How to Get Certified in Digital Marketing

Below, we’ll break down some of the top certifications for digital marketers at all stages…

How to Get Certified in Digital Marketing

Earning a professional certificate in any industry can showcase your abilities and help you get seen by employers. Digital marketing is no different. 

If you’re just starting to research the digital marketing certifications available, you may be wondering where you should begin. Below, we’ll break down some of the top certifications for digital marketers at all stages of their career — and we’ll tell you what you need to do to earn them yourself.

What Is Digital Marketing Certification?

A digital marketing certification signifies a mastery of a particular skill set or knowledge base. It communicates that you have a strong grasp on digital marketing foundations, which means employers can spend less time training you and more time enjoying the outcomes of your efforts.

Benefits of Digital Marketing Certification

According to a report from Salesforce, 73% of consumers expect more personalized interactions with brands. The logical business response is to provide users with a functioning website, chat-enabled customer service, engaging social media accounts, informative content marketing, click-worthy email campaigns, and other quality screen-based activities.

In order to meet these demands, employers need digital marketing experts who understand how to implement a digital marketing strategy and enhance business outcomes. Earning a digital marketing certification can instantly communicate qualifications including:

  • Credibility and formal training
  • A comprehensive understanding of digital marketing techniques
  • A strong grasp on industry trends
  • Commitment to continued education

Becoming a certified digital marketing professional can help you showcase your digital marketing expertise and increase your chances of getting hired.

Digital Marketing Certifications Overview

Curious about the digital marketing certifications available? Here’s a breakdown of some of the more popular options:

  • Google Analytics: This certification demonstrates your ability to parse through data, identify trends, and present your findings in a clear manner. It is a great option for digital marketers who want to leverage the power of data but don’t have any experience with analytics.
  • Google Ads Search: This certification demonstrates your proficiency creating and managing Google ads on the search platform. If you plan to pursue roles that engage in online advertising, this credential can give you the strategic edge you need.
  • HubSpot Email Marketing: This certification demonstrates your skills in developing targeted email campaigns that generate results — and revenue. Anyone involved in email marketing can benefit from earning this globally recognized credential.
  • Microsoft Advertising: This certification demonstrates your understanding of the search advertising ecosystem, including solutions and best practices. It can make you more marketable to more businesses, as it opens you up to opportunities with companies that use Microsoft to manage their ads.
  • Hootsuite Social Media Marketing: This certification demonstrates your knowledge across the Hootsuite environment, from profile optimization to audience building and more. If your marketing career path includes social media tasks, this is a great certification to have under your belt.

Become Certified in Digital Marketing in Six Steps

Once you’ve determined that you want to pursue a digital marketing certificate, take time to assess your goals and determine the certification that will help you reach them. Below, we’ve outlined six steps to earning your chosen certification through a digital marketing course.

Step 1: Research and Self-Assessment

Whether you’re new to digital marketing or have some industry experience, it’s good to have a view of the full landscape and your current skill level before choosing a specialization. Ask yourself questions like:

  • What kinds of marketing activities do I enjoy? Perhaps you’re a fan of using web analytics to build out a marketing strategy, or maybe you prefer developing user personas and segmenting your audiences. Or, maybe you want to dive deep into your organization’s email or search engine marketing efforts.
  • What are my career goals in digital marketing? If you’re just starting out in your career, it may be a good idea to start with an overview of the basics and learn toward a more general certification. For digital marketing specialists who want to advance their careers, specialization can open up new opportunities.
  • What skills do I need to build in order to reach my goals? Be honest with yourself in assessing your experience level. Compare a list of your current skills against a list of skills for the roles you’re interested in. Once you know what you need to learn, you can identify the certification that aligns with your needs.

Step 2: Select a Certification Program

At this point, you should have a clear idea of the skills you want to learn and a list of potential digital marketing courses and certification programs. 

Remember: Not all certification programs are created equal. As you explore the various offerings, consider factors such as the program’s reputation and accreditation, curriculum and course content, instructor quality, networking opportunities, and industry recognition. Assess each option based on your own criteria.

Here’s how our Digital Marketing Certificate Course stacks up:

Program reputation and accreditationAll certifications are affiliated with recognized organizations including Google and Hubspot
Curriculum and course contentCurriculum covers in-demand skills as dictated by industry expert curriculum advisors
Instructor qualityAll sessions are led by digital marketing professionals who offer mentorship support
Networking opportunitiesProfessional services prepare learners with access to a career hub and group workshops
Industry recognitionOur instruction aligns with industry-recognized certification milestones
Hands-on learningStudents complete a variety of project-based activities that correspond with their chosen certification

Program cost and duration are other important elements that may impact your final decision. Reach out to the programs you’re interested in to learn about scholarship options, payment plans, and course timelines.

Step 3: Enroll in Your Chosen Course

This is one of the most exciting steps on your journey to becoming digital marketing certified. You’ve set your sights on your next career step, determined your skill gaps, identified a certification, and chosen a program to help you get there.

