Creating and selling online courses requires investing time, money, and energy into the whole process. But this is only half of the battle.
Just like any profitable business model, marketing and selling online courses involves a careful blend of multiple marketing efforts.
Even if this sounds a bit intimidating, it is not actually as it seems, especially if you have the right tools and know the best practices for marketing online courses.
Want to boost your learning business sales to new levels? Here are the 4 key traffic sources that drive growth.
In an ideal world, everyone searching for a topic related to your online course would find your site naturally. However, this is not how things work. The best way to generate organic traffic is by producing plenty of keyword-saturated content on your website. In other words, you've got to have a great deal of valuable, educational content available rich with keywords that your customers most often search. The goal is to convince visitors to offer up their email addresses and position yourself as an expert in your field.
Social Media Traffic
Social media is a pillar of growth and traffic. You don't need to be active on all platforms. Choose the ones that your audience is most likely to be active on and concentrate your efforts there.
- Twitter—Perfect for short-message style and mostly attract young, educated, busy tech-centric people.
- LinkedIn— Don't underestimate this platform and assume it's just for employment ads. It is saturated with educated, upper-income professionals, especially those interested in new industry trends that keep them on the cutting edge.
- Facebook— With more than 1.2 billion active daily users, Facebook works great if your target is outside the U.S. It is making fast headway in developing countries and emerging markets.
- Instagram— Now merged with Facebook, Instagram attracts younger generations and specifically women compared to Facebook. Its photo-focused format works best for storytellers who like to build scenes for a living.
- YouTube— With people spending an average of 40 minutes watching Youtube videos – a very long period, by internet standards, makes it a great traffic source for the e-learning industry.
- Pinterest— Pinterest should be on top of your list, especially if your course has anything to do with decorating, clothing, and cosmetics.
Also called paid traffic, this is when you pay to promote your business through Facebook or Google Ads. For a price per impression, view, or click, you place your ads in front of your target audience. Paid traffic requires you to go out and find your customers, where organic traffic has your customers coming to you on their own.
You might assume that emails are a thing of the past, but they remain a huge part of our everyday lives with an ROI of 4400%. There are 74 trillion emails sent every year. If done right, it can be an easy and super-efficient way to ensure that your audience stays engaged throughout the buyer's journey, offering little nudges and increasing touchpoints to keep them on track for a conversion.
So, what does this mean for my online course and my business?
Understanding where your traffic comes from reveals a lot about the status of your business and how to improve, optimize, and serve your audience better. For example, if you discover that most of your traffic is organic and the search engines are sending your customers to your course landing page, you can better adjust this page in order to get better results and conversions. This doesn't mean you need to apply major changes, sometimes writing more compelling copy that gives better specifics about your course is enough, or even adding a call to action to make it easier for people to contact you.
Alternatively, if you find out that you don't have any organic traffic and most of your sales come through a Facebook ad that you did before, then identify what worked about that ad, and plan a strategy around that information.
Now, the ever-burning question — Is one type of traffic better than the other?
Yes and no.
While all traffic sources are ideal for a healthy online presence and often go hand in hand, first, you need to figure out how much time and money you are willing to spend and where your business needs to go. Then you can prioritize what to focus on within that framework.
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