40+ Best Free Online Marketing Classes to Skyrocket Your Skills in 2023

Are you a marketer looking to stay ahead of the curve in today‘s fast-paced digital landscape? With new platforms, tools, and strategies emerging all the time, it can feel overwhelming to keep your skill set fresh and relevant.

But here‘s the good news: you don‘t need to go back to school or break the bank to get a world-class marketing education. Thanks to the rise of online learning, there are countless free online marketing classes available to help you brush up on the latest techniques and level up your expertise.

In this ultimate guide, we‘ve rounded up over 40 of the best free online marketing courses you can take in 2023. Whether you‘re looking to dive into content marketing, master social media, or become an SEO wizard, we‘ve got you covered with in-depth classes from trusted experts and institutions.

But before we jump into the course list, let‘s talk about why online marketing education matters and how it can benefit your career.

Why Investing in Online Marketing Education Is Non-Negotiable

The digital marketing landscape is evolving at breakneck speed. Consider these stats:

  • Global digital ad spend is projected to reach $876 billion by 2026, a 10.9% increase from 2022 (Statista)
  • The number of global social media users is expected to hit 4.89 billion by 2023 (Hootsuite)
  • 69% of companies are shifting their marketing efforts to online strategies post-COVID-19 (MailChimp)

Keeping pace with these rapid changes requires a commitment to continuous learning. And yet:

  • 59% of marketers say they struggle to keep their skills and knowledge up-to-date (eMarketer)

By prioritizing your professional development through free online classes, you can:

  • Stay competitive in a crowded job market and demonstrate your expertise
  • Specialize in high-demand areas like content creation, data analytics, or UX design
  • Boost your confidence to take on new projects and responsibilities
  • Increase your earning potential (a Digital Marketing Institute survey found that certified digital marketers earn 22% more on average)

Plus, with flexible online formats, there‘s never been a more convenient way to fit learning into your busy schedule.

So if you‘re ready to future-proof your marketing career, read on for our carefully curated list of the best free online marketing courses available this year. Your future self will thank you!

Free Content Marketing Classes

Content marketing has emerged as one of the most important digital marketing strategies in recent years. According to HubSpot, 82% of marketers actively use content marketing, and the industry is set to grow to $417 billion by 2025.

Mastering the art and science of content creation will be key to driving results in 2023 and beyond. Here are some of the top free online classes to build your content chops:

1. Content Marketing Certification Course (HubSpot Academy)

HubSpot‘s free content marketing course is a go-to for marketers looking to learn the ropes. Updated for 2023, the 6-hour video class covers everything from content ideation and creation to promotion and measurement.

Unique course features include:

  • Interactive quizzes and exercises to reinforce your learning
  • A focus on creating "pillar pages" and "topic clusters" to boost SEO
  • Examples of successful B2B and B2C content marketing

2. Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery (Udemy)

Want to become a more effective and persuasive writer? This popular 1-hour Udemy class taught by veteran copywriter Shani Raja dives into the four levels of writing mastery: narrative, paragraphs, sentences, and words.

Unlike many other writing courses, Ninja Writing focuses on the principles behind great writing vs. rigid rules and formulas. You‘ll learn how to:

  • Hook readers with engaging openings
  • Organize your ideas effectively
  • Write with power and clarity
  • Edit like a pro

3. Viral Marketing and How to Create Contagious Content (Coursera)

Ever wonder what makes some content spread like wildfire online? This 4-week Coursera class from the University of Pennsylvania explores the science behind viral trends and how marketers can create buzz-worthy content.

Through a series of video lectures and case studies, you‘ll discover:

  • The key drivers of social transmission and word-of-mouth
  • The role of emotion, social currency, and storytelling in virality
  • Tactics for optimizing your content for maximum exposure and engagement

Free Social Media Marketing Classes

With over 4.7 billion users worldwide, social media has become an indispensable channel for connecting with audiences and driving business results. But as new features and algorithm changes roll out constantly, staying on top of best practices is crucial.

These free online classes will help you navigate the ever-shifting social landscape:

4. Meta Blueprint: Digital Marketing Associate Certification (Meta)

Straight from the source, Meta (formerly Facebook) Blueprint offers a robust catalog of free, self-paced social media marketing courses. The Digital Marketing Associate Certification track includes 7 courses that dive deep into Meta‘s suite of tools and ad platforms.

Courses cover topics like:

  • Developing a social media marketing strategy
  • Building an online presence with Facebook Pages
  • Creating and managing Instagram Ads and Stories
  • Measuring campaign performance in Meta Ads Manager

5. TikTok Marketing 101 (Later)

As the fastest-growing social network of 2022, TikTok now boasts over 1 billion monthly active users. If you‘re looking to crack the code on TikTok marketing, this quick crash course from social scheduling tool Later is a great place to start.

Through a series of short video lessons, you‘ll learn:

  • What makes TikTok unique as a marketing channel
  • How the TikTok algorithm works and what it prioritizes
  • 4 key elements of a winning TikTok strategy
  • Creative best practices and trends to try

6. Social Media Analytics (quintly)

Tracking and measuring your social media performance is critical for proving ROI and optimizing future campaigns. That‘s where this 5-module quintly Academy course comes in, teaching you how to become a social media data pro.

The course walks you through:

  • Setting SMART social media goals and KPIs
  • Identifying which metrics to track for each goal and network
  • Using quintly to create custom dashboards and reports
  • Deriving actionable insights from your social data

Free Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Classes

Did you know that 68% of online experiences start with a search engine? Ranking well in search results is make-or-break for driving organic traffic and leads to your website.

But SEO can feel like a bit of a black box. These free classes will demystify how search engines work and teach you proven optimization strategies:

7. SEO Training Course (Semrush)

Want to learn SEO straight from the experts? Semrush, one of the leading SEO software companies, offers a free 3-hour video training course that covers all the essentials.

Through a mix of video tutorials and hands-on activities, you‘ll master:

  • Keyword research and mapping
  • On-page and technical optimization
  • Link building tactics
  • Rank tracking and analyzing competitors

8. SEO Specialization (Coursera)

For a deeper dive into SEO, check out this 6-course Specialization from the University of California, Davis on Coursera. Clocking in at ~4 months to complete, it‘s more of a time investment, but you‘ll come away with a comprehensive skill set.

Courses in the Specialization cover:

  • Optimizing a website for search (on-page, off-page, and technical)
  • Conducting an SEO audit
  • Link building and analysis
  • Optimizing for local and international SEO
  • Advanced Google Search Console strategies

9. SEO Starter Guide (Google)

And of course, we couldn‘t make a list of the best SEO resources without including this free guide straight from the source: Google. While not technically a course, the SEO Starter Guide is a must-read for anyone looking to understand how Google search works and what it takes to rank.

The guide covers:

  • How Google crawls, indexes, and serves web pages
  • Key on-page SEO factors like keywords, titles, and meta tags
  • Technical SEO considerations like site navigation and sitemaps
  • The importance of quality content and earning links

Free Email Marketing Classes

Email marketing has stood the test of time as one of the most cost-effective channels for nurturing leads and driving conversions. In fact, email generates $36 for every $1 spent — a staggering 3,600% ROI.

Ready to up your email game? These free classes will teach you the fundamentals and latest best practices:

10. Email Marketing Certification (HubSpot Academy)

HubSpot Academy makes our list again with their newly updated Email Marketing Certification course. Through 9 video lessons (~3 hours total) and practical exercises, you‘ll learn how to craft high-performing email campaigns from start to finish.

Topics covered include:

  • Growing a healthy contact database
  • Sending the right email at the right time with segmentation
  • Writing compelling subject lines and body copy
  • Designing visually engaging emails
  • Analyzing email performance metrics
  • Achieving email deliverability and avoiding the spam folder

11. Email Marketing Kickstart (Constant Contact)

Constant Contact, a popular email service provider, offers a free introductory email course that‘s perfect for small business owners and marketers who are just getting started with email.

The succinct 2-hour class covers:

  • Setting goals and determining your email audience
  • Building a subscriber list
  • Crafting a winning email with best practices and templates
  • Measuring and tracking essential metrics

12. Email Marketing Essentials (LinkedIn Learning)

Prefer learning on LinkedIn? This 1-hour crash course taught by marketing expert Virginia O‘Connor walks you through a simple 5-step framework for effective email marketing.

