The digital marketing landscape is always evolving.Whether you’re a seasoned marketing professional or new to the field, marketing classes can help you stay on top of current industry trends or skill up.

However, signing up for a bootcamp or going to university for traditional courses can be quite expensive. This is where self-paced online courses come in — but which do you choose?

Given the rate at which new digital marketing technologies and software are developed, it can be overwhelming to learn through blog posts and ebooks alone. Online marketing courses and certifications make it easy to sharpen your skill and expand your knowledge.

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Even if you’ve been in the marketing industry for several years, online marketing courses can still be of use. Whether you’re interested in a refresher course or want to learn something new –– like creating a website from scratch — online courses can help you acquire the skills needed for continued success.

Online marketing is a broad category. We’ve removed the guesswork out of searching for the best marketing classes and categorized them by topic below. 

Successful marketing efforts begin with excellent content. Whether you’re just starting your content marketing journey or need a quick refresher, the courses below will help you up your marketing game.

We recommend newbies start with the Copywriting Quick Start Guide from Udemy while more seasoned marketers will benefit from Coursera’s Viral Marketing course.

If you’re not using social media for marketing purposes, you’re missing out. Each social platform requires specialized content so you’ll want to keep current on best practices and trends. For example, what may work on Facebook may not be as effective on a platform like TikTok.

The courses below will help you make killer social media campaigns in addition to learning how to analyze campaign metrics.

We recommend Semrush’s Social Media Fundamentals to get started crafting your own campaigns, followed by Quintly’s course on Social Media Analytics.

Your superb content is only effective if users can find it. That’s why search engine optimization (SEO) is so important. Learn SEO best practices with the courses below.

We recommend HubSpot’s SEO Training for beginners, but if you’re already familiar with SEO basics, try Udemy’s Moz course. If you’re already using Moz as your preferred SEO tool, this course will help you get the most value from it.

Email campaigns feeling a little lackluster? We’ve got you covered. Increase open rates with snappy subject lines that make your audience want to click. Create engaging copy that has them asking for more.

Learn how to create email campaigns that stand out with the list of courses below.

Our top pick is Google’s Email Marketing Course. It gives you a great foundation of basics and best practices to follow to craft a winning email campaign. The quizzes between each module will also help ensure that you’re retaining information along the way.

Web development and design may not be considered part of a marketer’s wheelhouse but knowing the basics could make things easier in your day-to-day – especially if you are uploading content yourself.

Being familiar with HTML and CSS is increasingly valuable as a marketer since they are the foundation of many marketing tools. Check out our top picks below.

If you’re just getting started with web development, CodeAcademy’s Make a Website course is the most accessible for newbies. Got the fundamentals down? Try out their course on Ruby instead.

While organic traffic is great, paid ads will also be part of an effective marketing strategy. Whether choosing pay-per-click ads on Google or your social media platform of choice, it’s important to use your advertising budget wisely.

The courses below will walk you through creating your first paid campaign to researching the best keywords for PPC ads.

If you’re completely new to digital advertising, HubSpot’s What Digital Advertising Is and How to Do It is the perfect starting point. You’ll learn advertising fundamentals and a step-by-step guide for creating campaigns.

Those wanting to dig deeper into PPC should opt for Wordstream’s PPC University.

Now that we’ve covered some marketing basics, it’s time to have a little fun. Maybe you are already a wiz at creating email and ad campaigns and want to enhance your graphic skills.

The courses below will help you create eye-catching designs, utilize video content, or become an image editing pro.

Canva is a widely used tool to quickly create visuals for everything from email campaigns, to infographics to resumes. Their course on Design Basics will help you become a better visual communicator and embrace your inner designer.

Free Marketing Certifications (h2)

Perhaps you’d like to go beyond learning a new skill for fun and are looking for something with more structure that can be used to validate your knowledge or increase your earning prospects. Completing a certified program will do just that. You get the benefits of learning a new skill and also the credibility of completing a course from an industry-recognized institution.

The good news is you don’t have to spend a ton of money to achieve that. Below are our top picks for the best free marketing certifications you can get online.

The most well-known benefit of earning a marketing certificate is the potential for better pay and career advancement, but there are plenty more rewards to reap by honing your skills. Here are a few of the top advantages of earning a digital marketing certificate.

The “jack of all trades, master of none” mantra is the marketer’s enemy.

Any experienced marketing professional will advise someone looking to enter or grow into the field to narrow their focus.

There are simply too many roles within marketing to specialize in all of them.

Certifications come in handy because they’re narrow enough in scope to give you a high-level overview of how the skill fits into a larger marketing strategy but tactical enough to show you exactly how to execute the skill in your day-to-day work.

Whether you’re interviewing for a marketing role or pitching a client, one thing’s for sure — you’ll need to sound like a skilled marketer.

Certification courses are comprehensive education tools that will teach you essential marketing lingo and exactly what it all means.

Best of all, you’ll be able to communicate advanced concepts confidently without over or under-explaining which can undermine your credibility.

When it comes down to it, your resume will almost always precede your presence.

