Get the edge with free digital marketing certificationPosted by Ryan Jones on Feb 24, 2019. Reading time: 11 mins
Last month we had a group of students from Ironwood Institute at Refuel HQ for some industry knowledge.
This was a great group of students with the right mindset to succeed in digital marketing.
The students raised two excellent questions:
- How do we get training on more industry-specific platforms and technologies?
- How do we get industry experience when we don't have enough experience for advertised roles?
The first one is easy. There are some great online digital marketing training courses you can take that are free. These offer digital marketing certifications that are recognised in the industry.
In some cases, these certifications are prerequisites for digital marketing roles. If you take these online digital marketing courses and earn these certifications, your resume will stand out from other candidates.
The certifications show that you are prepared to invest in your own learning, taking the initiative to find internet marketing training. This is important when you're graduating. It would help if you had something on your resume to separate you from all the other graduates. If you're serious about a career in marketing, taking accredited digital marketing courses helps show that to a prospective employer.
While these advertising certifications alone aren't a replacement for experience, they will help you secure marketing jobs in the industry.
You'll also get an excellent grounding in digital marketing and online advertising, whether you use any of the tools or not.
These free marketing certification courses aren't just for students and job seekers either. Small business owners, entrepreneurs and marketing managers can benefit from background knowledge and tips to increase their skills.
Let's look at the free certifications we look for in Refuel Creative recruits, or our staff look to achieve.
Google Analytics Academy
Google Analytics is the go-to website metrics platform on the internet. It can give you a great picture of how your website, social media, email marketing, and other campaigns are performing. It's free and integrates with other Google tools like Google Ads and Google Search Console.
To succeed in digital marketing, you must know how to use Google Analytics.
Fortunately, Google Analytics Academy offers a range of digital marketing analytics training, from beginners to power users. You can prove your Google Analytics knowledge by taking the Google Analytics Individual Qualification.
Google Academy For Ads Certification
If you've ever searched for something on Google, you've seen a Google Ad. It's the internet's most dominant ad platform. But it's not the easiest platform to learn. The basics you'll learn in understanding Google Ads will put you in good stead across all online advertising.
Google digital marketing courses were relaunched in 2019 under the "Skillshop" banner, with even more certifications available.
Google's free digital marketing courses include all aspects of Google Ads and Google marketing platforms. If you're new to Google Ads, start by learning the fundamentals of Google Search. It covers the basic concepts you need to understand Google Ads.
While it's impressive to get all of them, we recommend you complete the courses in this order:
- Google Ads Search Certification - Covers basic and intermediate management of search ad campaigns.
- Google Ads Measurement Certification - Learn how to measure campaign performance
- Google Ads Display Certification - You'll learn how to use Google Display Ads, including ad formats, campaign management and more. This will help you run graphical Google Ads on websites that accept Google Ads.
- Google Ads Video Certification - This certification will teach you how to manage and optimise video advertising campaigns on YouTube and beyond.
- Google Shopping Ads Certification - Learn how to set up and manage Shopping Campaigns with this certification aimed at e-commerce advertisers.
You can take all of these courses and their exams at Google Academy For Ads >
Bing Ads Accreditation
Not to be outdone by Google, Bing also offers a certification program for Bing Ads. Bing is often the forgotten ad platform, but people forget that Bing is the default search engine on Windows.
Even if you've completed your Google Accreditation, you'll still need to take the Bing course to understand the differences. When you complete the course, you can take the exam to become a Bing Ads Accredited Professional.
The HubSpot Academy is a brilliant way to upskill in a range of different digital marketing areas. You don't have to be a HubSpot customer. It's free to sign up, free to get started, and free to take their digital marketing short courses.
If you're looking to get started in digital marketing, we recommend you begin with Inbound Certification. It covers the basics of inbound marketing and is an excellent digital marketing grounding.
There are certifications on sales, email marketing, HubSpot Software, and more. There are also courses which don't carry certification but are still valuable knowledge, so this is a great training option.
Drift Conversational Marketing Certification
Drift launched their long awaited Conversational Marketing Certification just before Christmas. The course offers real world examples of the power of conversational marketing. This includes tips on how to use chatbots to move leads through your funnels.
The great thing about the Conversational Marketing Certification is that it isn’t specific to Drift. Drift lay out an easy to follow blueprint for developing a conversational marketing strategy for any business, using any tool.
Learn how and when to use chatbots for the best effect, how to roll out conversational marketing, and more.
As with the HubSpot Academy, the SEMrush Academy is not all about SEMrush. SEMrush offers digital marketing short courses you can complete quickly on topics like:
- search engine optimisation
- keyword research,
- and of course how to use the SEMrush software
If you've completed the courses above, we'd recommend you look at the SEMrush SEO and content marketing courses. You won't need online advertising or social media courses unless you want to learn how to get more out of SEMrush.
SEMrush is industry-standard search engine optimisation software, but it isn't exactly low cost. This makes it hard to get experience with the tools. The SEMrush Academy can help you learn how to use the software without having to buy it. However, understanding the concepts of search engine optimisation is more important here.
You'll need to create a free account to take the courses, but you don't need to be a SEMrush customer.
Honourable mention: Facebook Blueprint
I really wanted to cover only free online courses in this blog. Still, Facebook offers social media marketing certifications that are almost free.
Facebook Blueprint is a Facebook marketing course by those that know: Facebook! With Facebook Blueprint, you can take over 80 free social media marketing courses to increase your knowledge. Learn how to manage Facebook Ads, develop a social media marketing strategy, and more.
But… if you want to earn the official Facebook Blueprint Certification, you need to pass at least two exams. Each exam attempt costs US$150. Passing Facebook’s accredited social media marketing courses is a huge boost for your career in social media.
Are all these certifications really valuable?
Yes, depending on the job you're applying for.
If you are looking for a job in online advertising or Google Ads management, you need the Google Ads certifications. Google Partners are expected to have certified staff managing accounts. We won't let any of our staff manage a client Google Ads account without the appropriate Google Ads Certifications. So you'll need to pass these Google free courses at some point, and already having them looks great on a resume.
If you're looking for a job at a company that uses HubSpot, having their certifications looks great on a resume. HubSpot Academy courses also demonstrate your knowledge in marketing and sales automation software to companies that use a HubSpot competitor.
Job hunting might be terrible when you're looking, but from an employer's perspective, how do I separate graduates? We get so many quality candidates, but 70% or more of graduate resumes look identical. How do we separate these?
Having these certifications on your resume shows that you have initiative. You seek out additional training, earn digital marketing certifications, and gain valuable knowledge. You will be the candidate that stands out.
Now that you're familiar with the free training available to you, read our blog on gaining real world industry experience. This will give you the edge going into your next job interview.
Ryan is the Founder & CEO of Refuel Creative. He's a HubSpot certified marketer and SEO expert.