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The 16 best marketing courses you can take online, from free university classes to a Facebook certificate program

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Platforms like edX, Coursera, and LinkedIn Learning offer free or affordable online marketing courses and certificate programs.

Crystal Cox/Insider

  • Understanding marketing, social media, and SEO can help you move up in your career or business.
  • Sites like edX, Coursera, and LinkedIn Learning offer free or affordable online marketing courses.
  • Below, we outlined the best online marketing courses and certificate programs.

Online marketing is all around us, from social media ads to our Google search results and even sponsored blog posts. Whether you’re a small business owner, contemplating a change of careers, or simply wanting to learn new in-demand skills, understanding the ins and outs of online marketing can be a gamechanger. 

There are different types of marketing professionals. Some may dedicate their time to creating print or digital advertisements, while others focus on social media channels or work with content writers to find the best keywords to boost their SEO ranking and Google search results. 

As with many professions, there are a lot of learning opportunities available online, from free introductory courses to in-depth certificate programs from platforms like edX, Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, and Skillshare. Whether you want to expand your knowledge (or even just see if a marketing career seems interesting enough to commit yourself to), taking an online marketing course can help take your career or business to new heights. 

The 16 best online marketing courses and certificate programs:

Online marketing courses

Online marketing certificate programs

Online marketing coursesIntroduction to MarketingPerson looking at a laptop while sitting outside

Crystal Cox/Insider

Available on edX

Length: 6 weeks 

Cost: Free; $150 for a certificate of completion

This University of British Columbia course is designed for beginners and anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of all marketing jargon as well as strategies and techniques. Students learn a range of topics including market research, how to gain customers, and how to use social media.  

Digital Marketing FoundationsScreengrab from Linkedin Learning Digital Marketing Foundations course

LinkedIn Learning

Available on LinkedIn Learning

Length: 2 hours and 9 minutes

Cost: Free with a 1-month free trial; LinkedIn Learning subscription $26.99 or $39.99 per month

Whether you’re a novice or have some experience with online marketing, this relatively short class teaches you how to figure out your audience and target customers by using SEO, digital ads, and social media to meet your goals.

The Complete Digital Marketing CourseGraphic depicting a cardboard box with multiple social media and web browser icons inside.jpg

Udemy

Available on Udemy

Length: 20 hours

Cost: $29.99 (normally $149.99)

Whether you’re considering a new career, want to expand your professional skillsets, or want to get your business off the ground, this intensive and immersive course can help. Topics range from market research, Google Adwords, and using WordPress for copywriting.

Digital Marketing Analytics: Tools and TechniquesOver the shoulder view of a person typing on a computer while sitting in an armchair

Crystal Cox/Insider

Available on edX

Length: 4 weeks 

Cost: Free; $399 for certificate

If you want to learn how to analyze marketing data, consider this self-paced course from the University of Maryland that covers what you need to know and the tools to use for a positive marketing presence that actually gets results. Topics include search engine optimization (SEO), web analytics, Big Data applications, and more.

Digital Marketing – The Complete Google Ads MasterclassScreen grab from Digital Marketing - The Complete Google Ads Masterclass on Skillshare

Skillshare

Available on Skillshare

Length: 13 hours and 11 minutes

Cost: Free with a 7-day trial; $8 per month or $29.88 per year for a Skillshare subscription

One of the many aspects of online marketing is creating advertisements on Google. This class is geared for anyone who wants to grow their business or wants to expand their skills, where you quickly learn how to use ads to increase traffic to your website, convert your target audience into customers, analyze ad campaigns, and more.

Digital Marketing Strategy: Profitable Sales Funnel FundamentalsMaggie Stara teaching Digital Marketing Strategy: Profitable Sales Funnel Fundamentals on SkillshareInstructor Maggie Stara provides tips and tricks to commerce on social media in this course.

Skillshare

Available on Skillshare

Length: 3 hours and 19 minutes

Cost: Free with a 7-day trial; $8 per month or $29.88 per year for a Skillshare subscription

Designed for marketing novices, this course teaches different strategies on how to turn your target audience into customers and increase your sales by understanding metrics and using different pricing scales. 

