3 of the best courses to help you grow online » SMEInsider

3 of the best courses to help you grow online

As you’re no doubt aware, building an online presence and marketing your company via social networks is vital for business success – but how do you keep up with the pace of change?

Luckily for any marketing Neanderthals out there, the internet has plenty of fantastic courses on offer that can help you get up to speed. Of course, the internet also has plenty of rubbish courses run by charlatans, so to help you sort the wheat from the chaff, here are three of the very best out there.

1. Marketing in a digital world

Two good ways to avoid overpaying for a course run by someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about is 1) take a free one, and 2) pick one run from a respected university. Typically, these factors are mutually exclusive – but not if you opt for the University of Illinois’ 4 week marketing module, run through the (excellent) free online learning platform Coursera. Despite using a totally remote learning system, this course includes a number of hands-on activities and real world case studies, so you get much more than just theory.

 2. Context is Key: Social Media Marketing in a Noisy World

Building on the success of last year’s Jab Jab, Right Hook: How to tell your story in a digital world (New York Times Bestseller, Amazon Best Books of 2014), the infectiously enthusiastic entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk is now offering a 23-video branding course through Skillshare. Vaynerchuck’s core message is that businesses should focus on the bits they’re really passionate about and good at, and then work at doing these really well – and he teaches you how to tell your brand’s story across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest. While not totally free, Skillshare costs around a fiver a month to join, giving you access to the complete catalogue of courses.

3. Become a Better Blogger: Content Planning

Content marketing is the big social media buzzword for 2015 and many companies are realising just what a fantastic resource a well-written, informative blog can be. But, while setting up a blog is easy, keeping it going is not. In this 12-video Skillshare course, the content strategist Andrea Goulet Ford explains how to define and refine your audience, where to draw your inspiration and, perhaps most importantly, how to draw up a three month editorial calendar to plan your content and keep your goals on track.