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5 Best Digital Marketing Certifications

Updated Jul 31, 2023

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The global digital ad market is expected to hit more than $209 billion by 2027. In fact, this rapid growth has meant that market research analysts and marketing specialists are among the country’s top 20 most sought-after employees, commanding an average salary just shy of $64,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In this article, we explain what digital marketers do and list the top digital marketing training providers whose courses may provide your career with a boost.

Careers in digital marketing

Digital marketers develop online marketing strategies for their clients to raise brand awareness and generate sales. They analyze data from previous campaigns to see what’s working well. This, in turn, helps them better understand how to maximize conversion rates (when a website visitor buys something, subscribes to a newsletter and so on).

Marketers rely heavily on social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, to do their jobs, but they also make use of email and text message campaigns. In addition, marketers analyze web metrics and should be well versed in search engine optimization techniques and tools.

But digital marketing isn’t always about bringing in new customers or business; it’s also about connecting with the ones you already have. You use the same channels, such as social media, to stay in touch and keep customers current on what your company can do for them.

Did You Know?Did you know

Many companies want to get the best result both online and offline and look for ways to blend the best of both. This is called an omnichannel marketing strategy.

The best digital marketing certifications

1. Meta certification

The Meta Blueprint Certification program offers seven certifications for three different levels of proficiency.

  1. Meta Certified Digital Marketing Associate (beginner level): Creating, managing and reporting on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger ad campaigns
  2. Meta Certified Community Manager (beginner level): How to build, grow, moderate and sustain online communities and use tools to measure and analyze community activity
  3. Meta Certified Media Buying Professional (intermediate level): Building, managing, optimizing and reporting on paid social media advertising campaigns
  4. Meta Certified Creative Strategy Professional (intermediate level): How to develop creative briefs based on insights derived from research and how to evaluate and measure their effectiveness
  5. Meta Certified Media Planning Professional (intermediate level): Learning which media placements to recommend to clients based on advertiser needs and market insights plus using tools to examine campaign performance
  6. Meta Certified Marketing Science Professional (advanced level): How to review campaigns, create marketing ideas and test them for effectiveness, and make recommendations based on those results
  7. Meta Certified Spark Creator (advanced level): Augmented reality experience creation, publishing and management

The exams for these certifications cost between $99 and $150 each, but the training itself is free. Before taking them, however, you may want to take these free courses if you’re new to marketing on Meta’s platforms.

>> Learn More: Best Facebook Marketing Strategies: The Latest Tips

2. Google Ads certification

There are nine Google Ads certificates you can earn.

  1. Google Ads Measurement Certification: Tracking and improving Google Ads campaign performance
  2. Google Ads Creative Certification: Effective Video, Display, App and Search ad creation for the Google Ads platform.
  3. Grow Offline Sales Certification: Omnichannel marketing to connect with customers online and offline
  4. Google Ads Search Certification: Google Ads Search campaign management training
  5. Google Ads Display Certification: Effective display advertising creation and management to meet specified marketing goals
  6. Shopping Ads Certification: Training in how to connect with customers using Google Shopping ads
  7. Google Ads Video Certification: Training in how to optimize results from YouTube and Google Video advertising solutions
  8. Google Ads Apps Certification: Training in the creation and optimization of effective App campaigns to meet specified marketing goals
  9. AI-Powered Performance Ads Certification: How to use Google’s AI solutions to meet business goals in advertising campaigns on the platform

To take any Google exam means first signing up for the Google Partners program, which also lets you register for free training. From there, you can certify as an individual. The Google Ads certification is good for one year.

TipBottom line

Geographic targeting of your Google ads is one of our 14 ways to improve your local marketing strategy.

3. Hootsuite Social Marketing certification

The social media and platform company with the catchy name — Hootsuite — offers eight certifications. The Hootsuite Social Marketing certification covers core concepts related to social media marketing. Other certifications include Hootsuite Social Selling, Hootsuite Advanced Social Advertising, Hootsuite Advanced Social Media Strategy and a few specialty credentials.

