How to Market an Online Course

There are great reasons why many choose to market an online course. Maybe to increase enrollment or gain more credibility in their field. Or perhaps they're looking for new ways to engage with their students or want to make more money.

But no matter the reasons, a solid marketing strategy is key for a successful online course. Plus, unlike other forms, there are endless opportunities when selling online courses. And so, here are some of the best ways to market your online course to your target audience.

Creating a Course Sales Page

As online course creators, you likely put a lot of time and effort into developing high-quality content. But once your course is complete, your work isn't done yet.

To sell online courses, you must create a sales page to capture attention and convince them to enroll. Also, your sales page is the first step in your sales funnel, so making a good impression is necessary.

But what goes into a great sales page? Well, first a—

  • Strong headline. This headline is the first thing people will see. So it must grab their attention and make them want to keep reading.
  • Sales funnel. You must know what you want your customers to do. And the design of your sales page should guide them through that process.
  • Clear offer. People need to know what they're getting in exchange for their money. Be specific about your offer and include important details such as price, delivery methods, etc.
  • Benefits, not features. Features tell people what your product does. But benefits show how it will improve their lives. Focus on the benefits when writing your sales page copy.
  • Social proof. Social proof is crucial to building trust and credibility. Include testimonials from satisfied customers, case studies, awards, etc.
  • Call to action. Every sales page needs a strong call to action (CTA) that tells people what you want them to do next. Make your CTAs clear and easy to follow.
  • Urgency. Create a sense of urgency by including deadlines or limited-time offers. Doing so will help motivate people to take action now rather than putting it off until later.
  • Risk reversal. Reduce the risk of buying by offering guarantees or free trials. This way, you'll give potential customers the confidence they need to purchase.
  • Scannability. People will probably only skim your sales page. And so make sure it's easy to scan by using short paragraphs, bullet points, and plenty of white space.
  • Visuals. Add visual interest to your sales page by using images and videos to break up texts. If done right, they can also help illustrate your points and make them more memorable.

Use Paid Advertising to Market Your Online Course

Many people's way to make money from an online course is to rely on google searches or word-of-mouth. While these are both great ways to promote your course, they can take a long time to build up. A faster way to get people's interest is to use paid advertising.

By placing ads, you can reach your target audience even if they're on a different side of the world. But of course, paid advertising can be expensive. With that, you'll need to be strategic about where you place your ads and how much you're willing to spend.

Below are two of the most popular advertising platforms.

Google Ads

A great way to reach potential students already searching for online courses. You can target your ads to appear when people search for keywords related to your online course. Plus, you’re only charged when someone clicks on the ad.

However, Google ads can be expensive and may not always result in sales. And so, here are some quick steps to set up your Google ad to start driving traffic to your course.

  1. Log in to your Google ad accounts and create a new campaign. Choose "Search Network" and "All Features."
  2. Select your campaign type. For promoting an online course, use the "Search Network Only" or "Shopping" campaign.
  3. Set your campaign priorities. For a course promotion campaign, you'll want to prioritize by either Max CPC or ROAS (return on ad spend).
  4. Enter your budget and bid amount. Remember, experiment with different budgets before finding what works best for your courses.
  5. Set up your ad groups. Each ad group should focus on a specific keyword or set of keywords you want to target.
  6. Write your ad. Ensure each ad is relevant to the keywords in the corresponding ad group. Also, be sure to add a call-to-action (CTA) such as "Sign Up Now!" or "Learn More."
  7. Option 1: Add relevant keywords to your ad groups if running a "Search Network Only" campaign.
  8. Option 2: For the "Shopping Campaign," add product listings for your promoting courses.
  9. Review and launch your campaign. Once everything looks good, hit the "Launch Campaign" button.

YouTube Ads

A cheaper option than Google ads. And yet, you can reach a wider audience since everyone who watches YouTube videos will see your ad.

