| Mar 29, 2024 | | 7 min read

The 9 Best Certifications for Digital Marketing Agencies to Master Their Craft


Skilled marketers understand their field evolves constantly, and ongoing education is key to staying on top of the latest developments. Whether you’re starting a digital agency or you’ve been in the game for years, the best certifications for digital marketing will help you stay up to date on new tech, best practices, and industry trends.

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The best marketing certificate programs don’t just keep your capabilities sharp, they also act as trusted indicators for potential clients, helping them feel confident in your agency skills. By enhancing your credibility and boosting your skillset, certifications can help agency owners differentiate themselves from the competition.

Not sure where to start? We’ve rounded up the 9 best certifications for digital marketing that are well worth your time.

Meta certification

Meta certification refers to any of Meta’s—Facebook’s parent company—seven marketing certifications geared at helping professionals level up their skills, confidence, and credibility.

Meta’s certifications include:

  • Meta Certified Digital Marketing Associate
  • Meta Certified Marketing Science Professional
  • Meta Certified Creative Strategy Professional
  • Meta Certified Media Planning Professional
  • Meta Certified Media Buying Professional
  • Meta Certified Community Manager
  • Meta Certified Meta Spark Creator

What makes these among the best marketing certifications in the field?

Meta’s companies include Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, representing a major share of many small and medium-sized businesses' (SMBs) marketing spend. Learning directly from the parent company of these key platforms gives you access to guidance, best practices, and standards right from the source.

If your agency or marketing consultancy includes pay–per–click advertising, social media, or content creation services, brushing up on your know-how with any of Meta’s certifications is a good move. Since they’re free, they won’t add to your digital agency startup costs.

Google Ads certification

Google’s Skillshop includes e-learning courses for many aspects of their platform, including Google Ads certifications. Certifications in this category include:

  • Google Ads - Measurement Certification
  • AI-Powered Performance Ads Certification
  • Google Ads Creative Certification
  • Grow Offline Sales Certification
  • Google Ads Search Certification
  • Google Ads Display Certification
  • AI-Powered Shopping Ads Certification
  • Google Ads Video Certification
  • Google Ads Apps Certification

Along with Meta, Google accounts for a major share of digital marketing spend, from PPC ads to search engine optimization (SEO). Google’s algorithm is always changing, making it essential for those offering advertising digital agency services to stay up to date on the latest best practices.

Known for offering some of the best certifications for digital marketing, these courses are impressively current, including the latest developments in applying AI to advertising and SEO.

To obtain any of these free certifications, just click on the link for the course and press the “Get Started” button. You’ll be prompted to sign in with your Google account, and you can start your course right away.

Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ)

Whether you run a small boutique agency or a large business with thousands of accounts, mastering the collection and analysis of data is a core marketing skill. That’s because no matter what else your agency offers, you must be able to understand the impact you’re having, optimize strategically to hit key performance indicators (KPIs) and prove the value of your work to clients. Google Analytics can help you do just that by giving you the tools to understand website data and other user behaviors.

Understanding Google Analytics is paramount in a data-driven marketing world. The Google Analytics Individual Qualification goes beyond the basics, equipping marketers with advanced insights to navigate the evolving landscape of digital analytics effectively. You’ll learn:

  • Planning and principles
  • Implementation and data collection
  • Configuration and administration
  • Conversion and attribution
  • Reports, metrics, and dimensions

Two hour-long courses are provided for free by Google to learn the contents of the exam. Then, expect to spend about an hour completing the exam to gain your certification.

Google Digital Garage: Fundamentals of Digital Marketing

The Fundamentals of Digital Marketing course and certification available through Google’s Digital Garage—a library of online digital skills—isn’t something you can knock off in an afternoon. Instead, it’s a 40-hour course covering a comprehensive range of topics related to succeeding in digital marketing. If you’re starting a marketing agency with no experience, this is among the best online digital marketing certificate programs to gain a broad understanding of the field.

