16 of the Most Valuable Marketing Courses Online

by Sarah Bedrick November 26, 2015
November 26, 2015

Imagine this:

A world where the marketing landscape is constantly changing, and at a rapid pace too.

A world where Google makes over 500-600 updates to their algorithm in one year. A place where new social media sites/apps like Ello, This and Hyper are popping up all the time. And constant advances in marketing software make it possible for practically anyone to develop robust machine-learning-styled algorithms to market like the big boys, a la Amazon or Netflix.

This isn’t a scene that should take much effort to imagine, as this is the current state of the marketing world.

The emergence of the internet has transformed this formerly static industry into an ever-changing landscape that requires constant learning and education for marketers who wish to remain on the cutting edge.

Marketers are also aware of the pace of change. The 2015 State of Inbound reports one of the top common challenges that marketers noted that they faced this year was proper training for their team.


Does this sound familiar? There are many different types of marketing training available to improve your skill-set or the skill-set of your marketing team, and this article dives into one of the more popular methods of training – marketing courses.

Courses are a powerful method for learning. They are usually self-paced and on-demand, making them great if time is an important factor for you and your schedule.  They are often more inexpensive than their live-training counterpart. They can be consumed on the go, and they can easily be turned from a solo personal development activity to be a team development activity.

Fortunately, there has been an explosion in online marketing education in recent years. There are a wealth of different options, both free and paid, which makes selecting the right course quite simple. The following is a guide to help you make that decision.

Free Marketing Courses

  1. Inbound Course and Certification

This free, big-picture overview of the world of inbound helps everyone from newcomers to veterans get a holistic view of the role that inbound marketing plays in today’s world.

The self-paced course is comprised of 12 different classes that span the Inbound Methodology. Marketers will learn the fundamentals of how to attract visitors, convert leads, close customers, and delight promoters.

  • Taught by: HubSpot Academy
  • Length/Time Investment: There are 12 classes that in total equal 4 hours and 25 minutes. If you wish to become certified, there is a 1 hour and 15 minutes exam.
  • Format: On-demand video learning. Transcripts and slides are also available for download assist video learning.
  • Supplemental Resources: There are additional reading resources, projects to apply your learnings, and a community to learn with/from.
  • Certification: Yes.
  • Other information:

    • They focus on engagement learning: The videos include quizzes throughout, featured experts in their field (think Rand Fishkin, Gary Vaynerchuck, Mark Roberge and more), and they focus on making them fun and relatable.
    • Want to see if what you’ve learned sunk in? They include post-video quizzes that allow you to see where your newfound knowledge stacks up.

Get started: http://academy.hubspot.com/inbound-certification

2. Introduction to Marketing on Coursera

Over the course of four weeks, you will learn about three major components of marketing including branding, customer-centricity, and go-to-market strategies.

  • Taught by: Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania on Coursera
  • Length/Time Investment: Five weeks, with one lecture released per week.
  • Format: Weekly lectures. There are also readings, discussions, and quizzes that include hard deadlines that are all released on the same day. This type of cadence closely mimics the coursework we are accustomed to from our traditional college education. While many learners enjoy the slowed-down learning of weekly coursework, be sure you have set aside the time each week to dedicate to it.
  • Supplemental Resources: They offer additional reading and required quizzes.
  • Certification: Yes, sort of. While this individual course is free, it is also part of a four-part package titled, Business Foundations Specialization. With an extra fee of $ 595, you can earn a certificate upon completion of the four courses and a capstone project.
  • Other information:

    • This best suits those who are interested in a closely mimicking a traditional type of education including a weekly rhythm, along with the lecture and teaching styles of well-known professors.
    • If you’re looking for some student reviews of the course, there are over 27 of them on Class Central.

Get started: https://www.coursera.org/learn/wharton-marketing

3. Marketing in a Digital World on Coursera

A highly relevant course for those interested in a career or interest in digital marketing. Over the course of four weeks, students will learn about digital tools and how they can help us develop new products, persuade customers to buy, distribute our products and price our products properly.