You can’t control who sees your ad on YouTube. And, you may not get as many clicks since people are generally more likely to skip through YouTube ads. But here are some steps to setting up a successful YouTube ad campaign:

  1. Set a budget for your ad campaign. You don't want to overspend on your ads, so be sure to set a budget that you're comfortable with.
  2. Choose the right keywords. Consider what terms people would search for when looking for a course like yours.
  3. Create a video ad. Ensure your high-quality video includes information about your course. Express on your video the reason why it's worth taking.
  4. Target your audience. Specify who you want to see your ad based on factors like age, location, and interests. Doing so ensures that only people interested in your course see your ad.
  5. Set a schedule for your ads. You don't want your ads to run non-stop. Instead, set a schedule so that they run for a specific time (e.g., two weeks) and then stop running. This way, you're not wasting money on ads that no one sees.
  6. Track your results. Once your ad campaign has started, keep an eye on how it's performing. Are people clicking on your ad? Are they signing up for your course? Adjust your campaign accordingly to get the best results possible.
  7. Be prepared to adjust your budget. Depending on how well your ad campaign performs, you may need to adjust your budget up or down.
  8. Test different styles of videos until you find one that converts well. Some students will respond better to an authoritative voice. Then, others prefer a more friendly and personable approach. Figure what voice will work for your target audience.

So, which is best for your online course? Ultimately, it depends on your goals and your audience. If you're unsure where to start, you can try both Google and YouTube and see which market your online course best.

Use a Social Media Platform to Promote Your Online Courses

Many people promoting online courses turn to social media platforms like Facebook. And it's one of the marketing strategies that make sense. After all, Facebook has over two billion monthly active users. That's a lot of potential customers!

Besides, Facebook groups are a great way to promote your online courses. Not only can you share information about your courses with like-minded individuals. But you can also get feedback and ideas from others in the group.

Likewise, Facebook groups provide a way for you to stay in touch with your students. And you can keep them updated on new online course offerings. So, here are some tips for using Facebook groups to promote your online courses:

  1. Find Facebook groups that are relevant to your courses. There are likely many groups out there that might look for what you have to offer. Search on Facebook and see what comes up. You can also ask friends and colleagues if they know of any good groups to join.
  2. Introduce yourself and your courses in the group. Once you've joined a few Facebook groups, introduce yourself. Include a link so people can sign up for your mailing list or check out your website.
  3. Share helpful content from your courses in the group. As you create content for your online course, share it in the Facebook group. Doing so helps promote your courses and give potential students a taste of what they can expect.
  4. Keep people updated on your new own online course offerings. Share the information in the Facebook group whenever you have new courses. This way, you'll ensure they don't miss out on anything important.

Offering a Free Mini Course

As anyone in the online course business knows, marketing is essential for success. After all, if no one knows your courses exist, how will they sign up? Fortunately, you can use a course marketing strategy to get the word out.

One effective method to market online courses is to offer a free mini-lecture. By providing potential students with a taste of your courses, you can attract them to sign up for the full version. 

Plus, offering a free mini course is a great way to build buzz and generate interest in your business. But there are a few things to remember when marketing your free mini course.

  • Make sure the content is high quality and engaging. You want people to feel excited about taking your course, so give them a taste of what they can expect.
  • Promote your mini-course extensively. Get the word out through social media, email marketing, and other channels.
  • Don't forget to follow up with your students after they finish the mini course. See it as an opportunity to build relationships and encourage them to sign up for your paid courses.

Create an Affiliate Program in Marketing Online Courses

For those unfamiliar, an affiliate is someone promoting your product for a commission. And by partnering with them, you can reach a wider audience.

To create an affiliate program, you must—

  1. Identify your target audience. Who do you want to promote your course to? Knowing this will help you choose the right affiliates.
  2. Reach out to potential affiliates and make them aware of your program. Give them information about the course, commissions, and other relevant details. You'll want to ensure they're clear on what's expected of them before they agree to promote your online course.
  3. Start promoting. Use your affiliates' reach and influence to get the word out about your course. And with a little effort, you can quickly grow your marketing reach and sell more of your online course.

