Digital marketing is a fast-growing career path with a solid outlook for years to come.
Do you have the skills and certifications to help you get ahead?
One of the hottest career sectors today is digital marketing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, market research analysts and marketing specialists are among the top 20 occupations with the most new jobs forecast through 2026, and an average salary that tops $62,000.
A digital marketer develops strategies for marketing a company's products and services over the web, and runs campaigns for brand awareness and to convert leads to customers. Marketers rely heavily on social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, to do their jobs as well as email, text messages, web analytics, search engine optimization tools and more.
But digital marketing isn't always about bringing in new customers or business; it's also about connecting with those 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.
Top five 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, just an overall glance at search numbers.
Job site search results
|Facebook Certified Planning Professional*||93||41||134|
|Google AdWords Certification||175||134||309|
|Hootsuite Social Marketing Certification||35||19||54|
|HubSpot Content Marketing Certification||77||46||123|
|PCM - Digital Management||38||46||84|
* Searching for "Facebook Blueprint" resulted in 478 hits.
The following sections provide details of the top digital marketing certifications according to job site searches as well as other certifications offered by the various companies.
Facebook Certified Planning Professional
The Facebook Blueprint certification program offers two certifications: the Facebook Certified Planning Professional and the Facebook Certified Buying Professional. Both certifications aim at those who manage Facebook Pages and who target audiences for the biggest impact. From there, the Planning Professional focuses on optimizing reach and frequency, determines campaign KPIs, plans strategy and budget, and measures campaign performance.
You have to pass two exams to earn either certification, which are available through Pearson VUE. Each exam costs $150, training is free, and the certifications are valid for one year.
Google AdWords Certification
Google AdWords certification is soaring in popularity these days, followed closely by the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) credential. If you use Google tools to set up, measure, manage and optimize marketing campaigns, consider the Google AdWords certification.
Two exams are required – the AdWords Fundamentals exam and one more on search, display, mobile, video or shopping advertising – both of which are free. 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 AdWords certification is good for one year.
Hootsuite Social Marketing Certification
The social media and platform company with the catchy name – Hootsuite – offers six 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 Platform and a few specialty credentials.
Hootsuite encourages all prospective certificants to take a series of free online courses before sitting for the Social Marketing exam, which costs $199. The credential doesn't expire.
HubSpot Content Marketing Certification
HubSpot, a maker of software for inbound marketing and sales, 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 Certification, HubSpot Email Marketing Certification, HubSpot Sales Software Certification, and more, aimed at individuals and agencies.
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.
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 AMA is the PCM - Digital Marketing. A study guide for the PCM – Digital Management certification costs $99 for AMA members or $149 for nonmembers. The exam costs $99 (members) and $299 (nonmembers) and is available online. To maintain the credential, you must recertify every three years by earning approved marketing continuing education units (CEUs).
The Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) program has several digital marketing certifications, such as the Analytics Business Practitioner and the Campaign Business Practitioner, to name a few. The company's digital marketing skills assessment helps you baseline your current skills and determine your next step regarding certification.
Salesforce marketing certifications – the Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Social Specialist and Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Email Specialist – may appeal to professionals who use Salesforce for marketing campaigns.
Finally, if you lean on Twitter to further your digital marketing campaigns (or want to), 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.