As a course creator, you have completed the content creation process. That's great! As a creator, teaching and creating content is something that comes naturally. Now the question is, what is the difficult part of creating an online course? The Ans: Figuring out how to promote your online course in 2020 so that people buy from you - That’s truly the difficult bit.
An online course is not something that sells on its own. With a great number of creators arriving on the scene, the competition is ramping up. With many creators catering to the same audience, what is it that can differentiate you from others?
And the answer, promotional activity for your online course. To help you with this, here’s a look at some of the ways to promote your online course in 2020. We will share some intrinsic tips and tricks that can come in handy for creators deciding the strategy.
How to promote your online course?
The methods are quite simple, but a deep thought has to be given while implementing. Creators can use a mix of these while selecting the ones which appeal to them the most with ones that are in sync with their online academy. There is no harm in using all or even one among them.
Treat the course as a product
While your online course is a bit different from other virtual products, it is still a product. It is something that you have created to sell right?
So why not promote it the same way other digital products are promoted.
The first thing every digital product marketer does is creating hype. You need to do just that. Reach out to the customers and learners before the course is live. What better way to do this other than creating a coming soon page. Using Knorish website builder you can select from a range of 10 different themes to create a coming soon page. Integrate call to action buttons to capture leads. For this, buttons like ‘Pre-Register Now’ work well.
This way you will end up killing two birds with one stone. This will create a hype around the product while generating crucial leads. To promote your online course in 2020, nothing can work well other than hype. Learners would develop FOMO. This will work in your favour and the learners will purchase as soon as it is live.
Another advantage of a coming soon page is that it buys you some time. You can utilize this time to generate leads while testing out the perfect promotional strategy for your course.
Run a weekly webinar
This is a great way to promote your online course once it is live. One great advantage? You don't have to think and plan a lot for this webinar. A webinar at most is for 60 minutes, you just need to nail your script. You can tune it over time and even release it as a weekly session for your course content. But this doesn’t promote, you might think.
To utilize this webinar for promotional purposes all you need to do is structure the content. Provide the viewers with quality content during the 45 minutes time frame. In the next 15 minutes, indulge in your sales efforts. To promote the purchase decision give exclusive coupons to the attendees. Use Knorish coupon creator, generate coupon basis percentage discount or price based discounts.
Over this, with a larger audience cropping up for the webinar, the size will add some social proof to your academy. Keep at it, bring celebrities, influencers or friends who are popular on social media and try and use their influence on the topic. Look for speakers in similar domains, they are usually open to doing such sessions for free. Don't forget to boost the webinar promotion on FB and other social media to get maximum exposure.
Use social media channels to convert
It is true, you need to spend money to make money. And promoting your online course takes a bit of the moolah.
Running online ads on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin can be a great promotional tool. The success of this promotional campaign depends upon the money you are willing to spend. But even a small amount, in the beginning, can go a long way.
Some of the benefits while using social media channels are:
- Quicker results
- Tracking the results become easier
- Can be persona specific
The downside of this? It takes part in your overall budget. So when using ads to promote your online course make sure to be consistent while having a budget to support this activity.
Use testimonials on the landing page
Testimonials are great social proof. If your promotional activities don’t include social proof, you’re missing out on engagement and interaction for converting the audience.
Social proof marketing is a great way to establish trust and credibility in the eyes of your learners. No one can establish credibility better than your existing customers. Therefore it becomes crucial to integrate testimonials within your landing page. Prospective customers can read those testimonials while validating the credibility of your online academy.
These even help in providing a positive word of mouth across the internet.
All of this makes testimonials a great way to garner trust while using the page to promote your online course.
Now let’s dwell a bit into content marketing with blogs. This is where guest blogging comes into perspective. It is a powerful tool that can increase organic traffic to your website. It comes across as a great way to create a permanent digital trail leading back to your website. This is not only great for SEO but establishes credibility as well.
With this, you even provide quality content to your readers while establishing trust. Further, if they wish to learn more about the topic they will consider your product when on the buying spree.
Creating a mini-course
This might take a wee bit of effort but is well worth it. It is a great way to give a taste of your product before the customer makes the purchase decision.
The students will get to experience a bit of the product while deciding on the value they have generated from the mini-course. Mini-course enables the creator to show the depth of the topic. The learners after ending the course should have learned just how little they know about the topic. This will create curiosity. And this is what you will be able to bank upon. So creating this mini-course can work well to promote your online course.
When new to the field the customer is looking for value when spending money. You cannot look away from the fact that there are countless creators just like you. And the product more or less is the same. Therefore the value is the same for the learner all across. What to do to give a bit more of that value quotient? The answer is discounts. When new in business you will have to attract customers with discounts. While we don’t recommend constant discounts as they might dilute the brand.
Discounts even help in spreading FOMO and curiosity among the customers. They wouldn’t want to lose such a mouth-watering deal with a discount. This way they will even spread the word around which would be a promotion for your course. All in all a win-win situation.
