Over the years, social media has revolutionized marketing - it is more than just a platform where you sign-up to make friends, it is an advertising hub. Due to the ongoing pandemic, with the entire world going “online” - users are shifting towards e-learning as well. School isn’t limited to a physical space anymore.
Online courses are popular now, it is the best time to capitalize on this opportunity. Even before COVID-19, users consistently shifted from old-school teaching methods and sought online courses - it’s no longer an unconventional means of learning.
So, how should you recommend your product? Besides other ways to promote your online course, social media is an ideal and effective way to increase enrollments. Even the stats are in your favor - most consumers use social platforms to research a product or a service (online courses).
Here’s another comforting fact - by 2022, users are expected to spend around $241 billion for online learning. It is comfortable, easy to understand, and costs less.
Now, you need to understand how to deal with different platforms - each has its own theme and is suitable for different audiences. Keep reading and find out which social media is best for you.
But before we go any further, if you are someone who wants performance, proven strategy and expertise, we can help you launch and scale your course online. Think Orion has helped several instructors, institutions and brands to scale their online courses.
Top Social Media Platforms to Promote Online Courses
Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Vimeo, and Edmodo - among countless others are considered the best platforms right now for marketing. Advertise your courses, it’s going to reach thousands of users.
However, you still need to know how different each platform can be when it comes to engagement. Like, you cannot place links on an Instagram post - is that the strategy you want to go with?
Similarly, Linkedin has a professional audience - is that your target range? Let’s look at each medium in detail.
- LinkedIn: an important fact to note about LinkedIn is that everyone is always searching for opportunities, looking to network, and even trying to learn. You can offer LinkedIn exclusive courses, professionals are always looking to upgrade their profile with credentials. Run a self-service LinkedIn ad campaign and be consistent with the posts.
- Twitter: the bird app is perfect for quick CTAs. Tweets have a 280 characters limit, you can showcase your course's details. Engage with the right network, do paid campaigns, and easily generate leads. Twitter Analytics is a great add-on, do keep a track of sales.
- Facebook: the most well-known social media platform, Facebook has users from all sorts of demographics. Your grandmother uses it and so does your little brother, it's the perfect hub for advertisers. With targeted Facebook ads marketing, you can advertise to potential students. In fact, Facebook has special features (generate contacts, send newsletters, host webinars) for marketers - sell your course easily.
- Youtube: the most popular media platform, with 30 million daily visitors - it's a necessity nowadays, especially for students. Figures show that 86% of users use YouTube to increase their knowledge - lectures, tutorials, explainers. Upload glimpses of your course for free.
- Vimeo: with the ongoing fuss over video marketing, Vimeo is the perfect platform to freely upload promotional videos and share them across other mediums. Vimeo might have a smaller (280 million viewers) audience but it attracts a niche. The app is considered for high-quality, professional content - while YouTube is rather mainstream and casual.
- Edmodo: as the name suggests, is an educational network that digitized how people learn. These days, it's an essential app for teachers to manage their classes. In your case, display the courses - simply sign-up as a teacher. Edmodo encourages both students and instructors to "have a conversation" - build a relationship with users.
Social Media Marketing Strategy for Promoting Online Courses
Now that you have understood how unique each social platform is, let's focus on the marketing strategy. Remember, content optimization is the most important factor while promoting. No matter how well established a medium is, it's your campaign that guarantees sales.
Define Your Goals
So, define what the online courses stand for - the persona. Audiences will perceive it accordingly. What can you offer differently? How will your courses match classroom dynamics? With regards to visuals - do you plan on creating infographics? What thoughts will you depict?
Reflect on all these questions, it'll help you figure out the core theme of your courses. For example, a lot of schools emphasize their location - social life, campus facilities, and overall environment. What is your alternative plan? Once you figure out the persona and the "main" promotional points, crafting a social media strategy won't be difficult.
Choose Your Social Media Marketing Platforms
As we've discussed, each platform has its own virtues, so choose wisely. But also, on all platforms, if you have an established business, remember to update your social media and optimize it. Most consumers won't know that there's an "online" option now - advertise it.
