Many of those interested in digital marketing find it suitable to start with a digital marketing course. Yet, some main questions remain persistent. What is the best digital marketing course? What should learners expect? How much would it cost and where to find one? Learners are always looking for the best course to invest their time and money in and guarantee the best experience. This article will help you find out what to look for in a course and avoid the confusion.
Who Needs a Digital Marketing Course?
Digital marketing has disrupted all marketing departments in every industry. It has broken through traditional strategies and demanded an extra seat at the table. This has obliged even experienced specialists to expand their knowledge through a digital marketing course, or a degree. In addition, new entrants in the field, especially millennials, might need a digital marketing course to put their career on track.
Moreover, a digital marketing course is the best place to start for start-up business owners. This is because they are keen on spreading the word about their business in the most cost-efficient way.
Benefits of Taking a Digital Marketing Course
No matter who you are or what your profession is, digital marketing is a subject almost anyone can benefit from. You need digital marketing to promote an idea, build a good-looking LinkedIn profile, or persuade recruiters that you’re fit for a job. In any resume, online communication skills and a digital marketing background are good assets. Even content creators, bloggers, and vloggers need to understand the basics of digital marketing to get more efficient results.
What Will You Learn in a Digital Marketing Course?
Surely, each digital marketing course has a different syllabus. However, there are some basics that almost all of them tackle. Or at least, these are headlines that you should find in the contents of a valuable course.
Marketing in a Digital World
The first component to look for in a digital marketing course is a solid and comprehensible introductory to the topic. Many unprofessional instructors use complex terms as a sales hook to convince their potential learners that they are good at what they do.
A deep learning process is less about decorated terms and more about a practical experience and a thorough understanding. Therefore, the introduction of your course must be comprehensive, easily-understood, and steady-paced.
It is always good to invest enough time when approaching a brand-new subject. Introductory topics may include:
- A brief introduction about what the course will cover
- Digital marketing definition
- The power of digital marketing on an organization’s performance
- How digital marketing walks hand-in-hand with the entire marketing strategy
- Consumer digital behavior
- The concept of digital campaigns and advertising
- Basic marketing and branding concepts
Digital Media Channels
This comes naturally as well. You can’t deal with digital marketing without knowing all its different channels. Every channel has a unique theme, different properties, and different audiences as well. Some are casual, while others are professional. Some are addressed to an older age group, while others engage the younger generations. Understanding the nature of every channel is key to becoming a good digital marketer.
These are all basics that will enable you to pick the right channel for your business. Nowadays, many just tend to create business accounts on all platforms, they end up wasting resources and distracting their audience. That’s why, a digital marketing course should allow you to figure that out.
Digital Marketing Analytics
Market research and data analysis is the only path to making valid and consumer-based marketing decisions. This doesn’t apply only on marketing, but rather in all high-risk situations. Interestingly, one of the great perks of digital marketing is that all its activities are measurable and traceable.
This has given space for digital marketing analytics to be a broad subject with different tools and software apps to master. For the record, there are entire books and courses discussing data collection, analytics, and visualization; it is one of the most trending topics. So, definitely, a single course would not provide all the information about all tools.
However, a good digital marketing course should give you sufficient knowledge about all, and some deeper insight into one particular tool at least.
Digital Media Strategies and Marketing Principles
Marketing is a major that includes many techniques, strategies, and approaches that students study in renowned business schools. Digital technology only introduced new channels where marketers could practice marketing strategies. Therefore, a digital marketing course should give you the basics of marketing strategies. Particularly, those commonly used on digital platforms.
For example, concepts like SEO, content strategy, social media marketing, brand image, and online public relations are crucial for any digital marketer to understand. The marketing mix is also another important concept in promoting any brand. These lessons are all listed under what to look for in a digital marketing course.
A qualified digital marketing course must be rich from a theoretical point of view. However, that doesn’t mean it should ignore practical experience. Digital marketing is a practical job; it deals with real-life influence and affecting consumers’ decisions.
The assessment of any marketing effort comes in the form of measuring the return of investment, a higher market share, and other real results. There’s a big capacity for trial and error when it comes to marketing campaigns.
For that reason, practical experience is highly useful to anyone aiming to become a digital marketer. If you have a great experience in theory, but not in practice, you will have trouble penetrating the real market.
In-Class VS Online Digital Marketing Course
Learners differ in nature and lifestyle, and their preferred learning methods differ accordingly. While some prefer in-class courses, others prefer online ones. Here’s a glimpse of each type’s pros and cons, and where to find them.
Pros of In-Class Courses
The huge benefit that in-class courses provide is the variety of methods of interaction. This is one major benefit that online classes cannot offer. Interaction and communication make the learning process engaging and fun. That makes it easier to continue the course. It helps the learner follow up with what’s being taught, ask questions, participate in group projects, and maybe even make new friends. This gives the learners a unique experience that may not be available online.