Do Email List Building

To get people to sign up for your online course, you must let them know it exists. And one of the best ways to do that is through email list building.

By building an email list, connecting and building a relationship with potential students is easier. Plus, it's a great way to keep people updated on your course offerings and announcements. Here are five easy steps to get started with email list building:

  1. Define your target audience. Who do you want to reach with your online course?
  2. Create a sign-up form. It can be as simple as a short web form or a PDF that people can download and fill out. Include a brief description of your online course and what people can expect if they sign up.
  3. Promote your sign-up form. Make sure people know about your email list by promoting it on your website and social media.
  4. Welcome new subscribers. Send a personal welcome message to everyone who signs up for your email list.
  5. Stay in touch. Regularly send updates, announcements, and other communications to your email list subscribers. Doing so will keep them engaged and informed about your online courses.

Drive Traffic to Your Landing Page and Blog Post With SEO Techniques

Make sure your online course gets the traffic it deserves. But how do you go about driving traffic to your course? The answer is search engine optimization (SEO)

With SEO, people will find your course when searching for related terms. And once you've gotten them to your site, you can use compelling CTA to convert them into paying students.

Some things you can do to drive traffic to your landing page and blog post with SEO include:

  1. Use keyword-rich titles and descriptions. When potential customers search for information online, they use keywords or phrases. And so, including these keywords can help your website appear in the search results.
  2. Optimize your images. Aside from using keywords in your text, you can also optimize your images for the web. It means adding keywords to your images' file names and alt text.
  3. Use backlinks. Backlinks are links from other websites to yours. Search engines view backlinks as an indication of the quality of your content. So including backlinks can help improve your ranking in the search results.

On top of that, below are some tools to help you with SEO.

SEO ToolsFeaturesPrices
Google Search Console-Verified site ownership and website configuration
-Crawl errors and website health
-Index coverage and search analytics
-Manual actions and website security
-Structured data and rich snippets
Screaming Frog
-Easily scrape data from websites
-Analyze website content and structure
-Export data in various formats
-Filter and sort data
-Identify and crawl AJAX-driven websites
7-day trial for $99, or you can purchase a license for $149/year
-Comprehensive SEO reporting
-Advanced keyword research and targeting
-Competitor analysis
-On-page optimization recommendations
-Link building and backlinking services
-Penalty recovery services
-Social media marketing and optimization
-Conversion rate optimization services
-Comprehensive website audits
Extensive experience in the SEO industry
Starter plan for $99 and Pro plan for $250

Winning SEO with SEO Leverage

Unlike other marketing methods that provide immediate results, SEO is often a long game. But if you do it right, you’ll also get long-term organic traffic that continues even after you’ve stopped using paid ads.

And one tool that can help you monitor your SEO strategy is the SEO Leverage app. It streamlines all your SEO processes, letting you easily manage your SEO performance all in one place.

To give you a quick look at the SEO Leverage app, here are three of its notable features.

KPI Overview

With SEO Leverage’s KPI Overview, you get a quick look at the number of sessions, conversion rates, and clickthrough rates of your web pages.

The detailed table view is also color-coded, so you know which pages are doing well and which ones you should focus on for further optimization. You can also sort them as needed.

Action Steps

Now that you’ve seen the pages you need to work on in the KPI Overview, you can organize your action plan in the Action Steps portion of the SEO Leverage app.

You can assign it to your team members, set the status, and indicate how urgent it is. 

You can also add more details about a particular task when you edit the task card. This way, everyone in your team is on the same page.

Change Log

And finally, you can track all the changes you’ve made and their performance through the Change Log.

Again, it’s color-coded, so you know immediately which ones need immediate attention. It’s perfect for split testing because you can compare it to a previous period.

Marketing an online course isn't always easy. But with all the marketing strategies in this guide, you'll attract students to enroll. 

Also, you can book a DEMO of our SEO app to help you focus your SEO efforts on things that matter.

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