When it comes to being a successful online instructor, sometimes the hardest thing can be learning how to market your courses. What is marketing and how do you get started?
Marketing is simply the action of promoting and selling products or services – or in this case, your online courses. Marketing your courses is extremely important. You may have the best material available, but if your students can’t find your website or your courses, all of your efforts are worthless. These are a few best practices for marketing your online courses.
1. Email marketing is a great way to reach your customers without spending a lot of money. Just be sure to make it easy for your readers to subscribe by placing a signup form on your blog, Facebook page, or homepage. Tell subscribers what to expect, whether it is a monthly newsletter or tips and tricks. And remember, keep your signup form short and simple; a long signup form can scare your readers off.
2. Blogging is the number one tool for producing content for the web (and for Google). Just be sure to write about key topics that are valuable to your readers. It is also important to blog continually, whether it is a once a week, or a few times a month – either way, your readers want consistency. Remember to always produce content that you can repurpose over and over again.
3. Social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ can all help in reaching your target market. When you launch a blog post or a new course, share the link on your social media profiles and watch how people can interact with you. Don’t forget to place share buttons on your web pages and posts, so your readers can share as well.
4. SEO/SEM marketing can be tricky. SEO (search engine optimization) includes optimizing the key words and phrases that your target market searches for in Google, to have your website visible in the “organic” section of Google. SEM (search engine marketing) includes the efforts that make your website visible when people search within Google, including both the “organic” and “non-organic” sections.
5. Release calendars are one of the most important aspects to marketing. You want to be sure you can send out email blasts, post your blogs and articles, and interact through social media consistently. It is easy to feel overwhelmed with marketing, but having a spreadsheet of topics, dates, and links can really put you at ease. Create a publishing calendar and plan, write, and send your content regularly.
These are 5 best practices for marketing your online courses and growing your online success. Keep in mind, it is more than just producing great course material. You must also email, blog, and share content across the web. What are you waiting for? Start producing your content and marketing today!