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14 Tips For Marketing Your Online Course

Online Courses Marketing With E-Learning poised to have a strong growth during COVID-19 and post-pandemic era, it is an opportune time to launch an online course. According to a study by Global Market Insights, the E-Learning market size has surpassed 200bn and is expected to grow at a rate of 8% CAGR form 2020-2026.

The online learning surge allows you to share all that you know. If you possess a skill or a talent, there will be learners for that provided it has reached the right set of people.

Marketing an online course is similar to marketing any other product or service. You need to have a marketing plan that would best suit your course and optimize ways to reach the target audience. Here are some tips that will help you get started with marketing of your course and get more conversions:

1. Identify your unique value proposition:

With umpteen courses available on learning almost any topic or skill, what customers look for is a unique value they could expect from your course, in other words, what is the unique selling point of your course that differentiates it from the others. It could be any aspect of the course- from the style of teaching, engagement of modules, practical learning, or even duration of the course. For example, the HTML & CSS for absolute beginners course by Ms. Shruti Balasa takes only 4.5 hours to complete. (Getting a hold of basics of web designing within 4.5 hours is great, isn’t it?)

2. Know Your Customers:

This is the most important step as almost all of the marketing decisions are based on the results of this. In marketing lingo, this is called ‘discovering the buyer’s persona’ or ‘having a target market’ that is essentially having the data of and analytics for the questions like:

- Who your customers are?

- How old are they?

- What do they do?

- What are they looking for?

- Where do they spend their time online?

- Their pain point you are addressing?

- Where do they live?

- Which income-group they belong to?

- What makes them purchase a product?

The above data would be the bases for all the further steps that need to be applied.

Online Courses Marketing 3. Create an engaging website

With approx. 380 new websites being created every minute, websites have taken a central stage in being the first introduction about the company or an individual. Hence, the first impression when a potential customer visits to explore your profile and your course depends on your website.
A good and engaging website contains all the required information and is easy to navigate. A basic website should have:

- About Page: Explaining your profile

- Course Page: Explaining the details of the course with testimonials

- Course Sale Page: Pricing of the course with testimonials

- Contact Page: Contact details to connect with you

- Sign-Up forms at multiple places: To collect their email id

You can either get the website built through a web designer or do it yourself. In case, building a website is not something you have learned yet, a course on the basics of HTML & CSS can get you going with it.

Additionally, you could also create a landing page with the course details, offers & discounts, an explainer video of the course. It would enable you to collect the email id of the visitor through the Forms. Platforms like LeadPages and TARS make the creation of the landing page very easy!

4. Build a Social Media Presence:

Social Media is undoubtedly one of the vital mediums for the promotion of your course and getting sales. With estimated 3.6bn social media users, it is a vast market to capitalize on. Hence, having a social media marketing strategy would be the most crucial step.

Online Courses Marketing - Facebook: With 2.5bn active monthly users, Facebook certainly has one of the largest communities. You can create a Facebook page for the course or yourself as a course-creator; create a closed group for your students- this would help to connect directly with your students and vice versa. A closed group creates a feeling exclusivity for your students and curiosity among others.

- Twitter: If you already have followers on your Twitter profile, it could be a great source of traffic for your course. Alternatively, you could also scout for influencers and potential customers on this platform. You could do it manually but the TLG[Twitter Lead Generation] service provided by SiMUS is a must-try in this regard.

- Instagram: Instagram gives you a chance to reach your audience through high-quality images. You could get them designed for an affordable cost from the freelance designers from platforms like Fiverr or you could design it yourself using platforms like Snappa or PicsArt.

To save your time of having to post every day, you could plan up your content and schedule the posts on Instagram through platforms like Combin.

- Pinterest: Like Instagram, another platform that excels at visuals is Pinterest. If planned well, images posted on Pinterest can become a great source of traffic. You can consider repurposing your blog posts for Pinterest by creating an image of the same. Additionally, you could also post infographics.

- YouTube: Starting a YouTube Channel and uploading quality videos can help attract a good amount of traffic for your course. You can even upload a promotional video of the course on your channel.

- LinkedIn: If your course has to do with professionals, LinkedIn would be the best place to connect with them. We-Connect will help you automate the most tedious part i.e finding the right people and sending invites to connect so that you can focus on the strategy to engage them.

5. Build Email List & Email Marketing:

Email Marketing is yet another strong tool to get sales of your course provided you have the right strategy to build your email lists. The most important step is to plan strategies for converting potential customers to share their email address. Focus on the content of the website, landing page, or social media to be around adding value to them through quality information and they would be happy to let you get connected to them.

Online Courses Marketing Once you have a good email list, make sure to plan the sales funnel right. Have it in mind that the customers might not like to be sold in the very first email you send them. Take it step by step. Build a good relationship with them to create a good brand recall & loyalty so that they would be happy to go for the course when it gets introduced to them. But still, not all of them would convert; the statistics show that the conversion through email leads is 2-3%. Nonetheless, stay connected with the others who don't register for your course, they might go for another course or any other offering of their liking. Using Email Marketing platforms like Automizy, MailChimp, Sendinblue makes the process very efficient.

