How to Market an Online Course

A Guide to Course Marketing

For marketing online courses, you need to have multiple fishing lines in the water. Trying to sell courses via only one or two channels is unlikely to produce results as good as a co-ordinated and sustained multi-channel marketing program.

A dedicated website is a must. If you want your courses to rank well in search engine results, your site needs to present Google with a coherent site full of quality content containing keywords relevant to your courses. Preferably there should be a separate page for each course, with a well-written course description. No content should be repeated anywhere, as Google will treat is as duplicate content and penalise the site in its search engine rankings. This also applies to off-site content. Everything on your site should be original and unique.

Marketing Top Tips

The key advice to remember when marketing your online courses:

  • Have a dedicated website
  • Make meaningful and coherent content
  • Use quality keywords
  • Use individual course pages
  • Give detailed course description
  • Avoid duplicate content
  • Regularly update your content

Course Merchant store pages are SEO-friendly as the URLs contain keywords relevant to your course. Your course catalog is extremely flexible: course descriptions can contain text, images, video or any other content you wish to put there. Learners add products to the shopping cart in an intuitive eCommerce flow they are familiar with from shopping online. No previous account creation in the LMS is necessary as Course Merchant automatically creates a learner account in the LMS upon successful registration. They then have single sign-on into the LMS, which reduces password fatigue. So once learners have found your course via your marketing efforts, the purchase process is as simple, intuitive and painless as possible.

Social media is a crucial marketing channel these days. With Course Merchant, you can sell courses directly from tweets, Facebook posts, Pinterest, and other social networks by pasting a Buy Now button code into your posts. These links take learners direct to checkout with the course already added to the cart. Buy Now buttons are an effective way to drive sales directly from social media.

Affiliate marketing is another way to drive sales. By combining affiliate tracking code in the checkout, you have access to a wide range of global affiliate marketing networks.

After the sale it’s important to stay in touch with your learners to encourage them to buy from you again or to spread the word about your courses. Course Merchant’s CRM reporting and learner communications layer enables enterprise-level marketing and reporting capabilities and facilitates email communications with your learners, past and present.

Course Merchant Features

Why Course Merchant is the eCommerce application for you:

  • SEO friendly keywords
  • Highly customisable course descriptions: Text, Video, Images and More!
  • Intuitive eCommerce flow
  • Straight forward customer purchase process
  • Reusable Buy Now social media links
  • CRM reporting and learner communication layer

Regularly posting content related to your courses is another important cog in your marketing machine. This can be on a blog on your site, on publishing services such as LinkedIn Pulse, and on high-authority sites relevant to your course’s subject matter. The aim is to raise your profile as a subject matter expert and build trust and confidence that will establish you as a good source of quality information in your field. This makes people more likely to buy courses from you than if you simply sing the praises of your courses without carefully building up your background as a subject matter expert. Effective types of content for marketing courses online include:

  • Writing about a key figure in your industry.
  • Reviewing important changes, events and conferences in your industry.
  • Writing about something you have found useful in your career and how it can help your learners.
  • Offering tips and tricks that make people’s lives easier in your subject area.
  • Publishing an FAQ about your subject area and giving authoritative answers.

If you can get a backlink to a relevant page on your site when you post on high-quality sites other than you own, this also helps in Search Engine Optimisation and if done carefully it can boost your search engine rankings.

A quicker way to get exposure for your courses is by using a dedicated course marketing site such as CourseIndex . CourseIndex does content marketing for you: professional content writers produce articles about your courses with high quality backlinks to your site, and there are opportunities to get listed in its course search engine, place ads, and even have your eLearning courses created, hosted and marketed for you when you simply supply the learning content.