12 Effective Ways to Market Online Courses Organically

8 Min Read

The world changed forever when Johannes Gutenberg created the printing press. Education started to spread widely after that, and people used books to pass knowledge on to the next generation.

The Internet serves as our printing press today. Many instructors are spreading their knowledge online, and if you want to spread yours too, you need to make and market your online course the right way.

If you have already created your course but don’t know how to market your online course, we’re here to help! This article will share some of the best ways to market online courses.

Let’s dive in!

12 Best Ways to Market Online Courses: Online Course Marketing Strategy

Promoting an online course is difficult because the competition is fierce. COVID-19, on the other hand, has leveled the playing field for small and large schools offering various online courses.

As a result, you’re up against hundreds of other organizations offering comparable courses.

However, sponsored advertising campaigns aren’t the only way to go. It is possible to market online courses without breaking the bank. So here are 12 ways to market your course organically:

1. Create and Optimize Your Website

Having a website is no longer optional, especially if you’re about to offer your course online. Your website is typically the first thing customers look for after hearing about you. That’s why you need to create and optimize your website first.

When creating your website, try to showcase your expertise and how it has benefited people. Include a photo of yourself on your homepage, add testimonials from individuals who have seen your work, and provide valuable information.

Since you’re offering courses, it’s vital to establish yourself as a qualified professional for your courses. So make sure that you optimize your website to present yourself as an authority. Also, keep A/B testing your website and make changes when necessary.

2. Leverage Content Marketing

Prospective students will choose your courses only when they understand that you have the expertise to teach. If you don’t have any content to attract and engage students, they won’t get to know you, let alone take any courses you offer. This is why it is important to utilize content marketing to promote your courses.

Quality content is the glue that will keep pulling in prospective students to your courses. It demonstrates your ability to teach the topic you want to teach. With quality content, you’ll be able to attract and engage students from your blog, search engine, social media, etc.

While creating content, make sure that there’s no mention of sales or promotions. Instead, aim to provide valuable information about the topic you want to teach.

3. Optimize for SEO

In order to attract students, you need to appear in front of them first. Search Engine Optimization helps you rank much higher so that your website and courses get more impressions. This is why it’s vital to take good care of your SEO.

SEO includes optimizing your website and course pages by following the best practices. A vast majority of eLearning platforms prioritize website SEO over course page optimization. However, optimizing the course page will yield higher results than website SEO.

Courses should be described in detail, including what topics are covered and who the course is designed for. It is also recommended to transcribe the course in different formats as this will increase the chances of ranking higher.

4. Harness the Power of Email Marketing

While other marketing efforts are primarily aimed at attracting people, email marketing helps you engage and convert people. It is the channel that produces maximum ROI, and therefore, It’s too good to ignore!

Email marketing is a big book to read. It’s flexible, measurable, and highly personalizable. For starters, there are some basics of email marketing.

At first, you need to build an email list through landing pages, blog posts, social media, communities, events, etc. Once you have enough contacts in your email list, you can start reaching out to your contacts with various emails to nurture and build a relationship with them.

Of course, you’ll need an email marketing tool for effective email marketing. While email marketing platforms can get a bit expensive as you grow, WordPress users can grab WordPress email plugins – relatively affordable options for creators on a tight budget.

With an effective email marketing strategy, you’ll build credibility among your audience and establish yourself as an expert on the topic. As a result, people will become increasingly interested in enrolling in your course.

5. Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is an excellent method to reach out to prospects and consumers for businesses of all sizes. People use social media to discover, learn about, follow, and shop from brands. So if you’re not on popular social media platforms, you’re missing out on significant marketing potential!

Social media platforms offer a wide range of organic and paid marketing options. While you can connect and engage with a small number of people organically, paid advertisements can get you a stronger impression.

This is why it is recommended to have a solid social media presence by regularly posting and connecting with people and running paid ads if you’re looking for students immediately.

6. Build Your Online Community

What if your marketing efforts yielded a 4,530% ROI?

It is the average ROI for online communities.

Primarily, online course communities serve as a central hub where students can connect with other students, share knowledge, ask questions, etc.

However, it is also a place where you’ll be able to learn your student’s needs and meet them with perfection. And when you meet your student’s expectations, there’s no reason for them not to rave about your courses wherever they can!

7. Collaborate With Other Non-competing Course Creators

Offer to organize a webinar for their audience if you can find people who are followed by your target market (but aren’t direct competitors).

For example, a blogger who writes articles on your subject but doesn’t provide an online course might be an excellent joint venture partner because their audience would be interested in your course.

Spend most of your time on the webinar, giving away excellent insights about your topic for free, and divide the sales money with your joint venture partner when you present your course at the end.

8. Partner up With Recruiters

One of the most common reasons people pay for online courses is because they want to improve their career prospects. Partnering up with recruiters can make your course worth buying as your students will see value in taking a course when they notice that recruiters are also involved.

Career centers, recruiters, university career centers, and community development centers are excellent choices for partnering. To partner with recruiters, you can pitch your online course to the recruiter group or organization members and explain how much easier it will be to acquire talents if they choose to partner with you.

Partnering with the recruiters will give you access to their brand value, and in return, you’ll help them with talent acquisition and deliver measurable business results faster.

9. Celebrate Your Student’s Success and Create Testimonials 

If you give it a good start, word-of-mouth marketing can be just as effective as paid channels. As the saying goes, a teacher’s success is determined by their student’s success. This is also true for an online course as well.

Sharing your student’s achievements will help you attract new students and earn their trust. If your alumni speak about their experience with your course and how it has helped them get well-paying jobs, it might be a wonderful testimonial for your online course.

When you showcase and promote these testimonials on your website and social media, they’ll work as a lead magnet for your course. On the other hand, the featured graduates might share your posts and video’s with their friends and family, helping you gain more impressions.

10. Promote Instructors of Your Course

Instructors are at the heart of any online course. A good instructor can work as a lead magnet for your course. 

Students want to invest in your instructors’ expertise, teaching ability, and industry contacts, so they should be able to meet and greet them before enrolling in your course. That’s why you need to promote your instructor at the same pace as your course.

On your website, you can have a “Course Instructor’s” page so prospective students can see their instructors. Put a face to the instructor’s name, and promote your teacher’s success. The social media presence of the instructors is also essential. By correctly promoting course instructors, you can easily attract more students!

11. Discounts, Offers, and Sales

From grocery to jewelry, even if it is a book or an online course, Who doesn’t like an offer or a discount?

Did you know that more than 64% of online shoppers wait for items to go on sale before purchasing them, and more than 59% look for promo codes before purchasing anything? The same can be said about prospective students.

You can bundle many courses that are closely connected by topic and offer them at a discount. For example, if your courses cost $200 each, you can bundle 3 and sell them for $500 (saving your consumer $100). It encourages your students to buy many courses from you simultaneously.

12. Inspire Students to Review Your Course

Reviews are a widely used concept. You may usually leave a review for any product or service. And it works because nearly nine out of ten customers read online reviews before making a purchase.

The same applies to courses. Reviews on your course page will likely encourage students to take your courses. 

So, explain clearly, demonstrate your knowledge, be accessible, and inspire students to review your course.

For better returns from reviews, you can highlight your reviews. It will increase your trustworthiness and attract more prospective students.

Start Marketing Your Course Online!

So there you have it –a ‘birds-eye-view’ of marketing online courses.

Hopefully, these marketing strategies gave you a good idea of what to do when you don’t know how to market online courses. But remember, a valuable and good course is a great marketer itself. So, it’s up to you to make great courses that do the marketing itself.

That’s all for today. Let us know your thoughts about this article in the comment section.