Marketing online courses to the current Gen Z and Gen Alpha is about stories and experiences. Therefore, it is essential to spread good word about online courses; testimonials and student success stories are the most sought-after user-generated content.
Authentic student testimonials are essential for credibility building, trustworthiness, and brand image. Harnessing testimonials for online course marketing can increase the number of participants joining your online courses. Here are some of the proactive benefits that are often overlooked:
- Deeper connection with your prospective students
- Your online course can enjoy more spotlight
- Boosted SEO & free promotion
- Strike an emotional chord
As part of online course marketing, persuading prospective students through these stories has been an important method. When you share student testimonials and success stories, you celebrate their achievements and showcase the quality of your online course, instructor, and resources.
In this blog, we’ll explore the power of leveraging testimonials and how to use them most effectively to promote an online course. Let’s find out!
The Power of Social Proof for Online Course Marketing
We look for reviews and what people say about a specific place, an event, or a university. Social proof has become an integral part of our decision-making mechanism. With technology drastically changing, a single tap on screen has empowered people to drive actions like never before.
While you can promote online courses on social media, prospective students demand social proof, which can only be provided through testimonials and success stories. It has a persuasive impact on prospective students’ selection of online courses.
According to the social proof theory, we as humans begin to think our thought process always determines our actions, but in action, it is conditioned by those around us.
For example, Amity Online has shared a testimonial of their online student on the Facebook page as a social proof for online course marketing.
Source: Amity Online Student Testimonial
As we dig deeper into this, social proof can be used in several ways to drive student enrollment through
- Accreditation and certification
- Student testimonials
- Case studies
- User-generated content
- Social media shares
- Data and numbers
Social proof is a fascinating reflection of the power that plays a significant role in the influence of testimonials in online course enrollment.
How to Gather Compelling Testimonials to Add to Your Course
Compelling Testimonials significantly impact your online course promotion, and if you aren’t leveraging them, you’re missing out on a lot.
An online course promotion agency knows how to hook prospective students, remove all their reasons not to enroll in your online course, and drive student engagement.
Testimonial Gathering can be overwhelming, but it allows you to let your students do your online course marketing for you. Student feedback directly impacts prospective students rather than what you say about your course.
Here’s how course creators can collect compelling testimonials from satisfied students.
- Reach out to existing and old students
- Ask thoughtful questions via testimonial form
- Request for LinkedIn recommendations
- Ask them to give ratings and reviews on social media
- Give a testimonial incentive in the form of discounts/giveaways
Most importantly, any encounter with the existing and old students, such as praises and thank you notes, can be leveraged for online course marketing.
Before you feature testimonials, you need to conduct feedback solicitation. We’ve compiled the best strategies for encouraging students to share their experiences.
- Ask to rate a recently completed online course
- Google reviews are flooded with feedback
- Set up a student testimonial page
- Send a short survey to your subscribers
Remember to use multiple approaches for gathering student testimonials, as some might feel comfortable giving ratings while others may require open-ended forms.
Crafting Authentic Success Stories
As a higher education marketer, you must have faced the challenge of creating inspiring success stories with high relatability for prospective students. To truly inspire and motivate prospective students, you must apply storytelling techniques.
However, for the content marketing strategy for online courses, it is crucial to craft authentic success stories that lay out the problem, value, and solution your course offers.
While you craft authentic success stories, consider these points:
- Address the pain points or identify an opportunity
- Provide the solutions to convert pain into gain
- Describe how students benefited from your course
1. Narrative Crafting
Everybody has a connection with the stories they tell. However, crafting narratives requires attention to detail, interactive visualization, exploration, and visual rendering of the story.
Follow these steps to draft a compelling narrative:
- Choose a central message/theme
- Develop a clear structure
- Create live-link stories
- Write engaging dialogues
- Know what to tell and how much to tell
2. Inspirational Stories
Inspirational stories need to have a point, such as who endured the hardships or difficulties and how they came out winning.
Follow these steps to draft inspirational stories:
- Cultivate empathy in words
- Deliver inspiration
- Stay in touch with reality
- Steer the story toward positivity
3. Real-Life Achievements
Achievements matter the most for students as they seek inspiration to enroll in your course and achieve their goals.
