Online marketing is something anybody can learn and master yet this is exactly what makes it so difficult to be truly successful.
Whenever there is a venue that proves to attract potential customers and gets good conversion rates, everyone sort of flocks over there. If there are people who are actively taking in content, regardless of what the form of that content is, smart marketing teaches us to be there and place our product or service in the line of sight (or in ear shot if we are talking about radio or podcasts).
The best marketers figure out what the trends will be and move to new locations first, getting the best of them before they get ‘ruined’ by their peers.
Unfortunately I have no ground breaking insights about what’s coming next in the online world and what will soon become popular but I can share some rather novel strategies for reaching and engaging your targeted audience.
6 Novel ways of marketing your online course
Without further ado, let’s explore six great ways of promoting your online course, that are rather new in the digital marketing toolbox.
Especially if your goal is to promote an online course, giving a taste not only of what information can be acquired but also of method and overall visual feel is a great way to attract and engage. You can even pick themes that don’t necessarily have to do directly with the educational material you are selling.
You can choose the video platform that works best for you, create a channel and start broadcasting. If you feel confident enough, you can even do these live via Facebook or Periscope and get immediate attention and engagement from your target audience.
Generate extensive blog posts
Keeping a blog and periodically posting on it content that might be of interest and attract potential subscribers is one of the first online marketing techniques in the textbook (albeit a virtual one). That can be taken one step further by posting what could easily pass as mini courses at least once a month.
Depending on the subjects, they can even be in the form of white papers for that particular topic. It’s also a good idea to offer the option of it being printed or sent to an electronic address in exchange for an email subscription.
Post small but insightful bits on Instagram
Online marketing is all about finding the right platforms and communicating in a way that is integral to them. Instagram is mainly about image so you will have to be very careful what pictures you post and what message they send themselves.
Since the message will have to be rather short, yet hold a lot of meaning, it’s best to first run it by a beta group (like your friends) before sharing it. Using enough and relevant hashtags is also a must or else you risk to lose a lot of traffic from people who would otherwise be in your target audience.
Build a community
There is a lot of potential for marketing in online communities. Apart from joining a large, well-established ones and being active in those in order to get visibility, you can also start your own.
The key is to start with a small number of people who really represent your audience (they can be those who sign up for a beta run of your course, for example) and then encourage them to invite peers who may share their interest and enthusiasm.
You can employ gamification mechanisms both to attract new subscribers and to engage the ones who are already there.
These online learning sessions are enormously popular these days. Not harnessing the fantastic potential they have would be a great shame so if it wasn’t in your original plan for marketing – get on it.
The best way to go about it is to have a webinar about why the knowledge in your course is both valuable and applicable immediately. It’s good if you can create a sense of urgency and offer a substantial discount or other incentives to those who purchase your course at the end of the webinar – it is called ‘striking the iron while it’s hot’.
Publish a book on Amazon
This has a number of advantages. First of all, being a published author shows that you have a great command of your subject. People will be able to get a sense of what your style is and of what they can expect if they enroll in your course.
Then there is the fact that this venue sees a lot of traffic from people who are really interested in learning and improving themselves. The actual editing and publishing process is very easy and it is your choice if you share your work for free or at a price. It is, however, advisable that you leave at least some chapters or units available for download at no cost at all.
All in all
Since marketing is mostly about being creative, you can do some (or all) of these and you can also come up with your own original way of making your product known. The key is to constantly pay attention to trends and feed-back.