Published on June 8, 2021

Catherine McRae Marketing Content Specialist, McGill University

Trying to stay in touch with the digital marketing landscape is kind of like being an independent student — but you’re building the curriculum with no guidance. And the course material keeps changing. 👀 Daily.

So how do we figure out what we need to learn and where to do it when the tools and rules of the game keep changing? And how do we make time for it?

Whether you’re looking to build skills for a new position or refresh knowledge for your current role (or roles, because who are we kidding – higher ed communicators wear many hats) – this list will help you get started.

Even if you only have 30 minutes a week. ⏲️

Even if you don’t have a budget (it’s all free).

LinkedIn Learning

Whatever your skill level – LinkedIn Learning has a module for you. These free sessions range from 25 to 90 minutes, which is a perfect amount of time to carve out of your busy workweek.

Their digital marketing offerings cover everything you need — from SEO, content strategy and marketing metrics, to CRMs, cost-per-click advertising and more. These relevant, bite-size trainings will keep your communication strategies up to date.

To top it off – you can earn certificates to add to your LinkedIn profile (or take short tests to prove your existing skills).

And they have a whole site dedicated to getting the most out of LinkedIn ads.

Google Skillshop

From Analytics to Ad Manager, Google’s tools are thorough (some would say — overwhelmingly so). Luckily, Google offers everything you need to pull the data you want to see and make campaigns that support your business goals.

Just like Google’s platforms, their trainings are detailed. Google Skillshop has great trainings for everyone, from digital marketing dabblers to experts.

If you plan to run digital ads for your college or university, check out Google Ad trainings on display, search, video and measurement (you can go straight to the certification too, if you’re just looking to showcase your skills.)

Pull it all together with a training for Ad Manager, which you’ll need to navigate in order to set up campaigns and track their performance. Unless you have a dedicated web team to collaborate with, you will probably want to get Analytics training under your belt, too.

Hubspot Academy

Hubspot Academy is full of learning tracks to kick your digital marketing into gear. Their full courses on Digital Marketing, Email Marketing and Social Media Marketing take about five hours to complete, but the modules are a mix of videos and quizzes, broken into 20- or 30- minute sessions. Highly digestible. Highly realistic.

Just like LinkedIn and Google trainings, you can get a certificate to prove your competencies.

Facebook Blueprint

Facebook’s self-guided trainings cover everything from establishing your presence on Instagram and Facebook, to attracting an audience, maintaining a community and making successful digital ad campaigns.

Like the rest of these resources, the trainings are short (some as short as 7 minutes). They contain case studies, learning objectives and templates to help set you up.

If you’re looking to get into social media management, or to start running social ads, this is a great place to start.

Conferences 🎉

Sometimes the best way to make time for self-guided learning is by committing a few days to attending a conference. There are a number of benefits here. The content is extremely timely — you’re getting the latest tips and trends from the past year. You have an opportunity to ask questions live to speakers. And the curriculum is already set up for you.

This is a shameless plug to our 2021 #PSEWEB conference.

But there are other great virtual conferences to scope out, too – like Adobe Max, for the creatives out there.

That’s a wrap

Now you have no excuses.

Get your plan together, start levelling up your digital marketing skills, and if you haven’t yet – RSVP to #PSEWEB 2021!