  • Taught by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on Coursera
  • Length/Time Investment: 4 weeks, 6-8 hours/week
  • Format: Weekly lectures. There are also readings, discussions, and quizzes that include hard deadlines that are all released on the same day.
  • Supplemental Resources: There are additional reading resources, projects to apply your learnings, and a community to learn with/from.
  • Support: Subtitles are available in English and Chinese
  • Certification: Yes. Similar to the Introduction to Marketing course mentioned above, this course is part of a larger five-course curriculum. By completing five courses and a capstone project, you can earn a certificate for $ 474.
  • Other information:

    • If you’re interested in seeing what the different students have said about their experience in the class, you can see some of the learner stories or testimonials readily available from the sample syllabus overview.

Get started: https://www.coursera.org/learn/marketing-digital
4. Digital Branding and Engagement

While the title of this class may not mention it directly, this course covers the fundamental shift in the way people purchase, connect, live online and how companies must move to a more inbound approach as well.

The course curriculum includes consumer change, content marketing, and the relationships between the different types of media (paid, earned and owned).

  • Taught by: Sonia Dickinson on edX
  • Format: This is a blended-learning format as each of the four modules consists of videos, readings, activities, and quizzes.
  • Length/Time Investment: Four modules over the course of four weeks are provided. However, individuals have six weeks to complete the course.
  • Supplemental Resources: There are interactive transcripts that scroll through while the videos play.
  • Certification: While the course is free, there is a Verified Certificate available for an additional $ 49.
  • Other information:

Get started: https://www.edx.org/course/digital-branding-engagement-curtinx-mkt1x

5. Google Online Challenge

As part of Google’s Online Marketing challenge, they’ve released a free digital marketing training.

Who better to help educate the future marketers of the world than a major player in the search engine space. Google does, after all, help provide a website with the majority of their organic search results online. Thus, they know a thing or two about how to create a great website that ranks well.

  • Taught by: Google
  • Format: All of the content is in video or article format, with a few learning activities applied to Google’s tool-set.
  • Length/Time Investment: There are nine core topics to learn with varying amounts of videos, reading and activities each.
  • Certification: The course is free. Upon completing the course, and the Google Online Marketing Challenge, they recommend taking the certification exams.
  • Other information:

    • They offer pre-class preparation work which includes signing up for a Google account and learning about their business solutions.
    • There is supplemental material provided in the format of ‘Course Packs’. This supplementary material is optional and is for introductory, intermediate and advanced students.

Get started: https://www.google.com/onlinechallenge/dmc/index.html

Are you wondering if there will be extra insights from the search algorithm team that may be hard to find anywhere else online? Don’t bank on it. Google’s team structure ensures that their search quality team, aka the folks who create the incredibly complex algorithms that dictate how things rank, isn’t providing their secret formula to others outside of the team.
6. Diploma in Social Media Marketing Course via Alison

Alison was initially created back in 2007 in Galway, Ireland. It was inspired by Article 26 in the UN Declaration on Human Rights which says “Everyone has the right to education.” The mission of Alison is to create a world of free online certified learning.

Now eight years later, their online course catalog includes over 750 courses openly available. Classes vary from business skills to digital literacy to personal development and hobby-like courses such as yoga. In regards to marketing, they offer a diploma in internet marketing.

  • Taught by: Alison
  • Format: There are 11 modules which include multiple videos each. There are also additional reading opportunities and assessments.
  • Length/Time Investment: Alison projects this class to take anywhere between 15 to 20 hours to complete.
  • Certification: Yes, upon completion of the exam it can be purchased.
  • Reviews: Currently has received 4 stars based on 1097 votes. See reviews here.
  • Other information:

    • They offer pre-class preparation work which includes signing up for a Google account and learning about their business solutions.
    • There is supplemental material provided in the format of ‘Course Packs’. This supplementary material is optional and is for introductory, intermediate and advanced students.

