The ultimate guide to digital marketing certifications

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a rookie digital marketer looking to establish your career, a freelancer wanting to prove your abilities to new clients, or a veteran hoping to upskill in a new discipline, it’s important to get officially certified.

Becoming certified means you have met the requirements of a particular platform or industry body, and have proven your ability and knowledge in a specific area. So get ready to update your LinkedIn and CV, here is our guide to the must-have certificates for all digital marketing professionals.

Professional bodies

Like all industries, digital marketing has a number of professional bodies who accredit members based on their competence and experience.

Online Marketing Certified Professional

The Online Marketing Certified Professional (OMCP) certifications verify up-to-date knowledge, education, and experience as determined by experts and research into digital marketing roles. OMCP awards two levels of certification; OMCP Certification for expert digital marketers, and the Online Marketing Certified Associate for those new to the industry.

Both certifications involve exams and proof of experience, with ongoing professional development required to maintain your certification.

The Digital Marketing Institute

The Digital Marketing Institute accredits students through a number of courses at the sub-bachelor and post-graduate levels. Their industry approved courses certify graduates within their profession, however, do not require ongoing accreditation.

The Internet Marketing Association

The Internet Marketing Association offers a Certified Internet Marketer (CIM) certification program online for students. Students who complete the required coursework and pass their final exam become certified and a member of the IMA. The body also has free and premium membership options, but these do not include any type of certification.

Product-specific certification

Ready to show you’re an expert in a particular marketing or advertising platform? Get certified directly with some of the world’s biggest brands.

Google AdWords Certified Professional

Through the Google Partner’s Program, Google offers digital marketers the chance to become certified in all disciplines associated with their AdWords platform. Google AdWords certification shows that an individual has demonstrated proficiency in both basic and advanced aspects of AdWords and that Google recognises them as an expert in online advertising.

To become an AdWords Certified Professional, you must pass two exams; the AdWords Fundamentals exam and one of the following: Search Advertising, Display Advertising, Mobile Advertising, Video Advertising, or Shopping Advertising. You can also become certified in all or more than one AdWord discipline.

There is no registration cost for Google AdWords Certification Exams, and accreditation lasts for 12 months from the date of passing your exams.

Facebook Certified Professional

Facebook’s advertising learning portal, Facebook Blueprint, offers certification in both the buying and planning of Facebook Ads. Blueprint Certifications are designed for individuals with advanced-level competency in the Facebook Ads platform with badges awarded on completion of exams.

Blueprint also offers free eLearning courses to help prepare you for exams, as well as practice exams to try before you try the real thing. Facebook Certified Professional exams are free to take and requires ongoing testing to remain certified.

Google Analytics Individual Qualification

Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ), demonstrates that an individual has an advanced proficiency in the Google Analytics platform. Like the Google AdWords Certifications, the IQ exam is available on the Google Partner portal and consists of multiple-choice questions that must be answered within 90 minutes.

The IQ exam is free to take, with certification valid for 18 months. Google’s Analytics Academy also offers free online courses to help prepare you for the IQ exam.

Twitter Advertising Certification

Developed in partnership with Simplilearn and Twitter, the Twitter Advertising Certification is available through both Murphy College and Simplilearn. The certification course takes students through Twitter Ads best practice and does not require a final exam or ongoing accreditation.

Tips for getting certified

With so many courses and certificates available, it’s sometimes hard to know where to start. To help cut through all the noise and get the certificates you need, simply follow these steps.

Find your niche

Sometimes it’s better to be a master of one specialty than a jack of all trades or badge collector. By focusing and becoming an expert in one discipline or platform you can really differentiate yourself as a specialist and thought leader.

Don’t just try to pass exams

Yes, it’s important to pass exams, but it’s also just as important to learn the theory behind the exams. Use your learning to become an expert, not just rote learn concepts and keywords. And as tempting as it can be, don’t cheat your exams by Googling answers, if you don’t know the answer in the exam, chances are you won’t know it when it comes up in your professional life.

Take a course

Every certification has associated courses through the certifying body or private providers. To really take a deep dive into the topic, take all the courses you can and really become an expert. Not only will it help you breeze through the exams, you’ll also find nuggets of knowledge you’ll be able to apply in your work.

Keep learning

Just because you pass your exam doesn’t mean the learning is over. Many certifications require reaccreditation or demonstration of professional development, so keep an eye out for courses that might interest you, read digital marketing blogs, listen to podcasts, and watch YouTube channels. Once you’re on the cutting edge of the industry, you don’t want to let your knowledge slip.

See how you can get certified

The Digital Marketing Certified Associate course gets you certified as an Online Marketing Certified Associate, as well as with Google, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter!