Digital Marketing: From Content Creation to Strategic Planning

Earn a Certificate of Completion.

When you hear “digital marketing,” do you immediately think of social media? Of course social media plays an important role in digital marketing, but there’s so much more to this fast-growing field. Enroll in USC’s Pre-College Online certificate course, “Digital Marketing: From Content Creation to Strategic Planning,” to gain a deeper understanding of the tools, techniques, and strategies used by leading companies and expert digital marketers today.

April 15, 2024
April 29, 2024
May 6, 2024
May 20, 2024
June 3, 2024
June 17, 2024
July 1, 2024
July 15, 2024
July 29, 2024
August 5, 2024
August 19, 2024

Combined coursework of recorded lectures, readings, and assignments is approximately 20-25 -hours to be completed at the student’s own pace. Students are expected to complete the course in two to four weeks.

Students must be at least 14 years old or older and enrolled in a high school or secondary program.

Recent high school graduates, students taking a gap year or time off from college and are older than 18 can request an exemption to apply by emailing and include a short paragraph (no more than 200 words) stating your interest and how this program will add value to your academic or career plans.

$1990 USD
$35 application fee


Digital marketing is a constantly evolving field. And since customers are spending more time online than ever before, digital marketing continues to grow in importance.

This course will help students gain a broad understanding of the latest tools and techniques used in digital marketing today. Students will learn important key terms and concepts for building a digital marketing plan, along with the many opportunities for studying and working in this dynamic field.

In the process of earning a certificate, students will learn from USC Marshall professors and industry professionals about how to leverage the digital world to gain success towards your business goals. Students will explore the importance of developing an online advertising presence, building a brand, creating good content, providing great customer experience, and utilizing the most effective social media platforms.

Students will develop the quantitative and analytical skills needed to interpret data, measure a campaign’s success, and connect with a target audience. Students will also apply concepts from these lessons and put them into practice through activities to gain insights into building a digital marketing strategic plan.

By the end, students will earn a certificate of completion that can set them apart when applying for college, but they’ll also gain a deeper understanding of one of today’s fastest growing fields.

Featured Topics

  • Digital Marketing Strategic Plans
  • Developing Brand Voice
  • Creating Good Content
  • Social Media Platforms and Strategy
  • Analytics and Utilizing Data

Learning Outcomes
This course provides a foundation for understanding the tools and techniques used to develop successful digital marketing strategies. Following the completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the key steps to developing a strategic marketing plan
  • Identify web design elements to improve user experience
  • Understand the importance of a brand voice and digital storytelling to connect with audiences
  • Differentiate between social media platforms and their marketing advantages
  • Understand how data is analyzed to make strategic marketing decisions

Format and Course length
The course consists of recorded lectures, analysis of digital marketing campaigns and content, industry connections, and activities. As students explore the fundamentals of digital marketing, each topic focuses on specific techniques, technology, and the latest trends currently utilized by industry leaders today.

Combined coursework of recorded lectures, readings, and assignments is approximately 20-25 -hours to be completed at the student’s own pace. Students are expected to complete the course in two to four weeks.


Kristen Schiele
Kristen Schiele Associate Professor of Clinical Marketing
USC Marshall School of Business

Kristen Schiele specializes in the areas of digital marketing and social media, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Marketing Educators’ Association. Her primary areas of research include design thinking, digital marketing, and innovations in marketing education, and she received the Fulbright Scholar Award to teach and conduct research in Portugal. Dr. Schiele is co-author of the Mobile Marketing Essentials textbook, and frequently speaks on current and emerging trends in user experience and human-centered design.

PhD, University of California, Irvine; MBA, BS, Chapman University


Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis. Applicants who submit a completed application can expect an admission decision within 3 – 5 business days.

  • Include basic contact information from you and your parent(s) or guardian.
  • Tell us why you want to take the course and a little about yourself through a short-answer essay.
  • Share a piece of writing, video or social media content that reveals something about yourself (optional).
  • Submit the $35 application fee.
  • Students must be at least 14 years old or older and enrolled in a high school or secondary program.


In addition to the requirements listed above, international applicants are expected to be proficient in English. International students who successfully complete an online course will receive a digital Certificate of Completion and by request a USC Pre-College Program transcript at no additional cost.


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Monday, April 15, 2024Wednesday, April 10, 2024
Monday, April 29, 2024Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Monday, May 6, 2024Wednesday, May 1, 2024
Monday, May 20, 2024Wednesday, May 15, 2024
Monday, June 3, 2024Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Monday, June 17, 2024Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Monday, July 1, 2024Wednesday, June 26, 2024
Monday, July 15, 2024Wednesday, July 10, 2024
Monday, July 29, 2024Wednesday, July 24, 2024
Monday, August 5, 2024Wednesday, July 31, 2024
Monday, August 19, 2024Wednesday, August 14, 2024


Application fees are nonrefundable. All course cancellations requests must be made in writing to Any tuition paid to the university will be refunded, not including fees, if requested no more than three (3) days past the course start date. Requests to drop the course more than three (3) days after the start date will not be eligible for a refund.

The university will not refund tuition for Pre-College Online Exploration courses for students who are removed from the program due to a violation of our Letter of Understanding for Online Participation and our Student Code of Conduct.


USC Pre-College Programs is proud to honor full scholarships for our Online Exploration Courses to students enrolled in the summer session of the USC Leslie and William Morrow Neighborhood Academic Initiative (USC NAI). Qualified and interested students who are enrolled in grades 9-12 can send an email for application and enrollment instructions to