It is vital to your success as an entrepreneur to have a marketing strategy for your online course. It’s true – creating one can appear to be a challenging undertaking. How can you determine which marketing channel is the most effective for your business? How do you know how to evaluate the success of your marketing campaigns?
With the ever-changing digital landscape, you must regularly adjust your marketing strategy. What worked 5 years ago (or even 1 year ago!) does not guarantee the same outcome today.
Whether you’ve already devised a strategy or are staring at a blank page, unsure where to begin, we’ll go over some helpful marketing strategies you can implement in your own business.
Before it is published
1) Create the ideal buyer persona
Before adopting any of the tactics outlined in this article, you must complete this step. Figure out who your ideal student is before you even start developing content for the course itself. Once you do this, you’ll be able to create marketing messages that speak directly to their frustrations, needs, and desires.
Your buyer persona represents the perfect student for your course. Create a one-paragraph summary of your ideal student and keep it in mind as you use the marketing methods recommended in this article.
2) Identify your unique value proposition (UVP)
Investigate some of the existing online courses related to your topic to get a sense of what is included and how it is presented. The goal is to figure out how you will set your course apart from the competition. What aspects of your topic will you address that your competitors did not? What value can you add to your course that the others do not?
Determine your unique value proposition (also known as a differentiator) and include it on your course sales page and in your marketing messages. It also helps to have a good answer when people ask, “How is your course different from XYZ?”
3) Survey your audience
This step is critical because it ensures that you create an online course that people want to take. Send a survey to your audience (via a blog, podcast, email list, social media, etc.) to find out what topics they are interested in learning about. Develop a course based on what they want, not what you want to talk about.
Involving your audience in the course creation process is also a great way to build anticipation for your course before releasing it. This is also an effective approach if you need to validate the demand for your course topic before investing any resources in creating it.
4) Create a compelling course title
Pretend that you’re looking for information about your subject. What search terms (often referred to as keywords) would you use to locate the content you’re looking for? You’d probably key in “how to design logos in Photoshop” or some version of that phrase if you wanted to learn how to design logos in Adobe Photoshop, for example.
Using a service like Google’s Keyword Planner or BuzzSumo, find the most popular keywords linked to your course topic and include them in your course title. This can help you optimize your course to look like precisely what a potential student would be looking for when conducting an online search for your topic.
5) Presell your course
Preselling a course is a great way to avoid the unfortunate situation of creating a course that no one buys. Trying to sell something before you create it may seem counterintuitive, but trust us on this. It is far better to pitch your online course idea to your target audience and discover that they are uninterested in it than to spend significant time and money creating an online course that no one buys.
After it is published
1) Promote your course & contribute
Your blog is an excellent place to promote your course, especially if you regularly publish free content related to the subject of your course. If you write articles about the same subject that you teach in your course, everyone who reads your blog will be a potential student for your course.
The top bar of your website, the end of each blog post, your sidebar, and your About Page are all excellent places to promote your course (if your blog’s theme does not include a top bar, you can add one using Sumo or Hello Bar). You can also create a Sales Widget for your course and publish it anywhere on your blog using Thinkific.
It’s also a good idea to try your hand at writing for other blogs and media. Submit articles on your subject to other blogs and online outlets. Ascertain that each website receives a distinct piece of content (they do not want articles published on other sites). Spend some time studying prominent websites connect to your subject to verify that the article you submit is fit for their audience. Include a link to your website or course in your author bio at the end of your article.
2) Start a YouTube channel & promote on other channels
YouTube is the second most popular search engine on the planet (after Google). Millions of people search YouTube every day for “how-to” videos. In the search results of several search engines, YouTube videos can even outrank websites.
Create a YouTube channel dedicated to your course topic and regularly post instructional videos. Include a link to your website or course in your video descriptions. Additionally, create and publish a short promotional video for your course on YouTube. You could even make many promotional videos, each with a different title, to boost awareness for your course. Include prominent keywords relating to your topic in the titles and descriptions of your videos to ensure that they appear high in search results for those phrases. Include a link to your website or course in your video descriptions. Consider creating ads for your promotional video on Facebook or Google, for example, if it does well.
You can also look for prominent videos that are relevant to your course content. In a private message, notify the video’s owner that you have a way for them to make some extra money from their videos. Offer to pay them to include a link to your course in the description of their video or even a call-to-action in the video itself to check out your course. You may even make them an affiliate for your course, giving them a special link to put in their videos and descriptions. Each time they refer a new buyer to your course in this way, you will then pay them a commission.
