Have you created an online course and are wondering how to promote it? Or are you in the process of creating your course and want to make sure you have a solid rollout plan?
This is not a unique situation, as thousands of people jump right into creating an online course without having the right marketing know-how to get it off the ground.
Luckily, there are lots of ways to promote your online course, and in this article, we’re looking at the 10 best ways to do it. Our tips will be massively helpful whether you’ve already launched your course or not, but we’re assuming that you’ve already identified crucial aspects of your course, such as who your target audience is and what your USP as a course creator is. Defining these things is important as they will shape your entire marketing campaign.
The 10 Best Ways to Promote Your Online Course
1. Create an Online Course Landing Page
Having a landing page for your online course is essential as it’s a great opportunity for site visitors to find out exactly what your online course offers them. Landing pages should provide them with all the essential details at a glance, encouraging them to take the next step.
Ideally, your landing page should be long and come complete with an introductory video, a full breakdown of your modules and lessons mapped out in timelines, and an explanation of the progress you expect your students to see. Potential students need to know what they’re getting and why they should convert.
Your landing page is a great opportunity to add a pre-sale CTA, or a countdown timer if there’s a limited registration period. Always include keywords that your target audience is looking for so they can discover your landing page organically.
WordPress makes it easy to construct landing pages, which is one of the reasons why so many website owners use it. This doesn’t necessarily mean your course has to be available on the same website since you can add CTAs leading to whatever platform you’re using. However, it does make the experience a lot more convenient for potential customers if they can find your course in the same place as your landing page.
Many WordPress users rely on Sensei LMS to help them create and sell online courses. This plugin offers a host of features and tools that make it easy to build and manage engaging educational material online.
The Sensei Pro plan is ideal for most users because it includes premium features, such as WooCommerce integration so that creators can sell their courses. It also gives you the ability to add quiz features, schedule drip content, and set expiration dates for courses. Interactive blocks, such as flashcards, image hotspots, and task lists provide further customization options.
2. Publish SEO Content on Your Blog
Our second tip for promoting your online course relates closely to the first above. If you’ve created a landing page using WordPress (or if your courses are on WordPress), then you have access to an online blog, which is one of the features WordPress is renowned for.
Your blog is an asset because it makes it easy to create articles about topics related to your course content. It’s important to conduct good keyword research beforehand, so you’ll know what users are searching for and how you can create content that addresses their queries.
By publishing high-quality SEO content on your blog frequently, more readers will discover your site and your online course as a consequence. You can then leverage your blog as a sales funnel by providing answers to FAQs, explaining why your courses are so valuable, and general entertainment to keep your audience engaged.
Furthermore, you can encourage readers to check out your course through CTAs in your articles. Providing direct links in content that interests them means that they are much more likely to click through to learn more about your paid products. You could even embed incentives, such as discount codes, in your blog posts to encourage readers to become students.
3. Utilize Social Media Platforms
Utilizing platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Quora, Reddit, and Instagram can help you reach a wider audience and generate more interest in your course. You can create posts and share content that highlights the benefits of your course, as well as promote any special offers or discounts. Additionally, you can use these platforms to engage with potential students by answering questions or offering advice.
It’s worth mentioning that most social media platforms have algorithms based on frequency, so you will need to be dedicated to creating regular content if you want your social media pages to get visibility. This is made slightly more difficult by the fact that different social media platforms have their own content creation trends, so you’ll need to be aware that what works for Instagram doesn’t necessarily work for Facebook, for example.
For that reason, you don’t need to be on all the social media platforms. Stick to the ones that you like and that you feel you can create frequent high-quality content on. You’ll want to post a few times a week, even if it is only to provide your audience with updates on course progression, marking schemes, or new content you are working on.
Another great tip is to look into Jetpack Social, a Jetpack product, which lets you share your website content simultaneously to Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can share what you’re doing up to a thousand times per month if you choose the “Complete” package, which is billed yearly.
4. Create Video and Podcast Content
You’re not going to be releasing courses on YouTube or Spotify, so why are they important? Because they’re both extremely popular platforms and search engines with extensive databases of exclusive content. If you get discovered on either of these platforms, then it’s excellent marketing for your online courses.
Therefore, if you have the means to create video, webinar, or audio content, then you should do so, as it can really boost your presence. You might be put off by the idea of creating so much free content, but it’s a fantastic practice. That’s because:
- You’re more likely to be discovered by your target audience
- Creating this kind of content is likely to build your reputation as an authority in your field over time
- You can collaborate with like-minded creators to build a network of people who will promote your courses in turn
Long-form content is also a great opportunity to showcase your personality. This helps people become more familiar with you and is excellent for branding. The more frequently you appear in videos and podcasts, the more relatable you will become. When choosing between courses, learners are more likely to pay the instructor that they know than the one they don’t.
5. Start an Email Newsletter
The reality is that while you get lots of website visitors, your conversion rate is likely to be low by comparison. Many people will be interested in what you offer and want to consume your free content, but they won’t always take the final step and hand over their cash. Starting an email newsletter is a great way of combatting this, as you can reach out to people periodically to build their interest in your course over time.
