10 Free Classes to Make you a Better Marketer
By Hallie Moser
Working in an industry that’s constantly changing and improving is demanding to say the least. Marketing leaders, in agency or internal roles, need to evolve with technology and set aside time to work on their skill sets in order to keep up-to-date with programs and thought leaders in the industry. Below is a relatively small list of classes you can get started in today to further evolve your marketing expertise:
1. Hubspot Inbound Certification
Arguably the leader of the inbound revolution, Hubspot knows what they are talking about. Even though I would recommend taking any/all of their certifications, the Inbound Certification is a great free start to learn their key best practices. Consider using it as a prerequisite for new hires into your marketing team or promotion criteria for existing team members. In total, there are twelve 20-40 minute classes to prepare you for your certification, and after passing, you don’t have to worry about renewing for another 365 days!
2. Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ)
Another certification we aim to have all our employees complete is the Google Analytics Certification. Warning: this is not an easy course to pass, but when you do you will have a complete understanding of everything from the principles of analytics to implementation and data collection (via reports, metrics, and dimensions); the perfect recipe for digital analytics domination in today’s world.
3. PPC University
WordStream says to think of PPC U as “a free Google AdWords training program”, and who am I to argue with WordStream? The course load is organized into three courses, giving you the option to place yourself into PPC 101, PPC 102, or Advanced PPC.
The very first question 101 addresses is “what is PPC” (for those of you who read the first sentence, and then tabbed over to search “define PPC”, this is the course you’re going to want to enroll in), but if you already know your basics and want to learn about remarketing and geotargeting with PPC, you can easily advance yourself into one of the higher level courses.
4. Alision Diploma in Social Media
Alision is a huge host of free diplomas in virtually every industry. In particular, marketers should look at enrolling in their Social Media Marketing course. This course touches on everything from how to make the most of traditional and non-traditional social media; to downloading specific file sizes and using auto responders to automatically answer emails through the pages you create.
Udemy is another great one for browsing and honing in on your areas of weakness. By sorting your courses by topic, popularity, ratings, newness, and price (yes there are some classes they charge for), it’s an easy site to navigate to your perfect class. They also rank the classes based on level of expertise (beginner, intermediate, expert) to ensure you don’t get overwhelmed — or worse, underwhelmed and bored. Some of our favorites are:
- Zero Cost Marketing Strategies: Official Primer Course
- Creative Writing – Writer’s Block Workbook Volume 1 Month 1
- Advanced SEO: Tactics & Strategy
6. Canva Design School
For a design-focused course load look no further than Canva. There is content on branding mistakes, going viral, and even a lesson on “How to Rule Social Media Armed with only your iPhone”. There’s no certification or diploma, but you won’t feel cheated when you’re scrolling through the endless knowledge of articles and tutorials.
7. CopyBlogger Internet Marketing for Smart People
CopyBlogger works through four major themes: relationships, direct response copywriting, content marketing, and having something worth selling. Through these four topics, they will let you in on everything you (smart people) need to know about Internet marketing.
8. DS106 Open Course
Digital Storytelling 106, affectionately known as DS106, is a very eccentric school of culture. It’s a place to publish in the open with no real start or end date. Like the industry we love, it is a constant process of questioning digital storytelling that will be sure to keep you up to speed on the trending marketing field.
Here’s the deal: Universities around the nation accumulate their course work into Coursera for you to specialize in online. But, these are not going to be a couple of videos you watch in one weekend — more like the real deal — a semester-long course load with a capstone project to ensure you grasped the concepts. If you need somewhere to start, we like Marketing Mix Implementation from IE business school (5 courses) and Digital Marketing from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (6 courses).
10. Ted Talks
Last, but certainly not least, TED Talks are a great resource for strategists. These conferences host thought-leaders to discuss their big ideas, trends, and innovations in their respective fields. It’s not the typical course structure, as the above sites are, but it will influence and evolve you as a marketing specialist in more ways than you’d expect. There are a number of talks you could take a lot of depth knowledge from, but below are a couple we wanted to highlight for you:
- Malcolm Gladwell: Choice, Happiness, and Spaghetti Sauce
- Sheena Iyengar: How to Make Choosing Easier
- Daniel Schnitzer: Inventing is the easy part. Marketing takes work
- Seth Godin: The Tribes We Lead and How to Get your Ideas Spread
Thanks for reading! Hopefully you found this list of resources helpful in your journey to becoming a better marketer. If you find yourself eager to learn even more about inbound marketing strategy, download our inbound marketing and sales guide!