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The top five digital marketing courses in the U.S.

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The top five digital marketing courses in the U.S.

The global digital marketing industry is growing at an exponential rate. Although the COVID-19 pandemic shows signs of subsiding, it’s forever changed how we work, shop and learn, with more people conducting their everyday lives from home. In fact, global digital advertising and marketing are predicted to reach $786.2 billion by 2026. The current U.S. market is estimated at US$179.4 Billion for 2022, accounting for a 38.6 percent share of the world market. In addition, China, the world’s second-largest economy, is predicted to attain an estimated market size of US$254.9 Billion in 2026.

There are two key takeaways when discussing today’s business climate: competition is greater than ever, and our world is increasingly digitized. That’s why it’s essential for today’s marketing professionals to possess a complete digital marketing skillset and keep them current and growing. There’s an overwhelming selection of relevant and vital skills, and the savvy marketer needs to choose the perfect program to fit their needs and gain critical training and certification.

The methodology used

The following digital marketing course ranking is a result of extensive research and analysis based on four main parameters:

  1. Depth of curriculum: How comprehensive is the content, and what skills does it cover?
  2. Interactive hands-on learning: To what extent is the learning experience interactive, and how much focus is given to learning actual tools, solving real industry problems, etc.?
  3. Program recognition: Are both the program and the final certificate industry-recognized? For example, is it recognized only in India, or is it recognized globally?
  4. Student experience: Did the students like the course and did they find it useful? Feedback and inputs were taken from external ratings such as Mouthshut, Trustpilot, and other similar venues.

Based on the criteria from the above research findings, here are the top five digital marking courses available today in the United States.

  1. Purdue Digital Marketing Training
  2. Duke Digital Marketing Program
  3. LinkedIn Learning’s Marketing Tutorials
  4. Georgia State University’s Marketing M.S.
  5. Simplilearn’s Digital Marketing Specialist

The following is an in-depth look at each educational resource based on rank:

1.    Purdue Digital Marketing Training

The Purdue Digital Marketing Training course, powered by Simplilearn, was created by Purdue University in partnership with Facebook/Meta. Students learn everything they need to know about the different aspects of digital marketing, including SEO, SEM, social media and content marketing, web analytics and more, through a mix of live-instructor-led classes, online self-learning and real-world projects. Students also get to take master classes from top faculty at Purdue and industry experts from Facebook, work on Harvard Business Publishing case studies and access Facebook Ask Me Anything sessions in this highly interactive and comprehensive program.

Course highlights

Mode of Learning: Online bootcamp

Course Duration: Six months

Program Recognition: Purdue-Simplilearn Joint Post Graduate Program Certification; Co-created with Facebook

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Alumni Status: Purdue Alumni Association membership

Hands-On Learning: 200+ hours of live interactive learning; Capstone project in five domains; 14+ real-world projects from Yahoo!, TripAdvisor, Mastercard, and more; Harvard Business case studies; Masterclasses from Purdue and Facebook; Aligned with the top five Digital Marketing certifications including Google Ads and Analytics, Facebook Blueprint, Hootsuite, and HubSpot.

Tools Covered: Google Analytics, Facebook Ads, Semrush, Moz, Hootsuite, plus 40 more.

Capstone Project: Yes

Program Advisors: Jinsuh Lee, Brad Geddes, Matt Bailey, Mollie Spilman, Dorie Clark

Fees: $3249

2.    Duke Digital Marketing Program

Duke’s Digital Marketing Program is an online, self-paced program designed for people who want to boost their current digital marketing skills or even enter a new career in the continuously growing field. Duke Continuing Studies delivers a curriculum that offers students advanced knowledge in eight of the most vital digital marketing domains. Students learn from the practical experience they acquire from virtual simulations and real-world projects and from some of the industry’s most recognized and respected consultants and authors, all set in a schedule that fits the students’ needs and situations.

