Calling all business owners who are tired of banging their heads against brick walls due to average digital marketing results.
Sound like you? As every business owner knows, sometimes, if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself…at least until you find (or can afford) an exceptionally competent person to take it over.
For many businesses, budgets simply don’t allow for outsourcing everything to a digital marketing professional or a content marketing agency. There might be no choice but to dabble in some DIY marketing strategies.
The problem is, when we do attempt our own SEO or Pay Per Click (PPC) tweaking, we often don’t know enough to get the results we’d like. And as they say, a little knowledge can be dangerous!
If you’ve been experimenting with your own digital marketing like a nutty cyber professor, and your results have been… well…blah…it might be time to think bigger.
Here’s a list of 8 free courses and resources available to amplify your DIY marketing prowess. All of these can be done online in your own time. Take your time and investigate them all, or click the link on the list below to jump to the course of most interest.
- SEO training with Moz
- Adwords & Digital Marketing training by Google
- WordStream PPC University
- Inbound Marketing – HubSpot training
- Open Universities Australia – Online Advertising
- GFC Learn Free – Social Media Marketing
- Canva Tutorials – create fabulous images
- Wistia Video Tutorials
Had a crack at your own SEO before? Or do you simply need to wade through the basics because outsourcing isn’t an option?
SEO can be a little bit cloak and dagger, but it doesn’t have to be.
In its free online course, Moz breaks SEO into bite-sized morsels of information that anyone can understand.
Moz has a conversational style that makes receiving their information a pleasure.
The course takes approximately 3.5 hours, is self-paced and free. It’s aimed at people in your position – this course is for you.
Upon completion, you’ll have a strong understanding of what SEO means, how it works, and what it can do for your business. You’ll also receive a certificate of completion.
Adwords Academy & Digital Garage by Google
PPC advertising is another prong in the advertising fork. If your click rate is 2% or less you can probably do much better; and if your AdWords Quality Scores are under 7, chances are you’re paying much more per click than you should be.
You might have tried it before. But without a working knowledge of the platform, it can be difficult to produce a tangible ROI with PPC ads. Time to get serious.
Google AdWords offers the most exposure for PPC advertisers across the biggest search engine.
They run free fundamentals training and through their AdWords academy. Google also offers more advanced courses in related disciplines if you want to expand your knowledge further.
Once completed, you’ll have an excellent grasp of PPC advertising, how Google AdWords tools and user strategies work, and how it can help your business.
Google’s Digital Garage is another option, offering free training on a range of relevant topics from SEO and ads, to building online stores.
WordStream is a business with services that support and improve PPC campaigns, however, they also offer free, high-quality courses through their PPC University, including: PPC 101, PPC 102, Advanced PPC, and Social Ads 101.
It’s a great alternative to the Google AdWords Academy, with plenty of examples and contextual information, making it easy to join the dots and see the big picture as you learn.
After the five hours of self-paced learning, you’ll be able to create a dynamic new PPC campaign to boost your business.
The HubSpot Inbound Marketing course is a valuable free resource for business owners, and it’s one of the most highly recommended on this list for that reason.
The course is for beginners with no Digital Marketing experience. It takes five hours to complete, with easy-to-follow classes and a broad range of topics, including:
- Inbound Fundamentals
- Creating Content and Blogging
- Amplifying Content with Social Media
- Landing Pages
- Enticing Clicks
- Email Marketing
On top of that knowledge base, you’ll get a certification after completing the 12 classes and one exam.
Open Universities Australia has a great Online Advertising course through their offshoot, Open2Study.
The course has a broad scope, offering comprehensive overviews in the areas of SEO, PPC, Social Media Marketing and Inbound Marketing.
This course runs in block structures, meaning you can’t begin at any time, but you can register for the next one. Your wait for a start date could be anywhere from one to four weeks.
It runs over four weeks, and while the video time is just over four hours, you’ll need to dedicate two to four hours of study time per week.
The course provides an excellent grounding in Digital Marketing. It does delve deeper than others on this list, offering history on the industry evolution and a greater focus on optimising campaigns.
After completing the four modules and assessments, you’ll get a certificate of completion.
GFC Learn Free offers fantastic tutorials in Social Media Marketing, and it’s free as the name suggests.
Social Media marketing is vibrant and on the rise within businesses across the globe.
Facebook advertising has great targeting options. You can narrow down the ads you create so they reach people of specific ages, genders, locations, interests and more.
But the GFC tutorials show you more than just advertising on Facebook. Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn advertising platforms have impressive user engagement numbers.
These tutorials take as little as 10 minutes each, and you can do as many or as few as you like.
As they focus on the advertising aspects of these platforms, it helps to have a basic knowledge of how they function.
If you’ve never used these social media platforms before, they all give basic tutorials upon downloading their iOS or Android Smartphone apps, or when you sign up online.
We’ve established that creating quality content is important, whether you do that yourself or engage professional content marketing services. But what about the visual aspect of advertising – isn’t a picture worth a thousand words?
There’s no doubt that custom images and graphics complement high-quality content by breaking up large information dumps within articles. They also make the article appear more inviting to read. And when it comes to social media, great images are a must have.
Canva is a brilliant provider of custom image and graphic creation, and so simple to use.
Their website and iOS/Android app offers incredible customisation capabilities to help your advertising pop off the screen.
They also host a range of tutorials on their design school – all free, easy to understand, and most only take five minutes. These will help you create stunning graphics and imagery for your business.
It’s perfect for beginners, so if you’ve heard people spruiking Adobe’s Photoshop before, and it seemed too complicated, try Canva for some visual pep in your marketing step.
If you need to boost your capacity to create visual content in-house, Canva is just one of 5 Inexpensive Visual Tools For Design-Challenged Businesses we wrote about last week.
Wistia is a video hosting product that can help your business generate new leads.
They have a great learning centre on their website, with a blog, video library, webinars and a community section. Also on offer is a free email course on Business Video Fundamentals.
Their help pages are also extensive, taking users through initial video creation, customisation, troubleshooting, embedding and sharing.
It’s a brilliant tool to target those people who prefer interactive content. It also offers advanced analytics so you can track the performance of your videos.
Wistia offers a free plan for users, which might be enough for a lot of small businesses.
If you love Wistia and want to crank up the video content, there are paid plans that offer increased features and video capabilities.
So if you’ve dabbled with DIY Digital Marketing, but know you can do better, it’s time to hang up your nutty cyber professor jacket, take advantage of some of the brilliant free training on offer, and become your own expert.
DIY Digital Marketing: complete, until next time.