Use these ideas to successfully market your online course
Creating an online course is a great way to teach others about a topic you are passionate about and gain more exposure for your brand.
However, content creation for your online course is just the first step. Next, you’ll need to promote it to the right audience.
Without a clear marketing strategy, your course may get lost in the sea of online learning opportunities before it ever reaches your intended user.
This is where content marketing comes in. This promotion tactic involves the creation of content like blog posts, infographics, and videos intended to spark interest in a specific product or service.
Offering free content as part of your online course marketing strategy is like passing out free samples. You want to offer enough information to show you know your stuff, but leave your audience wanting more so they will sign up for your online course.
Let’s take a look at some ways you can use content marketing to sell your online course.
Show off your knowledge with expert content
When a customer is thinking about buying your course, they’ll want to know that you are an expert. They need reassurance that your skills and knowledge will deliver the results they are looking for.
Give them what they are looking for with your expert content. Here are some different content types you can use to put a spotlight on your brand:
- How-to guides
- Blog posts
Choose the content format that best highlights your expertise. For example, if you are looking to teach people how to organize a successful online event, consider offering an event planner checklist to help them get started.
You can use different types of content to reach different audiences. Plus, you can use different types of content to get found on different platforms and interact with your audiences on various devices. For example, videos are great for providing quick summaries of processes or concepts, whereas a blog post is ideal to display extensive how-to content for your readers.
Southern Cross University includes blog posts at the bottom of their business law degree page to show they are knowledgeable in creating online courses and business law in general. These blog posts provide readers with additional information about getting into law, and create a great outlet for Southern Cross University to establish themselves as industry experts as students look to enter a legal profession.
Your content is often the first introduction your user has to you, so make sure it paints the right picture.
Publish SEO-friendly content to attract the right people
When it comes to your online course, you want the right people to see it. To put your product in the path of the right user, you need to make your content SEO-friendly.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process that allows your content to rank highly on search engines, making it more visible to your target audience.
SEO and content marketing go hand in hand to fuel your online success. When the right people see your content, they will be more likely to register for your course. Without SEO, your competitors will rank higher, enticing your desired audience away from what you’re selling.
If you are an SEO beginner, here are some steps you can take to optimize your content, so your course reaches the right people.
- Set objectives: Identify and set goals for both your content marketing and SEO. These should be measurable — for instance, you may want an increase in web traffic.
- Research keywords: To better understand your user’s journey, conduct keyword research to see which phrases you need to rank for.
- Perform content optimization: Use the keywords from your research to enhance your content. Check that your pages all have proper H2 tags, H3 tags, and your content is optimized with target keywords.
- Amplify your content: Promote your content to extend its reach. Fresh traffic and social shares help drive more traffic to your website, and this can signal to Google and other search engines that your website is trustworthy.
As search engines continue to evolve, you will need to focus on how to get your content found in search engines and drive more qualified traffic to your site. As you build an SEO strategy around the needs of your audience you should begin to see your content rank higher in search engines and boost your site traffic overall.
Use content to provide value for free
Another way you can use content marketing to promote your course is to offer lots of value for free. This gesture shows that you care about sharing knowledge.
When you offer your audience valuable content for free, they’ll be more likely to trust you and make a purchase. A great way to provide free content that doesn’t undercut your online course sales is to use lead magnets.
Lead magnets are pieces of content that require users to input their email address or other information to “unlock” the information A lead magnet is a powerful tool that you can use to improve your email marketing efforts and build a mailing list for future business campaigns.
To offer the most value to your target customers, your free content should:
- Offer instant gratification
- Be thoughtfully designed
- Contain valuable information
- Connect to your online course
Once customers use your lead magnet and find value in it, they will inevitably return to learn more about your online course.
Address your customers’ questions and pain points
No matter the industry, your customers want to feel understood. They are more likely to trust you and buy from your company if they feel seen and heard.
As you plan your content, look for ways to address the questions and pain points plaguing your customers. You may find these through message boards, customer service inquiries, or even reviews.
If you want to grow your online presence, your content needs to address the needs and questions that your audience is asking.
For example, RMIT Online, an online course provider, addresses user concerns about an oversaturation of data scientists. This is a worry prevalent among their target audience that could impede course registration in the future. They addressed this in a blog post that does a great job of unpacking the query and providing valuable insights that will put people’s concerns to rest.
By addressing this question head-on and providing data to show there is nothing to fear, RMIT Online is able to put its prospective students at ease. In addition, RMIT Online uses the opportunity to promote its own products and services!
Start by finding the pain points your users face and create content that aims to resolve these issues. Not only does this answer the question at hand, but it shows your users that you care about their needs, which is a surefire way to build trust and generate sales.
Ensure each piece of content has a call to action
A call to action, or CTA, encourages your website visitors to do something, and one should be added to every piece of content you publish. CTAs help convert visitors into leads by guiding them towards the step you’d like them to take.
By adding a compelling call to action to your content, you can ensure you get the results you’re looking for.
To ensure you create high-converting CTAs, use these tips:
- Make the next step visible and straightforward
- Use strong, commanding verbs like “buy,” “download,” or “fill out this form for…”
- Appeal to users’ fear of missing out (FOMO)
- Use numbers and statistics when possible to persuade your audience
- Customize your CTA based on the devices used to access your content
To sell online courses, Udemy uses numbers in its call to action to entice its target audience with good deals and an abundance of courses that they must access now.
The phrase “deals now” implies that this special pricing will not last long, and users clearly see a cutoff date to encourage visitors to sign up soon or miss the special offer.
When writing content for your site, be sure to use language that provokes emotion and drives people to take action now. Udemy shows how even small blocks of text can entice people to take action!
Content marketing offers a surefire way to increase your online course’s registrations.
Let your unique value and extensive knowledge shine by generating valuable content that will attract users, engage your audience, and sell your online course.
With some carefully planned content and a strong marketing strategy, your online course will reach the right people and inspire them to sign up.