Thanks to the COVID 19 influenced lock-down, we all have a lot of time on our hands. There’s been a lot of discussion as to how this extra time can be utilised, especially by an MBA aspirant or student. One of the things everyone will tell you? Learn a new skill. The awesome thing is that you can learn whatever interests you online. Be it Skillshare offering free classes and discounts, or Udemy offering deep discounts, or Coursera offering practically free certifications, there’s a lot of learning you can do. And if you’re an MBA aspirant hoping to get into b-school this year, or an MBA student waiting for that internship to formally begin, these skills will just add more value to your profile and your work! Last week, you saw the top finance, HR and operations courses you could pursue digitally. Today, let’s check out some marketing courses you can pursue. And here’s the thing - most of these courses are completely FREE!
First, how to think about marketing skills in a progressive manner:
Here’s a little something about learning a marketing-related skill. See today, marketing is synonymous with digital and hybrid marketing. Of course, b-school goes into the history of the subject and teaches you the 4 (or 7 or 12) Ps. And you can learn those basic concepts here. In fact, you can even learn the basics of market research here and brand management here. But the modern marketer cannot just learn from Philip Kotler and leave it at that. As a modern marketer, you have the chance to learn various digital skills that will aid your marketing career.
Let’s talk about digital marketing
Digital marketing is a mix of skills that includes writing, coding, using social media, using search engines, designing and graphics, even video making. And lets not forget the tools that a marketer has to use. A digital marketer needs to also understand how these tools work!
Besides all these, as a manager, a marketer needs to know how to pitch to a client, how to do a cost-benefit analysis, how to allocate and maintain budgets, campaign creation, agency operations and finally, reporting to clients!
Whew - sounds crazy right! But here’s the thing, If you are interested in marketing as a career; if you aspire to be a brand manager, marketing manager, growth hacker, or even a product manager, you need to know these skills to be able to manage the workforce executing them. What’s more? You can learn most of these skills online for free! And that’s what this article is all about. So let’s check out some courses. For ease of comprehension, we have divided the courses in 2 major buckets:
- Content Strategy, Content Marketing and Management and SEO Courses
- Courses on Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing & Advertising
Content Strategy, Content Marketing and Management and SEO Courses
Quicksprout is Neil Patel’s content business and marketing blog. And for those of you who don’t know, Neil Patel is one of the people who invented modern inbound digital marketing. Basically, this type of marketing involves understanding consumer behaviour via monitoring and recording the consumer journey online and crafting content as well as strategies to get more consumers based on previous learnings. Sounds a mouthful when I put it like that, but don’t just listen to me. Check out Quicksprout University’s video to learn all about content strategy. If you’re a beginner, just learning about marketing, this is a great starting point!
Offered for free by Udemy, this course helps you understand and design content for the B2B space. Know that this course requires you to understand the basics of social media platforms as well as Google Analytics. Having said that, here’s what you stand to learn:
- Learn the fundamentals of an end-to-end content marketing process for B2B businesses
- Learn how to create interesting content and match content to offers that convert
- Learn how to find industry influencers and identify promotional opportunities
- Learn how to use various products to build the data you need to systematically improve
Do check it out if you're serious about marketing as a career!
Online Marketing Challenge is a unique opportunity for students to get real-world experience creating and executing online marketing campaigns for real nonprofits using a $10,000 USD monthly budget of in-kind Google Ads advertising credit through the Google Ad Grants program. This global academic program brings two worlds together, partnering students and nonprofits, to support digital skill development and drive positive change around the world.
Anyone can write. Well, mostly. But even the best writers can make blunders. In this course selling for 420 INR (deep discounts guys!) on Udemy, learn about the 10 most common copy-writing mistakes and how to avoid/ correct them. It’s a pretty good deal, whether you are a writer or not!
In this course brought to you for free on Coursera by Jonah Berger, Marketing Professor at The Wharton School, learn the secret sauce to going viral. Ever wondered why some things become popular, and others don't? Why do some products become hits while others flop? Why do some ideas take off while others languish? What are the key ideas behind viral marketing? This course explains how things catch on and helps you apply these ideas to be more effective at marketing your ideas, brands, or products. You'll learn how to make ideas stick, how to increase your influence, how to generate more word of mouth, and how to use the power of social networks to spread information and influence. We think it’s a great course to try in this downtime.
In this course, brought to you for free on Coursera by Copyblogger in association with the University of California, learn the ps and qs of content marketing. In this course, you will learn the core strategies content marketers use to acquire and retain customers profitably.
Specifically, you will learn how to develop, organize and implement a content marketing strategy, analyze and measure the effectiveness of content marketing, write compelling copy, use a strategic framework when writing, and build your professional brand and authority through content marketing. You will also learn how to put the ideas presented to you into action and build your own personal brand through content marketing. Don’t forget to check it out!
Copyblogger is another popular marketing blog where you’ll find articles about the science and tech of well, marketing. In this free course by Copyblogger, learn the basics of internet marketing and how you can make it work yourself. Do check it out!
The one name synonymous with SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is Moz. When it comes to SEO expertise, many marketeers swear by Moz.com. But that’s not all. Moz also offers various free guides and courses as well as case studies to understand and implement SEO in digital marketing. You can also check it out on Udemy here.
