There are two courses in digital marketing you can take online for FREE right now. They are perfect for beginners to digital marketing. You can know absolutely nothing and either of these courses will get you up to speed.
I took both of them so I could compare them. Here’s how that works.
- *Last year, I completed the Digital Marketing Certification from Hubspot Academy
- *I renewed this one last month.
- *This weekend, I completed the LinkedIn Learning Digital Marketing Foundations Certificate
- *To be clear, I’m deep into Hubspot Academy and have earned 6 certificates; I do not pay the monthly fee for LinkedIn Learning, which costs $29.99/mo or $19.99/mo for the annual plan.
Deciding between the two should be pretty easy if you’re looking at which costs less. That’s Hubspot Academy, which offers its certifications for free. But I found an article about all the free LinkedIn Learning classes this month, so I thought I’d sample them.
I 100% believe in investing in one’s education because you will always get something out of it, especially if you actively apply what you learn. I’ve become a constant online learner since the pandemic after completing my undergrad online at Boston University in 2010. I was an O.G. remote worker and online learner before it was a hashtag.
I also believe in getting things done the most efficient way possible.
Time could be more important to you than money, or vice versa. In January, I used my Typeshare account to write about the subject of using free online courses to pivot to a marketing career so you can work from home. This atomic essay I wrote earned the most engagement of anything I’d written this year (12.5%). This tells me many of you want this information, so let’s do this!
Let’s get into the two courses you can take for free right now to learn the absolute basics of online marketing.
1. LinkedIn Digital Marketing Foundations
Hurry for this one because it’s only free for August 2022, according to Social Media today.
LinkedIn’s Digital Marketing Foundations Course
- Free for August
- 2 hours, 9 minutes (took me 2 hours, 40 minutes)
- Certification: Yes
- Certification Expiration date: none
- Release Date: 1/14/21
2. Hubspot Digital Marketing
I completed this certificate last year and just renewed it last month.
Hubspot’s Digital Marketing Certification
- Always free
- 5.75 hours (set aside at least 6 hours)
- Certification: Yes
- Certification Expiration date: Renewable annually (Hubspot will email you a reminder)
- Release date: Unknown
Hubspot’s course features longer videos that are more in-depth than LinkedIn. Hubspot also features a variety of its experts and network in its course videos; LinkedIn’s course features only one expert speaking through the entire course.
Which online digital marketing course should you take—LinkedIn or Hubspot?
These are two very similar courses offering an overview of digital marketing to include SEO, email, paid ads, social media, website performance, and video marketing. Since they are very much alike, it’s hard for me to decide which is “better.”
LinkedIn’s course mentions the importance of Google My Business, so it’s outdated. I earned my Google Certificate in that right before they canned the product. I wish I’d known!
If you’re a new digital marketer, know two things:
- Google My Business is gone forever
- Google Analytics is leaving forever soon. It will be replaced by Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
When you do take these courses, it’s important to keep in mind that Google (and all platforms) tend to change quickly. If you want to be a digital marketer, you’ll have to learn to keep up by watching industry news and trends evolve.
The LinkedIn Course still offers plenty of nuggets to help you as a newbie marketer. Anytime I take or retake one of these courses, I pick up something new. LinkedIn’s course also touches on hot topics like AI, automation, and influencer marketing. So it may be worth a spin if you have the time and catch it while it’s free this month (August 2022).
Completing both courses will earn you a certificate you can display on your LinkedIn profile. Hubspot Academy offers additional options for you to share your certification on social, like Twitter, Facebook, and embeds. You will also receive a link to your certification on Hubspot and a certificate you can print out.
If I were starting out, I would do both.
Considering the LinkedIn course is free this month, I’d start with it to get the overview of information on digital marketing foundations quickly. If you’re a career changer, this is for you.
Much of the content in each course is geared for absolute beginners. So if you’ve already completed the Hubspot course (as I have), then you probably won’t want to spend more time on the LinkedIn course. Once the LinkedIn course is gated again (in September 2022), I’d go with Hubspot.
Hubspot courses are always free and not gated like LinkedIn Learning courses are.
My question as an online learning junkie is this: which of these are better for landing a job interview or freelance gig? I’ve seen someone specifically ask for a Hubspot certification in a job ad only once.
I think the LinkedIn course is perfect if you’re a beginner with your first marketing job interview later this afternoon.
You can finish it in under three hours and earn a certificate that’s visible on your LinkedIn profile. If you’re applying to jobs right now and pivoting careers from something else into marketing, do it. You have nothing to lose. (Except ~3 hours of your time).
If you’re just looking for that very first marketing job and you’re right out of high school or still in college, start with this LinkedIn course today. (Then, take what you learn back to your professors and classmates for discussion).
If you’re someone who needs all the help they can get with their LinkedIn profile, start with the LinkedIn course.
Obtaining a certificate will never hurt you.
If you are starting out with digital marketing, use these courses to find out where your interest lies:
- Which quizzes did you ace?
- Which topics interested you most?
- Which ideas didn’t resonate as much?
How you answer these questions can help you choose your next course and a career direction.
Some online learning tips:
Allow more than the given time so you can take notes, search online for items mentioned (like books or websites), and ad time for taking the quizzes.
Take notes—either on paper or in Notion. I like using Scrivener, but that’s just my thing as a writer. You’ll want to take notes on the course and capture whatever ideas it sparked. I prefer taking digital notes because I hate paper clutter. (Notion is free).
Exercise or stretch while watching. It’s easier to take these courses when you don’t feel as if they are contributing to a sedentary lifestyle. I set my laptop up at a high table and move as I watch. I use resistance bands, do yoga poses, and stretch. This helps me feel more positive about spending my time learning.
If you’ve taken one of these courses, please leave a comment about your experience! I’m really curious to find out what courses others are taking online.
If you need a professional coach to help you with your career direction, online leanring, resume, interviewing, and your LinkedIn profile, book a free discovery call directly into my calendar. Let’s meet and see what simple action you can take to create the career of your dreams.