Like all businesses, your online course also has an active audience on a certain digital platform. You can build, scale up, and sustain your brand across relevant digital channels with digital marketing.
Having realized the value of sustainable marketing and advertising, businesses are making use of digital marketing by investing heavily in it. Digital marketing transcends traditional marketing strategies and has become much more than simple awareness and targeted advertising. Individuals and companies have identified its significance in today’s world and are using these tools to connect with their audience.
The same can be said when looking for ideas on promoting online courses.
Every business depends on an online presence, customer testimonials, and reviews if it has the slightest chance of survival. In fact, it is unthinkable for today’s generation to commit to something without learning about its reputation through various social platforms.
14 Effective Ideas for Promoting Your Online Course
So now that you have an online course and have finessed it into something that the world can benefit from, What’s the next step?
How do you get people interested enough to sign up for it? Here are some marketing strategies for your online course to help you hit the ground running.
This article explains how to market online courses and increase conversions.
- Social Media For Promoting Your Online Course
- Utilize SEO for Promoting Online Courses
- Podcast Guest for Course Promotion
- Create a Promotional Video on YouTube
- Publis-Book on Amazon
- Create a Free Mini-Course to Give an Overview of the Full Course
- Conduct a Live Webinar
- Offer Discounts on Your Course
- Get Reviews From Your Existing Students
- Take Part in Guest Blogging
- Collaborate with Other Online Instructors
- Online Advertisements Using Google Ads and Facebook Ads
- Offer Commissions to Publishers to Review Your Course
- Write a Press Release
1. Harness the Power of Social Media for Promoting Your Course
Social media is the most powerful tool in your digital marketing arsenal. Regardless of which platform you choose, the announcement of your course should start early on with bits of information that reel in the audience once it is launched. As your social media following grows, try to deliver meaningful content that gets your target audience in the door. Sometimes that content may have to come from someone other than you.
Being consistent is the secret to successful social media marketing for online courses. Your audience will become habitual of regularly checking in for new content. Once you introduce your online course, you will already have an engaged user base at your disposal.
Creating a community on Facebook or Instagram is quite easy and free. As people start exploring your group, they will talk with their network about your class, so these two platforms are quite popular with teachers.
2. Utilize SEO for Promoting Online Courses
Are you using SEO to promote your online course?
You’re not alone. Most course creators are only passionate about creating a stellar course based on their knowledge and expertise. Not many of them know about SEO or “search engine optimization.” People who get into the online course business are – not surprisingly – focused on building courses.
SEO is crucial for business nowadays. Despite it being a long-term marketing approach, not leveraging SEO to promote your online course can be a big mistake. Nailing an effective SEO strategy takes a lot of work. You can’t just implement a strategy and call it a day – it has to be ongoing work. Search engines like Google are continually changing their algorithms.
That being said, a couple of best SEO practices haven’t changed much for a long time. Focusing on the best SEO practices will help you create relevant content for your course learners. For example:
Plan Out your Keywords
Whether you’re planning to launch a course or want to promote your existing course, you’ll need to put yourself in your audience’s shoes and think about what search terms they might use to search for your course. Performing keyword research is simple. It literally starts with typing search phrases in Google that best define your course. Search phrases that prospective learners might use to look up your course.
You’re going to want to identify the most relevant keywords. Using only the relevant keywords in your blog’s title, description, and body will help you attract the right leads for your course. When using Google to research keywords, don’t forget to pay attention to the “Related searches” section, which can be found at the bottom of the SERPs.
For example, if your primary focus is on the search phrase “Online coding programs,” you might also want to consider using related search results in your content as well.
If you want to do in-depth and more structured keyword research, you can use a range of free and paid keyword research tools such as:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Keywords Everywhere
- Keyword Sheeter
- Answer the Public
Use keywords in your content
Whatever relevant keywords you end up researching, use them to create knowledge-rich content pages on your website. This is super important as it will allow people to find your content and ultimately purchase your course. Use your keywords in your text-based blogs and videos, images, and other indexable content types.
When you’re creating SEO-optimized content, don’t forget to link your pages internally. You would want visitors to stay on your website for a long time without leaving. Your aim should be to offer all the necessary information a prospective learner may seek.
And that is pretty much it, really. Keyword research and utilization are what are going to help you sell your course using SEO. If you’re fulfilling the search internet, your content will end up in the Google SERPs. Gone are the days when marketers would get away with keyword stuffing or creating content in bulk. Nowadays, it is all about creating quality and relevant content.
That being said, other SEO factors should also be included in your overall SEO strategy, such as backlinking. As far as “on page” SEO is concerned, targeting the right keywords in your content is all you need to do to promote your course organically.
If you use a content management system CMS like WordPress, we would advise you to use a plugin like Yoast SEO to do most of the basic tasks for you.
