You’ve invested time and money (and likely blood, sweat and tears as well) creating a class or program designed to help your students succeed. Creating an amazing program isn’t enough to guarantee success, though. Potential students need to be able to find your class and understand everything you have to offer. This is where online course marketing comes into picture.
Promoting your program is as important as creating it. And the best way to reach out to prospective learners is creating a buzz about your program on social media. With a variety of approaches, you can really create interest in your offerings.
Creating a Course is Only Half the Battle
While you must have relevant, engaging and quality materials for your learners, you won’t reach the level of success you want if you don’t reach your target market. There are a variety of ways in which you can reach your potential audience – from using your blog to embracing new forms of content like video or expanding your reach on sites like LinkedIn.
Why social media? You must be wondering.
Using social media to expand your reach and place your course in front of potential learners is one of the quickest and most affordable marketing strategies. From cost to feasibility and reach, social channels can really help enhance visibility and boost sales.
Well, you do not have to purchase promoted posts or pay for advertising to use Facebook, Twitter and more to get your point across and to reach a larger group of prospective students.
7 Most Effective Ways to Popularize Your Class on Social Media
1. Build Excitement About Classes
Use your blog and social media channels to share statistics from your classes – from how many learners are attending the sessions, and even some snapshots of class in action. Sharing this information lets prospects know what they are missing and builds excitement about your programs. Encourage current students to share as well by creating and using relevant hashtags for your programs.
How to Generate Buzz About Your Program
#Tip 1: Share the images you capture and the stats your followers will enjoy and be motivated by across all of your networks, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, to make sure you are making the most of all of your outlets.
#Tip 2: Consider using custom or relevant hashtag regularly. Creating a hashtag that is relevant to your class and that helps promote what you are doing helps you reach followers on Instagram and Twitter and gets your program in front of a wider audience.
#Tip 3: Even if you choose not to create a hashtag for your specific program, embracing relevant tags like #ITTraining, #Skills, #Classes, #Writing and more can help boost interest and make sure your posts reach beyond your own following.
2. Post Killer Quotes with Snapshots
A steady stream of self-promotion makes for a boring news feed. Interspersing your promotional and educational content with relevant quotations and eye-catching visuals keeps your feeds lively and interesting. You can post compelling and interesting quotes on education on your blog, your social media profiles and anywhere you need to add visual interest. Since regular updates are an integral part of the marketing activity on social media networks, the ability to create posts in a hurry is a huge plus.
How to Create Quotation Images
#Tip 1: Quotes are also fast and easy to create. So, if you are in a time crunch or haven’t come up with an idea worth sharing, then an image and quotation combination is an ideal choice.
#Tip 2: You do not need to be a graphic designer to create an image that will get attention. Sites like Pablo and BeHappy.Me allow you to create stunning quotation images in minutes using templates and your choice of fonts and design elements. Both BeHappy.Me and Pablo are free and very easy to use, allowing you to create professional-looking graphics in minutes.
3. Build Interest with Your Blog
Blogging is considered the best marketing activity. So, why don’t you blow your own horn on your blog and talk about your course. This would, in fact, be the best online course marketing tactic.
#Tip 1: Create compelling posts for your blog that offer tips, an overview or even an insider’s look at what you cover during your course. According to HubSpot, simply having a blog and regularly updating it could help bring customers your way. A more recent report states that businesses that blog regularly and well receive 67% more leads than their non-blogging counterparts.
#Tip 2: The way you blog matters. If you only update sporadically or when you have a class or event, you are not making full use of your blog’s potential. Updating your blog one or more times per week, so readers come to rely on regular posts from you and continue to return for new information.
Blogging also allows you to further position yourself as an expert in your field, and gives you something to talk about on your social media channels. When readers begin to rely on you for industry education, information and advice, they’ll naturally come to you when they are ready to learn more or actually sign up for a class.
4. Share Snippets on YouTube
Let prospective students see you in action and get an idea of what to expect from your class by sharing video recordings of your programs on YouTube. The search giant – Google places a higher priority on pages with YouTube or video embeds. So, making video a priority can help improve your search-ability, too.
A recent study by Pixability reveals what the top 100 brands on YouTube focus on – and how they are getting results. Here’s what they do:
Posting regular videos on YouTube
Create relevant and regular content to make YouTube efforts a success
Share video content on Facebook as the social network is also placing a heavy interest on video
5. Mix Up Your Email Content
Create a mix of interesting content to share with subscribers, including:
embedded lightweight videos
Providing a steady stream of interesting content ensures that your emails are actually being opened and viewed. An email client like MailChimp allows you to not only send emails, but track the success of the content you send. If you find that your clients are more likely to open and view content that contains a video you’ll know what to send them more of.
No matter what format your prospects like best, a regular newsletter or email update allows them to see what you are doing in classes, discover what is coming up and gives them a reminder to register for your programs.
6. Embrace LinkedIn
It may not be focused on hard core marketing, but LinkedIn can be used to promote your classes in a variety of ways. Your target prospects likely have a LinkedIn profile, so joining groups related to your expertise can boost your visibility. Share snippets of your course in your own feed and create regular updates that highlight your programs and offerings as well.
If you are only using the site for your own professional network, you are missing out on a valuable marketing opportunity. Incorporate one or all of these strategies to boost your LinkedIn presence and take advantage of the huge potential field of prospects just waiting to hear more about your program:
#Step 1: Create a company page
If you only have your personal profile, you are missing out on much of what LinkedIn has to offer. Create a compelling page and reach out to your current and former customers, teachers and employees to create a near instant following for your site.
#Step 2: Post regular updates
Share industry news, your own blog posts and relevant stats and insights on your page to stay in touch with your followers and broaden your reach.
#Step 3: Join discussion and industry groups
Join any groups that relate to your field or that might be a good match; if you offer classes for civil engineers, then groups for environmental engineers, professional builders and contractors and government at the local level would all make ideal settings for you as well.
#Tip 1: Keep your personal profile up to date: A company page is not a replacement for your personal LinkedIn profile; you’ll find you attract different followers and connections on each page; depending on your industry, there are some groups you an only join as an individual.
7. Reach Out to Other Providers
There are plenty of professionals in your field and related areas offering classes and enrichment programs. Connect with other online instructors and become an active part of this flourishing community. There is a lot of overlap in course offerings – so someone who takes your class on creating a blog might be interested in a marketing class offered by another teacher. Offering bundles, cross promoting and even sharing advertising space can help boost interest and expand your reach.
How you do it?
#Tip 1: Reach out to other online educators and discuss the partnership/collaboration possibilities.
#Tip 2: Don’t hesitate to refer students to other instructors.
#Tip 3: Look for cross promotion opportunities.
Connecting with others allows you to share valuable insights on
- how you create your material
- how you’ve handled specific challenges
- how others are achieving what they are achieving
Best of all, some of your best referrals can come from other teachers who know you and your expertise and want the best for their current and former learners. Looking at other providers as colleagues and compatriots instead of pure competition can help you in more ways than one, from expanding your own knowledge base to putting your classes in front of groups you never thought of targeting.
So, adopt these online course marketing strategies and reach out to more learners.