginners

Course: Google Analytics for Beginners, Google

Google Analytics course for beginners offers full training for marketers wanting to incorporate Google Analytics into their skill set.

This course covers information about how to use Google Analytics, including how to:

  • Create a Google Analytics account
  • Set up filters and views
  • Read analytic reports
  • Set up dashboards
  • Create goals and set up campaign tracking

The course includes 4 sections of video training with 2-5 lessons, plus an assessment in each section.

Google Analytics for Beginners screenshot
  
The ability to read and understand Google Analytics is central to nearly all marketing efforts involving search engine marketing and search engine rankings. The data provided by Google Analytics tells marketers what to build on, what to reduce, or how to adjust at every step of the way in content and website marketing.

Any marketer willing to take on the challenge of thoroughly learning to use Google Analytics will give himself an edge on the competition. The ability to interpret analytics is a great advantage toward successful marketing campaigns because it allows marketers to adjust campaigns according to what people are responding to.

Google Analytics screenshot

Marketers who opt not to learn Google Analytics will likely invest more time down the road struggling to understand its concepts and usage. 

Google Analytics for Beginners is an important course because data is at the core of nearly all digital marketing efforts, especially for companies that use content marketing. 

PRICE: Google Analytics for Beginners is free of charge.

Google Analytics Academy offers advanced courses in analytics, for those who would like to take their knowledge a step further.

Additional top web analytics courses:

Google Analytics for Beginners helps you understand how to navigate the complex data and abilities of its software platform.

A Wealth of Online Information For Marketers Wanting to Grow

Much of today’s educational landscape has changed dramatically since 2012 when EdX and Coursera launched. Many of today’s best courses don’t require a financial investment, but will require time and dedication on the part of the student.

Continually improving your skills and understanding of digital marketing topics can be done by following marketing blogs and news sites. 

However, brands and marketers wanting to gain an authentic edge on their competitors should begin by mastering the concepts of inbound marketing, SEO fundamentals, and Google Analytics with these top 2018 digital marketing courses.

When choosing which courses to take, seek out training from authoritative sources such as HubSpot Academy, SEMRush, and AMA-recommended courses. This helps ensure that you’re learning all aspects of the skills you need to succeed.

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