9 Tips to Help You Market Your Online Course
You’ve done a great job making your online course. Now it’s time to find customers, show them how amazing your course is, and start selling.
In this article, you’ll learn different ways to promote your course. Here, you’ll find both low-budget, rough-and-ready solutions, and more sophisticated methods to monetize your knowledge.
Promote Your Course on Social Media
For a start, you can use the most accessible way to reach your target audience – via Facebook communities or relevant topics on Quora with people who might be interested in your course. Be it a community of dog lovers or home chefs, they all embrace good advice. Try to be that good advisor for them, share knowledge and passion, and provide value by answering questions and creating valuable posts on those community pages. That’s how you can start building your audience.
The best idea is to create your own group on Facebook, a business account on Instagram, or a YouTube channel to publish topic-oriented posts and videos there, conduct polls, announce events, and shoot backstage stories. People will be able to find your valuable content in their Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube searches.
It’s not necessary to push your course everywhere in the comments and posts. You can just add a link to the course in your bio so people can follow it and discover more of your work. And don’t forget to update your existing profiles and let your friends know about your new endeavor.
Create a Website
To make it so that the Internet finds you, launch a website that search engines will love. You can use an online website builder like Wix for this. There’s no need to build a multi-page site – a landing page will be enough for a start. Place info about yourself, your experience, and courses here, and don’t forget to add links to your social media profiles.
To reach better indexation and appear higher in Google search results, optimize your website. For that purpose, use some of the search engine optimization (SEO) techniques like:
- Research proper keywords with Google Keyword Planner.
- Include keywords in the title, meta descriptions, and subtitles.
- Use H1, H2, and H3 header tags to structure the content with vivid headings.
- Write alt texts for all images.
There are high and low competition keywords. In the beginning, it’s better to use low competition keywords, as it’s easier to differentiate with them, and you’re more likely to stand out in the crowd to your target audience.
Employ Email Marketing
The next step is to reach potential buyers directly and maintain contact with them using emails. Your task is to save every single contact you make and add it to your business email list. How can you entice potential customers to give you their emails? If you offer a valuable gift, signing up for your email list (and regular newsletters) will sound like a good deal to them. Prepare a free guide, template, checklist, or cheat sheet and place a link to them on your website, so people can download it and enjoy some helpful content right now in exchange for their email alone.
Using emails, you can find lots of ways to bring value to the audience, like sharing tips and tricks with them or offering discount coupons for your course. Email marketing will consistently increase your sales if you learn how to create automated email sequences and win customers’ hearts over time.
Survey Your Audience
When people recognize you and your page as a source of credible and helpful knowledge, you can establish further contacts with them. Now when people trust your advice, they can become interested in more information and ready to participate in surveys. Publish a link to the survey on your profile/ community page or in your posts, or send it via email, and suggest that people complete it so you can be of greater help to them. In this way, you can gain valuable insights from your audience and learn about their pain points and needs. Armed with this knowledge, you can promote your course in a way that addresses them.
Conduct Pre-sell Webinars
This can be a short live lecture or a how-to tutorial related to the topic of the course, is free to your potential customers, provides value, and motivates them to buy your course. Notify your audience about the upcoming webinar via email or by announcing it on your website. You should mention your course at the beginning and then evidence your knowledge with practical tips for your learners.
You can offer a discount to those who stay until the end of the webinar or bring friends. Organize webinars periodically, and you will attract new followers and make initial sales.
Start Your Blog
Launching a blog can help you “free two birds with one key.” First, you build your content around relevant keywords, using more of them and attracting more traffic. Second, you can write helpful articles for your audience, mention your course in them, and build your reputation. To begin with, you can base your articles on the frequently asked questions related to your topic, so every person who is looking for advice on something can find your article as a preview to your course, read it, and convert it to a paying customer.
Place a blog on your website so they have the same domain. According to statistics, if you have a blog, it can attract 97% more leads to your website. But keep in mind that blogs have a cumulative effect and provide results when maintained over a longer period of time: if you publish regularly, your blog will grow, and old articles will keep bringing you visitors from the Web.
Collaborate with Other Experts
There is nothing wrong with a ‘shoutout for shoutout’ (S4S) strategy in social media: other experts and communities can invite their audience to visit your page and see your valuable content. This is also relevant for YouTube videos and podcasts.
Nowadays, podcasting is an efficient way to find one’s niche audience, and it tends to be highly collaborative. You can record thematic podcasts with other experts, or become a guest speaker for someone else’s podcast. Tell stories, answer questions together, and mention your course at the end of episodes – explaining how it relates to the topic of your discussion.
Launch Digital Ads
We placed this step further down on this list for two reasons. First, it requires a good knowledge of your audience. And second, it’s costly compared to the previous ways of promotion. But when you’ve already made initial sales and have some money to spend on advertising, it will work in your favor.
You can start by advertising with Google Ads and let it show your offer every time a person looks for a certain keyword. It’s called a pay-per-click model of digital marketing (PPC) and will be cheaper if you opt for low competition keywords. Such contextual advertising is the fastest way to find learners for your course.
Or you can try targeted advertising, which is less expensive and works well if you have a clear customer profile (portrait). For example, if you’re offering a course on interior design, you can experiment with Facebook Ads and show your ad to women from 25 to 35 who are interested in home decor, fashion, and creative industries.
Banners are another way of advertising. You can contact the people in charge of blogs and websites that your target audience reads and buy a place for your banner on these pages. You can also add banners to your own website or webinar sessions.
Exploit the Power of Social Proof
Finally, appeal to the good old word of mouth. Of course, this method is applicable when you already have a pool of satisfied customers. Encourage your earliest learners to share their impressions in posts and Instagram stories, and prepare shareable online certificates for those who complete your course. Collect these positive user reviews and post them as customer testimonials on the course page so other potential customers can see them.
For some people, independent review platforms are more credible, so it’s advisable to register on a platform like ShopperApproved and ask your customers to leave a review on your course. If some reviews are less positive than you expected, don’t worry, but make sure you handle them politely and provide quality feedback.
We hope using these tips will help you find your way to your customers!