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  • Writer's pictureNana Grace Kwapong

Free and Low Budget Ways to Increase Your Digital Marketing Acumen!

Updated: Jul 13, 2021

Henry Ford once said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” It is imperative that whatever field you find yourself in, that you continue to educate yourself. Digital marketing has rapidly become a force to reckon with in the business world.

Currently, if you are not in an educational environment or in a role where you routinely interact with or receive updates on the newest trends and tools, it may be difficult to have the skills required to thrive. That is why it is so essential to keep educating yourself, especially for those interested in building a lasting career in the industry.

Free Certifications & Courses

Hubspot has an Inbound Marketing Certification that is free charge and takes about 5 hours to go through the 12 classes that include topics such as Inbound Strategy, Social Media, Blogging the Conversion Process and Email Marketing. You have 75 minutes to answer 60 multiple choice questions. Read my review here

Google has two free certifications that are essential for digital marketers: Google Analytics and Google Adwords. Analytics certification allows you to demonstrate proficiency in the Google platform and teaches you the basics of analysing web traffic for business. The AdWords certification enables you to show proficiency in the platform as well as fundamental and advanced concepts of paid search. Reviews of these certifications are coming soon.

Hootsuite Podium has six free courses on the Fundamentals of Social Media Marketing. The courses include Introduction to Social Media Marketing, Optimizing Social Media Profiles, Social Media Strategy and Social Advertising Fundamentals.

Low-Cost Certifications & Courses

Udemy is a massive open online course (MOOC) platform that allows people of all backgrounds and experience levels to take courses and grow their knowledge. The courses available range from free guitar lessons all the way to insightful Social Media Marketing certifications like SO ME Academy's Certification. (Read our review here)

Hootsuite Certification: After completing the Hootsuite courses, you can take the exam to get certified for a cost of $199. The exam is timed, and you have 60 minutes to answer 60 questions with a minimum passing score of 80%. The exam does not expire and does not need to be retaken once you pass. There is, however, a subscription of $199 that is renewed annually. A review of this certification is coming soon.

Coursera is also a MOOC but is different from Udemy in that all the courses available are partnerships between Coursera and various colleges or universities. Most Coursera courses have certifications attached as well as a capstone project and can serve as an excellent way to get a portfolio piece to discuss during interviews. Coursera's pricing is on the higher side of the spectrum, with individual courses starting at around $49 and full certifications beginning at about $350. Two courses I can recommend are Social Media Marketing by Northwestern University and Digital Marketing Certification by University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

The article in no way meant to cover all the options of free and low-cost opportunity to grow your digital marketing acumen and brand yourself. Instead, it serves as a starting point to give you the tools and language needed to start this journey.

Instead, it serves as a starting point to give your the tools and language needed to start this journey.

If you would like to reach out for advice on any of these certifications or have any other topics you would like me to cover, please email me at

Thanks for reading!


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