3. Create a Promotional Video on YouTube
With 30 million people visiting the site daily, YouTube has become the second-largest search engine. Users look to YouTube for fun, information, and learning. Some of these users will fall into the category of your ideal students through whom your digital marketing efforts will bear fruit.
Create a promotional video designed for your course, which will promote your course and engage with your potential students in the future.
4. Publish the Course Through a Book on Amazon (Amazon Kindle)
Access to a book on any electronic device has revolutionized the eLearning process apart from the literary aspect. Creating an eBook for your online course is a powerful tool to support your course. The cost and accessibility of the eBook make it a worthwhile investment. The price is low since there is no cost of paper, printing, shipping, storage, and other logistics involved in marketing a tangible product. And on top of it, using Amazon to promote your course is the best way to drive quick traffic to your course.
Creating and selling one will cost you almost nothing, whereas it can boost sales for your online course. Digital readers find this facility exceptional, and the major benefit of promoting your course is definitely one for the books!
5. Create a Free Mini-Course to Give an Overview of the Full Course
This strategy requires some effort, but it is well worth it. A free mini-course offers a teaser of sorts for the course you’re offering. Your product offers knowledge, so students can learn fast and return it before the trial period expires. So this doesn’t bode well. But a free mini-course basically accomplishes the same thing but a lot more responsibly for marketing online classes.
The students will see what you’re offering while figuring out how deep your topic runs. When planned correctly, your mini-course will inform the students about how little knowledge they have of your niche, and from there, selling the entire course will be a breeze.
Source: Lyndsey Hookway
6. Conduct a Live Webinar
Running a regular webinar means you don’t have to look for new content every time. This is an awesome option for those who are not interested in podcasts. A webinar usually runs for 45-60 minutes with an organized structure.
All you have to do is nail your webinar script and then ride that wave for a long time coming. You can always tune it over time, making it more valuable. For your online course, you need to cover the topic broadly and touch on pain points by delivering a call to action near the end. You can even run ads for your webinar and witness how fast your course starts selling.
7. Offer Discounts on Your Course
Apart from being an effective marketing tactic, offering a discount on your online course accomplishes two more things:
- Generation of tangible revenue
- It sets up a system where you can gather feedback and testimonials
These critical components can determine the success of your online course early on. The money earned from this strategy can be used while learning how to market your online course.
You can offer discounts to consumers who sign up during your pre-launch phase. Getting students enrolled during this phase helps with gathering testimonials that can be used to convert skeptics.
8. Get Reviews From Your Existing Students
Most internet users trust third-party reviews since they cannot be changed or hidden. Register your course on review platforms (Trustpilot, LinkedIn learning) and get your existing students to review your course.
Don’t expect glowing reviews all the way, and consider a negative one a chance for improvement. Find an amicable solution to handle any negative review. This can be done by reacting promptly, apologizing, and expressing empathy combined with some offer or compensation.
All the feedback received should be used to make the learning process more pleasurable for all future students.
9. Take Part in Guest Blogging
Guest blogs are underestimated when wondering how to promote your online course. Typically you will be writing an article that will be published by someone else. The goal is to get more eyes on your product, so this free content creation is worth it.
You can usually get to link to two or more places, such as your social media handles, blogs, and sales page. You can communicate with the publisher’s audience in the comments section and nurture your own relationships. This creates awareness of your product to audiences that may have been unreachable on your own.
10. Collaborate with Other Online Instructors
This is where who you know will come in handy instead of what you know. Reach out to other professionals in your field who can help promote your course. They can become customers and offer feedback on your course or give a shout-out on their social platform that reaches their entire following.
This can lead to future collaboration with other non-competing experts in your field that can aid any further course you design. Putting aside any prospects, influencers in your niche can provide you with a unique way to advertise your course.
11. Promote Your Course Through Online Advertisements Using Google Ads and Facebook Ads
You know what they say ‘it takes money to make money, and promoting an online course is no exception. Running paid ads is an effective way to advertise your course, whose expanse depends on your budget, of course. A small $10 ad on Facebook goes a long way in boosting sales. Other benefits of using Google Ads to promote your course or Facebook ads include:
- Easy to track the success
- Faster results
- Extremely targeted to your audience
The success of your paid ad campaign is dependent on how well you have researched your preferred platform. Ensure your audience is regular on your chosen medium, so your investment doesn’t go to waste. If you plan to promote your course through Facebook ads check out our detailed guide on promoting online courses through Facebook.
Source: Momentum 3 Growth
12. Offer Commissions to Publishers to Review Your Course
Many platforms can give you much-awaited reviews for your online course when you offer them a commission. This strategy to market your online course will drive sales and generate revenue by the droves. Not only does the publisher earn, but you get to create awareness about your online course. For each sale that is made via the publisher, they get a commission. That is a small price to pay for the many consumers you will gather within a short span of time.
