We live in a golden age of online courses, and the subject of marketing has been very well covered within them. If you feel like knowing more about how to use a certain platform or tool, up-leveling your content marketing, or adding some technical skills to your marketing toolbox, then this is an excellent time to address that.
There’s a lot to learn, ranging from the laundry list of tools, apps, and plugins that are vital for the modern marketer, to programming knowledge that can help shorten the gap between marketers and developers. Here are just a few of the courses out there that the BSTRO team recommends starting with.
Before you Begin
Marketing is full of specializations and technologies that could justify their own college-level degree. There’s one that has nothing to do with marketing that we’d recommend taking first:
The Learning How To Learn course from Dr. Barbara Oakley—which is now free on Coursera—teaches neuroscience around how we process and retain information, as well as tricks and tips for how you can learn more effectively than ever before.
If procrastination or a lack of motivation has stopped you from getting the most out of self-driven learning before, this course is a must. Start Learning How To Learn to ensure you make the most of the time and effort you invest in future courses.
Free Marketing Courses
Learn Digital Marketing from Google
Google Analytics, Google Ads, and Google Search Console are vital tools for every marketer, whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a total beginner.
Google has a free 40-hour course about the fundamentals of digital marketing that’s well worth the time. It’s self-paced, well-designed, and covers the basics of almost every aspect of digital marketing. The course at large covers setting goals and strategies, the foundation of a good website, how to Google to bring searchers to your website instead of your competitors, and much more.
Get Familiar with Google’s Essential Marketing Tools
Each Google marketing tool is powerful and deep enough to justify having its own course. Fortunately, they all do, and they’re all high quality and greatly informational while being simple enough for a beginner to handle.
- Those new to using Google Analytics to deep-dive on visitor behavior could try Google Analytics for Beginners.
- For those seeking more traffic, Google Ads can seem intimidating, but this course on the fundamentals can provide a solid foundation to get off the ground with
- Every business should have a Google My Business profile: learn how to get yours (and optimize it) here.
A bonus of Google courses is that they confirm qualifications upon successful completion. You can link these to your LinkedIn profile to bolster your resume and stand out for potential investors as having “done your homework.”
Prepare to Bring Your Business Online from Facebook
Never one to let Google get all the attention, Facebook also has a bevy of free courses to help you establish your marketing mastery. Facebook is an important platform to understand from a marketing perspective, and surprising in its depth and number of features.
Courses are short, numerous, and organized into lists that can guide self-development. Whether you have an established business or you’re starting from scratch, the ‘Prepare to Bring Your Business Online’ list provides the foundations of digital marketing. Start there, and see what branches spark your interest.
The Strategy of Content Marketing
If you’ve read our blog before, you’ll probably know we’re big advocates of content marketing. It’s a concept that every marketer should be familiar with. At its core, Content Marketing is the industry term for attracting users to your brand by providing informative or entertaining material to read or watch. Content marketing is as important for big brands as it is for independent YouTubers.
This free, 14-hour course from Copyblogger and UC Davis could be your key to unlocking a new stream of traffic and greater visibility while showing your brand to be worth trusting, and worth paying attention to.
Writing for Social Media
Each social media platform is its own beast. Marketers trying to leverage social media build awareness and drive sales need to know how to work each channel uniquely to yield results.
That said, one skill is vital for all of them: brands need great writing to create great social media content. This Berkley course is an excellent first step into social media marketing. Like the others, it’s free (with an optional certificate you can purchase) and should only take a few weeks to get through.
Free Programming & Tech Courses
The line between marketer and programmer is more blurred than ever.
When you’re trying to update your website, having the ability to understand and manipulate HTML is the difference between getting that copy changed now or having to pay someone else to do it for you later.
Similarly, when working with marketing analytics tools, knowing how to pull and query complex sets of data through SQL, R, or Python could give you vastly more insight into what works and what doesn’t.
Here’s a list of some of the most useful computer science courses to give your skillset a 2020 makeover.
It’s not every day you get the opportunity to learn the basics of a field as wide and vital as computer science from an institution as storied and acclaimed as Harvard. But with their CS50x course, you can do exactly that.
This course can be a little intense, with 10-20 hours of work per week for around 11 weeks, but since this is a free and self-paced course, participants can go at their own speed. If you choose to take it, you’ll be incredibly well positioned to give your marketing a boost with newfound knowledge.
Learn HTML on FreeCodeCamp
FreeCodeCamp offers some incredible free learning courses for an array of languages. Of particular interest for marketing are HTML and CSS: the primary languages of web development. Understanding these could mean the difference between being able to get your product copy on your site yourself, and having to spend money on getting a developer to do it.
WordPress Training and Tutorials
Learning HTML and CSS will eventually enable anyone to build a website from scratch, but the keyword there is eventually. It takes time to learn how to build a quality website that supports sales and marketing goals.
Fortunately, for those who need a new site in a hurry, there’s a wide selection of helpful platforms that can do most of the heavy lifting. Take WordPress, for example. Once the platform on which everyone built their first blog, WordPress is now a legitimate, heavy-hitter website builder. This course from LinkedIn’s Lynda runs through the fundamentals.
….Or Anything Else
Challenges and worries aside, there’s never been a better time to pick up some new skills and learn some new things.
If none of the above catches your interest, head over to LinkedIn Learning, edX, Coursera, or Udemy, and scroll until something stands out. See what makes sense for your venture, and if it still makes more sense to hire the experts than to do it yourself, reach out to us and book a free consultation.