Given the significant time investment required to complete the course, and its focus on covering many topics in an introductory way, it’s not the best choice for seasoned marketers. For beginners and pre-launch startup agencies, it’s an excellent place to start.

Hootsuite Social Marketing certification:

Hootsuite is a well-known name in the online marketing space thanks to its popular social media marketing and management tool. If you’re interested in mastering the science and art of using social media for business from a team that has specialized in this facet of marketing for years, they also offer a Social Media Marketing Certification Course. Ideal for social media managers, the course covers:

  • Social media strategy
  • Social media content marketing
  • Inclusivity and accessibility on social media
  • Building a social media community
  • Measuring success

The course is 3.5 hours and costs $199.

Ready for a learning break that you don’t have to pay up for? Check out this video on the Top 5 AI tools for social media marketing:

Digital Marketing Institute's Digital Marketing Pro

When it comes to comprehensive, industry-recognized certifications, the Digital Marketing Institute’s Digital Marketing Pro (DMI Pro) is among the very best certifications for digital marketing. It covers everything a professional needs to know to deliver top-notch marketing services today. The curriculum includes:

  • Digital marketing in the era of AI
  • Content marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Search engine optimization
  • PPC and display advertising
  • Email marketing
  • Professional skills for digital marketing
  • Website optimization and ecommerce
  • Analytics with Google Analytics 4
  • Digital marketing strategy

Because of DMI Pro’s recognition in the industry, it can be very useful for bolstering job prospects in the marketing world. While it doesn’t come cheap—the price is about $1479, with occasional sales and promotions bringing it down—but it does deliver serious value.

Microsoft Advertising Certification

If the price of the previous certification made your eyes water, don’t worry: many top digital marketing certifications are free of charge, like Microsoft’s advertising certifications. The company’s Advertising Learning Lab offers users a range of advertising education paths to choose from, including:

  • Search advertising learning path
  • Native and display advertising learning path
  • Shopping advertising learning path
  • Digital advertising fundamentals learning path
  • Marketing with purpose learning path
  • Programmatic advertising learning path
  • Generative AI & automation learning path

The length of each course ranges from under an hour to nearly five hours, and they’re completely self-paced so you can decide if you want to take your time or knock a course out in an afternoon. Each path comes with certificates you can display on your LinkedIn and elsewhere.

You’ll learn all about the Microsoft advertising platform but also glean plenty of information about digital advertising broadly which can be transferred to other platforms.

OMCP Digital Marketing Certification:

The Online Marketing Certified Professional (OMCP) digital marketing certification is widely recognized in the industry, giving recipients the recognition and credibility that’s often needed to compete. From generating leads to landing a job, the right certification can go a long way in helping you achieve your goals.

Unlike some of the other certifications in this list, certification is only granted to people who meet the minimum experience and education requirements. To get certified, you must pass the exams and have either 5,000 hours of experience, 2000 hours of experience plus a post-secondary degree, or 1,000 hours of experience plus completion of an improved course within six months of application.

Content covered in the certification exam includes:

  • Content marketing
  • Conversion rate optimization
  • Email marketing
  • Mobile marketing
  • PPC
  • SEO
  • Social media marketing
  • Digital analytics

HubSpot Digital Marketing Certificate

Hubspot is known for its CRM and other digital marketing software solutions. Since the company specializes in inbound marketing, its course is also centered around learning to develop a “human-centered and inbound-first digital marketing strategy.”

The course is free, making it great for beginners or anyone looking to sharpen their know-how in this area of digital marketing. Here’s what you can expect to learn:

  • Content management
  • Content marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Lead generation
  • SEO
  • Social media
  • Inbound marketing
  • Reporting and performance

Thanks to the brand recognition of HubSpot, displaying this certification can help boost the perception of your agency brand identity by association.

About the Author

Lawrence Dy is the SEO Strategy Manager at Vendasta. His career spans from starting as a Jr. Copywriter in the automotive industry to becoming a Senior Editorial Content Manager in various digital marketing niches. Outside of work, Lawrence moonlights as a music producer/beatmaker and spends time with friends and family.

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