Get started: https://alison.com/courses/Diploma-in-Internet-Marketing
7. Content Marketing Course

There are 52 resources that cover all different areas of content marketing and when completed, you’ll be a content marketing expert. It covers all the ins and outs of content in nine different sections including content essentials, strategy, idea creation, content creation, promoting, auditing, and more.

  • Taught by: Copyblogger
  • Format: 52 articles.
  • Length/Time Investment: While the content isn’t intended to be read all at once, if you decided to go that route they said it would take about seven hours over the course of three days.
  • Certification: No.
  • Other information:

    • This is a great source of content to have a team member that you lead read each week before you meet them for a one-on-one. Use them as a conversation starter and see where it goes.

Get started: http://www.copyblogger.com/content-marketing-codex/
8. Intro to Analytics

As part of the newly launched Analytics Academy, Intro to Analytics is a series of seven lessons that are sent to your email inbox each week.

Their current live course is “Intro to Analytics” providers learners with everything they need to know about analytics including how someone should think about analytics, how to choose metrics to measure, selecting the right tools from the 2,000+ that exist, and how to decide when to up the ante with SQL.

  • Taught by: Segment
  • Format: Article format sent to your inbox.
  • Length/Time Investment: Each of the seven lessons takes about 20-30 minutes to read, totaling about 3 to 4 hours total.
  • Certification: No.
  • Other information:

    • It is comprehensive, in a good way.

Get started: https://segment.com/academy/intro/

9. Social Media Education

Hootsuite’s social media course and certification are composed of six classes that cover beginner topics such as the fundamentals and optimizing social profiles to more intermediate topics such as community growth and social advertising basics.

  • Taught by: HootSuite
  • Format: On-demand video learning, including quizzes and downloadable materials.
  • Length/Time Investment: Six modules that you work through at your own pace. If you’re a social media expert, you could breeze through the first modules by testing-out of them via their quizzes.
  • Certification: Yes, for purchase.
  • Other information:

    • They provide you with pre-class quizzes for you to identify which information you can skip or may need to review. If you perform well enough, they’ll encourage you to skip ahead to the next class. That’s great news, especially for a learner that strapped for time.

Get started: https://hootsuite.com/pages/education
10. How to start a startup

This robust startup-focused course is the least typical of all the others mentioned here. The curriculum is comprehensive and is taught mostly by well-known thought leaders in their respective space.

  • Taught by: Sam Altman & colleague
  • Format: Video lectures
  • Length/Time Investment: 20 video lectures, at about 50 minutes each, equalling just under 17 hours to complete.
  • Certification: No.
  • Other information:

    • Learners have the chance to learn about management from Ben Horowitz, being a founder from Reid Hoffman and sales and marketing from team members at Y Combinator.
    • While there might not be a sexy method to track your progress through the videos, or any quizzes to test your knowledge nor is there a final exam – the content is strong ideal for a dedicated learner wanted to learn about the different elements in starting a startup.

Get started: http://startupclass.samaltman.com

While this isn’t strictly marketing focused, most successful marketers know that marketing doesn’t live in a vacuum. To be a great marketer, you have to understand how this one puzzle piece fits into the overall company strategy. Marketers are often the first touch to a potential buyer, and so understanding – and helping to create – the company’s buyer personas, product, culture are critical components to success.

Paid Marketing Courses

11. Online Marketing Institute

Online marketing institute is a fantastic way to take one-off classes for topics that you’d like to learn more about. A quick search on their website on “social media” and you’ll see that they over 90 video classes, five for email marketing and four for web analytics and testing and so on.

  • Taught by: Different experts.
  • Format: On-demand video learning
  • Length/Time Investment: Depends on if you’re taking one-off classes, versus going through one of their certification course curricula.
  • Certifications: Yes.
  • Price: You can pay either $ 27, $ 47 or $ 97 a month depending on your package preference. There is also a free trial for fourteen days if you want to test drive the material first.

Get started: http://www.onlinemarketinginstitute.org

12. Content Marketing Boot Camp

The American Marketing Association is one of the more well-known resources in marketing education and training, the American Marketing Association has over 30,000 members (as of 2012). Since merging with another successful marketing association in 1937, they’ve made their mark on the industry by consistently creating high-quality training.

