26 Free Online Marketing Courses: Learn Digital Marketing!
We live in a wondrous age my friends. Knowledge and learning can be obtained with a few clicks of the mouse, opening education and intellectual stimulation to anyone with a scholarly spirit.
Whether you want to start with the marketing basics or you're more advanced, there's something for everyone here. Below is a list of our favorite online marketing courses, most of which are free or very nearly free. Let the learning begin!
WordStream's Growth Academy
Growth Academy is a comprehensive, interactive roadmap to growing your business through digital marketing, including online advertising, lead generation, ecommerce, and more. Not only is it completely free, but it's also taught by some of the top marketing experts in the industry.
We created Growth Academy with a singular goal in mind: to give marketers and businesses a better chance at succeeding—in a diverse set of disciplines, and on a daily basis.
Google’s Online Marketing Challenge
Google Online Marketing Challenge. Is there a better source to learn about online marketing than the big G itself? Google’s Digital Marketing Course is packed with video tutorials on everything from SEM, Google Ads (formerly known as AdWords), social networks, video networks, mobile strategy, and more.
Constant Contact’s Social Media Quickstarter
Social Media Quickstarter. This collection of online marketing guides from Constant Contact will help you master social media marketing in no time. Featuring quick, easy-to-read guides, social media novices can browse this extensive knowledge base at their leisure.
CopyBlogger Marketing Email Course
Internet Marketing for Smart People Email Course. This 20-installment email marketing course from CopyBlogger will give you the low down on content marketing, copywriting, SEO, and keyword research, and more! Best of all, it’s dished out to you via email so you won’t get bogged down with too much educational info sent all at once.
As one of the most popular sites for online education, Coursera has many offerings, including free online marketing courses. Check ‘em out. Even if you don’t see anything you like, check back every now and then - new classes are always being added.
Visit Growth Academy to get started with free, flexible, on-demand training videos for digital marketers.
DS106: Digital Storytelling and Social Media. Get involved in the massively popular online course/social experiment that will help you gain a better understanding of digital storytelling and how it influences social media.
HubSpot: Inbound Marketing Training
HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Training Program and Certification. Enjoy these 12 free marketing classes and reading materials from HubSpot to help you master inbound marketing. Learn about blogging, SEO, keyword strategy, social media, email marketing, calls to action, and more! Finish up with an exam to prove your worth.
Another MOOC resource site, Canvas offers free online courses on a range of topics. While currently there are no courses that deal explicitly with online marketing, check back to see new offerings. Some courses that may interest online marketers include:
- Certificate Course in Writing for a Global Market. Deals with globalization and how it necessitates writing for a worldwide market, rather than simply a company’s native tongue.
- Copyright Clarity. Discusses myths and misinformation about copyright law and fair use. Definitely useful for learning when you need to ask permission to borrow content, how to use Creative Commons licensing responsibly, etc.
- Projecting Your Brand Through New Media. Learn how to use media to promote your brand voice and how to tailor your message to various markets.
edX is another popular website for attending free online classes. Your online classroom, without the mysterious school lunches.
Some recent archived classes that might interest marketers include:
- Entrepreneurship 101. Class sessions focus on various case studies of MIT entrepreneurs in areas like mobile apps, 3D printing, electronics, and more. From these stories and examples you’ll learn how to access the ideal customers for your product and how to appeal to their needs.
- The Analytics Edge. Discover the power of data and learn how analytics can give your business a leg up.
ALISON offers a large number of free online business courses and free virtual diplomas for learning junkies.
- ALISON Diploma in E-Business: Details building a successful online marketing strategy and how to promote your business online.
- ALISON Social Media Marketing Diploma: A run down of social media marketing along with a look into email marketing, affiliate marketing, blogging, etc.
WordStream’s PPC University
PPC University. Our new PPC University is an awesome one-stop shop for learning all the ins and outs of PPC. With easy-to-browse lessons for beginners and advanced PPC users, there’s something for everyone at the grand old PPC University. In addition, PPC 101 is available as a free marketing course download. Toga, toga, toga!
MIT Open Courseware
Some recommended classes for those interested in marketing….
- Entrepreneurial Marketing: Major Themes
- Strategic Marketing Measurement
- Listening to the Customer
- New Enterprises
- How to Develop Breakthrough Products and Services
Udemy offers a huge selection (10,000+) of online courses on everything from parenting and cooking to app building and, of course, marketing!