SEO FoundationsScreen grab from SEO Foundations online course

LinkedIn Learning

Available on LinkedIn Learning

Length: 2 hours and 38 minutes

Cost: Free with a 1-month free trial; LinkedIn Learning subscription $26.99 or $39.99 per month

If you’re interested in honing your SEO skills for your job or your own business, this course is designed with that in mind. The class focuses on using the principles of SEO, such as using keyword search, internal and external links, as well as implementing an SEO strategy to achieve notable results.

Online Advertising & Social MediaHand scrolling on a smartphone at a desk with a laptop and assorted office supplies on it

Crystal Cox/Insider

Available on edX

Length: 4 weeks 

Cost: Free; $499 for certificate

Knowing how to use social media as a marketing tool is a skill in its own right. This University of Maryland course covers everything you need to know, including the importance of SEO, lead generation, video advertisements, and content marketing.

Social Media MarketingGraphic depicting world with social media icons surrounding it

Udemy

Available on Udemy

Length: 3.5 hours

Cost: $29.99

This course is specifically designed for business owners who want to finetune their social media marketing skills. It teaches students how to use different types of social media and create a social media strategy, while also covering the risks involved.

The Strategy of Content MarketingPerson tapping the screen of a tablet while sitting outside

Crystal Cox/Insider

Available on Coursera

Length: 19 hours

Cost: Free to audit (no certificate) or with a 7-day trial; $49 per month subscription after trial ends

This University of California, Davis course highlights the importance of content writing and how to use it to attract customers, create a strategy that you can measure, and write engaging copy. This course also features assignments for hands-on learning.

Google Universal Analytics Essential TrainingLaptop halfway open on a blue background

Crystal Cox/Insider

Available on LinkedIn Learning

Length: 2 hours and 39 minutes

Cost: Free with a 1-month free trial; LinkedIn Learning subscription $26.99 or $39.99 per month

Digital marketing is complex, but if you want to understand all the happenings behind the scenes of how your business comes up in search engines and how people interact with your website, this class is for you.

Online marketing certificate programsFacebook Marketing Analytics Professional CertificateFacebook logo on digital certificate themed background (facebook marketing analytics program)

Facebook; Alyssa Powell/Insider

Available on Coursera

Length: 7 months

Cost: Free to audit (no certificate) or with a 7-day trial; $49 per month subscription after trial ends

No prior experience is required to start this certificate program, which teaches you how to collect, organize, and analyze marketing data as well as design experiments to test the effectiveness of different ad strategies.  Students also learn how to use Facebook Ads Manager. You can learn more about the program here.

Digital Marketing Fundamentals Professional CertificatePerson looking at a book while working on a laptop

Crystal Cox/Insider

Available on edX

Length: 4 months

Cost: $313.20 for the program; individual courses can be audited for free (no certificate)

Curious about all the marketing jargon and different strategies that are used to target customers? This fundamentals certificate program from the University of Edinburgh explains everything you need to know to conduct a competitor audit as well as create your own marketing strategy.

Digital Marketing Strategy and Planning SpecializationAerial view of a person working on a laptop at a desk cluttered with various office supplies

Crystal Cox/Insider

Available on Coursera

Length: 3 months

Cost: Free to audit (no certificate) or with a 7-day trial; $49 per month subscription after trial ends

A series of three courses, this Specialization from the Digital Marketing Institute is designed for beginners who want to learn about various aspects of marketing, including social media and content writing, as well as how to design and implement a marketing strategy that effectively converts your target audience into customers.

Digital Marketing SpecializationHands typing on a laptop keyboard at a desk surrounded by books, smartphone, and assorted office supplies

Crystal Cox/Insider

Available on Coursera

Length: 8 months

Cost: Free with a 7-day Coursera trial; $79 per month after the trial ends

Part of the University of Illinois’s online MBA degree, this Coursera Specialization covers the data analysis and web tools needed to identify a core audience before diving into the principles of digital marketing.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) SpecializationPerson smiling looking at a laptop while sitting outside

Crystal Cox/Insider

Available on Coursera

Length: 5 months

Cost: Free to audit (no certificate) or with a 7-day trial; $49 per month subscription after trial ends

Understanding how SEO works is crucial for any business or organization. This four-course Specialization from the University of California, Davis teaches you the basics of SEO, from conducting a keyword search to optimizing a website and analyzing web reports. Upon completion of the certificate program, you’ll be able to identify and recommend SEO best practices to future clients. 

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