20 Free Digital Marketing Career Resources to Get You Started
Successful business owners know how to market their products and services online. Or, better yet, they know how to hire digital marketing experts to do it for them. Companies will always need skilled marketers to help them cut through the online chatter and promote their goods — and their need makes digital marketing a robust, rewarding and potentially lucrative career.
But where to start? A digital marketing career path can wind through many destinations. You might need skills from traditional marketing fields, data analysis, copywriting and even video production. The sheer variety of digital marketing jobs can feel overwhelming to absorb.
Fortunately, you can use a multitude of free digital marketing resources to springboard your career. This article will highlight 20 free resources as well as address some of the common questions you might have.
If you want to learn how to start a career in digital marketing, keep reading!
Table of Contents
- What Is Digital Marketing?
- 20 Free Digital Marketing Resources
- Is Digital Marketing a Good Career Choice?
- How to Start a Career in Digital Marketing
- Is a Career in Digital Marketing Worth It?
What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is a broad term that encompasses a single purpose: to promote a business’ brand and offerings online. But in reality, that’s a bit of an oversimplification; the profession draws its influences from several other fields, including PR, communications, design, data analytics and coding (to name a few).
Digital marketers manage every aspect of a brand’s online appearance and messaging. Both large and small businesses rely on digital marketing specialists to position them in competitive marketplaces.
For example, hospitals and the healthcare industry turn to digital marketers to highlight their necessary care and vital medical breakthroughs. Nonprofit organizations use it to reach potential volunteers and donors. Sports teams keep fans engaged between games by — you guessed it — interacting with them across all sorts of digital channels.
It’s intuitive. Consumers search for goods and services to buy online; sellers seek to reach them. Digital marketers connect both parties with a bit of creativity and communication.
20 Free Digital Marketing Resources
While the best way to learn is by doing, aspiring digital marketers can build a basic understanding of fundamental industry principles via online research. There are plenty of digestible and informative resources out there to help you cover the basics of SEO, content marketing, PPC marketing and other specialties of digital marketing.
Let’s address a few here.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization
1. SEO Starter Guide at Google Search
Google Search’s SEO starter guide offers a thorough introduction to what SEO means and, most importantly, how it can help a company make money. This resource is beneficial because it specifically addresses what marketers can do to increase the chances of their clients’ brand materials ranking well in Google.
2. The Beginner’s Guide to SEO at Moz
Moz offers many products that help companies put their best SEO foot forward. In this free guide, Moz describes the foundations of SEO in detail and provides a valuable pyramid of best practices.
3. Search Engine Roundtable
Search Engine Roundtable scours the top forums regarding search engine marketing (or SEM) for the most interesting topics and conversations. The site distills those threads into readable posts. It can get technical, but the site offers plenty of information.
4. Search Engine Journal
Search Engine Journal generates its content from in-house and independent experts in SEO. Its “Beginner’s Guide to SEO” offers fantastic coverage of what SEO is, why it matters and how you can optimize for it. The site also includes sections on pay-per-click marketing, content marketing and social media.
5. Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing at Moz
Is content marketing right for my business? Unequivocally yes, Moz answers in this article, which expands on the benefits content marketing can have on brand awareness and sales. It also offers content marketers some sage advice. Their first tip? Don’t give up when traffic appears to stall.
6. How to Develop a Content Strategy at Hubspot
Hubspot focuses on “inbound marketing,” an approach through which companies seek to help customers online rather than interrupt their scrolling with disruptive ad placements. This thorough guide to content marketing leads you through the steps of devising a strategy, producing content and selecting a publishing format and destination.
7. Content Ideation Tools From Search Engine Journal
Search Engine Journal identifies ways to deliver “data-backed content ideas” — i.e., those that leverage analytical and research tools to boost their reach. These data-backed methods help content marketers determine what people are searching for, when they’re searching for it and how to align their searches with brand-supportive content.
8. Using Google Trends for Content Marketing From Search Engine Journal
Search Engine Journal delivers a helpful overview of Google Trends, which it describes as “one of the best tools for SEO research.” This guide teaches aspiring content marketers how to increase user engagement by leveraging Google Trends’ analytical features.
