In the last few years, businesses are becoming more and more reliant on digital marketing to connect with customers and potential customers. According to the HubSpot Blog, “more than 85% of B2C companies and 72% of B2B companies say they use digital marketing to some extent.”
Even traditional businesses are realizing the value of digital marketing, as 44% of all businesses now use digital marketing to attract customers.
If you’re looking to get into digital marketing or just want to gain more knowledge around the subject, there are plenty of free courses you can take to gain some knowledge. The following are five of the best online business marketing classes you can enroll in to get started.
The Complete Digital Marketing Guide
This is a standout among the most popular courses on Coursera, and it’s not hard to see why. Developed by the team behind Mailchimp and the mastermind behind Growthoid, DIGITAL MARKETING is an all-inclusive, inbound marketing course that focuses on teaching you the ins and outs of digital marketing.
The complete course, which is available for free, brings you access to over 250 lectures, over 20 hours of content and over 6.5 million dollars of market research files that you can access for free.
In addition to the massive amount of content that is available to you, you’ll also gain access to over 150 hours of video content that you can watch at any time.
One of the biggest draws of this course for me is that you’ll learn from experts. Not only will you learn the theory but you’ll also get access to a network of over 70 leaders in the industry that can help you get your career off the ground.
One of the things that sets this course apart from others is that apart from teaching you the theory, the lecturers will also walk you through the entire process of starting a digital marketing agency.
If you’re looking to gain more knowledge around the subject and want to put that knowledge to use, this is one of the best courses out there. The only downside is that at $150,000, it’s not exactly beginner friendly.
Marketing Management — From Strategy to Execution
This is also a really popular course on Coursera and it’s easy to see why. Developed by the team behind HubSpot and the founder of Future Inc, this course is designed to help you become a confident marketer.
The entire course is based around the idea of marketing management, which is the process of planning, strategizing, and executing marketing plans.
The course does a wonderful job of walking you through the entire process of marketing plan creation, from brainstorming to analysis to execution. You’ll start by taking a look at the marketing objectives and the desired state of the market. From there, you’ll work on creating a detailed marketing plan that includes the strategy and the metrics that will be used to evaluate its effectiveness.
This plan will serve as the foundation for all the marketing that is carried out. You’ll work on establishing benchmarks and establishing metrics to track the success of your plan.
Along with the basics of marketing management, you’ll also learn how to carry out marketing analytics and reporting, how to use marketing analytics to identify key performance indicators, how to track the performance of your plan and how to analyze the success of your plan.
If you’re looking to break into the world of online business marketing and are searching for an introductory course, this is one of the best options available. Although it doesn’t teach you how to create a website, it does cover the fundamentals of internet marketing and digital marketing, as well as give you a taste of strategic thinking and marketing analytics.
Marketing Research Methods
This is a stand-out course on Coursera and it’s easy to see why. Developed by the team behind HubSpot and the founder of Growthoid, MARKET RESEARCH METHODS is an inbound marketing course that takes a more methodological approach to marketing research.
The entire course is based around the idea of marketing research, which is the process of gathering information about a product or service to determine its market value.
The course does a wonderful job of walking you through the entire process of market research, from problem identification to data collection to analysis to interpretation. You’ll start by taking a look at the overall landscape of your industry and the position of your product or service within that landscape. From there, you’ll work on identifying the problems and challenges facing your product or service.
This is probably the most methodical of the courses discussed here, but it’s also one of the most in-depth. You’ll learn a lot from this course, and it will help you develop a much greater understanding of how marketing and research work together.
Marketing research can be very beneficial to your business. If you’re not familiar with the subject or if you’re looking to beef up your understanding of how marketing and research work together, this is one of the best courses out there. The only downside is that the bulk of the content is in-class and you’ll have to rely on the materials that are provided if you’re looking to gain a great deal of knowledge from this learning experience.
Social Media Marketing
This is a hugely popular option amongst online business students, designed by the team behind HubSpot and the mastermind behind Growthoid. If you’re not familiar with the name, Growthoid is the company behind Hootsuite, and Hootsuite is the tool that nearly every business, large or small, uses to schedule blog posts and schedule social media campaigns.
The entire course is based around the idea of social media marketing, which is the process of using social media channels to promote a product or service.
The course walks you through the entire process of creating a social media strategy, from audience analysis to growth hacking to content creation to measurement and analysis. You’ll start by taking a look at the overall goals for your social media strategy, such as attracting potential customers or encouraging existing customers to engage with your brand. From there, you’ll work on defining your target audience, creating key planks of content and identifying the social platforms that will be used to promote your content.
If you’re looking for an introduction to the field of social media marketing, this is one of the best courses out there. You’ll learn a lot, and it will give you a head start in your career as a digital marketer.
This is a very practical and hands-on course, and it is the most expensive of the courses discussed here, starting at $500 per month, plus incentives such as Amazon gift cards.
Online Advertising — Making Money Online
If you’re looking to make money online, you have many opportunities, but one of the best is through online advertising. The advertising landscape changed in the last few years, and while there are plenty of ads on the internet that you can be directed to, the most effective ads are those that appear at the top of a search engine results page.
This is where things get interesting. If you learn how to optimize your ads correctly, you can have them show up at the top of a search engine results page, get clicked on frequently and effectively generate highly qualified leads for your business.
Understanding how to effectively place ads and how to optimize them for maximum business potential is extremely important. If you’re looking to make some money online, this is one of the best courses available. The only downside is that the course is very vendor-specific — you’ll only learn about Google Ads.
Paid Search Advertising — The Definitive Guide
If you have a limited budget but you’re still looking to generate sales, you can try paid search advertising. This type of advertising allows you to target specific keywords or phrases that relate to your product and place ads on search engines such as Google, Bing and Yandex. For example, if you sell bathtubs and you want to attract people who are looking for bathtubs, you could try placing ads on the search engine results page for the terms “bathtub.”
This is definitely one of the more expensive options, going from $600 per month plus incentives to $1500 per month plus incentives for the basic plan. However, if you’re looking to gain a good understanding of paid search advertising, this is one of the best routes to take. You’ll learn a lot, and it’s not an easy option to become familiar with. The only downside is that you’ll only learn about Google Ads.