Students earn a certificate of completion once they finish the course and six of the eight advanced modules shown below:

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  • Advanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Advanced Content Marketing
  • Advanced Social Media
  • Advanced Mobile Marketing
  • Advanced Pay Per Click (PPC)
  • Advanced Website Conversion Rate Optimization
  • Advanced Web Analytics
  • Advanced Email Marketing

Course highlights

Mode of Learning: Online self-learning

Course Duration: 350 hours

Program Recognition: OMCA certification, once the student completes six advanced modules

Alumni Status: Earns an extra 12 months of access to all existing, new, and updated materials after completing the program

Hands-On Learning: Simulation labs and projects, live mentoring sessions

Tools Covered: Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Advertising, Hootsuite, YouTube and Video Marketing, Twitter Advertising and Mailchimp, among others

Program Advisors/Instructors: Brad Geddes, Matt Bailey, Stephane Hamel

Fees: $3195. Group discounts are available

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3.    LinkedIn Learning’s Marketing Tutorials

Lynda.com is now called LinkedIn Learning. With LinkedIn Learning, aspiring digital marketers can choose from over 1,000 relevant courses and more than 21,000 video tutorials. These courses and videos allow students to focus on the specific areas of digital marketing they’re especially interested in, or they can widen their focus on general digital marketing training. In addition, the platform’s monthly membership gives students the ability to stack multiple courses and programs, providing a comprehensive and well-rounded training experience. 

Course highlights

Mode of Learning: Online self-learning

Course Duration:  60 to 90 minutes for each course

Program Recognition: LinkedIn Learning Certifications

Job Assistance: Students receive full access to LinkedIn Premium

Hands-On Learning: Exercises, assignments and quizzes

Tools Covered: Google Tag Manager, Google Data Studio, Constant Contact and many more

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Program Advisors: Brad Batesole, David Booth, Matt Bailey, Ashley Kennedy and more

Fees: Monthly membership at $39.99/month billed month-to-month, or $26.99/month billed annually. Both options include a one-month free trial.

4.    Georgia State University’s Marketing M.S.

Conducted by Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business, the Robinson’s M.S. in Marketing curriculum equips students with big data, digital media, social and mobile marketing, and quantitative analysis skills, among others.

This program is ideal for people who want to change careers but need the basic skills and experience to make a move, established professionals in the field who wish to upskill, and undergrads with a business degree who want to continue their marketing trajectory.

Students must have earned an undergraduate degree before applying for this program.

Course highlights

Mode of Learning: Full-time student on-premises and online

Course Duration: 12 months (3 semesters), with classes two evenings a week: Monday and Wednesday, 5:30-9:45 p.m.

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Program Recognition: Master of Science in Marketing and Graduate Certificate of Specialization in Brand and Customer Management

Alumni Status: Access to a network of alumni clubs

Hands-On Learning: Research-driven projects held in collaboration with area companies such as Georgia-Pacific and Porsche

Tools/Subjects Covered: Marketing Management, Marketing Research, Marketing Metrics, Digital/Social Media Marketing, Data-Driven Marketing and more. It also includes resources such as Social Media Intelligence Lab, relevant bootcamps, professional workshops, recruiting fairs, networking events and meet-and-greets.

Program Advisors/Instructors: Gregory Cohen, Alok Saboo, Sevgin Eroglu, and many others

Fees: Georgia residents: $37,500, non-Georgia residents: $43,500

5.    Simplilearn’s Digital Marketing Specialist

Students enrolled in Simplilearn’s Digital Marketing Specialist Master’s program learn all about the core concepts of digital marketing, including social media marketing, paid ads, SEO, pay-per-click, analytics, email marketing, conversion optimization and mobile marketing and more. Students also work on case studies from Harvard Business Publishing to solve real-world problems. This program is designed in alignment with certifications from Facebook Blueprint, Google Analytics and Ads, OMCP®, Hootsuite and HubSpot.

Course highlights

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Mode of Learning: Online bootcamp

Course Duration: One year

Program Recognition: Simplilearn Certificate of Achievement; Facebook Blueprint

Hands-On Learning: Virtual labs for hands-on learning with over 45 projects

Tools Covered: Facebook Insights, Google Keyword Planner, Google Analytics, Qlik, SE Ranking, etc.

Capstone Project: Yes

Program Advisors: Brad Geddes, Matt Bailey, Mollie Spilman, Dorie Clark

Fees: $1649

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We live in a growing digital world, a process accelerated by events of the last few years. While there will always be a demand for brick-and-mortar establishments and onsite work/retail situations, consumers and organizations have discovered the benefits of using online resources.

