Look up anything about online marketing and guess what you find – email and Facebook. Sure, those are huge marketing opportunities, but everyone’s doing it.
While you shouldn’t just throw those options out the window (especially email), variety is the spice of life. Plus, you never know where new students might be looking online.
So, if you’re ready to try something different than the two tips everybody else is already using, try these 12 online course marketing tips.
1. Blog Everywhere
First stop, your own blog. Yes, you need a website and blog. If you want to keep it simple and cheap (a.k.a. free), try WordPress.com (great way to learn the platform before investing in hosting) and Medium. You should also look for guest blogging opportunities in your niche. Blogging on blogs with an established audience means more eyes on your content, leading back to your online course.
2. Write A Book
This might sound like a lot of work, but it’s a highly effective online course marketing tactic. Students are wary of signing up for courses without seeing if you know your stuff first. So, offer a free ebook on your website. It doesn’t have to be long. For instance, if you have math courses online, create a book of quick reference formulas or top mistakes in whatever area of math you’re teaching.
3. Make Videos
Video marketing has been called the next big thing for the last few years and it’s actually true. While content marketing is still just as huge, people love videos. WordStream has gathered quite a few eye-opening video marketing statistics, such as 87% of marketers are now using some form of video in their strategy and 85% of Americans online watch videos. Remember, YouTube can be your best friend.
4. Try Pinterest & Instagram
Yes, Facebook and Twitter are often mentioned when it comes to online course marketing, but Pinterest and Instagram are great alternatives. While they don’t have as many users, the visual element of both social networks makes posts stand out. Pinterest is perfect for creating a board of related blog posts and curated content from other sites. Instagram lets you show off some personality to potential students. Get creative and students will start pouring in.
5. Run A Contest
This one kind of ties into email marketing simply because it’s a great way to build your list. However, it also draws attention to your course. Run a contest on your website, blog and social media accounts. For instance, ask students to answer a question on your blog (answers in the comments) and the best answer gets a free course. Even those who don’t win are more likely to try the course out.
6. Host A Q&A On Reddit
Reddit really is it’s own digital community, but it’s also an incredible online course marketing opportunity. For instance, the Ask Me Anything subreddit is always full of people who post a bit about themselves and let others ask questions. You could also just join an appropriate subreddit and talk about your course and even ask for advice on what people might want from new courses.
7. Go To Real-Life Events
Just because you’re an online educator doesn’t mean you can’t step away from your computer for marketing purposes. Jump at the opportunity to speak at seminars and conferences. Set up a booth at local events and educational conferences. For best results, look for events related to your area of expertise.
While you may not reach as many people, the people you do reach are more likely to check out your course and even recommend you to their friends and family.
8. Offer An Affiliate Program
If you’re hosting your own course, consider offering an affiliate program. Yes, you won’t get as much profit from course sales, but you spend less time on online course marketing. Imagine what you could do with all that extra free time. Maybe take a much-needed nap?
Simply offer a percentage of your profits in exchange of each student that signs up from your affiliates. It’s a popular marketing strategy. Just make sure you manually approve affiliates so your site isn’t linked back to from spammy sites. Free for all sign ups often hurt your course’s reputation instead of help you.
9. Partner With Other Online Educators
Other online educators aren’t always competition. In fact, they could be your best friends when it comes to marketing. Look for other educators who teach related courses to yours. For instance, if you focus solely on Algebra, you might partner with an educator who offers courses on Trigonometry. You could offer links to your courses on each other’s websites or guest blog with each other. The more educators you partner with, the more effective this becomes.
10. Create A Podcast
Podcasts are often overlooked thanks to video marketing, but potential students don’t always have time to watch a video. But, they can listen to podcasts during their commutes, while fixing dinner or during their workouts. Talk about tips and tricks, industry news, fun facts or anything else you can think of. Just making it engaging and short enough to fit normal activities (15-30 minutes). Do this weekly and always remind listeners about your courses and website at the end.
11. Try Out SlideShare
SlideShare is rarely mentioned when it comes to online course marketing or marketing in general. It’s kind of an oddball strategy, but that’s part of why it works. Remember PowerPoint? It’s like that. You create informative slideshows. They can be as short or as long as you like. The best part, it’s free!
Simply create a slideshow related to your course and upload it. Naturally, you should link back to your course and site in the slideshow and in the description. While it might not lead to as many students, it gives you another chance to rank in search engines and once the slideshow is uploaded, you don’t have to do anything else with it. The worst part is you’re likely to get sucked in checking out other slideshows.
12. Connect With Non-Profits
This is another offline strategy for online course marketing. Many non-profits are focused on helping people find jobs and learn new skills. Get involved with them. Offer your course to their students at a discounted rate or for free (in exchange for an honest review). You could also sell them access to your course to use for all their students. It’s good PR and lets you help people in need.
Need more help in taking your course from idea to successful online business? See how I can help.