The demand for digital marketers increases as many companies turn to online channels to grow their businesses.
If you want to work as a digital marketer, there are a lot of concepts and skills you need to learn.
To do so quickly, you may be tempted to take a digital marketing bootcamp.
But is it worth it?
In this post, I will explain how digital marketing boot camps work and whether or not they are a good way to learn digital marketing.
What is a digital marketing bootcamp?
A digital marketing bootcamp is essentially a mini-school where you go to learn digital marketing. Different lessons are condensed into a crash course of material and presented to students over a predefined period of time, typically the span of a few weeks or days.
Digital marketing bootcamps can take place online or in-person at a physical location.
The course material is typically in a class or lecture-type setting, whether live or virtual.
There are often assignments and projects for the students to complete to help them better understand the material.
Many digital marketing bootcamps have limited enrollment. Because of this, you need to apply to join and only a certain number of applicants are able to enter the program.
What is covered in a digital marketing bootcamp?
Digital marketing encompasses a wide range of disciplines, usually the same as digital marketing degrees. Marketers can work on everything from search engine optimization (SEO) to running paid advertisements or managing social media profiles.
Each different area of digital marketing requires its own set of skills.
Digital marketing bootcamps tend to cover a broad range of digital marketing topics. The lessons explain the core concepts for each area and usually do not go into deep detail for a particular focus area.
Some of the skills commonly taught in digital marketing bootcamps include:
- Marketing strategy: How to conduct market research to develop the business overall plan to reach customers through online channels.
- Analytics and reporting: How to analyze important metrics to see the effectiveness of your digital marketing strategy and where you can make improvements.
- SEO: How search engines work and how you can perform keyword research to build a strategy for growing organic traffic.
- Content marketing: How to use different forms of content to provide value and engage with your audience.
- Social media marketing: How to create a social media marketing strategy to increase brand awareness and engage with your audience.
- Email marketing: How to get more email subscribers and build email campaigns to target people at various stages in your marketing funnel.
- Paid marketing: How to develop and execute effective advertising campaigns for pay-per-click (PPC) and other marketing channels.
How much do digital marketing bootcamps cost?
The cost to attend a digital marketing bootcamp is between $2000 to $15000. The price varies depending on the duration of the program and the topics covered.
The table below shows the cost and duration of the most popular digital marketing bootcamps.
BrainStation Digital Marketing Bootcamp
The marketing bootcamp from BrainStation is an online digital marketing bootcamp available through their website. The bootcamp has limited capacity so only a certain number of applicants are able to join.
The course covers branding, strategy and marketing planning, search marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, and analytics and reporting.
There is a full-time program in which you take classes Monday through Friday from 10:30 AM to 6:30 PM as well as a part-time program with classes on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
The program runs for a total of 11 weeks. In addition to lessons, there are projects and one-on-one coaching sessions with a member of the BrainStation education team.
To apply, you first need to speak with a learning advisor. You can then submit an initial online application.
If you make it to the next step, you will receive an invitation to interview. From there, you need to complete an admissions challenge before an ultimate decision is made on whether or not to accept you to the program.
The bootcamp is not cheap as it costs $15,000 to enroll.
New Apprenticeship Bootcamp
New Apprenticeship is an online digital marketing bootcamp taught over an eight-week period.
There is also a 12-week program with additional training and job preparation resources for students.
The program consists of a mix of team sessions, coaching calls, lessons, and weekly marketing sessions. Students have to submit various assignments throughout the program.
Some of the topics covered in the bootcamp include:
- Inbound marketing strategies to identify and create buyer personas for a target audience
- Email and social media marketing for lead generation and brand awareness
- Using Google Analytics to measure inbound marketing campaigns
The eight-week program costs $2,000. If you want to enroll in the 12-week program it will cost $3,200.
Jelly Academy Digital Marketing Bootcamp
Jelly Academy is another digital marketing bootcamp available online. Unlike some other bootcamps, Jelly Academy does not follow a formal admissions process, meaning it is open for anyone that wants to enroll.
The program runs for a six-week period. It includes lessons on the following topics:
- Social media
- Google Ads
- Facebook + Instagram Ads
- Google Analytics
- Public Relations
Lessons take place virtually, over three-hour Zoom sessions. These classes occur Wednesday from 9 AM to 12 PM PST for the duration of the course.
