Seasoned marketers know that a solid content marketing strategy is the core of a successful promotion campaign that helps bring in sales and increase brand awareness simultaneously. With the digital era upon us and having impacted every facet of our lives including education, online courses also require the same set of marketing strategies and actions to drive their success.
Unlike other things , success for online courses however is not measured in terms of sales or subscriptions but rather in terms of the number of student enrollment. Given the digital nature and online presence of these learning opportunities, a comprehensive yet focused content marketing strategy is what is required to drive these online learning platforms towards success and growth.
As an online education marketing agency, we understand the true importance of content marketing for online courses hence we present to you a content marketing plan for your online course that will not only increase student enrollments but will also make your course stand out.
Content Marketing Plan for Online Course
Let us first highlight the six crucial steps to any content marketing plan.
1. Set your goals
2. Identify your audience
3. Figure out the best content channels to promote your content
4. Create a content calendar
5. Distribute and Promote your content
6. Measure the results
1. Set Your Goals for Your Online Course/Education
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First and foremost, you should be clear about what you want to achieve from your content marketing strategy for online courses. As an industry norm the following KPI's are usually set as goals:
1. New student enrolments
2. Mean online attendance
3. Rate of student turnover
4. Student satisfaction rate
2. Identify Your Course or College Audience
After setting your goal in the first step ,now you should identify and define your audience right down to basic demographics such as their age group , gender mix , location etc. This is necessary because if you are not aware of who you are targeting your service towards, then how can you appeal to their needs with your value proposition.
3. Appropriate Content Channels
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In the third step, you select the most suitable channels such as Facebook, a blog, and LinkedIn for disseminating your content marketing strategy. The appropriateness of these channels depends on the presence and availability of your target audience on a particular channel.
Obviously, you would like to select those channels where the presence and activity of your target market is not only high but using those channels also prove to be cost effective and promise results.
4. Create a Content Calendar
Make sure that you have a content calendar in place, to not only help you in keeping track of which content is to go live by what date but it will also help you in measuring individual outcomes of each strategy used for any channel. With the content calendar you're less likely to miss out on publishing deadlines and content closure dates.
5. Content Distribution and Promotion
Now that your content calendar is in place, it's time to start executing and promoting your course content in line with your content marketing strategy. This is a very critical and important phase because it's the main execution of all the hard work and research that you would do for your online course platform .
6. Measuring the Success of Content Marketing for Online Course/Education
This is the final stage where you get to learn whether your efforts have been fruitful or not . There are multiple sets of metrics that the industry is using to measure the success of a content marketing strategy. You can select those relevant to your online course platform and analyze those parameters . Some of the popular ones are :
1. Website traffic by source
2. Current vs Past Trends of Enrolment
4. Onsite Engagement
5. Leads conversion to sales
7 Content Marketing Strategies for Online Courses and Education Websites
Now having known how a content marketing plan is developed , let us now look at some of the strategies that we can use and deploy for online courses.
1. Create a blog as the first content marketing strategy
Creating a blog as a part of the content marketing strategy for your online course can be leveraged in three ways. The first, as exclusive to the online course platform, is to develop a blog that informs the students about the enrollment process , the price tag of the courses and the skills that they'll be able to build after taking the courses.
As a second strategy, you can also develop specialized blogs with elements of the most popular courses that you are offering on your platform. These blogs can talk about specific courses and what they have to offer. Lastly, you can even do blog posts on relevant sites where your target market frequents with a high volume to increase your reach beyond your own platform.
2. Create search engine optimized content
Ensure that the content available on your online learning platform is arranged in a way that it drives traffic towards it through search engine results . The use of SEO is critical . Search engine optimization can be realized here in two ways.
The first includes the use of keywords that are popular in the industry while the second revolves around using attractive and attention grabbing titles for your website content that will make these students click on the link.
4. Create free E-books to boost content marketing for online course
To give a preview of the quality of the content present in your online courses as well as what is being offered as a value proposition to prospective students, we suggest that you publish free e-books as part of a content marketing strategy. This is an effective tactic of attracting students to enroll and increasing the conversion rate.
4. Produce video course trailers
Videos have proven themselves to be an effective tool in digital marketing. When used in alignment with your content strategy, they can drive in an increased number of enrollments. Produce videos that act as course trailers and promote them as video ads for your target market on the platforms that they use the most i.e. YouTube , Snapchat etc.
5. Offer a free Webinar for your online course
A direct interaction with your prospective students is one of the best methods that you can employ as part of your content marketing strategy. Conduct a free webinar in relevance to promotion of your courses. Call industry experts to speak on the importance of topics that you're covering in the courses, invite old students who have taken the courses and ask them to deliver talks on how the courses offered on your online learning platform has enabled them in improving their skill set and helped them progress in their professional careers and personal lives.
6. Offer free resources related to your course topics such as a checklist or a tool etc.
A little investment in free course resources can go a long way in ,increasing the number of enrollments for your online course. As a part of your content marketing strategy, offer free questionnaires, professional tools, free access to certain software to your students for them to develop an interest in the course, subsequently enroll and the after completing it also spreading a good word for your online learning platform.
7. Add virtual events to your content marketing strategy
Virtual events have become a new norm in digital marketing that has proven itself to be a very effective tool when it comes to content marketing strategy. You can conduct virtual events such as a free online classroom experience with the instructor, a virtual tour to a facility in relevance to a course that a student might be interested in taking etc. Universities across the world that are offering online courses also conduct online virtual tours and orientations.
We understand that marketing for online courses specially to increase student enrollment might seem a tough task at first that requires effort and a lot of focus .
But with the use of these seven strategies that we have presented to you, your online courses platform will not only experience an increase in student enrollment but will most definitely also enjoy other benefits like increased brand awareness, the possibility of brand deals, increased market share etc. that come as a subsequent effect of these content marketing strategies.