You’ve done your market research and spent months trying to put together the most comprehensive online course.
But no matter how great your course is, if people don’t know about it, they won’t be subscribing to it.
That’s where marketing comes in. But how do you do it?
Do you hire a marketer? Create some posts on a social media platform? Or use google ads to promote your course?
Well, there are plenty of ways, but some are better (and cheaper) than others.
In this article, we’ve rounded up some of the best strategies to market online courses. Read on to learn how to market online courses and get your desired subscriptions!
Why Is Good Marketing More Important and Effective?
Good marketing is important for the following reasons.
- It increases sales revenue and grows your business
- It optimizes your team’s effort and finances
- It gives your product the right platform
- It brings your product to the right audience
- It saves your time
- It builds trust among your audience
Instead of doing a little bit of everything, a good marketing strategy allows you to do your best where it’s most effective.
What Is Target Audience?
Your target audience is the one whose problems your online courses will solve.
How to Know Your Target Audience?
Knowing your target is a matter of learning more about your potential users. You can start by learning the demographic details of your users and then move on to the psychographic details.
Who your target audiences are is based on certain demographic factors. Some of these demographic factors are listed below.
- Geographic location
- Income level
- Education level
- Marital status
Understanding the demographic factors will help you learn who the buyer of your course is. It will tell you whether the potential buyer needs your course, if they afford it, access it from where they reside, and so on.
These factors can also help you narrow down the platforms to use to reach your target audience better.
Psychographic factors will be beneficial to you in understanding your target audience in depth. Psychographic factors are difficult to study and observe without dedicated research. These factors include:
- Attitudes and beliefs
Other Ways to Know Your Target Audience
- Studying who your competitors are targeting and building a target audience from there
- Using analytics tools to learn who is consuming your content
- Monitoring trending keywords and hashtags
- Conducting market research
Steps for Marketing an Online Course
1. Identify Your Target Audience
Knowing who your target audience is can help you transform an average marketing strategy into an effective one.
When you know your target audience, you know what content to create, where to publish it, and how to market it.
2. Identify the USP of Your Course
Identifying the USP (Unique Selling Point) of your course will give you some unique ideas to craft your marketing message.
The most important question to ask yourself here is, ‘What makes my course better than other competitors in a similar niche?’
List down a few unique reasons that make your course a must-buy for your target audience. Then use your marketing channels to promote these USPs.
3. Research Keywords For The Title of Your Course
Who better to market your course to than those who’re searching for it?
Keywords are important when creating content. But they’re also important when titling your course.
Research the top keywords used in the industry and use the information to craft a strong title for your course. This will help your course rank higher when anybody searches for it online.
Tip: Use long-tail keywords to highlight your course in a sea of high-ranking competitors.
4. Add Course Sales Page to Your Main Website
It is necessary to have a landing page for users to end up when they click on your course link. But it’s more important that this page is on your website.
You will end up getting more visits to your page and users will also end up learning more about your brand.
You can create a “coming soon” page leading up to the course launch that allows users to pre-sign for the course. This way, you can also get a clear idea of how many people are excited about your course.
If the hype isn’t building, then you still have time until the launch to work on it.
While you’re working on your sales page, make sure the rest of your website is also updated. You don’t want users to visit your site and then leave because your website doesn’t load fast enough or didn’t appear professional.
5. Promote the Course (On Multiple Platforms)
When you’re looking to promote your course, don’t let any of your platforms go to waste. But don’t use them without a plan either. Here are some platforms to use and how to use them.
Blog and LinkedIn Page
Write a blog post providing a sneak peek at your course. Then post it on your website and LinkedIn page (see also ‘How Much Does It Cost To Post A Job On LinkedIn?‘) (see also ‘How Much Does It Cost To Post A Job On LinkedIn?‘). Do this before your course launch to create curiosity about the course among readers.
Did that already?
Try writing a guest blog for a partner with a similar audience group. The article will help give your course some exposure before the launch and also boost your authority on the topic.
Podcasts have been growing in popularity. They’re cheap to produce and cater to the busy part of your target group.
But you don’t necessarily need to start a podcast to get the benefits of one. You can also try to feature in a podcast for a partner brand.
A simple mention by the host or a plugin at the end of the show can help tremendously!
You’re constantly updating your social media account, so why not use it to promote your course?
While some social media platforms such as Facebook have seen a declining trend in organic reach, others are still persistent. Don’t miss this opportunity.
Since social media is free, there’s a lot to benefit from by promoting your content on a variety of channels. You can try using snippets from your courses and add hashtags to them or partner with influencers. What’s best about these mediums?
Influencers will give you access to an existing community of followers interested in your courses. While hashtags also tap into a similar community, they do this indirectly.
If you don’t have a YouTube channel yet, now’s the time to start one.
Try posting short previews from the course to get started.
The content gap that brands are facing today is huge. Usually, the reason is a lack of ideas. There’s also a need to publish content at faster rates than ever. This makes your offer to write a guest blog or feature in a podcast interview (see also our guide to making money from podcasts) that much beneficial.
Also, make sure the social channels you’re marketing are appropriate for the audience you’re targeting.
Lastly, don’t forget to add links for audiences to sign up for the course under your videos, blogs, posts, and so on.
6. Add Testimonials to Your Sales Page
Online reviews are a key piece in your marketing puzzle.
People believe comments from other users and look for both positive and negative reviews. Especially when using a product or service for the first time. That’s no surprise with over 87% of consumers reading online reviews for local businesses.
How to tap into this benefit?
Ask alumni or previous users for feedback.
You can also offer incentives to users for recommending your course via a referral program.
According to an online survey conducted across 58 countries, 84% of respondents trust the recommendations of friends and family. Personal shares and mentions are trusted by more people than a business post ever will.
7. Participate in Online Forums and Discussions
Engaging in online discussion forums is one of the best ways to give your course organic exposure. And they are easy to access or build on your own.
Online communities are essentially a marketing tool that can be used to educate, inform, and engage your audiences. But that’s not all.
These communities are great ways to:
- Discuss and gain feedback for your courses
- Promote upcoming products
- Re-engage existing customers
- Address user concerns and build credibility
8. Use Email Marketing
Wondering what to do with all those captured email addresses? Here’s your chance to use them.
Email marketing is still the most effective way to take your business to the next level.
What’s the best thing about email marketing?
You’re promoting your course to subscribers interested in your offering.
9. Offer Free Or Discounted Content
Who said offering free content would be a total waste?
By offering a mini-course or a couple of videos for free, you can engage your audience better.
People feel reassured after getting to sample the content and might want to purchase the entire course for full price!
Another strategy is to offer discounted subscriptions to users who share or promote your content on their social media accounts. You can also host contests or giveaways to promote such offers.
10. Host A Webinar
People need experts to host webinars all the time. And with so much learning happening online, there’s a set of audiences that are looking for these lessons.
The webinar market is expected to reach a size of $800 million before 2023.
Moreover, this type of content builds credibility for your course and your channel as well. You’ll not only be getting a high subscription rate but also making your brand an industry expert.
Marketing is an ever-evolving industry, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it to your benefit.
With our list of strategies on your task board, you’re sure to gain the advantage to beat your competitors.
Did our guide help you figure out how to market online courses? Did you come up with some brilliant ideas as you read some of ours?
Write to us, we’re always eager to listen!