Assessment tends to be more accurate in in-class courses. Since in-class instructors deal face to face with each learner, and spend relatively enough time with their students to assess their progress. So, they are eligible to give a fairly accurate report of that learner’s progress and commitment through the course. The instructors’ comments and feedback are credible and reflect the knowledge of the learner. They reflect an actual evaluation of how far the learner has benefited from the course.
Favourable Professional Resumes
Employers and higher educational institutes still tend to prefer traditional coursework over online classes. Many like to think that the quality of these traditional classes is often better. This idea comes from the common belief that in-class courses offer an in-depth perspective. This may or may not be correct according to the institute behind the course. Many online courses offer valuable material, so it all depends on the course content and the expertise.
Pros of Online Courses
This is a major downside that attracts many learners towards an online digital marketing course. While in-class courses are valuable, they require a great commitment on the learner’s behalf.
Learners must be present at a specific time and location for a rather long period of time. They have to rearrange their schedule in order to find time for class, in addition to dedicating time to study its material and finish assignments and projects. Many professionals who work from nine to five find it difficult to do that because of their busy schedule.
On the other hand, online courses are highly flexible. You can fit them within your busy schedule without sacrificing other tasks. You can take your course anywhere and anytime. All you need is your laptop and an Internet connection. Whether it’s during a break, or while commuting, an online class is ready whenever you are.
Another round that online courses win. In-class courses are often more expensive than online courses, which makes them an investment that many fail to commit to. In the past, in-class courses were the only option; the only place to learn valuable content and get a certificate, so people paid a lot of money to attend that.
This is no longer the case.
Credible educational platforms now offer highly informative material prepared by the best professors from prestigious institutes, in addition to a certificate, too. Low cost is a great attraction and it is often the reason why many go for an online digital marketing course.
Where to Find a Digital Marketing Course
In-Class Digital Marketing Course in Belfast
Belfast Academy of Marketing
Belfast Academy of Marketing is an accredited study centre of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and of the CAM Foundation. Their tuition schedule is designed to suit professional marketers with a range of study options including evening classes, intense, and blended learning.
The CIM is the world largest professional body for marketing courses. The curriculum covers all different levels and types of marketing. Surely, that includes the CIM digital marketing courses.
The Belfast Academy also offers one-day digital marketing workshops about specific topics. For example, copy-writing skills, SEO workshops, social media marketing, and event management. Their tutors are well-equipped with professional experience, as well as coaching and training background.
Big Rock Designs
Big Rock Designs is a computer consultancy that offers business services, events, and master courses. Their courses are all relevant to Information technology and everything digital.
They offer a variety of courses: Animation, web design, graphic design, etc. One of their main courses is the digital marketing course. It encompasses SEO, WordPress, Email Marketing, Google AdWords & Analytics and Social Media. It demonstrates how to promote your company’s brand, increase sales, drive traffic to a site, and engage with customers using today’s primary social networking tools.
They also have different courses covering every topic separately. Big Rock has two different locations, in Belfast and Dublin, and they have varying schedules to suit everybody.
Belfast Met is the largest further and Higher Education College in Northern Ireland and one of the largest in the UK.
They have developed a portfolio of courses to meet different learners’ needs; starting from Level 1 up to those undertaking degrees and post-graduate studies. Of course, the college is popular with employers for its good reputation of relevant and high quality learning.
This is particularly useful for young professionals, who already have 4 to 7 years of experience, and are trying to give their career the right push forward.
Belfast Met offers full-time and part-time courses to match busy schedules. They also offer the CIM Marketing course, OCNNI Digital Marketing course, along with others.
Online Digital Marketing Course
Coursera is the most professional online learning platform. It offers specializations, online college degrees, and courses accredited from the most renowned universities all over the world. The respectable names behind these courses, such as the University of Stanford and the University of London, give them credibility.
And, in some cases, higher value than in-class courses.
In addition, Coursera offers a certificate that a learner can add to his/her CV or LinkedIn profile once the course is finished.
Digital Marketing Course
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a unique digital marketing specialization; it is the most popular one on the website. In 2016, this specialization was one of the top 10 specializations in terms of enrollments and was truly a success. It entails 7 courses that tackle all relevant digital marketing topics. In addition, the final course is a capstone project that gives you a glimpse at a real-life business problem and puts your knowledge to practice.
Lynda, LinkedIn’s learning platform, is another e-learning platform that offers rich courses. Similar to Coursera, Lynda offers a certificate for learners for finishing their courses.
The website doesn’t have one specialization with relevant topics, however, it does have many courses listed under marketing. The courses revolve around digital marketing topic such as content marketing and strategy, SEO, online advertising, etc.
