You can create an online course for many reasons. The right online course will take you closer to your targeted customers, make you a niche authority, and more importantly, fetch you some passive income. Unlike blog posts, online courses offer more in-depth knowledge and information. That said, it is a fun and profitable project when done right.
Talking about profits, online course creation remains one of the most sought-after markets despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The Edtech Market projections put the market value growth at 1084.92 million over the next four years.
The next logical question is, how do you get into the market? It is clear – create an online course and market it properly to get people to buy. Knowing what to do is not enough, let’s take a closer look at how to do it.
So, this post will discuss the following:
- 10 effective marketing methods for your online course
- The right platforms to target
- Other methods of spreading the word about your online course
The information provided in this post will get you through the entire process of getting the desired results from your online course, including launching, promotion, and sales.
That said, let’s start with the techniques.
1. Design An Ideal Student Avatar
Who are you creating your course for? Take time to provide the right answer to this question. It will help you create the ideal student avatar. Your ideal student avatar should be a short but concise description of your ideal student. It must highlight the needs, desires, and problems they face and which you are trying to solve via your course. Apply these details when creating and executing your marketing strategies.
Let’s take a look at an example of a student avatar:
John, a 37-year-old-man, is a successful business owner. Despite a thriving financial planning business that has grown for the last few years, John suffers bad health. He is a busy man who hardly eats healthy nor exercises regularly. His visits to his doctor are regular since he gets knocked down frequently.
From the above, you can easily infer the kind of lifestyle your prospect is living. This will come handy in crafting the right health course.
2. Uncover Unique Selling Points or Make Existing Ones Unique.
When you put out a course, you compete with thousands of other courses in the same niche. So, you need more than the ordinary to stand out. Build your marketing strategy around a unique offer – something your targeted audience will not easily get somewhere else.
For instance, you can sell your course under the umbrella of your successful brand. If there are no such upper hands, you may have to come up with a few other advertising options, try them all, and see which works best.
In the absence of a unique approach, the last option will be to come up with a unique story yourself.
To better understand this point, let’s consider this scenario. Masterclass is an American online education platform. There are several courses dedicated to various skills on the platform. For instance, cooking, as a skill, has several courses. But no two courses are exactly the same. You will find a cooking course on restaurant recipes and another on home cooking.
Image Source: MasterClass
Each author tells a unique story. This is why you must do more to make your course stand out in some way. You do not want to duplicate an existing course.
3. Assess and Understand Your Targeted Audience
It is easier to develop unique content when you know what your targeted audience is interested in. This information will make your course a solution – the only solution – to their problems.
You can also include this point of uniqueness in your marketing materials and your course sales page. Lastly, craft a proper message to the question of what makes your course different from other courses out there – it is common among potential students.
4. Go For the Right Online Course Platform
You may be tempted to opt for free course hosting platforms. However, you will have limited features and control, especially in linking, pricing, and branding. For better results, go for more advanced platforms where you can create lead generation magnets, landing pages, and even special offers.
You should also choose a platform best suited for your course content – it is the best way to achieve the widest reach and maximum ROI. Consider online course platforms like Podia, Thinkific, Teachable, etc. In addition to branding, you can get a personal domain on these platforms and send out special offers and newsletters.
5. Do Not Limit Yourself to One Promotional Platform
Do not get complacent by thinking you are doing enough promotion on your blog and Twitter. Consider other promotional platforms and promote also on Social Media like YouTube (create a channel and upload videos), SlideShare, Tumblr, Reddit, Instagram (posts and stories), and Snapchat teasers and stories.
Your promotional launch strategy should incorporate all different media forms to reach a larger audience. These include blog posts, podcast interviews, slideshows, videos, social media posts, infographics, and more.
Be free to work with whatever material that appeals to your audience when promoting or advertising your online classes.
6. Your Course Sales Page Should Have Social Proof
Buyers need a form of assurance when making the decision to buy (or not). This is why your sales page should include social proof. These testimonials and reviews indicate that others have tried the product (your course) and got good value for their money.
This is why you see top online course platforms, like Udemy, emphasize feedback from students for their courses. It is what convinces a newbie looking to try a new course.
Image Source: Udemy
Ask past students for honest reviews of your course. Include some of these positive feedback on your sales page. If it is taking too long to attract students, offer free classes to willing participants in exchange for a testimonial.
7. Integrate Email Marketing.
You will be surprised to see how much positive results you get from email marketing. The right email copy will help you achieve an impressive click-through versus open rates easily, especially for small- and medium-scale businesses.
There are two ways to do this – build an email list from scratch or integrate email into your course page. Here is a valuable tip –sneak in the link to your course via a short sentence that serves as your email signature.
Even if the direct recipient of your email will not buy your course, they may refer it to someone who does.
8. Propose a Mini-Course (for Free).
Your free mini-course does not have to be a new work entirely. Make a compilation of some parts or concepts of the main course, and you have a mini-course. However, in this mini-course, add a pitch to convince the beneficiaries to buy the main course to get more and deeper knowledge of the topic.
Mindvalley is a popular online course hub that employs this strategy. They allow prospective students to try out a masterclass for free before purchasing any of their paid courses, which center on sharpening the mind and body.
Image Source : Mindvalley
A free mini-course is an effective way to build trust and remove any risk from the path of the potential buyers of your main course.
9. Throw in Some Discount Opportunities.
If you have a product, service, or sequel to your course, then you have a strong reason to make the deal even more enticing. Introduce bundles or come up with discounts, promotions, and sales that make the overall more valuable for less money.
For instance, you can offer a 50% discount for the first 15 people who buy the course. It is an effective way of pulling the crowd.
10. Spread the Word Offline.
You do not have to limit your marketing efforts to online only. Find out about live meetups in your community where you can share your offer with a suitable audience. Localized SubReddits, Facebook Groups, and websites like Meetup.com are good places to start your local promotion efforts.
Are there other useful tips for online courses to attract more students? Did we miss anything? Feel free to share them with us in the comments below.