5 Free Apps Marketers Can Use to Learn New Digital Skills and Stay on Top of Trends

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Digital marketing is evolving quickly, and digital marketing specialists have to keep up or get left behind. But staying up to speed and constantly updating your skillset is hard when you’re so busy with your day-to-day work–how can you make sure you’re keeping ahead of the pack?

There’s no easy answer, and you’ll have to get creative with the way you establish yourself as a life-long learner of digital marketing. But luckily there’s no shortage of resources available to keep up with the news and acquire new abilities. Some of those resources are designed with the convenience and accessibility of mobile app–and a few of them are even completely free. Check out our favorites:

Primer by Google

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Primer is a “fast, easy way to learn new marketing skills.” Developed by Google, it features a variety of “Lessons” under four categories specifically targeted toward marketers: Advertising, Content, Measurement and Strategy. Each lesson is fairly short–often 5 minutes or less–and new content is added on a regular basis from the Primer Team at Google as well as featured subject matter experts from various industries.

Obviously, Google’s ultimate aim with this app is to familiarize you with their products and encourage you to use them. But Primer nonetheless does an excellent job of explaining both basic and advanced digital marketing principles, including new tactics and emerging trends you’ll want to keep an eye on. Google’s products often feature prominently in modern digital marketing campaigns anyway, and Google Analytics consultants can make very lucrative careers for themselves, so learning a little more about them certainly doesn’t hurt.

The SoloLearn Suite

Coding is one of the most useful skills a modern digital marketer can have–even one that doesn’t frequently deal directly with web, software or application development on a regular basis. Even just understanding the basics can empower your decisions and making strategy as you inevitably take on work that will require a flexible digital component. From email to analytics, web design to omnichannel strategy and beyond, coding creates the foundation for systems all marketers rely on; so it pays to understand what’s happening with them.

SoloLearn offers complete set of comprehensive mobile apps marketers can use to learn the fundamentals of coding in almost any major programming language, from HTML to Java to SQL and more. Each offers a unique program featuring dozens of easy-to-digest lessons and more than 100 quizzes to test your retention and measure your progress. SoloLearn takes a “learn by playing” approach, challenging users and rewarding them for success. And best of all, they’re all optimized just for mobile so you can study up on your lunch break or while you take the train to work. You can view the full list of courses available (and take them all on your browser, if you prefer) here.


World-famous TED Talks feature fascinating explanations of complex subjects by renowned experts in their field, from new perspectives on the mundane to wild observations and predictions. Years of TED talks feature content on a staggering amount of topics; including, of course, marketing.

The TED apps make watching or listening to those discussions featuring marketing, emerging technology, and related digital trends easy. Get remarkable insights, unique perspectives and innovative thought leadership from experts based around the world. And of course, you’re only a quick swipe or two away from something new from “the world’s most fascinating people” if you need to take a short break from the deluge of groundbreaking marketing ideas and research!

Podcast Apps

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Podcasts are an excellent way to get exposed to new ideas, successful case studies, and industry news while you’re doing something else like commuting to work, enjoying your morning cup of coffee or doing laundry. There are plenty excellent digital marketing podcasts out there, and we’ve already named a few that we like and recommend:

A podcast tracking, management and listening app makes listening to your favorite prerecorded marketing shows easy and accessible on-demand. There are plenty available that have fairly comparable functionality, but here are some that come highly rated:


digital marketing headhunters social media

Sometimes the best resource for industry news, cutting edge trends and new learning opportunities is your own network (you have been developing an extensive network of high-performing, ambitious digital marketing specialists in your field, right?).

Keeping an eye on what top thought leaders are posting and the kind of skillsets employers are looking for in their new marketing hires is a great way to stay on top of digital. And the professional environment of LinkedIn’s social network makes building up your professional connections and monitoring your content feed easy with its fully functional mobile app. And as a bonus you’ll get “news and info that matter for your professional day, a daily brief on what’s happening in your network, and a quick way to reach out and keep in touch,” all right in your pocket.

LinkedIn also recently acquired Lynda.com, a business tutorial and training website that features some great educational content for marketers and digital professionals. Lynda’s content is extremely high quality and can be easily accessed through its mobile apps. The site does offer some free courses and videos that digital marketers will find helpful, but most of their best content is gated behind a subscription (something you might be able to get your employer to help you with if you’re interested in learning and growing).

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