Establish thought leadership
Using platforms like Quora, Pinterest and Reddit can help in establishing thought leadership. Since these platforms are more problem-solving oriented, thought leadership can be well established while using them. Hearing the doubts, answering questions, taking queries are some of the ways how you can become an expert in the eyes of the user. With this, your brand will generate credibility and trust in the eyes of the user thereby establishing thought leadership.
Create a killer course page
While we have discussed the importance of a coming soon page, you also need to create a course-specific landing page. To create a great course page you need to identify the varied buyer personas and target them individually. We recommend you to create course pages that are platform and persona specific.
Platform-specific means that the leads diverted from a social media platform should have an exclusive page. This should be filled with the call to action buttons enabling you to capture leads. You should even add some additional resources here to provide some real value to these viewers. This will establish a relationship and help you in your conversion activity.
Persona specific page means you should have a different page basis the requirements of the learner. A professional user would be more inclined towards the value for money element. While a hobbyist would be interested in his overall skill development. You cannot target these two buyers in a single page. Therefore to promote your online course it becomes inevitable to create different and varied pages for a certain audience.
Convert content into other vernacular languages
This is one of the great ways to increase the reach of your course. By changing the language for the course you can effectively reach a wider audience.
You need not open that English to French language dictionary. All you have to do is hire a translator. While it may seem like a resource-consuming activity, you need to understand that every business expansion requires resources.
You might question what happens if I have video-based content? No worries there are many tools online which can help in generating auto subtitles to your content. This means you need not record the entire content again in a new language. All you need is quality subtitles that can push the customer towards the buy now button.
Build an email list
When it comes to digital marketing, nothing can beat the good old data. And that data can only be generated with emails. Having an email list to send out price reductions, discounts, newsletters, webinar invitations can work out well to promote your online course.
To build an email list all you need to do is create a call to action buttons. But what will these buttons consist of, you may ask?
Just pure and simple value. Create resources in the form of PDFs, Ebooks, Word Docs. Anyone who clicks can download that resource in return for their email. This will be great to add and expand your email list thereby helping in lead generation. You can even reach out to these leads at a favorable time if they are not your ideal persona.
Blogs are a great way to engage and interact with your audience while providing them with meaningful content. This helps in establishing thought leadership as well. You can even use blogs to add a call to action buttons to aid in lead capturing. Content marketing, lead capture, free content distribution, thought leadership enhancement and much more can be easily achieved with blogging as a tool for long term low cost marketing for your academy.
Creators can even reach out to YouTubers, celebrities, and bloggers to aid in influence marketing. Contacting the influencer and asking him to link your course with his Instagram bio and post stories concerning your course. This can get more students on board, as Instagram is the favorite among the younger audience. Similarly in the case of YouTube using “i” buttons to create the link to your course, sponsoring a video in turn of a 10-second description slot in the entire video can also be used wisely to create viewers and learners.
Using the industry bloggers to review your product to have an opinion on your course. Having great reviews from popular bloggers can create great sales results. Connecting with such a blogger and offering them the product for free in return for a review post on their blog can create an audience for your online course. Not only will this create traffic from the Influencer's website, but will even create validation on the benefits and advantages of your product.
Offer various payment options
Everything will be fine, the promotion has attracted the viewer, the course benefits him and he is ready to make the buying decision. And then all hell breaks loose. All your efforts are gone the second he realizes that he can’t make the payment with one of the payment mechanisms he wishes to. Knorish enables you to use the great payment options including EMIs, digital wallets, Internet Banking etc. This allows the learner to buy with the payment option which suits his needs. This can be a great value addition and a selling point in the eyes of your customer.
Use Google AdWords and Analytics
Google AdWords is a great way to promote your online course. It is an online advertising platform that is created by Google where advertisers pay to display small advertisements to web users.
Creators can even use Google Analytics integration to track and analyze the traffic to their website. This can be a great way to measure and track your advertising efforts. Basis of this analysis you can alter your advertisements while using AdWords or Facebook’s Pixel.
If you have reached here, we have some exciting tips and tricks that can up your promotional game.
- Engage with your audience - this is one of the ills among the course creators. They often fail to realize the importance of interaction. We recommend you reach out to your existing and past learners. Ask them feedback, hear their suggestions and implement them in your next course.
- Hear recommendations for future courses - create what the user wants. Talk to them, hear what they have to say for your future products. Engage them in the course creation process. This will familiarize them with your brand while establishing a relationship. This way they will return to repurchase from your academy. They will even spread positive word of mouth all across which will help in promoting your online course.
- Don’t be too sales-oriented - while we agree the prime reason to enter in the business is to make money. But you need to add some real value to the learners’ life first. During the first touch-point don’t focus on selling. Establish a personal relationship with the learner, gain his trust, add some value to his life. Following this then begin your sales effort.
- Continue the relationship even after the course has ended - it is crucial to stay in touch with your past learners. If you aren’t, contact them. Reach them on their social media accounts, learn what knowledge did they gain from your product. Take feedback and improve the product. With improvements try to re-initiate the relation.
Use all of these tips when on the job to promote your product. They might take a bit of effort and resources but they will work out well for the success of your online academy.