Specifically speaking, update your Facebook cover and the About section. On Instagram, go through the bio - clearly mention your services and add a link to online courses too. These subtle changes will help with your brand's awareness. On Facebook, include important credentials in its Milestones section - reviews help in building trust.
Be aware that getting an organic reach might be difficult, it takes a lot of time. In this case, use social media ads and run campaigns. Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn among others accommodate advertisers to a high degree - use them to your advantage. Fortunately, you can target an audience too, set a range.
Create a High-Quality Teaser
Adapt to new changes! A quick high-quality teaser will keep consumers intrigued. You can launch a quick walkthrough - detailing the course. Be aware, the structure of your course matters a lot here. If the teaser course is far too similar to the actual online course, students will avail the free trial and not purchase it.
So, design your 'teaser' course in a way that leaves users curious and wanting more - while enjoying the free trial as well. A win-win situation.
Get Active on Social Media Groups - Facebook and LinkedIn
Facebook might seem a bit old-fashioned but it's popular enough for one important reason - the community. Similarly, LinkedIn isn't just for finding a job - the people you engage with are noteworthy. Both platforms are great for sharing new ideas and meeting like-minded people.
There's a thumb rule in marketing, rely on "word-of-mouth" and groups help with that. When users with different expertise, experiences, and viewpoints engage on a mutual topic - the conversation flows easily. Be an active participant and talk about your online courses. Be subtle though. Talk naturally and don't interact with the sole intentions of selling a service.
Launch Your Online Course with Facebook Live, LinkedIn Post, and Other Social Media Channels
Take a step forward and go past the norms of "video" promotions. Go live and interact with users one-on-one. Facebook Live has garnered over two billion viewers over the past five years, allowing brands and users to engage in a rather natural way. It's also useful to answer any queries - host a Q/A session for your online courses.
With LinkedIn, a post can go a long way, considering the usual target market and the need to "network'. In fact, LinkedIn users are always in search of such opportunities - if this is your audience, hop on. Who knows, you might even come across a partnership opportunity, LinkedIn is the big league.
Also, avail Instagram's appealing theme, post a story. The visuals might seem a bit too much for promoting online courses but quick infographics, polls, fun activities, and instant updates make it perfect. Stories should be a part of your strategy.
Share Snippets From Within the Course on Every Platform
Your online course is a "product", acknowledge that. The title might seem absurd but think about it. It's a course that you have built from scratch, spending countless hours. Don't underestimate its significance, it is just like any other product.
With that being said, be confident with the courses and share them across all platforms. Don't focus on one social media though - marketers often rely on one platform, dismissing other mediums and hence having no engagement. This is risky, in case the account gets suspended - you'll have no other community to rely on. So, be smart and equally mark your presence.
Track the Performance
It might be an online course, but treat it as you would in a classroom. Keeping a track of students' performance is essential for the credibility of the course. And it's a self-aware feedback method, keep analyzing learning metrics - it'll always help. Keep the following points in mind while taking measurements:
- Student progress
- Level of expertise achieved
- Instructor competency
- Customer feedback
How do you track it though? Use your learning management system (LMS) - gather all data.
and keep a track of assignment submissions, seek student feedback, conduct surveys, and much more.
BONUS: Use Other Strategies for Promoting Online Course
Social media is the most effective way to promote anything, but do look at other methods. Podcasting is an underrated medium for sure! And it's easy, you just have to speak about your brand - what the course offers and maybe even give a few inside details. Just make sure that you have a clear-cut plan.
Also, do not underestimate the classic email marketing strategy. It is cold and reaches the customer instantly. And the audience on email is more likely to purchase your services, since they're aware of your brand - keep email lists in hand. Also, "email" is risk-free. It's unlikely but there's a chance of your account getting suspended on other platforms.
Hope these strategies help you promote online courses through social media in the best possible way. Remember, there's nothing different when it comes to online courses in marketing, you advertise it the same way, try to drive traffic, and with the right set of tools - it works out. Now, if your audience is different and belongs to an eCommerce segment, you should also know how to use Social Media Marketing for an eCommerce Business.