6. Optimize the usage of content marketing:

‘Content is the King’- is rightly applicable to the marketing scenario in today’s world. Content marketing occupies a pivotal position in the marketing strategies of many products and services. With that said, the marketing of online courses isn’t an exception. Content marketing plays a major role in the success of the course. While the content uploaded on social media forms a part of content marketing too, the below-mentioned are ways on how you can optimize the content strategy:

- Start a blog

Starting a blog and posting content that is educational and knowledge-oriented around the topics of your course is a strong way to get the students for your courses. If they like your blog posts, the chances of they checking out your course content would increase. Blog posts could also be sent to the email subscribers to generate interest in the course or take them a step closer to the sale.

- Write Press releases:

It is a norm to have a press release ready and be shared across with the media outlets to expand the outreach of the course. But we advise that you should prepare multiple variations of the press release and send a unique one to each media house. Some of the reputed media houses like us have a protocol of not publishing a press release that has been published in another site prior to being shared with us. Creating multiple variations of the press releases isn’t much time-consuming activity.

- Guest Posting:

Connect with the owners of websites who have the authority in the niche of your course, and offer to write a guest post for them. It is a great way to get noticed in their audience. Many websites would be happy to have a guest post, as it becomes the content for their blog; and your course will reach their audience, hence it is a win-win for both. Having a link back to your course through one of the most effective link building methods from the post on other websites would help in SEO as well. With their sophisticated, natural link building techniques, you will earn quality guest posts that will grow your digital presence.

Online Courses Marketing 7. Student testimonials and reviews:

We live in a world wherein the reviews matter the most in the sale of any product or service. Adding student testimonials and reviews on the landing page, website homepage, course details page, course sale page, social media posts, YouTube videos, etc. will go a long way in creating a ‘social proof’ that people look for.

8. Host Webinars:

In a survey by wyzowl, 66% of the people mentioned that they would like to get informed through a video than reading about it. Hence, hosting webinars and inviting your potential customers to join in would not only help them be better informed but also in building better trust with them. At the end of the webinar, you could add a call to action of signing up for the course by offering discounts and offers.

9. Lookout for Collaborations:

Collaboration is the key to success in today’s world. As an online course creator, you will have to be actively scouting for the opportunities to collaborate. The below-mentioned are some of the types of collaborations you can look out for:

- Partner with other course creators in the meta-space:

Collaborating with other course creators, who are not your direct competitors but are present in the target market as yours, would be very beneficial for the outreach of your course. You could partner with them and host a joint webinar for their audience.

- Find non-competitive partners:

If you have a course on cooking, partnering with websites that share the recipes would be a great option to reach an audience who is already interested in cooking.

- Partner with YouTube Channels:

Figure out YouTube channels in the field of your course; partner with them for getting the link to your course in the video description. Also, they could embed a Call-to-action to the same inside the video in exchange for a payment in cash or kind (Ex: Embedding their video in the next blog post of yours)

10. Participate in Online Discussions:

Online communities like Quora and Reddit provide a great platform to connect with the potential customers of our course. Start answering relevant questions on Quora and build a following for yourself, it would help send back a good amount of traffic for your course. The same applies to Reddit too. It might be slightly difficult to navigate and in predicting the reaction of the communities at the onset, but if you get successful in creating a good profile on this platform, nothing like it.

Online Courses Marketing 11. Start a Podcast:

Positioning yourself as an expert would be the key to building a reputation in the field. People want to know the opinions of the experts, so become one by starting a Podcast. It isn't all that difficult to  Start a podcast or get interviewed in existing podcasts, you just need to figure your niche, get a suitable title and open your account on one of the platforms to upload your audio files. There are several distritbution platforms to get your message across once you have a podcast going.

12. Get Blogger Reviews for Your Course:

Another efficient way to build trust amongst your potential customers is by connecting to the bloggers in the field of your course and getting a review on their platform. If executed well, this would do a great job in the SEO of your course.

13. Setting up an Affiliate Program:

Affiliate marketing is a type of marketing through which the people who are interested in selling your course, join the program, put out a word online through their social media/blog post, or any other medium to inform their audience about your course. They, in return, would get a share of percentage for each sale of your course from their network which is tracked through an affiliate link. You can decide the percentage you would like to part away with, for them reducing your marketing effort.

14. Become An Author/Write A Book:

Writing a book positions you as an authority in the space. Since you have already created a course/authored a course, you have it in you to be able to bring alive a book in your domain/niche. With self publishing options on the rise and vast no of platforms available to publish a book, not publishing one already make your competition look better. You can use the support of platforms like Authors' Paradize to get the word out for your book and build a solid online presence for it but writing one is a must.

You don’t have to apply all the strategies mentioned above at once. You might spread too thin and the results would be minimal against the efforts. Have all of the above in mind, make a proper plan, and take it step-by-step. Figure out what works best for you. ‘Start small, Do it Now! And measure the results at every step’ is the formula best advisable for you as you embark on your journey of impacting the lives through your course.

Copyrights © 2024 Inspiration Unlimited eMagazine

Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 1st October 2020.
Kunal Jain
Kunal Jain works as an Outreach Specialist at iU

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