Figure out what are the gaping SEO holes in (your or your company’s) website, how to correct these and what SEO strategies to use in this guide by Quicksprout.
If you want your website, your product, your company or client to be on the very first page of a google search, so that you are able to get more web traffic, you need to sharpen your SEO habits. This free course by Hubspot will help you achieve this. Try this if you are somewhat aware of marketing and want to add new skills to your marketers toolbox.
Inbound literally means pulling people to your website, web page, etc. It literally involves marketing efforts made to increase traffic and to convert leads to customers. And Hubspot is one of the best tools to achieve this. Meanwhile, they have also created some strategies and used some cases to help you learn through this free certification course. Don’t forget to check it out!
Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing & Advertising Courses
You might have seen various ads on Google, Facebook, YouTube, Bing, etc. Paid advertising is a large part of a marketer's job function. In order to be able to manage this piece, you need to understand how paid advertising works. The biggest challenge marketers face? How to get ROI on paid advertising? This course by Quicksprout is designed to help you in this area. Do check it out!
Google is one of the most used search engines in the world today. If you want to conduct business digitally, you need to understand how ads work on Google. To help you along, Google themselves provide various free certifications. This one is to help you master Adwords, Adsense and other tools google uses to promote ads. Plus, a certification by Google is a great thing to add to your CV! Check it out!
From using Google Adwords to Google Campaign Manager, there’s a host of Google tools that a marketer needs to master. This particular certification teaches how the platform works, how you can use it best and how to measure ROI, all using various Google tools! Again a great skill to put on your CV.
As a marketer, measuring and reporting growth is a mandatory part of your job. In fact, without knowing how your strategy works, you can’t create newer, more refined and sharper strategies. Hence Google Analytics Academy. Learn how to use Google Analytics and track marketing campaigns.
If you’re seriously serious about a marketing career, this certification is for you. Learn how to build an effective social media strategy using a tool like Hubspot and how you can convert social media spends into paying consumers. If you know the basics of marketing, this course is for you.
Pay per click or PPC is the basis of all those marketing dollars spent on digital. Basically, it denotes the return on investment for a marketer. When you click to buy, how much money has the marketer spent and how much does he make in return? That’s what PPC denotes. To understand the life cycle of the digital marketing promotion before arriving at PPC is what this course by wordstream helps you. They have advanced, beginner and intermediate levels, So matter where you start learning, you’ll find relevant and interesting lessons here!
Brought to you by Boston University on EdX for free, in this course learn the strategy behind social media campaigns. In this course, part of the Digital Product Management MicroMasters program, examine how organizations capitalize on social media and consumer-to-consumer interactions to support their marketing efforts. View these issues from a strategic and a practical perspective, rather than a technical or platform perspective. Get the knowledge you need to create engaging content for platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat and how to identify influencers, deliver content to a targeted audience, and measure the success of your efforts. If you plan to get into brand management, marketing management, etc, this course will surely help you.
This free online e-business course will guide you through setting up a website for your business. You will learn how to choose a web host, create an account for your business with that webhost, register your domain name, and create a website that is user-friendly, responsive, and suitable to your business needs - helping you understand and break into the competitive world of online commerce. Start this free online course today to get started!
Whether you want to be a content marketer, social media expert, email marketer or growth hacker, Hootsuite is one tool that you’ll want to rely on at some point. A content management system, with built in strategic formats and inputs, Hootsuite offers a host of options to the budding marketer. And you can learn all about creating emails, landing pages or social media ads that stick using Hootsuite Academy. Don’t forget to check it out.
Facebook and related products like WhatsApp, Instagram, etc are used by marketers profusely. If you want to master the basics or the finer details of marketing and advertising on Facebook, you need to know how Facebook and Instagram work and how to utilise all the functionalities the platform offers fully. Enter Facebook Blueprint. The company’s guide to help you understand different marketing tools through Facebook. Also, they’ve got a bunch of COVID 19 resources to help businesses. If you’re an aspiring marketer or already in the business of ads, don’t forget to check this out!
For all newcomers to social media analytics, this free course will offer an introduction to its fundamentals. It aims to help anybody involved in social media analytics, no matter whether you are working for a brand, an agency or in the media. When you've successfully completed the course, add this accomplishment to your CV. In our connected world, an increasing amount of companies highly appreciate proven social media knowledge!
Marketers send out emails, period. But these are not just random, daily emails! There’s a science and an art to email marketing. And that’s what this guide by Quicksprout will help you understand. Don’t forget to check it out!
This email marketing course will teach you how to create an email marketing strategy that grows your business, and your career. From contact management and segmentation to email deliverability and analyzing your email sends, you’ll learn how to build an email marketing strategy that is human and helpful and builds trust with your contacts. Use this course to understand email marketing in a structured way. There are various other certifications available via Hubspot, check them out here.
Here’s a bunch of Social Media and Marketing Webinars by Buffer, to help you understand the science behind social media marketing better. Check ‘em out!
Apart from these online courses, you can also learn coding basics via Codeacademy and design via Canva!
That’s a long list. But if you want to build a career in marketing, some of these (ideally all of these) skills would be a great asset for your profile as well as interviews you may end up going to!
Know other such courses that you can pursue to sharpen your marketing skills? Let us know in the comments!