With the unemployment rate at around 11% nationwide, many job seekers are considering the idea of pivoting into a new industry or career path. Digital marketing is one industry that is thriving in the face of COVID-19 and social distancing regulations.
“People are spending more time than ever on social media to stay connected with their friends, their families, and the world,” says Scott Hirsch, SEO and SOM expert. “Many businesses are taking advantage of that. Some businesses that were getting by without social media are realizing that they have to have a way to communicate with their customers. It’s a great time to be a digital marketer.”
If you’re thinking about applying for a job in the digital marketing world, Scott Hirsch, CEO of Media Direct advises investing in at least one of several certifications that can help you stand out to recruiters and impress the company’s hiring manager. If you already work in digital marketing, these certifications could get you that big promotion or help you find that new opportunity.
1. Google Adwords Certification
Google Adwords is a powerful tool for marketers. It allows you to buy space at the top of Google’s search results while you build your SEO and organic rankings. It also allows you to create remarketing ads that follow site visitors and remind them of your brand’s services.
The Google AdWords certification is a professional certificate awarded to those who complete their course of study and pass (with a score of 80% or higher) a test that requires you to demonstrate working knowledge of the platform. You can earn the certification through Google’s online training program Skillshop.
The certification is free to obtain and it is considered valid for one year.
2. Google Analytics Certification
“I would say that being Google Analytics certified is even more important than being Adwords certified for most marketers,” says Scott O Hirsch. “A critical understanding of Google Analytics is the foundation of digital marketing. If you can’t analyze the data it provides you, all your campaigns and strategies are a shot in the dark.”
Google Analytics offers in-depth data about your website and the behavior of the people who visit it. It’s fairly easy for beginners to get started, but sometimes the sheer amount of data – and the ways you can manipulate it and analyze it – can be overwhelming.
While hands-on experience is recommended for those taking the Google Analytics certification, it is not required. It is free to take the test and the certification lasts for one year.
3. HubSpot Content Marketing Certification
“If you’re not familiar with content marketing, you probably shouldn’t be in digital marketing,” laughs Scott O Hirsch. “In the digital world, Content is King.”
The HubSpot Content Marketing certification involves an 8-hour course comprising 14 lessons. It covers the theory and practice of content marketing strategy. Lessons cover subjects like storytelling, content creation framework, content ideation, repurposing existing content, content promotion, and the analysis of content from an SEO perspective.
This certification is an excellent crash-course introduction for those unfamiliar with digital marketing in general or content marketing specifically. The certification is free to obtain and you can take the on-demand courses at your own pace.
4. Hootsuite Social Media Marketing Certification
Hootsuite is a popular social media marketing platform used by many digital marketing companies to manage all of their clients’ social media accounts and posts. Hootsuite actually provides many courses and certifications, from beginner to advanced, through their Hootsuite Academy.
The Hootsuite Social Media Marketing Certification is made up of 15 lessons and post-course assessments. The certification culminates in a 60-question online exam designed to test your knowledge of social media marketing concepts and best practices. Once you pass, the certification never expires.
There are three levels of social media certification offered by Hootsuite for a range of prices:
- Social Marketing Certification: $199
- Advanced Social Advertising Courseware and Certification: $249
- Advanced Social Media Strategy Certification: $999
While these are more expensive than some of the other options presented, social media strategy and campaign building are critical skills in the digital marketing world, and Scott O Hirsch notes that having these badges on your resume can set you apart in a very competitive job market.
“Technology moves so fast, and social media is evolving before our very eyes. You have to keep on top of trends and invest in continuing education to succeed in digital marketing,” says Scott O Hirsch an entrepreneur.
Scott Hirsch, CEO, and founder of Media Direct, is a pioneer in the digital marketing world and an internationally recognized expert in data, analytics, and digital marketing. He has been published as a subject matter expert in INC, Time, Fortune, Huffington Post, and Fox Business.