In addition to the lessons, there are also plenty of assignments and homework for students to complete.
Jelly Academy offers various career services to students to help them prepare for interviews, network with other marketers, and land jobs at marketing agencies.
While more affordable than some other bootcamps, the program is not cheap and will cost you $4,000.
Boot Camp Digital
Boot Camp Digital is an online marketing bootcamp and in-person training service.
One of their most popular programs is the four-day intensive digital marketing virtual bootcamp.
The training runs from 9 AM to 5 PM each day as the experienced instructors provide action-oriented guidance to help develop your marketing expertise.
Some of the key digital marketing topics covered in the course include:
- Building a digital marketing strategy from the ground up
- The role of your website in digital marketing and how to create an effective site
- Planning for usability and conversions
- Creating a mobile marketing strategy
In addition to the lectures, students also receive a set of templates, checklists, and tip sheets to use for their own marketing efforts.
The four-day workshop costs $2,497. While it is a virtual event, only 25 participants are allowed entry in order to provide a more engaging learning environment.
Digital Marketing Bootcamp Benefits
Digital marketing bootcamps are designed to give students a starting place to learn digital marketing.
They may not be the most comprehensive or efficient learning method, but they can help provide some foundational knowledge to those that are new to the field.
Marketing bootcamps also afford a few other benefits less common with other types of learning.
- Career services
- Structured Learning
Digital marketing bootcamps can be an effective way to network with other digital marketing professionals. If you attend an in-person training event, you can meet marketers like you that are looking to advance their knowledge and career.
You can also connect with the instructors to gain more tips and insights into how digital marketing works.
The connections that you make can benefit you throughout your digital marketing career as you look to secure different positions and clients.
A good digital marketing bootcamp offers plenty of career services in addition to its course material.
Many popular bootcamp providers have a large number of hiring partners to help students land digital marketing positions.
Other career services can include help with improving resumes and preparing for interviews.
The learning format for digital marketing bootcamps is more akin to traditional education methods than it is to newer online courses offered today.
Many have lessons, projects, and coaching sessions that take place at scheduled times.
For some students, this structured approach to studying is helpful for staying on top of the material.
Digital Marketing Bootcamp Disadvantages
While there are some positives to digital marketing bootcamps, there are some negatives as well, many outweighing the good.
Below are some of the biggest downsides to learning digital marketing through a bootcamp:
- Incredibly high costs
- Time constraints
- Lack of flexibility
- Not good for specialized learning
Incredibly high costs
The most obvious and notable disadvantage to taking a digital marketing bootcamp is the cost. Most bootcamps run upwards of a few thousand dollars.
Plus, there are other marketing learning resources available at a fraction of the cost. Many of which are more comprehensive methods for learning about digital marketing.
Some of the money you could save by opting for a less expensive alternative could be used to help you learn in other ways.
Perhaps you could subscribe to a software tool that you will frequently use so that you can practice and develop your skills.
Another big disadvantage to learning through a marketing bootcamp is the time constraints. Both in-person and online digital marketing bootcamps tend to run for a short period of time.
Whether it lasts a few days or a few weeks, most bootcamps aren’t able to cover all the information you need to become a successful digital marketing manager during the course of the program.
However, given how much bootcamps cost, you would expect to receive a more comprehensive learning resource.
Lack of flexibility
Digital marketing bootcamps are not as flexible as other learning methods. Because the lessons take place at pre-scheduled times, you are forced to work your schedule around the bootcamp.
Additionally, most programs only run at set times of the year instead of being open for enrollment whenever you decide.
Not good for specialized learning
Most digital marketing bootcamps spend the learning time to touch on the broader aspects of digital marketing.
As such, they are not well-suited for those looking to get a thorough education for a specific area of digital marketing.
Other Ways to Learn Digital Marketing
Now that we’ve seen some of the setbacks of marketing bootcamps, you may be wondering if there are more effective ways to learn digital marketing.
And yes, there are.
Courses compile various subjects into a comprehensive learning resource. They can cover a broad range of digital marketing topics or the more granular aspects of a single specialization.
Most digital marketing courses are self-paced learning programs, meaning there is no set schedule for lessons.
Once you enroll in the course, all the material is available on demand. This lets the course contain more material than a bootcamp.