Before an interview or a client meeting, people will look to your resume and portfolio first to verify your skills.

Adding the certifications you’ve received after completing marketing courses is a smart way to get picked up by resume scanners and it’ll catch the attention of human eyes, too.

Even if you have several years of experience, a certificate can still help get your foot in the door so you can speak in detail about your experience during an interview.

The free courses we mentioned above are amazing resources for budget-conscious marketers. They’ll teach you the basics of the subject and give you some tactical knowledge you can apply right away.

If you want to become more competitive in the job market or if you have a bit more time and resources to dedicate to furthering your education, check out the following platforms. They’re not all free, but they’re affordable and will provide you with up-to-date course material.

HubSpot Academy offers certification and training courses to teach people how inbound marketing and HubSpot software work. Classes are often taught by marketers at HubSpot and are made up of video lessons, quizzes, and tests.

Most HubSpot Academy classes are available free of charge, and if you pass the certifications, such as the two below, you get a nifty certificate and badge to share on your social media profiles.

Copyblogger is a content marketing company that creates content about content (so meta).

Its blog provides a ton of great resources about digital marketing, and this class, “Internet Marketing for Smart People,” is made up of ebooks and emailed lessons, and other course materials.

Copyblogger adopts four pillars of content marketing success, which it delves into over the course of this class.

Coursera offers MOOCs (massive online open courses) created and taught online by universities such as Northwestern University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of California system.

These courses start at various times throughout the year, so browse the catalog to see when one lines up with your schedule.

One thing to note about Udemy: The classes we’ve highlighted are free, but the site features a myriad of other paid options for as little as $10, in some cases. Additionally, while some of the courses are free, they may require a Pro membership to get an official certificate.

If you have a good experience with a free course, try a paid one to get even more value from the content on this site.

Wordstream is a search engine and social media marketing software company that helps marketers drive the greatest ROI from their paid search and social media campaigns.

These free guides and ebooks distill learnings and best practices for users with varying levels of expertise running pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. Here are some of its topics and offerings:

Like Coursera, classes are taught online and start at specific times throughout the year.

LinkedIn Learning hosts hundreds of courses taught by industry experts from all around the world.

The best part of LinkedIn Learning is that the course suggestions are customized to your profile.

If you have content marketing as a skill in your LinkedIn profile, the algorithm will suggest relevant courses, such as how to start a podcast or track the ROI of a content marketing strategy.

Similarly, your role will also influence the suggestions you see. As a marketing writer, I get recommended copywriting, SEO, and social media marketing courses. If I were a data scientist, I may be recommended courses on programming languages and machine learning.

To access the platform, the first month is free then up to $39.99/month.

Alison offers over 4,000 online classes in various professional skills users can take at their own pace.

This content repository includes courses that lead to certificates and diplomas — you choose which is best for your goals.

For an even more rigorous curriculum, you can choose a learning path that combines several lessons and courses into one learning track that gives you a well-rounded learning experience.

At this point, you probably already know what Meta is (formerly Facebook) and what it does.

What you might not know is that the platform offers several training and certification programs.

Meta Blueprint offers self-paced and live e-learning courses for marketers seeking to grow their organizations using Facebook. While the course materials are free, the certification exam is not and can range between $99 to $150.

Blueprint offers classes in different languages on how to use Facebook and Instagram.

quintly is a social media analytics tool that offers courses through quintly Academy.

The self-paced course provides an overview of social media analytics, benchmarking, and goaling using downloadable written materials and video lessons. These courses are available to take at no cost — simply sign in to enroll for free.

Google is another company you’ve probably heard of before, and its digital marketing course offers a ton of valuable information if you plan to advertise on the search engine.

You can even take a Google AdWords certification at the end of the process that helps you beef up your resume.

Google has expanded its course offerings to include other types of digital marketing, too, so check out the site for up-to-date insights in the marketing world.

Codeacademy offers free, interactive coding classes that take you from bare-bones to building a fully functioning website.

The courses we’ve highlighted below just scratch the surface, though. Codeacademy offers a variety of course topics so you can truly focus on your niche.

These classes include lectures and a workspace in the same browser window so you can see the effect of your work as you create it — how cool is that?

General Assembly offers live online courses that can be accessed for free or for a fee.

These courses specialize in technical skills and disciplines like the fundamentals of HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript.

Each one is categorized as one of five types that range from full-time immersive learning to on-demand learning. Once you choose your time commitment, simply find a course that works with your schedule.

The Creativity course explores the challenges of constant creation and innovation and how to do it well — with visuals, of course.

I’m sure all marketers (myself included) can agree that furthering our education in this field is a worthwhile way to advance our careers or businesses.

Earning a certificate from a reputable online course is one of the most convenient ways to accomplish this.

Whether you want to take a free online marketing class or you’d like to devote more time and resources to a paid one, you can’t go wrong with one from this list.

Just remember to focus your studying on a specific sector of marketing and develop a niche skillset — you’ll be well on your way to success as a consummate marketer.

Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published in May 2018, but was updated in July 2020 for comprehensiveness and freshness.