Looking to get to grips with the basics of digital marketing, but don’t know where to start?

Being a current digital marketing student, I have certainly been there. This post will break down our top five free digital marketing courses and resources prior to starting a masters degree.

Pursuing a masters is the best way to build the skills, knowledge and experience to build a career in digital marketing, hence my decision to study MSc Digital Marketing at RGU. For me though, having taken a four year break between the end of my undergraduate and the start of my masters, I wanted to start the masters all guns blazing. I just had no idea which courses to invest my time and effort into and that’s why I’ve compiled this blog.

These resources are all free (at least for a limited time) and are a fantastic way to boost your skills and confidence before starting a masters degree.

1. Google Digital Garage

The Google Digital Garage Fundamentals of Digital Marketing Course is hands down the best beginners digital marketing course on the internet. Covering topics from setting digital objectives, right through to understanding SEO, social media marketing and Google Analytics, this course has it all.

All in all, the course takes approximately 40 hours and requires you to have a Google account. It’s as easy as that. I spent roughly a month working my way through a couple of topics per day whilst I was in Thailand prior to starting my master’s degree. As a result, it certainly made me feel like I had a leg up having not come from a marketing background.

2. HubSpot Academy

HubSpot is a giant when it comes to providing a platform for marketing, sales, customer service and CRM software. As part of my previous job as a travel consultant, we used HubSpot CRM which was fantastic. In terms of their free resources as well, the HubSpot Academy is also very highly regarded.

The courses are possibly more suitable for those at a more intermediate level, but there are fantastic options for those wanting to specialise in one particular area. There are a number of qualifications, badges, and online training opportunities including courses in inbound marketing, social media marketing (including individual Facebook, Instagram and Facebook Advertising courses) right through to graphic design courses.

3. Distilled U

For those wanting to specialise in SEO, Distilled U offer three free modules covering search engine basics, on-page optimisation and technical SEO. There is plenty to get your teeth into. Full subscription is fairly pricy if you don’t have your work or business pay for it, but access to three free modules is plenty to get to get you started.

I would recommend the first module, Search Engine Basics, which gives a solid introduction into the history of the website, key concepts such as crawling, indexing and ranking and a few search engine tips and tricks. It’s very accessible for newbies and great starting point for those interested in SEO.

4. Moz Whiteboard Friday

I’ve spent many hours listening to happy chappy Rand Fishkin and the Moz team talk about a number of digital marketing topics. From SEO to content marketing to blog writing, the Whiteboard Friday videos are delivered in a friendly, easy to understand format.

Moz are seen as the go-to company for SEO software and marketing analytics. The videos are perfect for those just getting used to digital marketing concepts, but also marketing professionals needing a bit of help and inspiration.

Just try not to get distracted by Rand Fishkin’s ever-changing facial and head hair. You’ll know what I mean once you’ve watched a few Whiteboard Fridays.

Their videos can be found on their website or on YouTube. Easy.

5. Google Academy for Ads

Good old Google also has a number of free training courses to enhance your digital skills in online advertising. Many of the courses are specifically designed for beginners. My recommendation would be to tackle the AdWords Fundamentals Course which would then allow you to get certified in other areas such as Search and Display advertising.

These certifications are great to add to your CV or LinkedIn and would put you in a fantastic position before even starting your masters.

Bonus One – Blogs!

A cheeky bonus one for you. Blogs are the best way to get to grips with many of the fundamentals of digital marketing. Whatever topic you are tackling, I can 100% guarantee that there will be a blogger somewhere who has written about that specific subject. A few of my personal favourite blogs to follow are Neil Patel, EConsultancy and our old friend Moz.

Have any other recommendations for future digital marketing students?

Post them in the comments below!