Marketing professionals who want to succeed in today’s new reality will have a complete set of digital marketing skills in their toolbox. They will learn this vital knowledge from the best providers. By choosing the right skills and learning resources, they will survive and thrive in our new economy.


About The Author

Simplilearn – An initiative aimed at providing career guidance that matters to working professionals. Our objective is to draft out a logical career progression path for every professional with appropriate milestones and a clearly defined end goal.

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MARKETING

Follow This Purpose-Driven Path to Greater SEO Success

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Follow This Purpose-Driven Path to Greater SEO Success

Historically, getting content to reach the top of a search engine results page usually hinged on your team’s ability to fulfill the rules of Google’s algorithm – no matter how complex, obscure, and sometimes unwritten.

However, that picture is changing now that AI has arrived behind the scenes of the top search engine, says Dale Bertrand, Fire and Spark’s content and SEO strategist. Its machine learning delivers more precise, adaptive, and contextual search results. It also gives marketers another approach to search result success – a purpose-driven strategy.

Develop a purpose-driven #SEO strategy that would please @Google’s #AI algorithm, says @joderama via @CMIContent @pageonepower. Click To Tweet

At the 2022 ContentTECH Summit and a recent Ask the CMWorld Community interview, Dale discussed what Google’s heavier reliance on an AI-controlled algorithm means and how a purpose-driven approach can help your brand compete with – and even beat – bigger fish in the SEO sea.

Search for greater SEO intelligence

In the early days of digital search, Google’s founders used the web’s link structure to rank the most relevant page results. “Basically, if you had the right links to your website and the right keywords on your pages, you would rank well,” Dale says.

But now, it’s more important to understand how that AI engine gets trained than to follow technical SEO rules. Dale says making this mindset change can help set your content on a path to increased visibility on search and stronger marketing performance overall.

It’s more important now to understand how that #AI engine gets trained than to follow technical #SEO rules, says Dale Bertrand of @Fire_and_Spark via @joderama @CMIContent @pageonepower. Click To Tweet

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Engineers set the technical quality guidelines

Human engineers are still involved in ranking content relevance. But instead of programming the algorithm, their role is to rate a site’s trustworthiness, content accuracy, authoritativeness, and connection to other relevant content providers on the topic at hand.

“That quality information is collected as a big dataset from websites that have been graded, which is part of what they feed into Google’s algorithm to train the AI,” says Dale. There’s a big, long document out there – the web quality raters guide. Any marketer can read it to see what the raters look for when building the training dataset for Google’s AI.”


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AI adds behavioral signals

From that point, Google’s AI engine takes over, tracking search behaviors, analyzing signals of intent, and correlating those insights with the quality rating data to determine the most relevant content to a search query.

But, Dale says, keep in mind: “Google’s AI engine doesn’t care about your content – it only cares about its own performance.” It’s looking for confirmation that the content it selects will deliver a satisfying experience for searchers. Your job is to make sure it sees your brand’s content as a likely win.

Prove your #content has what it takes for better search results. Build momentum through community and demonstrate multifactor authority, says Dale Bertrand of @Fire_and_Spark via @joderama @CMIContent @pageonepower. Click To Tweet

Shared purpose promotes multifactor authority

Dale discusses two ways brands can prove that their content has what it takes to deliver the AI’s desired results:

  • Build momentum through community. A community behind your brand frequently visits, engages with, and links to your website. They recommend your products and services and amplify your site. Dale says these actions demonstrate a high level of customer intimacy. Google’s AI uses the artifacts of success from this content – high engagement, low bounce rate, and a high click-through rate – to confirm your site and content are loved.
  • Demonstrate multifactor authority. Part of AI’s investigation of brands that resonate with online consumers is the company you keep, Dale says. Authoritative individuals, organizations, and influencers can contribute to your brand’s authority by linking to, citing, and amplifying your content across their channels and platforms.