Enrollment will look different for every certificate program, but a general process might look like the following:

  1. Submit an application
  2. Undergo an admissions interview
  3. Receive a program acceptance notice
  4. Register for the course
  5. Pay tuition and associated fees
  6. Access learning materials
  7. Start learning

Some programs may require applicants to undergo an interview or assessment to ensure that they are a good fit. Many of those programs offer pre-course work that can help you get up to speed on digital marketing foundations before classes officially start.

Step 4: Begin the Course

Your overall learning experience will vary by the program and institution you choose. If you’re curious about what you can expect, here’s an overview of the topics covered in the our Digital Marketing Certificate Course:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Business audits
  • Personas and digital marketing strategy
  • Marketing automation
  • Paid search, paid social, and multichannel campaigns
  • Marketing analytics

Our classes meet during weekly live online sessions taught by industry experts and led by mentors with subject matter expertise. By the end of the course, learners should be able to develop comprehensive marketing plans to solve business challenges. They demonstrate their expertise in a final project shared with industry experts and peers.

Tips for Effective Learning

No matter the format of your digital marketing certificate program, your success will depend on your preparation and ability to overcome the inevitable challenges that come with learning a new skill. During your program, make sure to:

  • Create a study schedule and stick to it. Getting into a routine can help prevent mental fatigue.
  • Stay organized and keep track of assignments, exams, and important dates.
  • Review and reflect on your work, especially areas that need improvement.
  • Seek feedback and support from your instructors and peers.

Resources for Learners

Like we mentioned above, not all certificate courses are created equal. Some may offer students with academic and career support, while others may focus solely on the curriculum lessons. Additional resources may include skills workshops, networking events, resume and portfolio reviews, and interview preparation. Check with your digital marketing course administrator to make sure you’re taking full advantage of the benefits available to you.

Step 5: Gain Practical Hands-on Experience

Employers care about what you know, but they care more about what you can do with your knowledge. Certificate programs that offer hands-on digital marketing experience can help you position yourself as a digital marketing expert by giving you opportunities to put theory into practice.

For example, your program may cover lessons on social media audiences and how to segment campaigns for maximum reach. Even with the best instruction, everything you know so far is based on examples from your readings and lectures. It’s when you start to apply those lessons to real-world problems — such as executing an A/B social media campaign for a real client — that the information becomes tangible.

The projects you complete throughout your program can also be used to populate your professional portfolio. Take notes on the process and outcomes for each project so you can write up a short case study that explains your approach and thought process. Your portfolio, paired with your new professional certificate, will signal your commitment to continued learning and honing your unique skill set.

Step 6: Prepare for Your Certification Exam

The final step on your journey to digital marketing certification is passing the exam of your choice. One of the best ways you can prepare is by taking thorough notes and taking advantage of all the resources available through your program. 

When it’s time to start studying, we recommend that you:

  • Get started early. According to research by the UC San Diego Department of Psychology, one of the most effective ways to prepare for an exam is to space out your study sessions over a few weeks.
  • Create a study schedule. Just like your course structure kept you on track throughout your certificate program, a study schedule gives you a plan of action and clear goals for each session.
  • Join a study group. Your classmates can also make great study buddies for your exam. A study group can keep you accountable and provide you with alternative perspectives on exam topics.
  • Stay confident. If you’ve paid attention during lectures, applied your knowledge to projects, and synthesized feedback, you have done everything you can to prepare for your exam. Be confident in your abilities and visualize your success.

Advance Your Digital Marketing Career With a Certification

If you want to set yourself apart as a digital marketing professional, earning a certificate is one way to show employers that you’re dedicated to your craft. Whether you specialize in marketing analytics, social media marketing, or email marketing, the job prospects are promising. Employment of digital marketers is projected to grow by six percent between 2022 and 2032, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Some of the digital marketing job titles you may be able to pursue with certification include:

  • Social media specialist
  • SEO specialist
  • Search engine marketing (SEM) specialist
  • Email marketer
  • Content marketing strategist
  • Marketing analyst
  • Google Ads specialist

Programs like the our Digital Marketing Certificate Course may offer career support, which can help you prepare to apply and interview for industry roles. You may also have opportunities to join alumni networks and other professional groups, such as the American Marketing Association, that can further boost your career prospects and help you advance in your specialization.

Start or Advance Your Digital Marketing Journey

Taking a digital marketing certificate course is a great option for tech-savvy learners who want to gain modern skills to amplify their business’s message. Whether you’re an entrepreneur who wants to take advantage of the latest technologies like web analytics and marketing automation, or a seasoned digital marketing specialist interested in advancing your career, our Digital Marketing Certificate Course can prepare you with the skills you need to succeed.

If you’re ready to take your next step toward becoming a certified digital marketing professional, we invite you to explore the program curriculum and benefits, or schedule an appointment with our advisors today.

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