6 ways to promote your online and face-to-face courses
To start promoting our online courses we must create a marketing plan, a document that details the necessary information, objectives, campaigns, and actions that will be carried out to promote your course. It usually encompasses a year with long and short term planning. It is important to have a marketing plan, not only so that the entire team involved knows what actions to take, but it will also allow us in the future to understand the impact of our plan: if the objectives have been met or not, and what actions have been successful in order to reproduce them in future campaigns.
Before starting your campaign to promote your courses, we must analyze the state of our organization. With the SWOT analysis (Weaknesses, Threats, Strengths, Opportunities) we will be able to place our school in a market context.
It is also very important to know our target audience. Not all campaigns are effective for all audiences. If, for example, your target audience is in the millennial demographic, it would be a big mistake to run your promotional campaign through the physical press.
To measure the impact of our campaigns and check if we have met the objectives, it is very important to have clear metrics. They can be number of followers, visits to the web, number of conversion of leads to clients, retweets, etc.
Having seen these points, we list a series of actions that you can carry out in your campaigns.
Table of Contents
- Social Networks
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
1. Social Networks
As they say, if you are not on social networks, you are nobody. It is very important to create a social media profile for your school so that people can meet you. Use hashtags to reach your target audience, and interact with your followers, answering questions or encouraging them to participate in discussions through your publications.
The most relevant and well-known networks currently are Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook, but there are other interesting networks to promote your school: Snapchat, Reddit, Pinterest, Tumblr, Quora, WeHeardIt, Twitch and a long etcetera.
But beware, not all social networks are relevant for promoting your school. It is of little used to be in each one of the possible networks if you do not have the resources to keep them all active. Although it is important to be present in several to reach as many people as possible, it is also important to choose wisely and prioritize social networks. Likewise, you must take into account the target of your online school and in which social networks you can find them. For example, if your school trains HR professionals, LinkedIn is a good network to promote yourself.
The language and proximity to the user is different in each social network, and you must take it into account. Twitter is much closer and more informal while LinkedIn is the opposite.
Through social media, we can reinforce our brand message while promoting our courses. Some ideas to promote your courses on social media can be:
- Contests. They are very useful to publicize your online training platform and to get new followers or increase the interaction of our accounts. Through a retweet, a hashtag, a registration or a challenge, the user can have the opportunity to get something useful for free. You can raffle a course or material related to your school, such as merchandising.
- Collaborations with influencers. Influencers have a very large but segmented audience and, better yet, very loyal. It can help us make our messages more visible. There are many ways to collaborate with influencers, from simple promotional messages, course reviews, or creative and disruptive activities to attract attention.
- Viral promotions. It is about promoting your courses in an original way and causing a positive reaction in users to share it and generate a virilization of that content. Although there are many famous viral campaigns, it is very difficult to do one successfully without investing money (in advertising), because many factors are at stake that we cannot control.
- Joint actions with other brands. You can collaborate with other brands to run a campaign to increase your reach.
In any network and any campaign, a good use of CTAs or Call to Action, is very important. We must encourage the user to take an action when viewing a post, whether it be to like, follow your account or enter your website through a link to use a promotional coupon.
2. Content marketing
If you give free and interesting content, people will come back for more. Nowadays it is hard to find a website without a blog. Create relevant content about your online school, values and what your users are looking for. Take surveys on social media to find out what they want you to offer them. You can invite people from your professional circle to write on your blog, bringing a different point of view and a new audience to your platform. Or vice versa, participate in other blogs contributing your grain of sand and taking the opportunity to indirectly promote your training platform.
It is also a good strategy to create lead magnets, free downloadable resources in exchange for subscribing to a mailing list. This includes any type of attractive content for the user, like eBooks, templates, tools, infographics, etc.
You can even go one step further, create and upload videos to YouTube, start a podcast, develop free mini-courses, webinars or virtual workshops… Don’t be shy!
It is important to always take SEO (Search Engine Optimization) into account when creating content for your Website. A good SEO will improve the organic positioning of your school, that is, to get a good position in search engines, such as google, without the need to pay. Use keywords, relevant links, etc. But the most important, and what the algorithm values the most, is that your page has a good user experience, content quality, relevance and notoriety of your platform.
3. Email Marketing
Through other marketing campaigns, events, or contacts, you will have been able to create a mailing list. Unlike other marketing methods, email is one of the most direct ways to communicate with your users, as you go directly to their inbox. With email, you can share news to your user, create exclusive offers to reward their loyalty or make a compilation of the best posts or the most relevant courses for them.
Remember that in Foxize Cloud you can segment the audience of your email marketing campaigns according to their preferences. A well-segmented email will have a higher conversion rate than if you send it to your entire database indiscriminately.
Participating in events is a good way to get new contacts and students for your online school. Join proposals for large / medium events or organize talks with different eminences in your sector.
Another option is to organize a free webinar on a topic or as an introduction to a school course. The webinar will be the presentation of your training offer, and they will be able to know first-hand how your courses work. There are many tools to deliver webinars, from the most basic like Google Meet, to the most professional like Zoom.
You can create paid advertising for your courses from Google Ads to generate banners or links that will appear on different web pages. You can also promote your featured posts on your social networks. The price will depend on the duration of the campaign and the audience it is aimed at. It is important to clearly delineate the audience the campaign is aimed at. Luckily, advertising managers allow you to detail and narrow audience ranges very easily.
You can also advertise without the need to pay. You can put banners on your web pages or blogs that link to the course you want to promote. If you want to reach a wider audience, you can write a press release and send it to different specialized media. Choose them well, because even if a generalist medium has a lot of scope, the conversion will be less than that of a small medium but specialized in what you offer.
6. Mouth to Ear
The easiest but no less effective method. Contact your family, friends and relatives and tell them about your new training platform, what you offer, and what problems you give solutions to. Do a good job with your training and your clients will recommend you to their acquaintances. Easy right?
To have a good marketing and communication strategy it is not necessary to use all these methods. You always have to take into account the budget and the resources that you have at your disposal to choose the method or methods for your campaign. At Foxize Cloud we offer you an email marketing service in our LMS to promote your online and face-to-face courses.