This is an affiliate form of marketing for your online course, which is a win-win for both the advertiser and the publisher.
13. Write a Press release
Spreading the word is the objective once your online course is completed and ready for launch. A press release is an ultimate way to do that. You get information out that can be used by journalists.
This way, you get your target audience interested by making writers write about your online course. Make your press release enticing so that it stands out from the hundreds of news articles being read on a particular day.
14. Become a Podcast Guest for Course Promotion
The importance of guest posting cannot be overlooked, especially when working on SEO to market a product. The same can be done for your online course. Reach out to popular podcasts and ask if you can offer free help.
Since you have designed an online course, it is apparent that you have credibility in your field and you hold expertise in the relevant niche. Look for an opportunity to provide quality content for others in your field. This is a win-win situation: you get to do free promotion of your online course using podcasts.
Online Course Marketing Strategy
To increase your course sales year over year, you must market it properly. You need to make your course seem enticing enough for people to purchase it. After all, you’re not the only one selling courses online.
To help you stand out from the competition, we’ve compiled a list of the best online course marketing strategies.
When marketing, make sure to have specific goals in your frame of reference. In other words, you’ll need to focus on strategies to help you market your course rather than wasting time on activities that won’t help you generate much revenue. After all, when creating an online course, you want to make money from it — not waste your time and efforts.
1. Create your online course website and optimize its pages
The first step of your online course marketing strategy should be to create a website with optimized pages. It is how you can drive traffic to your online course.
Since you want to market and sell online courses, your website should be able to establish your authority. For that, your homepage should include a photograph of yourself. It should also contain reviews and testimonials from students who have already enrolled in your course. You’d want to reflect positive reviews highlighting your skill and why people should consider you as their course instructor.
Keep the information on your landing page short and simple, but impactful enough to get your point across.
Your online course website must contain the following pages:
- Sales page: A sales page is where you’re going to list all of your courses along with their short descriptions. Each course should have a separate page (product page) with detailed information regarding it.
- Product pages: We mentioned earlier about product pages. Since your product is your course, you’ll need to create product pages for every online course you offer.
- About page: With the about page, you’ll need to tell your audience how you can help solve their problem and achieve their goals. Don’t brag about your skills and achievements. Instead, be empathetic and make your audience feel cared for. Be subtle with your marketing.
- Contact page: Since you want people to ask you questions regarding your course, you’ll need to create multiple touchpoints for your audience. Therefore, you must create a “contact us” page that embeds a contact form, a phone number, and an email address.
Once you’ve created the appropriate pages for your online course-selling website, you can further experiment with A/B testing to see which copy or CTA brings you more conversions. The thing with marketing is that you won’t get it right the first time. You’ll need to experiment and take inspiration from your competitors to improve your content.
After you’ve nailed down your pages, you can proceed to offer special discounts. As we discussed earlier, you can offer discounts to those students who sign up during your pre-launch phase.
2. Create content around your online course on your website to drive traffic
One of the most important strategies to actually drive relevant traffic to your website is to target certain keywords that are relevant to your target audience. Creating blog posts can enable you to drive your audience to your actual paid content. Through blogs, you’ll exhibit your expertise and establish your online presence.
If you generate SEO-optimized content and publish them on your website consistently, you can eventually gain a devoted audience.
Before you start producing blogs, think about what search terms your audience may use on search engines to find your course. Also, always make sure to keep your target audience in mind when creating any blog posts. You’ll need to create content that solves the needs of your target audience.
Once you’re down with creating content, you’ll obviously need to market it. For that, you’ll need a content marketing plan for your online course.
You’ll need to:
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
When speaking of blogs, your website isn’t the only place where you should publish it. To drive direct traffic to your website, consider publishing guest posts on other relevant websites. Doing so will help you attract more people who may be interested in your course.
3. Market your course content through SEO and PPC
After you’re done creating content, you may need to optimize it for search engines. We briefly mentioned this in the previous step as well.
The use of SEO is super important. Search engine optimization strategy for content should be implemented in two ways. One, you should use keywords that are popular in your industry. For example, if you offer “online marketing courses”, you should target keywords like:
- online marketing courses
- online digital marketing courses
- best online marketing courses
And other such keywords in your blogs.
Another crucial aspect of optimizing content for search engines is that you should not stuff keywords in your content. You should use it strategically. For example, use your keywords in your SEO title and meta description. This will grab your audience’s attention and compel them to click on your link.
Getting your content noticed through SEO is going to take time. You can’t expect results overnight. PPC, on the other hand, gets you noticed right away.