It is easier for an instructor to record a video and have a student extend self-directed study than it is for a training program to host more in-person classes or live webinars.
There are some digital marketing courses that are hosted through virtual classes but these are less common.
Most digital marketing courses follow a hybrid format where the material is presented using a mix of text and video. Many also offer additional resources like checklists and templates you can use when applying the concepts to real projects.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of using a digital marketing course is that it is much more cost-effective than a marketing bootcamp.
This doesn’t mean there aren’t expensive digital marketing courses out there. You can still find courses with four-figure prices similar to those of bootcamps.
As a general rule, any course over $500 is overpriced and best avoided.
Digital marketing certifications
Another more effective way to learn digital marketing is to get a digital marketing certification.
Many online marketing courses offer certifications once you complete the material.
Other certifications are offered directly by major players in the digital marketing space as a way to show that someone knows how to use their service or tool.
Below are some of the best digital marketing certifications worth pursuing:
Google is one of the platforms digital marketers use the most throughout their careers.
Whether it is through organic search traffic or paid advertisements, Google allows businesses across industries to reach their target audience at scale.
Google offers a variety of professional certifications through its Skillshop platform. The certificates validate a marketer’s proficiency using the various Google advertising services.
You can earn certifications in the following categories:
- Search Ads
- Display Ads
- Shopping Ads
- Video Ads
- Google Ads Measurement
- App Ads
To earn a certification, you need to pass an exam. Google provides several courses through the Skillshop platform that you can use to study and prepare for the test.
They contain videos and practice questions for the various subjects in the exam.
The exams are online and available for free.
After you pass the exam, the certificate will appear in your Skillshop account. There is a public link you can use to share the certificate with others.
You can also print the certificate as a PDF to place it wherever you like.
Google Analytics is the most commonly used analytics platform among digital marketing professionals.
No matter what position you hold, you will likely work with the platform in some capacity.
The Google Analytics Individual Qualification teaches you the fundamentals of using Google Analytics and rewards a certificate once you complete the final assessment.
The certification is also available through the Skillshop platform.
Like the Google Ads certifications, there are lessons and pre-test resources to help you learn and prepare for the exam.
When you pass the exam, the certificate will also appear in your Skillshop account.
Facebook is another important marketing channel for businesses of all sizes and industries.
Like Google, Facebook has its own official certification program for digital marketers.
In total, there are nine certifications available in the Facebook Blueprint program. The certifications range from beginner to intermediate and advanced level certifications.
You can use the free Facebook Blueprint courses to learn the concepts covered in the exams. Facebook also has study guides and practice tests you can use to prepare.
The Facebook Blueprint Certifications are paid certifications. You will need to pay a one-time fee to take the exam for each certificate.
The exam fee varies depending on the certification. The beginner level Digital Marketing Associate certification costs $99. The more advanced exams cost more, ranging up to $150.
The exam process is more thorough than that of other digital marketing certifications.
You can take the exams in person at a testing center or you can take them online at home with a proctor monitoring you live via webcam.
If you fail an exam you will need to pay to take it again.
After you pass an exam, you will receive a digital copy of the officially accredited certification from Facebook.
You will also get a version to print for framing or hanging on your wall.
Benefits of courses and certifications
Increase your value
When you get a certification, you increase your value both to employers and potential clients.
You learn the tasks and processes that you will perform as a digital marketer as well as how to use essential digital marketing tools.
The certification validates this expertise and can be used to showcase your skills to others throughout your career.
Learn from experts
Good digital marketing courses are taught by industry experts. By learning from these instructors, you pick up all kinds of tips and secrets that are less commonly known.
Experienced marketing professionals can also provide in-depth details on how to turn the digital marketing concepts you learn into actionable guidance.
Courses run by smaller providers often offer additional support to students once the course is complete.
This could be a membership group where the instructor actively engages with graduates to answer questions and provide guidance throughout their careers.
Because you have on-demand access to the material, you get an evergreen resource to continue to expand your knowledge.
Are digital marketing bootcamps worth it?
Overall, it is safe to say that for most people, digital marketing bootcamps are not worth it.
The main deterrent is the cost. A bootcamp can teach you new skills, but thousands of dollars is a hefty price to pay.
Especially since there are better, more affordable resources readily available.
It will provide more extensive learning material and you can enjoy the flexibility of studying on your own schedule.