In this course, you’ll learn all about the common phrase, “content is king.” Topics such as SEO, content creation and repurposing, positioning, management and how to use content to further sell online will be covered.

  • Taught by: American Marketing Association (AMA)
  • Format: Online learning.
  • Length/Time Investment: The three online classes are held online, one per week, with three hours each week dedicated to in-class time.
  • Certifications: No.
  • Price: $ 1,295.

Get started: http://www.amanet.org/training/seminars/live-online/Content-Marketing-Boot-Camp.aspx

13. High-Impact Email Marketing

With email continuing to be one of the best producers of strong ROI, marketers know that email isn’t going anywhere. After all, your email is one of the main ways in which you’ll continue to connect with your leads and keep your company top-of-mind.

You can expect to learn what a strong email marketing program looks like, how to establish your strategy, and how to create strong email campaigns to better track progress and ROI.

  • Taught by: American Marketing Association (AMA)
  • Format: Online learning.
  • Length/Time Investment: The three online classes are held online in one week, with three hours each week dedicated to in-class time. You can download their course info packet here.
  • Certifications: No.
  • Price: $ 1,295 for members and non-members alike.

Get started: http://www.amanet.org/training/seminars/live-online/High-Impact-Email-Marketing.aspx
14. Improve Your Analytical Skills: Making Information Work for You

The number one problem marketers reported two years in a row within the State of Inbound 2015 was determining the ROI of their marketing efforts. With everything being online nowadays, understanding the impact of your marketing actions should be easier than ever. This is also a skill that is required nowadays to ensure your continued success.

The curriculum is comprehensive and will cover everything one would like to know about data such as identifying the skill-set for a marketer, planning your approach to a business, using techniques for problem solving/decision making and then putting it all together. As with the other AMA classes, the four online classes are held online, once per week, with three hours each week dedicated to in-class time.

  • Taught by: American Marketing Association (AMA)
  • Format: Online learning.
  • Length/Time Investment: The four online classes are held online one class per week, for three hours per class.
  • Certifications: No but they do offer class credit equal to 1.2 CEU/12 PDU/14 CPE or 12 CPU
  • Price: $ 1,995 for non-members, and $ 1795 for AMA members.

Get started: http://www.amanet.org/training/seminars/live-online/Improve-Your-Analytical-Skills-Making-Information-Work-for-You.aspx

15. Marketing for Non-Marketers

The title of the course says it all. While this course isn’t for current marketers, it is for those who are interested in understanding the value of marketing, how marketing decisions are made, and those interested in learning the fundamentals for a potential career change.

  • Taught by: University of British Columbia on edX
  • Format: The course is comprised of videos, reading, case studies and discussions
  • Length/Time Investment: It lasts about six weeks with a suggested time commitment of three to four hours/week
  • Certifications: No.
  • Reviews: Yes. View class reviews here.
  • Price: $ 295

Get started: https://www.edx.org/course/marketing-non-marketers-ubcx-marketing5501x

16. Online Marketing Crash Course on Udemy

This 13-lecture course has emerged to help inspire and educate some small businesses and bloggers who looking for more traffic, leads and customers online.

You will learn SEO, how to write blog posts, marketing automation, building a WordPress website, and more. The course comes with a Quick Action plan you can implement, and asks that learners set aside one hour per day to execute the different tasks in the plan.

  • Taught by: Aaron N. Fletcher on Udemy
  • Format: The course is comprised of videos and has discussion threads and note-taking capability within the sidebar while watching.
  • Length/Time Investment: There are 13 different videos accumulating to four hours in content.
  • Certifications: No.
  • Reviews: Yes. A little more than 50 people have provided ratings, and it maintains a rating of 4.7 out of five. View class reviews here.
  • Price: $ 297 dollars and includes a 30-day money back guarantee.

Get started: https://www.udemy.com/online-marketing-crash-course/

Have you taken any of the courses or programs mentioned above? What did you think about it? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.