In the last few years, the internet has changed the way we do business. More and more people are discovering the advantages of online marketing over traditional marketing, particularly in terms of cost-effectiveness and convenience. If you’re looking to explore the world of online marketing and want to be sure you’re doing it right, here are five cheap certifications you can take to get started.
1. Google Analytics
If you’ve ever shopped online, you’ll be familiar with Google Analytics, the platform Google uses to track and analyze your internet activity, as well as the activity of your customers. Google Analytics can be an invaluable tool for marketers, allowing you to track the success of your marketing efforts and determine the most efficient ways to reach your audience.
To get started with Google Analytics, you’ll simply need to create a free Google account, then navigate to the Analytics dashboard, which you can find at https://analytics.google.com. Once you’re on the dashboard, you can click on the Get Started button to begin your free trial.
While Google Analytics is one of the more popular programs among marketers, it’s certainly not the only game in town. If you want to explore other methods, you have several affordable options, including Ahrefs, Google Tag Manager, and Bitly. Each of these programs offer something a little different, so you need to choose the one that suits your needs the best.
2. Google AdWords
If you’re looking to test the waters of online marketing, the world of paid search, or simply want to dive in and see what all the noise is about, you can start with Google AdWords. Launched in 2007, Google AdWords is the product of Google’s affiliate marketing program, meaning that you don’t have to be a paying customer to register for the program. You can get the software from Google for free, and once you do, you’ll have the ability to create ads for search terms or phrases you’re interested in pursuing. You can target your audience by gender, age, geographical location, and device, among other options.
Paid search isn’t the only option, either. If you’re looking for a free platform that allows you to test the waters of online marketing, you can explore HubSpot’s affiliate program. Similar to Google AdWords, HubSpot’s affiliate program doesn’t require you to be a paying customer in order to register. Just visit https://affiliate.hubspot.com and fill out the form to get started.
3. Email Marketing
If you’re looking to explore the field of email marketing, you have several options. You can start with Campaigner, which is one of the more popular email marketing platforms available today. With Campaigner, you can create emails from scratch or use templates for the most part. You can also set up automated emails with any of the templates or create a list of subscribers and send out a series of emails to your audience.
Another email marketing platform you can try is Marketo, which is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system used by companies like Coca-Cola and American Express. Marketo makes it easy to pull together marketing and sales promotions by providing you with a central location to oversee all the details. You can create automated emails or send out short emails with details about a particular product or service.
4. Website Marketing
If you’re looking to explore the world of website marketing, you have several options. You can start with Google Analytics for free as mentioned above, then move on to Web Analytics, Omniture, or iSay. These are all marketing automation platforms that help you track the success of your online marketing campaigns and offer several different versions, ranging from free to premium.
Omniture’s web analytics platform is one of the more popular choices among businesses. What makes their web analytics platform special is their tiered pricing, which allows you to pay according to how much data you need, as opposed to paying for a specific plan, as you would with many other providers. Their basic plan starts at just $10 per month, and their Pro plan, which provides detailed reports and access to more than 100 million American businesses, including those in the Fortune 500, is priced at $150 per month.
iSay is very similar to Omniture’s web analytics platform, with the main difference being that you don’t have to be signed up for an account to use their platform. You can simply go to https://iSay.com and get started utilizing their services. They offer two plans, the standard plan at $10 per month, which provides you with basic tracking and reporting, and their enterprise plan, which provides you with comprehensive analytics and is priced at $25 per month.
5. Social Media Marketing
If you’re looking to explore the world of social media marketing, you have several options, including Marketo, Facebook, and Twitter. All of these platforms offer you the ability to create and track marketing content, whether that’s a blog post, a video, or a social media update, as well as measure the results of your marketing efforts. In fact, let’s be honest, if you’re reading this, you’re probably already a fan of social media, as you’ll likely have discovered the incredible power of platforms like Twitter and Facebook, not to mention the benefits of a dedicated Instagram account, which can be quite pricey, but definitely worth it.
Marketo offers several layers of social media marketing (SMM) to help you take your marketing strategy to the next level. For example, you can use the platform’s SMM Dashboard to track the progress of your campaigns in real-time, identify the most influential members of your audience, and gauge the impact of your content, among other features. Their SMM Packages, which includes everything you need to get started, cost just $20 per month, and their Performance Bundle, which provides you with additional features, is priced at $150 per month, giving you a rough idea of what you might spend, depending on which plan you choose, should you decide to pursue SMM as a marketing strategy.
If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop for all your marketing needs, you can’t go wrong with HubSpot’s combined marketing program, which gives you access to all of the above at a discounted rate. With HubSpot, you get a free Google Analytics account with all the default reports, as well as the ability to monitor your email, paid search, and social media marketing campaigns from one place. Their combined marketing plan, which costs just $5 per user per month, can be an invaluable resource for anyone looking to get started in the field of online marketing.
While the above five online marketing certifications will get you started, it’s important to seek out specialized training, whether online or offline, if you want to advance your career. By taking advantage of relevant education, you not only gain the skills you need to succeed in today’s ever-evolving digital marketing world, but you also stand a chance to gain valuable knowledge that can only be gained from experienced professionals.
To that end, don’t be afraid to explore the hundreds of articles, blog posts, and videos available online, as well as take advantage of webinars, which can be attended for free, to learn more about your chosen career path.