Getting your email marketing strategy right, though, can be hard. The trick is to avoid spamming your subscribers and give them value instead. Share helpful tips and advice about topics related to your course, let them know about discounts, and also give them freebies from time to time!
There are various tools you can use to make your campaigns more successful, avoiding the need to operate your email campaigns by hand. For example, MailPoet is an incredibly powerful way for WordPress users to create and optimize email campaigns. It lets you quickly add content and images directly to a media library in your WordPress account without needing to upload files to third-party services. It also comes with various templates you can use immediately, instead of having to construct email layouts from scratch.
6. Build a Network of Collaborators
There are hundreds of online content creators looking to establish themselves. Rather than seeing them as competition, band together and find ways to collaborate so you can help each other grow. The more you share audiences, the more you can increase visibility.
One approach is to be a guest on other people’s blogs or podcasts. This way, you’ll be introduced to a brand new audience who may be interested in your courses.
Additionally, you can also collaborate with influencers on their YouTube channels or Instagram accounts. The best way of approaching this would be to work with complementary creators and influences who create products that appeal to a similar target market.
Remember that as your network grows, you’ll slowly get noticed by more successful creators, and this may open more doors for you. You can begin with people who have relatively few subscribers and then work your way up from there. As long as you are creating value for people, they will want to find out more about you.
7. Create an Online Community
Fostering an online community helps bring together potential students and current students, creating a network of support and encouragement. A common approach to this is to create an online forum, which WordPress users can create using BuddyPress. You can use your online community to answer questions, offer advice, and share updates on your course. Additionally, having an online community can help to build trust and credibility, as well as increase your reach. People are more likely to trust the legitimacy of your courses if they see you engaging with your students.
Having an online community makes it easier for you to reach out to current students and ask them for reviews and testimonials that can be displayed on your website or other platforms. Once you start collecting “social proof” that your course works, you’ll find it much easier to attract new people and get them engaged with what you do. The more you can leverage their enthusiasm for your educational materials, the faster they will sell.
An incredible example of an online course creator that has grown thanks to an extensive online community is Scott’s Bass Lessons, an online bass education platform that frequently coordinates community challenges, student focus videos, Q&As, member spotlights, weekly seminars, and more. Scott Devine started the initiative in 2010 in his spare room. But thanks to his unique approach to teaching, the business is now an enterprise serving more than 70,000 students.
8. Create a Free Sample of Your Course
Don’t be too precious about giving away your content for free. If potential customers can see the value of your course by trying out a free sample, they’ll be more inclined to convert. An easy way to do this would be to make your first lesson or module free but restrict access for the rest of your course. Here, users get a taste of what you offer, and then you leave them wanting more.
If you’re really clever, you can tie your email newsletter campaigns to course samples. For example, you could grant a free exclusive lesson to subscribers that’s unavailable to people who aren’t on your email list. This will then encourage more learners to sign up and discover more about your educational programs.
You could also offer users a deal as a lead magnet. If they hand over their email address, you’ll grant them access to your free lessons. Either way, you get their contact information which lets you continue marketing to them long-term.
9. Get Your Course Showcased
The course platform you are using may have a course showcase page or program that highlights its creators’ best courses. If you have the option, apply to have your course displayed. This will increase the visibility of your course and will also boost its credibility since it will have the backing of your chosen course platform. Your course may also serve as the basis for inspiration for other aspiring course creators!
WordPress users are once again in luck here as Sensei LMS has a Sensei Showcase that gives Sensei Pro users a place to promote their courses. Sensei promotes this page heavily to their email network, social channels, and paid ads across WordPress.com and Tumblr. Therefore, it’s an excellent reason for course creators to choose Sensei.
10. Use a Paid Ad Network
Lastly, you may want to use a paid ad network to promote your online course. Paid ads are a way to boost your visibility, often without paying that much money. Google Ads is an obvious choice, but there is an alternative for WordPress users.
Jetpack has a Blaze ad network that can be used to promote any WordPress page or post.
WordPress course creators could create a landing page or blog post and then have paid promotion across WordPress.com and Tumblr. Better yet, the costs are generally lower than other paid ad networks.
Promote Your Online Course and Build Your Audience
In this article, we’ve looked at 10 major ways to promote your online course. While these tips are applicable to all course creators, we’ve seen that WordPress users have an advantage in terms of the avenues available to them for promotion. They can easily create SEO content and make use of Jetpack’s promotion features. As such, WordPress is arguably the platform of choice for solo entrepreneurs and educators looking to share their knowledge online.
Therefore, if you’re still building your courses, we recommend keeping everything on the same platform and using WordPress as your CMS, and Sensei to build your courses. This will make it easier to promote your courses in the long run!
Sensei LMS makes it easy to transform a standard educational website into a potent conversion funnel. The software gives managers the power to add content to images, post interactive elements, and create new courses in a way that is just as easy as writing a blog post.
If you are ready to create your first courses on WordPress, now is the time to try out Sensei LMS. The tool provides everything budding educators and online trainers need to start their online course empires and make them thrive.