You‘ll discover how to:

  • Define your target audience and set clear email goals
  • Build your email list organically and segment subscribers
  • Create attention-grabbing subject lines and engaging content
  • Design mobile-friendly email templates
  • Use A/B testing to optimize your campaigns over time

How to Choose the Right Free Online Marketing Classes for You

With dozens of great free online marketing classes to choose from, it can be tough to know where to start. As you browse the options, consider:

  1. Your goals: What specific skills or knowledge gaps are you looking to address? Are there certain tools or platforms you need to learn? Get clear on your learning objectives first.

  2. Your level: Are you a total beginner or do you have some foundational knowledge? Look for classes that match your current skill level so you don‘t get in over your head (or bored).

  3. Time commitment: How much time can you realistically dedicate to learning right now? Be honest with yourself and choose classes that fit your schedule to avoid getting overwhelmed.

  4. Learning style: Do you prefer bite-sized video lessons or more in-depth, long-form content? Hands-on projects or straight theory? Pick the class format that aligns with how you learn best.

  5. Instruction quality: Don‘t just go off the course description — read reviews and do your research on the course instructors. Make sure they have the credentials and experience to deliver real value.

  6. Practical application: The best online classes help you apply what you‘re learning through exercises, case studies, and projects. Prioritize classes that let you practice your new skills.

By taking these factors into account, you can find the free online marketing classes that will be the best fit for your needs and goals.

Invest in Yourself with Free Marketing Certifications

If you really want to level up your marketing prowess and demonstrate your expertise to employers or clients, consider going beyond just taking free classes to earning a certification.

Many of the course providers we‘ve highlighted — like HubSpot, Google, Meta, and LinkedIn — offer the opportunity to get certified in various digital marketing disciplines after completing their classes and passing an exam.

Benefits of obtaining a free marketing certification include:

  • Validating your knowledge and proving your proficiency in a given area
  • Standing out to employers and showcasing your initiative
  • Earning a shareable digital badge to display on your LinkedIn profile, website, or resume
  • Gaining access to exclusive resources and communities for certified professionals

While not all certifications carry equal weight, they can still be a valuable way to enhance your professional credibility and open up new career opportunities. Plus, the fact that they‘re free means there‘s no reason not to take advantage!

Putting Your Online Marketing Learning into Practice

Of course, simply completing a free online marketing class or certification is only half the battle. The true test of your learning is being able to apply it on the job to real-world scenarios and challenges.

As you take classes, make a habit of reflecting on how you can translate your new knowledge into action. For example:

  • After a class on email marketing, audit your current campaigns and identify opportunities to A/B test subject lines or segment your list.
  • While learning about SEO, conduct a mini-audit of your website and create an action plan for optimizing your title tags and header structure.
  • As you explore social media marketing, brainstorm a new campaign concept that puts trends and best practices from the course into action.

The key is to start small and focus on implementing one or two key takeaways at a time. As you gain confidence and see results, you can continue to build on your skills and take on bigger projects.

It‘s also helpful to find an accountability partner — whether that‘s a colleague, mentor, or online study group — to keep you motivated and on track. Many online course platforms have built-in communities where you can connect with fellow learners and get feedback on your work.

Remember, mastering digital marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Commit to making continuous learning a part of your routine, even if it‘s just 30 minutes a week. Those incremental investments in your skills will compound over time.

The Case for Free Online Marketing Classes

We‘ve covered a lot of ground in this guide, but the main takeaway is this: taking advantage of free online marketing classes is one of the smartest investments you can make in your career.

The digital landscape is only going to keep evolving at a rapid pace. Marketers who prioritize upskilling and staying current will be the ones who thrive in the years ahead.

Fortunately, you don‘t need a big training budget or tons of free time to level up your marketing game. With the wealth of free online classes available today — on everything from SEO and content strategy to email automation and Instagram ads — the opportunities to expand your knowledge are virtually endless.

So what are you waiting for? Choose a class from our list that aligns with your goals, block off some time on your calendar, and dive in. Your future self (and your LinkedIn profile) will thank you.

And if you found this guide helpful, be sure to bookmark it and share it with your network. Because if there‘s one thing we marketers know, it‘s that knowledge is power — and it‘s even more powerful when it‘s shared.

Happy learning!