Creating an online course is one thing but marketing it and finding customers to take the course is a whole new kettle of fish. As a small business, it is beneficial to find ways to market your course that are cost-effective, whilst still reaching your target market.
Some marketing strategies are best done before the online course is created, but wherever you are in developing your online course, this short guide can help you to market it effectively, to improve traffic and revenue.
Know Your Audience
Understanding your audience before creating an online course is the best way to market and tailor the course specifics to your audience. For example, if you are creating an online course for other businesses, you need to know what businesses you are going to target, so you understand what they need and want from an online course like yours.
You also need to refine your business-to-business (b2b) marketing strategies, so you can target these toward your business audience. For more b2b marketing examples that you can use when creating and marketing your online course, check out Elevate Digital. Their helpful blog post includes 7 b2b marketing ideas and strategies for 2022 (with examples), including free and low-cost solutions that are best for small businesses.
Start A Blog
Blogs can be educational and allow you to post regular free content which can be related to your course topic. For small businesses, this is an inexpensive way to promote and market your course as you can refer to your course throughout. You can also use your blog to provide little snippets of information from the course, almost like a teaser. Your blog can be started at any time, even if you are still creating your course.
When people search for information and find your blog, they may end up buying the product, especially if the blog is relevant and informative. This is where keyword research can come in handy too (see below), as you use relevant keywords throughout your blog posts, subheadings, and titles.
Use Keyword Research
When marketing your online course, keyword research is vital. You can use plenty of free resources that will provide you with the current trending keywords, so you can use these in your online course title and throughout your description of the course. Imagine what you might type in to find your course and go from there.
Make sure that your course title is unique whilst still utilizing keywords, as a generic course title could lead to your online course getting lost in a Google search against other larger competitors.
As a small business, it can be difficult to gain traction and trust with a digital course. Many customers want to see what others thought of the course first, to make sure they are not wasting their money. Ask customers to write testimonials when they have finished your online course, which can be posted on your website and social media pages.
Complimentary reviews are a fantastic marketing tool and will develop a sense of confidence in your business. If nobody has taken your online course yet, reach out to other small businesses or people that you know that could benefit from the course. Ask them to provide a testimonial in exchange for taking the course for free.
Create An Email List
For small businesses, email lists are one of the best ways to market and sell an online course. Best of all, email marketing is free, or you can find a paid service that is tailored to the needs of your small business. If a customer subscribes to your list, they are clearly already interested in what you have to say.
Earning their trust over time with informational emails close to your course topic will increase the chances of them getting your course when it comes out. Make sure not to make your emails too spammy or over-promotional.
Offer A Free Trial
Free trials can be extremely helpful for small businesses that are looking to get ahead of their competitors, especially when it comes to online courses. If you offer a free trial and another competitor doesn’t, your course may be downloaded by more people so they can try it risk-free.
If your online course is great, they are more likely to stick with it and pay for the full version. Free trials work best when what you are offering is unique and of high quality, so make sure you have tested your course out on your target audience, taking in any feedback.
When marketing your online course to improve traffic and revenue as a small business, you first need to know your audience. Low-cost and free marketing tools such as email lists and blog posts are also useful. Follow this guide to create and market a profitable online course for your small business.
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