With PPC, you’ll need to have an ‘it takes money to make money, kind of mentality. Running paid ads on Google and Facebook can help you generate leads overnight for your course. As we mentioned earlier, paid ads can drive faster results and an extremely targeted audience.
SEO and PPC are both crucial for marketing your online courses. One is not necessarily better than the other. In fact, you can execute both marketing approaches in parallel.
4. Use lead magnets to generate leads for your course
A lead magnet is anything that is of value that entices prospects to exchange their contact information for it.
With lead magnets, you’ll need to grab the attention of prospects and get them to subscribe to your email list. Once they’ve subscribed, you can send them emails about your online course.
A lead magnet is typically an eBook, white paper, software, or anything else your audience finds useful.
Direct traffic to your website won’t have a high conversion rate. For example, if 2000 people visit your website every month, you may only be able to convert just 1% at best. That’s like 20 people at max. But with lead magnets, you can not only convert those 20 leads a month but also other leads that subscribe to your email list via your lead magnet.
The best lead magnets are specifically created with your audience in mind. They are simple, specific, and offer value to prospects.
For your lead magnet, you’ll need to figure out exactly what your prospects are looking for. What problems are they hoping to solve? Then you come up with a lead-generating machine. Keep in mind that different audiences will have different problems. Be sure to come up with multiple lead magnets to cater to each audience segment.
For example, you can create a free mini-course to give away for free in exchange for emails. This can serve as your lead magnet.
5. Nurture course leads through email marketing
Once you’ve generated student leads and have them in your CRM, you can begin setting up email automation to engage and nurture those leads until they convert. You can use any email automation tool you feel comfortable with such as Mailchimp or Active Campaign.
Depending on what lead magnet you use, you’ll need to create relevant content for it. Content is super important to getting your emails actually opened and read. If a visitor ended up in your email list through a webinar lead magnet, you’ll need to come up with relevant and engaging content for that. The same goes for other lead magnets as well.
With email automation, you’ll need to send out relevant emails to stay engaged with your email subscribers until they buy your course. Depending on your email marketing campaign, you can design an email flow that sends out emails based on different events. For example, if an email subscriber downloaded your free mini-course through your lead magnet, you can then send them a follow-up email prompting them to buy your full course.
Similarly, with email automation, you can send out emails to those subscribers who ended up buying your course and ask for feedback after a suitable time frame. For example, if the expected completion duration of your course is one month, you can send out emails to those subscribers who have purchased your course after a month to ask for reviews, testimonials, and feedback.
Feedback is important. You can use user-generated content (UGC) as social proof. Covering social proof through reviews and testimonials on your website will help you build trust. It’ll help other prospects consider your course over your competitors. You can utilize UGC for social media marketing. Create a community on Facebook or Instagram and boast about your course’s positive reviews and feedback.
Hire an Online Course Promotion Agency
If all of the above does and don’ts sound too much, a simple solution is hiring an online course promotion agency. They have all the necessary skills, technology, and human resources to tackle the ins and outs of digital marketing.
By hiring experts, you can focus on other aspects of your business while they are responsible for bringing in prospective clients. The plan should be detailed on your requirement, but once that is hashed out, you can relax and reap the rewards of the far-reaching tentacles of the digital world.
Think Orion provides customized consultation for online course promotion so that you can focus on content and students while we focus on scaling your business.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do you generate leads for online courses?
While there a literally dozens of ways you can generate leads for your online course, here are 11 sure-shot online course lead generations strategies that work:
1. Run surveys to find out what your potential students look for in a course
2. Google Ads for quick results.
3. Utilize social channels to promote your course
4. Use different content forms to create your course
5. Run email marketing campaigns
6. Offer a mini-course for free
7. Find your course’s unique selling point
8. Keep tabs on your competitors
9. Use a free course hosting platform to promote your course
10. Offers early bird discounts and promotional deals
11. Create and engage with your community of loyal students
How can I add value to my online course?
1. Keep on updating your content with new information
2. Host a Q&A session with your students
3. Provide live consultation
4. Create a community of loyal and enthusiastic students
5. Keep the production quality of your courses top notch
6. Value your student’s feedback
How do you convince students to take online classes?
1. Explain the outcome of your course (Be clear)
2. Create a social media presence (Engage with your audience)
3. Offer special discounts to new students
4. Offer referral perks to existing students
5. Leverage social media marketing
6. Collaborate with guest instructors who have a strong social media presence
7. Offer something of value for free (ebook, template, etc)
Your online course is the real hero here, and when used in tangent with all the marketing strategies highlighted in this guide, it is bound to become a superstar. Promoting an online course after putting in all the hours of creation can be daunting, but it is all automated from there on out once you know the ropes. So build an online course while filling the gap with valuable and meaningful content. Then market it to make it work for you!