9. Hubspot’s Ultimate Guide to PPC
You can find everything you might want and need to know about pay-per-click marketing in Hubspot’s comprehensive guide. This page outlines how PPC marketing works, its benefits and some tools of the trade. It provides a fine starting point for learning PPC.
10. Search Engine Journal’s Guide to How PPC Works
Another insightful PPC resource comes from Search Engine Journal. This one answers top questions, such as “What is PPC?” and “How can you make PPC work for you?” SEJ’s primer also includes an informative section on Google Ads and developing paid spend budgets.
11. Neil Patel’s 9 Tools for Better PPC Performance
Neil Patel is a recognized leader in digital marketing, and his blog on PPC tools offers some valuable suggestions for good PPC practice. For example, Patel encourages modern marketers to conduct competitor research and devise content and keyword strategies to distinguish their site — and provides tips for all of those tactics, of course! Patel’s site is also available in multiple languages.
12. Improve Your PPC Strategy With Hubspot
Hubspot dives into the details of PPC marketing, covering essential topics such as how to choose a PPC platform, what kinds of ads to invest in and how to tailor your PPC strategy to your target audience.
13. Hubspot’s Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing
This piece from Hubspot is an excellent springboard for learning email marketing best practices. This resource provides a valuable breakdown of how email marketing draws customers and converts them to sales.
14. Neil Patel’s Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing
Neil Patel presents a defense of email marketing, citing it as the “most effective marketing channel.” This guide will help you build broad email lists and develop strategies for writing effective newsletters.
15. Free Email Marketing Tools From Sprout Social
Looking for effective ways to manage your email lists or design newsletters that make an impact? In this resource, Sprout Social shares 11 free email marketing tools that professionals use.
16. Powerful Email Marketing Tips From Search Engine Journal
Search Engine Journal spotlights several ways to spruce up your email marketing game. From writing better subject lines to creating effective calls to action, this piece digs deep into the dos and don’ts of email marketing.
Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing
17. The Ultimate Social Media Guide From Hubspot
In this guide, Hubspot leads you through the basics of social media marketing, covering everything from the top platforms to how a strong social presence will benefit a brand. The piece also includes methods to track and analyze the effectiveness of your social media presence.
18. Building Your Strategy With Sprout Social
In this resource, Sprout Social provides an introduction to devising a goal-oriented social media strategy and offers a primer on how to use audience research to boost your reach.
19. Social Media Examiner’s Guide to Social Media Marketing for Businesses
Businesses aren’t like individuals when it comes to social media — they can’t scribble out a quick post and call it a day. In this business guide, Social Media Examiner covers the basics of using social media for brand marketing and details the differences between organic and paid social media marketing.
20. Tips for Every Platform From Sprout Social
Looking for the best ways to engage audiences on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? Sprout Social offers outreach tips and strategies specific to each platform.
Is Digital Marketing a Good Career Choice?
It certainly can be, especially for those who want to utilize both their technical and creative skills. Plus, because online social channels and digital communication venues are continually expanding, digital marketing career opportunities are on the rise. As a result, all types of digital marketing jobs offer routes for exploration and growth.
A career in digital marketing has many entry points. Perhaps you have traditional marketing experience that can be applied to the digital space, or maybe your clear, direct writing style would work in copywriting. You might have experience collecting and interpreting data, which would prove useful in market research and a number of other digital marketing subspecialties.
Of course, the field isn’t without its challenges; digital marketing can be difficult to keep pace with, and the competition never rests. But for those willing — even eager — to challenge themselves, digital marketing offers an encouraging career outlook.
Career & Job Outlook in Digital Marketing
The forces that can limit your career in digital marketing? Your imagination and capacity to expand the internet.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the need for marketing specialists will grow by 18 percent through 2029. Further, the demand for marketing managers will grow by seven percent. This is significant; for comparison, the job growth rate for all occupations over the same period is just four percent.
“Employment growth will be driven by an increasing use of data and market research across many industries,” the Bureau of Labor Statistics states. “[Marketing professionals] will be needed to help understand the needs and wants of customers, measure the effectiveness of marketing and business strategies and identify the factors affecting product demand.”
