Have you finally decided to jump into the world of online courses? Congratulations. Online courses are a great way to connect with your audience, increase your authority within your market, and build another income stream for your business. Some research says it’ll reach over $398 billion by 2026 and will continue to cross industries, markets, and borders.
To enjoy success with eLearning, you’ve got to create a great course, but more importantly, you’ve got to learn how to market it appropriately. There are a variety of ways you can market your online course, so let’s look at six of them.
How to Market Your Online Course
The way you market your online course will depend on your target market, industry, and format, but you can start with these five ways. They’ll lay a good marketing foundation for your online course.
1. Set Up a Coming Soon Page
The first way to market your course is to build a coming soon page for it. You can set up a completely separate website for it or add the page to your current site. Creating an online class can become a big time investment for you, so you’ll want to know if it’s worth doing.
By setting up a coming soon page, you’ll gauge interest in the subject and grow your email list before you even create the course.
Add an optin form to your coming soon page and grow your email list before you even launch the course. Be sure to tag these people in your email list now, so you can pre-sell to them later. It’s an easy and effective way to do market research with your audience.
2. Pre-Sell Your Course
By pre-selling your course, you minimize the risk of investing your time and effort into a project that might fail and taking you away from other opportunities that might have grown your business. You can determine whether the idea is worth pursuing more quickly than if you built the entire course up-front. According to online webinar expert Mariah Coz, pre-selling your course can save you months of work.
You can then use the revenue from those initial sales to fund your class’ creation and marketing, leaving you with no out-of-pocket expenses for it. You’re immediately into profit right away. Creator Abbey Ashley earned $8,000 pre-launching her yet-to-be-created course to her email list.
3. Create a Preview Mini-Course
Giving your audience a free preview of your course is a great way to let them see the value you’re offering. Your students will experience some of the value you’ll deliver in the full class, and you’ll build an email list of people who will buy the whole thing.
Chantel Arnett of Blog Biz School used this tactic for her main course, which cost $197. Some people might’ve been wary of dropping that much money on a course from an unknown person. So, she added a free preview of something she offers in the course; a planner people could try for free.
A free preview is better than offering a free trial of your course since people might run through the whole thing before the trial runs out and suck all the value out of it for free. This way, you give them a taste, and if they like it, they have to pay to get it all. It makes it easier to sell the entire course.
3. Market It to Your Email List
After capturing and tagging emails through your class coming soon page, it’s time to market it to them. These people have already signaled their interest in the course and are more likely to buy it right away. Marketers who send segmented campaigns like this enjoy higher revenue rates overall (up to 760% according to Campaign Monitor.) These early students give you some much-needed revenues right away, generate buzz, and give you feedback about the course that you can incorporate into future editions.
4. Promote Your Course on Social Media
Your business is already on social media, right? Well, you can promote your new course by announcing teaser information about it early on. Much like the coming soon page, your social media ads will help you gauge interest in the course, the topic, give you another outlet for repurposed marketing content, and more. Further, you’re also training your followers to check in with you regularly, so they’ll be a more engaged audience.
You could run an online giveaway through your social media channels, host a tweet chat about the broader topic of your course, or post sneak peeks at your course via exciting visuals from the course.
Another reason to promote it on social media is that you can repurpose existing content from the class, your marketing campaigns, and more. It saves you time and effort for marketing while broadening your marketing reach. After all, people aren’t on all social media channels all the time. They may have missed your earlier messages!
One word of caution, however. Don’t make all of your social media posts about you and your course. Just sprinkle mentions of it throughout whatever channel you use and continue to deliver quality content to your followers.
5. Run a Weekly Webinar
Another way to market your online course is to run a weekly webinar. Webinars use a structured formula, so you only need to nail your script once. You can fine-tune it going forward, and even record it so people can listen to it when they’re ready. People can sign up for your webinar and watch it on their time.
To do this, create a 30-45 minute presentation around the broad topic your course covers. Mention the pain points of your target audience and how your class can solve them. Be sure to include a clear and persuasive call-to-action at the end of the webinar that’s not all about your course. You want to deliver value to people for free, and give them the option of buying the course to learn more.
Another benefit of running regular webinars is that you’ll gather social proof about your class. You’ll know the number of people attending, so you can publish those numbers in your marketing too (“over 5,000 people have learned why…”)
6. Offer a Discount to the First Round of Students
Before you say that “discounts are bad,” hear me out. You’ll accomplish two things by offering a discount to the first 100 or 500 students:
- You’ll generate revenue from your course right from the start.
- You’ll gather feedback and testimonials early on.
Early students help you generate testimonials and reviews that’ll help you convert hesitant buyers. Publish those testimonials and reviews on your landing page or website so others can see them too. Those trust signals can lead to higher conversion rates and more enrollments.
Online courses are a great revenue stream since they can be sold and delivered online. As the world continues to transition to doing things online, eLearning is going to continue to grow. By learning how to market your courses beyond the typical ways, you’ll get a jump on your competitors and create a growing online eLearning library.
online course concept -DepositPhotos