3) Add student testimonials
Social proof is essential in a buyer’s decision-making process. Few people embrace the prospect of becoming the first to purchase a product or service. They’re always curious about whether anyone else has used it before and had a good experience with it. That is why customer feedback and reviews are so crucial.
On your course sales page, include a few good testimonials from other students who have taken your course. If no one has taken the course yet, offer it for free to a few people in exchange for a testimonial.
4) Include a link to the course
You probably write and receive a large number of emails every day. In your email signature, include a link to your course in a short line. Even if the person who views your email signature isn’t interested in your course, they may know someone who is.
5) Add a page to your main website
Include a page with information about your course on your website or blog. Add a link to the course’s landing page to your website’s main menu. This way, visitors can access it easily and learn more about your course after it’s been created. By including a link to your course’s purchase page, you ensure that more people learn about it. From there, they can decide whether or not to purchase it.
6) Build an email list
Before they decide to buy from you, most people need to hear from you several times. This is why maintaining an email list is so beneficial. When someone subscribes to your email newsletter, you have the opportunity to earn their trust by sending them helpful tips and advice on your topic over time. Eventually, when you promote your course to them, they are more likely to buy it because you gave them value before asking them to pay for something.
7) Start a podcast & get interviewed
Starting a podcast about your course topic is an excellent way to establish an audience of individuals who are interested in that topic. Anyone who listens to your podcast has the opportunity to sign up for your online course. Share valuable ideas about your area of specialty on each podcast episode, and include a call-to-action at the end of each episode to visit your website and learn more about your course.
By submitting your podcast to sites like iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, you might reach hundreds, if not thousands, of listeners monthly for free. This is excellent exposure for your courses and, more broadly, your brand.
Additionally, conduct some research to find podcasts related to your topic and reach audiences interested in your course. iTunes is an excellent resource for finding podcasts. Enter some keywords related to your topic into the search bar and list the podcasts that come up in the results. Before contacting the host, make sure you read the description of each podcast (and, even better, listen to a few of their episodes). Send a personalized email to each podcast host, introducing yourself and explaining why you believe you would be a good fit for their show.
Remember that the goal of a podcast interview is to provide value to the listeners. Your interview should not consist solely of a sales pitch for your course. Make sure you offer the listeners value that they can benefit from before they’ve actually paid for your course. Tell the listeners how they can contact you and learn more about your courses at the end of your interview.
8) Optimize your social media & use ads
Your social media sites are a great place to build your own brand and identify yourself as a subject matter expert for your course. Update your bio on all social media sites with a profile to represent your area of expertise. Include a link to your main website (or even your course) in your profiles so that those who are interested in learning more about your course topic can do so.
You may use Google Ads to create ads that show up in search results for certain keywords relating to your topic. This is a terrific way to get your course in front of your target audience right when they are looking for it. It is an especially effective tactic if you know what keywords they use to search for your topic online. You may also use Facebook to develop advertising that targets people based on their demographics, interests, habits, and affiliations. Remember that Facebook is a social network, where people go to socialize (not to buy stuff). To sell your course to those people, you’ll need to get them off Facebook (and onto your blog or email list, for example).
9) Write a press release
Press releases are an excellent way to spread the word about your online course. Furthermore, features in news outlets, extensive publications, and popular blogs can help you rank higher in search engine results.
Remember that the purpose of a press release is not to sell your course. It is to generate news and connect it to your course.
Pressfarm is a public relations firm that works with individuals and businesses of all sizes to create newsworthy and appealing content that can be distributed through their own channels. Even better, this is the kind of content that media professionals love to receive.
Once you sign up, Pressfarm’s public relations team will gather information and create content to help you capture media attention. With a selection of content that includes email pitches, press releases, guest posts, and press kits, you can draw attention to your brand. In addition, Pressfarm’s Account Executive will compile a customized media list for you from a database of over 1 million contacts. With these contacts, you can start developing relationships with relevant media contacts who can help you share your brand story widely.
10) Create a sales funnel
Finally, it’s important to develop a sales funnel for your online course. A sales funnel is a step-by-step procedure that a potential consumer goes through before buying your online course.
If you want to boost course sales, you should create a sales funnel that incorporates several marketing tactics listed above that work in tandem. Most of the marketing strategies listed above are excellent for funneling people into your sales funnel. If you have a proven sales funnel that converts potential students into paying customers, you can increase your marketing efforts with confidence that they will result in sales.
Given the nature of the world, the number of online courses that exist at the moment has risen exponentially. While there are plenty of topics and niches that people can learn about, it is essential to have an online course that people will want to take. Additionally, you will need an effective marketing strategy so that students who are likely to sign up know about your course.