Digital marketing career salaries vary depending on the role but hold similar promise.
“Advertising, promotions and marketing manager positions are highly desirable and are often sought by other managers and experienced professionals,” the Bureau of Labor Statistics states. “With Internet-based advertising becoming more important, advertising managers who can navigate the digital world should have the best prospects.”
How to Start a Career in Digital Marketing
If you’re considering a digital marketing career, chances are you already possess some of the skills necessary to get started. That said, you can’t make your way into the job pool without at least some formal training. Below, we’ve covered four of the most popular academic options: bootcamps, degree programs, self-directed study and internships.
A digital marketing bootcamp is a smart choice for those looking to make a career transition or upskill into the industry. Within just 18 weeks of online study, students receive training in designing their own digital marketing strategy from scratch.
The digital marketing curriculum covers strategies such as search engine optimization (SEO), audience targeting, digital advertising and website analytics. Learners also gain proficiency with relied-upon industry tools like Google Analytics, Google Ads and Facebook Ad Manager.
Bootcamps offer a part-time, online-based curriculum with flexible evening and weekend schedules. These programs also require no previous marketing or programming experience. Along with the quick timetable, these features make bootcamps ideal for learners who want accelerated job training. However, these accelerated programs may not be ideal for those who want more comprehensive coverage of every marketing-adjacent topic.
For many digital marketing positions, a bachelor’s degree is required — or at least highly recommended. Advertising, marketing and journalism all offer natural starting points for marketing-intrigued students, as all three build skill sets that are readily applicable to the real-world challenges marketers take on at work.
College programs provide a comprehensive, four-year dive into marketing principles. This extended timetable affords students countless opportunities to develop portfolio projects and networks; however, it may not be suitable for those who can’t commit to four years of full-time study.
It is worth noting, too, that while a four-year college degree may help you get a leg up in the marketing field, having one is not strictly necessary. According to CareerOneStop, nearly one in five marketing managers do not have their undergraduate degrees.
If you’re a college student or recent bootcamp grad who has job-ready skills but no practical experience, you may want to apply to a few marketing internships. Internships are temporary, usually semester-long work placements that allow you to use your theoretical marketing knowledge in a real-world environment while under an industry professional’s guidance.
Beyond the learning opportunity, internships have three immediate practical benefits. First, they allow you to pad out your resume and improve your standing in the eyes of future (full-time) employers. Second, they give you the chance to develop additional portfolio projects that will demonstrate your practical skill set — and third, they’ll allow you to expand your professional network.
Of course, these aren’t formal classes and won’t provide a traditional curriculum. However, for those in the early days of their careers, internships are invaluable sources for on-the-job learning.
Today’s learners are living in the golden age of the internet; nearly anything you could think of studying is available in neatly organized online curricula. This accessibility extends to marketing, too — if you happen to be a self-motivated go-getter who wants to upskill, you could easily find self-directed courses that will help you fill your skill gaps.
These courses cover many topics and trends in digital marketing, from social media to copywriting to video production and analytics. Expanding your knowledge of these fields can enhance your marketing savvy in your current position or prepare you for a new one.
However, a word of caution — while some people thrive in self-directed learning environments, it’s easy to let self-assigned coursework fall by the wayside. Know yourself and your habits! If you’re a serial procrastinator or enjoy the set schedule of a formal class, you may want to consider enrolling in a bootcamp or college program instead of trying to go it alone.
All that said, if you do want to engage with free online opportunities for learning, we can point you towards a few stellar marketing resources.
Is a Career in Digital Marketing Worth It?
If you like engaging audiences with compelling, tailored brand stories, digital marketing could be the career path for you.
The digital landscape changes so quickly, which means your career in digital marketing will be intriguing. You’ll always have something new to learn, a new update to master and a fresh approach to try. That’s thrilling for some, exhausting for others. Ultimately, it’s up to you if you want to accept the challenge!
Ready to get started? Berkeley Digital Marketing Boot Camp can help you establish the foundation of your digital marketing career by teaching you the fundamentals of marketing strategy, digital advertising and automation as well as optimizing campaigns and websites.