Follow these steps to create a real-life achievement success story:
- Open with a hook
- Dramatic question
- Emotional appeal
- Likable & relatable characters
- Start with the end and work backward
A well-crafted and authentic story can significantly impact your student enrollment numbers and drive engagement among prospective students.
Placement and Presentation
Influencing perceptions through testimonial placement is a skill you need to make lasting impressions. Also, the visual impact is what prospective students remember at the time of decision-making.
To maximize the impact and increase conversions, you must ensure consistent placement and presentation of testimonials. Strategic display increases visibility to prospective students, and when done at the right time, it can yield positive results.
Follow the strategies to ensure the correct placement and presentation of testimonials and success stories on your course websites or marketing materials.
1. Display Testimonials On Your Course Landing Page
Testimonials are the ultimate social proof for your online course landing page. It is just the placement strategies that make all the difference.
Landing page testimonials produce great results as they increase conversion. Usually, you can check which testimonials work best for your course through A/B testing. Once the results are clear, you can monitor and create similar testimonials to be displayed on your course landing page.
For example, SPI is an online course platform that helps you learn skills to upgrade your professional growth. They have displayed a video testimonial on the landing page.
2. Include Them In Your Email Marketing
Testimonials are great for perception Influence, especially when added to your email marketing. To promote online courses with email marketing, you can harness the power of testimonials and lead to more conversions – if you use them correctly.
Benefits of using testimonials in your email marketing:
- Build credibility and trust
- Increase engagement
- Personalize your message
- Drive prospects to visit the website
- Make a positive impact on their decision
3. Utilize Them in Your Ad Campaigns
If you want to drive the value from testimonials, you must utilize them in your ad campaigns. They give a human face to your ad campaigns and marketing strategies. A testimonial paid ad that showcases quoted words from an existing or prospective student establishes trust and credibility.
Here are some tips to remember when using testimonials in your ad campaigns:
- Keep it real
- Add images/faces
- Ask for permission
- Use them everywhere
4. Send Them Through Your Email Marketing Funnel
Talk to any email marketing expert, and they’ll suggest – growing the list and increasing the conversions.
A simple way to incorporate testimonials in your course marketing is to send them through your email marketing funnel.
- Top of the funnel: You need to showcase success stories to grab the attention of prospective students and generate leads.
- Middle of the funnel: Once you’ve captured the lead. You can share inspirational testimonials and stories with emotional appeal.
- Bottom of the funnel: Once your prospects have reached the top and middle of the funnel, you need to convert them into enrollments. Share real-life achievements that showcase your online course’s impact on students’ success.
Showcasing Diverse Experiences
Are you tired of the same old style of testimonials? Why not showcase diverse experiences? It can help you add versatility to your online course marketing and make it easy for prospective students to relate. You categorize your testimonials and student success stories to drive inclusivity and broad appeal.
We’ve listed some diverse experiences you can share to sell online courses.
- Stories of Students Who Achieved Career Growth
- Stories of students who attained personal growth objectives
- Stories of professionals who upgraded their careers with new skills
- Stories of students from different backgrounds and regions
- Stories of students who faced financial challenges
- Stories of students who increased their earnings by applying their learning
When authenticity is the key, focusing on broadening appeal with diverse testimonials is essential. While variety is life’s spice, it works to get more students engaged and enrolled.
For example, Coursera has created a separate stories page that showcases diverse stories and testimonials of students, with advanced filters to search for stories in different domains/courses.
Source: Coursera Stories
Tracking and Analyzing the Impact of Using Reviews
By listening to existing and old students, online course creators like you can substantially enhance their outcomes for prospective students. Testimonials are essential not only for the students but also for the course creators.
There will always be a competitor trying to outperform you. Track and analyze your reviews to instantly improve and incorporate them into your course marketing strategy.
Tracking and analyzing the impact of reviews gives you first-hand information about the outcomes of your online courses. With technological advancements all over the place, tracking and analyzing reviews shouldn’t be time-consuming.
You can use different software to convert the goldmine of knowledge.
As we conclude, we can say that testimonials for online course marketing are the key elements defining prospective students’ decision-making process. If you have been lucky enough to satisfy a student and gain a positive review, leverage it for promoting your online course.
No matter whether it’s a newly created course or an upgraded version, you need the right endorsement in the form of testimonials and success stories to stand out in the higher education market.