The advantage of this is that it goes through every topic separately, and therefore, allowing an in-depth look. It’s a good opportunity if you’re looking for one specific skill to master, and not the entire digital marketing package.
Alison is a free online learning platform, and it is a treasure for students or those on a tight budget. Once you have finished a course, you can download your learner record as proof of attendance. You may need to purchase a certificate for a more official recognition, however, this is not mandatory.
All you need is to create a free account and start learning. The digital marketing section on Alison also has different topics: Fundamentals of Marketing Your Business Online, Google Analytics, Social Media Strategy for Small Businesses, and Advertising Your Business Online. They are all a good start for learners aiming to develop themselves with the lowest amount of financial investment.
Things to Look for in a Digital Marketing Course
There are many things that you need to check before you sign up for a course, or make a payment. Sometimes, learners are in a hurry to find a course that they end up choosing the wrong one. This leads to their frustration later once the course is up and going. They end up dropping out, and wasting their money and time.
Now, before making big plans, you need to ask some questions and make sure you have the right answers.
Course Objective and Curriculum
Why are you taking the course? How will this course help with your career? Is this really the right path to achieve this goal?
A digital marketing course is an investment of time, effort, and money. Any learner would love to see results for those three. Sometimes learners go for the wrong course because the course objective is not aligned with their own.
On the other hand, a learner may choose a course expecting to learn one thing, and in fact, the course tackles a different subject. Therefore, you must check the syllabus and the course outline before enrolling. Make sure that the digital marketing course objective matches your needs.
Ratings and Reviews
Word of mouth matters in educational services. Do not blindly what an institute or an instructor says about the course. Nobody would say that the course they offer is average.
Listen to past students: how they experienced the course, what they found a point of strength and what they found a point of weakness. Ask about the instructor’s qualifications, do they have the necessary qualifications to teach digital marketing?
If you are going for an online course, check its rating and the different reviews it has. If there’s a common negative review, then you should probably consider if it will affect your learning process.
The course instructor plays a major role in the leaning process. However, it is not the only factor. When there’s an institution supporting the course, there’s a great chance that the material is developed by the institution itself.
That’s why you should also review the history of that institution. How long has it been in the field? What kind of academic awards did it achieve? Does it have a record of academic excellence and what is their specialty?
This is also one thing to look for before enrolling for a high-investment course.
Money back guarantee
This is particularly useful for an online digital marketing course, or for an expensive in-class one. Many times, learners end up being disappointed within the beginning of the course. Therefore, many platforms offer a money-back guarantee policy. It differs from one place to another. Some places offer a full money-back guarantee, while others deduct a percentage.
Digital Marketing Course Fees
Digital marketing courses vary in their prices intensely. It depends on many factors: location, online or in-class, the institution, the instructor’s reputation, etc. The biggest category falls between 250 pounds to 1000 pounds. However, the range varies from free courses to those which cross 1000 pounds. Generally, online classes tend to be remarkably cheaper than in-class courses.
Free Digital Marketing Course and Financial Aids
Some institutions, academies, and even online platforms offer financial aids for those who cannot afford the fees. Financial aids come in the shape of scholarships and discounts to students.
Usually, applicants need to meet some requirements for the financial aid to be accepted. Coursera is one of the online platforms that offer help to those who cannot afford their courses.
On a side note, universities have stricter requirements to provide aids; that makes sense, since their fees are often much higher.
Tips to Finish Your Digital Marketing Course Efficiently
The common scenario is that we all start excited about a new course. As time goes by, we lose interest and, in many cases, drop out. Here are some tips that’ll keep you going and complete your digital marketing course:
Divide the number of hours you need to spend per week studying or preparing for the course. Set a schedule and mark your calendar with important assignments and deadlines. This keeps you engaged and keeps you motivated to reach your goal.
Find a study group. Learners are much more likely to successfully complete a course if they enroll with friends, or connect with other learners in the course forums. Groups also allow you to share knowledge and see answers from different perspectives.
The best way to benefit from any learning experience is to apply what you learn. If you’re employed in the digital marketing field, this is a great chance to apply what you learn in the course. On the contrary, if you’re not an employee yet, try to find a way to apply what you learn through some personal mock projects. You never find out what you’re missing until you execute a task.
Responsive learners are the best learners. Respond to questions asked by your instructors. Interact with your fellow learners, express your ideas, and explore theirs too. Learning is an interactive process, and even through online classes, students who engage have the best results and are more likely to complete their course.
Digital marketing is the new rising profession in the IT industry, and in many other fields. Taking a digital marketing course will allow you to explore that field and take your first steps to pursue a digital marketing career. Think about all the previous considerations and tips before you enroll for a course, and then go for it!