Tapping into existing communities can help you market your online course
You have created an awesome course. The topic is clearly defined, the materials are engaging, and the course structure is perfectly organized to promote learning. All you need now are students who are ready to learn, but that is easier said than done.How can you market your online course to attract those students?
Marketing an online course is often an afterthought for many course creators. However, focusing too much on course design at the expense of course promotion can let you know. A lackluster marketing campaign can leave your course materials languishing unused. All that hard work for nothing.
To help avoid this scenario you need to be proactive in how you market. Everyone is looking for a magic bullet when it comes to selling online. There isn’t one. The simple tips below won’t surprise you by any means. However, they do work and are suitable for course creators who may have no experience in marketing.
1. Facebook Groups
The first step in marketing an online course is to find out where people are already talking about the course topic online. Facebook is an excellent place to start looking because it is such a popular social media site. There are probably already several Facebook groups that are actively discussing your course topic.
Don’t join a Facebook group and immediately start spamming a link to your online course. Take the time to read the rules of the group. Comment on other people’s posts to show that you are willing to contribute to the discussion. When the time is right, share your online course in a post that explains how it can help people in the group to learn about something they have always wanted to understand better.
Although not as ubiquitous as Facebook, Reddit is still an important online community. This site is split into “subreddits,” each of which is focused on a particular topic. Search the site to find a subreddit that is relevant to your course and become active in them. Soon you will come to be seen as a valuable part of the community, which is a great base from which to market your course.
Quora is the web’s favorite Q&A site. Whenever people want to know something then they head to Quora to get answers from experts. Quora is the perfect place to find students for your course because it is full of people who are hungry for knowledge.
Once again, you shouldn’t drop your link and run. Write a post that answers the question asked and include a link to your course so the questioner has the opportunity to find out more. It is a good idea to occasionally answer questions in your field without dropping your course link so your account doesn’t get flagged as spam.
If you are making video content for your online course then it is easy to put some teaser videos on YouTube as a way of marketing the course. Always include a link to your sign-up page at the end of the video and in the video description.
Sometimes online marketing is not enough. Becoming part of a real-world community of people who are all passionate about your course topic can be invaluable, although it does involve a time investment.
An easy way to meet people who would be perfect students for your course is to attend meetups related to your course topic. Search the website Meetup.com or use the Meetup app to find suitable groups of like-minded people.
The strategies above give you some ideas of good places to market your online course, but doing all the work yourself can be time-consuming and tiring. Getting a few influential ambassadors on your side can make your marketing campaign much easier and more effective.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to influencers in your topic area to see if they will help you market your online course. Of course, you have to make it worth their while. Perhaps you could offer influencers free access to your course materials, or offer to act as an online tutor who can answer their questions and help them to learn. Most importantly: offer these influencers a significant affiliate commission for any referrals. Make it worth their time and easy to say, “yes”.
Influencers are incredibly valuable to any marketing strategy because they can expand the reach of your marketing messages. Once you have established relationships with a couple of key influencers in your field, be sure to keep those relationships strong by regularly reaching out to them.
Take a multi-channel approach to marketing.
No one marketing channel can reach all the potential students who could benefit from taking your course. Use several methods to reach out to interested people and recruit students to your online course.
Need more ideas? Consider joining the LearnDash Facebook Group to learn from those already having success in selling courses!