Prove your #content has what it takes for better search results. Build momentum through community and demonstrate multifactor authority, says Dale Bertrand of @Fire_and_Spark via @joderama @CMIContent @pageonepower. Click To Tweet

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:

How to use purpose to build SEO power

Dale describes an SEO strategy that can help build authority and momentum by focusing on a purpose your brand believes in: “Hopefully, your brand stands for something. But [for SEO], it’s even better if your brand is actively promoting a change that you want to see in your industry.”

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By using your content to build valuable conversations around that change, you give the tools to those with an established interest to spread your brand messages. This data around this reciprocal relationship demonstrates the brand traction Google’s AI sees as proof your content is a solid search bet.

Dale shares a client example:

I worked with one brand that was selling handmade children’s products. The US government was about to pass a law that would have made it so [small businesses like this] would have had to do $100,000 worth of testing before being allowed to sell a single product. We were able to lead the movement against that law and turn that into an SEO campaign that generated authority, backlinks, and website engagement – all the things that Google’s AI is looking for.

He explains the process he used to achieve those results:

Step 1: Find high-profile groups and learn about the causes they support

Find potential partners – influencers, non-profits, advocacy organizations, and others who are working towards a purpose in which your business might have a stake. It could be an organization that’s written about helping previously incarcerated people find jobs, influencers promoting veteran-run businesses, or an event that supports disadvantaged youth in your local community.

When you’ve identified viable candidates, research their positions and how they communicate about them in their online conversations. “You need to understand what issues these influencers care about, what they’re writing about, what’s going on in their social conversations. All of those things are targets for your purpose-driven SEO campaign,” Dale says.

Step 2: Choose a mission your content will support

Once you find an area with enough grassroots supporters, craft a mission statement around it for your brand’s SEO campaign. It should be something your brand can speak to authentically; otherwise, audiences will see right through it. “It has to be based on your organization’s values because you’re going to get behind it. At the end of the day, if you don’t care about feeding hungry children, that just can’t be the mission,” Dale says.

If you’re on the B2B side or operate in a crowded market, it may be worthwhile to adopt a unique or even slightly controversial mission to differentiate your brand. “[You might think] sustainability is a good [purpose to build on], but so many companies have taken this topic on that it doesn’t move the needle from a search marketing perspective,” Dale says.

Rather than just choosing a hot topic, he suggests looking for a niche, such as a critical change affecting the supply chain for your industry or a regulatory issue that impacts product costs, to rally around. Doing so can help insert your brand name into relevant conversations that your bigger, higher-profile competitors may not be associated with.

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Step 3: Create “citable” content aligned with your mission

The goal isn’t to promote your brand’s involvement with the chosen cause; it’s to create content your partner organizations can cite when making their case for the cause. “The content is fuel for their advocacy – it gives them credible, authoritative information they can use in their arguments,” Dale says.

For example, Dale says, interview someone personally affected by the mission, write an opinion piece about the change your business is advocating, or publish an original research report. “This is the type of content that [they] would organically mention and link to while trying to get their point across in their own content conversations. That’s how you’re going to get the deeper engagement and increased backlinks that Google’s AI can see,” says Dale.

Step 4: Reach out to other like-minded influencers

With a body of purpose-focused content cited and linked to, you can increase your content’s authority and reach by sharing the outcomes with other influencers who care about the topic. But rather than conducting a blast email campaign, contact them individually by email or personal message on social channels.

In this outreach, focus your messages on furthering the mission. “We’re not promoting our business, our products, and services, or our content. We’re saying, ‘Hey, I saw that you’re a big advocate for helping previously incarcerated youth find jobs. We’ve got an interview your audience would be interested in … would you help us promote it?’” Dale explains.

Not only are influencers more likely to respond to this type of outreach, but they may be more willing to promote your content without compensation because it helps them create content in an area that they’re passionate about, Dale says.

Fuel a shared purpose and find greater search success

In a crowded landscape, where reaching a top spot on SERPs is harder to achieve than ever, it’s time for marketers to stop trying to outsmart the search algorithm. By putting a shared human purpose at the center of your SEO strategy, your content will broadcast all the signals of authority, relevance, and value Google’s AI is looking for.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:

 Register to attend Content Marketing World in Cleveland, Ohio. Use the code BLOG100 to save $100. 

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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