Hootsuite encourages candidates to take a series of free online courses before they sit for the Social Marketing exam, which costs $199. The credential doesn’t expire. The certifications teach both beginner and advanced marketing skills for those who plan to advertise on social media sites. The self-paced lessons are done online with a 60-question examination given at the end of the course.

4. HubSpot Content Marketing certification

In our review of HubSpot, we found it to be the best CRM software for small businesses because of its all-around functionality. It’s great for coordinating inbound marketing and sales, and the company offers a bunch of training and certifications through HubSpot Academy. The HubSpot Content Marketing Certification recognizes professionals who create and promote content for the purpose of bringing in new customers. The associated course covers tips and best practices for building a content library of valuable assets. Other certifications include HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification, HubSpot Email Marketing Certification and HubSpot Sales Software Certification.

To earn the HubSpot Content Marketing Certification, take the associated online course and then the exam. It’s all free. For details, see the FAQs

5. PCM Digital Management certification

The American Marketing Association Professional Certified Marketer (PCM) program takes a more formal approach to its certifications than other featured companies in this article. The organization created a body of knowledge for the PCM Digital Management certification, which includes topics on planning, branding, pricing, public relations, social media and more.

A related credential through the American Marketing Association (AMA) is the Professional Certification in Digital Marketing. Sold in association with the Digital Marketing Institute, the course usually costs $2,060. Check to see when they have a sale on, because that price can go down to $1,442. A limited number of students are taken on at a time. 

Top 5 certifications by the numbers

The following table lists top digital marketing certifications and the number of open positions on a single day that call for the certification specifically or experience with the technology. This isn’t a scientific analysis in which every job description is examined, but an overall glance at search numbers.

Job site search results

Certification

Open positions on SimplyHired, per day

Open positions on Indeed, per day

Total

Meta/Facebook*

119

236

355

Google Ads**

2.919

3,608

6,527

Hootsuite Social Marketing

17

18

35

HubSpot Content Marketing

9

15

24

PCM Digital Management

17

17

34

* includes searches for “Facebook Blueprint,” “Facebook Certified,” “Meta Ads” and “Meta Certified”

** includes searches for “Google Ads” and “Google AdWords”

More marketing certificates to consider

The Adobe Qualified program offers four levels of training covering topics such as web page creation and management, digital experience building, and how to analyze digital data and audience behaviors. The Get Started page shows you everything you need to know about becoming Adobe Certified.

Salesforce marketing certifications — specifically, the Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Consultant and Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Email Specialist course — may appeal to professionals who use Salesforce for marketing campaigns.

If you want to learn more about digital marketing on Twitter, check out Twitter Flight School offerings. Twitter doesn’t offer certifications at this time, but you can take free courses and earn badges for your efforts.

The Content Marketing Institute offers six courses to those who want to advance their skills in the field of content marketing. Topics covered include planning, audience, conversion and metrics. Once you’re finished with the self-paced lessons and all the quizzes, you will receive your certificate of completion. Enrollment costs $995 per student.

Market Motive offers another potential certification that you might want as part of beefing up your digital marketing credentials. Their platform has 10 courses currently, including a Masters in Digital Marketing as well as Complete Google Ads Professional. There are also courses in SEO, web analytics, content marketing, mobile marketing, pay-per-click and more. Prices range from $25 to $3,500 and include 180-day access.

Another option to consider is the Digital Marketing Institute. They offer the Professional Certification in Digital Marketing in partnership with the AMA, mentioned earlier in this article, and a comprehensive Certified Digital Marketing Expert at postgraduate level for $4,500-$6,500. They offer 19 courses in total, 13 of which are short courses at $445 on topics like content marketing, social media marketing and e-commerce.

SMBs often benefit most from social media. The problem is that few owners have the time to learn the skills. Getting a qualification could be a stepping stone to starting your own social media marketing agency.

Mark Fairlie contributed to this article.

Kim Lindros
Contributing Writer
Kim Lindros is a full-time content developer who writes about security, technology and business. She spent nearly 10 years in tech support and as a network administrator before transitioning to tech publishing. With a background in project management, she has run large multifunction teams to produce entire book series, online curricula and on-ground training classes. She has also contributed to several books on Windows technologies and applications, and IT certification.
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