The internet marketing courses we’ve listed below are 100% free, but Udemy has other paid offerings as well if you feel like dishing out dough for more advanced, extensive courses.
- Advanced SEO: Tactics & Strategy. Created by the Moz team, these 7 video lectures offer SEO expertise for beginners and experts alike. 5 star rating.
- Zero Cost Marketing Strategies: Official Primer Course. While seemingly a bit hokey, the 4.5 stars and 25,000+ enrolled students prove that there’s plenty of solid info in this course to make it worth your while.
- Google AdWords 101: Get More Customers with Search Marketing. This free 5 star course will walk you through how to set up your first Google Adwords campaign.
- Content Marketing for B2B Enterprises. A solid, recommended guide for those looking to learn about content marketing for B2B lead generation.
- Social Media Online Marketing Courses. Want to learn about social media marketing? Check out Three Sixty Academy on Udemy. They offer free social media marketing courses for Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Google+ (perfect if you're in a creative industry like craft marketing!).
Not Quite Free (But Close)
If you don't mind spending some money, there are plenty of great paid online marketing classes available as well. Paid classes tend to be more comprehensive, making them a good choice if you're serious about becoming a marketing master.
Udemy [Paid Classes]
There are some paid Udemy courses that come highly recommended that may be worth checking out if you’re not afraid to whip out the wallet.
- The Online Marketing Crash Course: Traffic, Leads, & Clients ($197): This 30 day crash course promises to take you step by step through the marketing process and leave you with a killer strategy by the end of the month. Geek-speak fluency not required.
- Social Media Marketing for Startups ($30): Learn the core basics of social media marketing. 4 star rating.
- Internet Marketing Classroom ($127): While more expensive, this course is much more comprehensive than others, with 229 lectures and 45+ hours of material. It covers everything from WordPress setup to squeeze pages. Has 4.5 star rating.
A bit too pricey for your blood? Try some of these Udemy discount codes – they can offer some serious deep discounts that may make paying for these classes a bit more palatable.
- NEWSTUDENT50 = 50% off
- SAVINGS75 / LIFEHACKER75 = 75% off
- RMNWEBAPPS = 80% off
Lynda [Membership Required]
Lynda is well known as one of the best online video learning resources for mastering everything from Adobe Photoshop to CAD software. While Lynda is most famous for their abundant software video tutorials, they also offer courses for online marketing, AdWords, Facebook, and more.
Membership is $25/month or $375/year. They also have group membership plans for companies looking to train employees. Ask around your workplace – you might be able to access Lynda for free if your company already has a membership.
More (Free) Learning Fun Stuff
Maybe the free online marketing courses we’ve mentioned above aren’t for you. Too dry and dull? Too long? Well there’s plenty of other ways to stay up-to-date on the latest and greatest marketing practices. Try…
Podcasts are fantastic because they are so mobile, multi-tasking friendly. You can listen to podcasts while riding your bike to work, eating your lunch, or, if you’re discreet enough, during your staff meeting (although we don’t advocate trying it).
These marketing podcasts are a few fan favorites. Give them a listen!
- Entrepreneur on Fire. Entrepreneur guests share their wisdom and experience with host John Lee Dumas. Also awarded “Best of iTunes” in 2013.
- Marketing Over Coffee. A weekly discussion of the latest happenings in marketing with John Wall and Christopher Penn.
- I Love Marketing. Hosted by Dean Jackson and Joe Polish, this podcast discusses all things marketing, from lead gen to emails.
- Duct Tape Marketing. This podcast, hosted by John Jantsch, provides listeners with expert interviews and a variety of marketing techniques and strategies.
Another podcast, but Freakonomics deals specifically with – you guessed it – economics. No, no, I promise it’s not boring. It deals with the hidden economic situations you’ll encounter in everyday scenarios.
OK, that doesn’t sound thrilling either, but I swear you’ll love it. While the episodes won’t always relate to marketing, there’s often a larger lesson that businesses can take away from this popular podcast.
There is a great collection of fascinating Ted Talks specifically about marketing. Give them a whirl.
Do you have any favorite free online marketing courses, classes, or resources you want to share? Let us know in the comments!