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10 Free Online Courses to Optimize Your Marketing Skills

Posted on Feb 11th, 2019
Written by Lane Ellis
In this article

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    No matter how much you already know, in today’s fast-paced marketing world there’s always plenty more to learn.

    Today more than ever options for learning new marketing skills abound, and the sheer number of choices can sometimes be overwhelming.

    Online courses can be an excellent way to advance your career through learning, and offer a go-at-your-own-pace cadence along with the ability to fit in as much or as little instruction as you wish, whenever and wherever you want.

    With more than 70% of companies seeing online learning as essential to long-term strategy (Digital Marketing Institute), it’s no wonder that online courses are flourishing.

    We’ve picked out 10 organizations offering online courses for optimizing your marketing skills, and best of all, each one is either completely free or offers free trials that allow you to try out content before you make a commitment.

    Let’s dig in.

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    Course 1: Stukent’s Expert Session Program

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    Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Oxford, Cornell, and many other top universities utilize Stukent for staying current with online courses, and the number of excellent digital and social media marketing-related options is impressive.

    Here are five of the fine marketing-related courses available at Stukent through its expert session program:

    Additionally, Harvard University itself offers a selection on free online courses, including 14 relating to data science and five in the computer science category.

    Course 2: BuzzSumo Academy

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    Many marketing professionals use BuzzSumo daily, but with a slew of features few know all the options the platform offers, which is why BuzzSumo created its BuzzSumo Academy program. The program offers a number of courses on how to use BuzzSumo to gather and research information, and you’ll find BuzzSumo Academy here.

    Our CEO Lee Odden was recently featured in a helpful BuzzSumo article by Susan Moeller, exploring “How to Generate Endless Blog Post Ideas for Content Marketing.”

    Course 3: HubSpot Academy

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    Operating since 2012, HubSpot Academy offers a strong selection of free online learning resources.

    Here are five selections to get you started:

    Course 4: Google Analytics Academy

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    Google Analytics is widely used, but with what can be an overwhelming array of features and options, few tap into the true power the measurement platform can provide. Google Analytics Academy aims to change that by getting more people using the advanced featured of the platform, and with numerous free courses available — including “Getting Started with Google Analytics 360” and “Google Analytics for Power Users” — now is the time to dig in and learn more.

    We’ve also written about analytics recently, including “New Year, New View: 3 Ways to Approach Analytics in 2019,” and “Measuring Content Marketing Success: Analytics Advice & Insight from the Experts.”

    Course 5: SEMrush Academy

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    Widely-used analytics and search tool platform SEMrush offers a variety of free online courses, exams, and lessons through its SEMrush Academy program. Topics covered include SEO, social media marketing, affiliate marketing, pay-per-click (PPC), and content marketing. Here are several courses of interest to digital marketers:

    Course 6: Traackr Academy of Influencer Marketing

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    Traacker’s Academy of Influencer Marketing (AIM) online learning program offers a free course on influencer marketing. “Setting Sail on an Influencer Marketing Program” includes eight videos, five quizzes, 10 texts, and five downloads, all taught by Johns Hopkins University faculty member Shonali Burke.

    Shonali also has another course in the works for Traackr AIM, with the upcoming “A Treasure Chest of Influencer Marketing Case Studies.”

    Course 7: Hootsuite Academy

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    Hootsuite offers several free courses through its online Hootsuite Academy program, including frequently-update lessons on using its service, and other more general marketing courses, including a six-hour “Social Marketing Training” course which includes six chapters covering such areas as:

    • Optimizing Your Social Media Profiles
    • Growing Your Advocate Community
    • Content Marketing Fundamentals
    • Social Advertising Fundamentals

    Course 8: Jeff Sauer’s PPC Mastery Course

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    University of St. Thomas instructor Jeff Sauer was an early beta-tester of Google Analytics, and has been teaching marketers how to use Google Ads since 2010.

    Jeff now offers a free week-long PPC course — an abbreviated version of his more intensive month-long offering, including video lessons, downloads, and extensive preparation help for Google certification testing.

    Course 9:’s Marketing Courses

    Lynda Image offers an impressive selection of digital marketing courses, and with a free one-month trial period, the LinkedIn-owned service can be a goldmine of online learning.

    Here are several recent additions to’s online marketing course lineup:

    Course 10: Udemy

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    With more and 100,000 courses and over 22 million minutes of video, Udemy also offers a wide variety of helpful online courses available during a 30-day subscription trial period.

    Here are some of Udemy’s recent online courses of interest to digital marketers:

    Grow Your Marketing Repertoire With Free Online Courses

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    Growing your existing skills and expanding your marketing repertoire with new knowledge are rewarding endeavors whether you’re a chief executive or CMO, or just starting out in the marketing industry.

    We hope the knowledge you gain from taking any of these 10 online course offerings will help to make your 2019 a landmark year for your campaigns.

    As a parting bonus list, here are several additional resources to help you expand your marketing knowledge: