Picture this moment: You’ve built a beautiful online course. It’s complete with videos, worksheets, quizzes, and a full-out transformation that your future students will be clamoring to buy.

After weeks, or maybe even months of work, you’re ready to drop this online course on the world and watch the money flow in.

And then...crickets.

The truth is, no matter how great your content is, if you don’t have an audience to market it to, you probably won’t get very far.

Building up your own online business and brand takes grit, persistence, and time. And there are a million and one creative ways to build up an audience and market your online courses.

However, it’s too easy to get overwhelmed by employing too many tactics. That’s why we recommend you start with two or three tactics and focus your energy most on them.

How you select different different types of digital marketing strategies for your online course will largely depend on these questions:

  1. Who is your target audience? Imagine the exact person who is looking to sign up for your online course. What do they eat? What do they like to listen to? Where do they travel? You should know your ideal customer inside and out to target them well.
  2. Where do they spend most of their time online? Does your ideal customer ask questions on Quora or Reddit? Do they belong to any community forums? Think about where they would go to for answers to their big questions.
  3. How can you maximize your reach to get new leads? Some marketing strategies are simply more effective than others. Which ones can you choose that will have the most impact? Consider setting up helpful metrics to measure these successes and challenges, such as with Google Analytics.

Below, we’ve provided a roundup of all our best content on different marketing strategies for your online course.

Don’t try to look at them all at once. Bookmark this page, and reference it as you explore more which methods are best for you. As you find inspiration, you’ll also be pleasantly surprised at how those online course purchases are seriously starting to roll in.

And if you don't have a course to market yet, download our free course creator's to-do list!

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Different Types of Marketing Strategies

Organic Search

When it comes to finding answers to questions, Google is king. Google processes 40,000 search queries every second on average, accounting for 1.2 trillion searches worldwide.

And when people have questions, they come to Google for answers. That’s where Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, comes in.

If you create a website or resource that has strong SEO, inbound leads will come to you passively. The only catch: building up that content takes a long time to get traction. But once it does, it can be one of the most powerful marketing strategies you have.

Psst...if you’d like a free mini-course on how to use SEO in your writing, you can take mine here.

1. Blog

marketing strategies to launch a course blog

Starting a blog is the perfect way to build up useful content that caters to your audience. Even though it feels counterintuitive giving away free information, doing so will build trust with your audience and have them coming back for more.

And as a marketing strategy, loyal readers are more likely to express interest in your online courses down the road.

Read: How to Start a Blog That Will Support Your Online Business

This easy post will guide you through the first steps of creating a blog. That includes how to:

  • Find a domain name
  • Create a backlog of content
  • Schedule posts
  • Make content upgrades
  • Optimize your posts for search engines (SEO)

2. Quora

QuoraQuestions

If you’ve never heard of Quora before, now is the time to get familiar. Quora is mostly found through Google searches because each page is phrased as a specific question.

So for example, if someone Googles, “How do I keep my geraniums alive?” A Quora forum on that exact question might pop up at the top.

Read: Quora Marketing 101: How to Get Traffic from Quora

This guide will walk you through how to:

  • Get traffic from Quora
  • Become a thought leader
  • Get featured
  • Promote your online course launch

3. Sales Page

profitable podcast

An example of a sales page from FinCon University.

A sales page is the number one way to persuade your audience that your course is worth purchasing. It should be a top priority for your marketing strategy.

As we’ve discussed in the past, you should be charging more — at least $100 (maybe even $300 or $1000!) for your online course.

The best way to persuade someone to spend that chunk of money? A powerful page that converts.

Read: How to Create a Powerful Sales Page That Converts

This post goes through:

  • Writing strong sales copy
  • Telling a story
  • Overcoming objections
  • Using benefit-driven language
  • The 9-step sales page formula

Email

Don’t listen to the naysayers who tell you email is dead. Despite the growth of social media tools and other forms of communication, email marketing is still the workhorse that will bring potential customers in droves.

Here are just a few different email marketing strategies you should consider.

4. Email Course

BAPBTiming

Before people become interested in your larger course, you can hook them with a free email course. Once again, you might be asking yourself, “Why would I provide something for free that I would rather have people buy?”

But building out an email course will keep you at the top of prospects’ minds, provide them with incredible value, and give them a taste for more. Think of it as a really fancy appetizer.

Read: How to Create an Email Course That Converts Like Crazy

This guide includes how to:

  • Collect email addresses
  • Decide what to teach
  • Structure your email course
  • Automate your workflows
  • Download usable email templates

5. Newsletter

Teachable Newsletter Marketing Strategy

Another way to keep your course at the top of prospective students’ minds is to be in their inbox regularly. This is a time to provide real value without selling constantly.

However, when the time does come to sell something, you’ll have built a strong relationship and rapport with your students, and they’ll be far more interested in hearing what you have to say.

Read: How to Create a High Converting Newsletter

This blog post will help you with how to:

  • Format your newsletter
  • Decide your best newsletter strategy
  • Determine the best timing and cadence
  • Add branding
  • Schedule and put it on autopilot

6. Content Upgrades

lead magnet

Content upgrades, sometimes known as content downloads or gated content, are the perfect way to attract new leads for your online course.

In sum, that means you’ll create something useful for your audience (like an eBook, template, worksheet, or otherwise) in exchange for their email address. You can link to these content upgrades on your marketing site, blog, or a landing page.

Read: Lead Magnet Ideas and Templates for the Ultimate Content Upgrade

This blog post will walk you through how to:

  • Create lead magnets your audience wants
  • Determine the best lead magnet format
  • Update your content upgrade

7. Nurture Drip

TeachableDripContent

Nearly any successful course creator will tell you that an email drip campaign is a cornerstone marketing strategy to sell their product.

A drip campaign will persuade your audience to purchase your course by zoning in on their key pain points, addressing doubts, and keeping your offerings top of mind.

Read: 32 Wildly Successful Email Campaigns You Should Copy

In this guide, you’ll find email campaign examples such as:

  • Batch campaigns
  • Automated campaigns
  • Welcome emails
  • Cart-abandonment emails
  • Webinar emails
  • Launch emails

Paid

Using paid advertising as a marketing strategy can feel daunting. You only want to spend so much money in case you don’t get any of that money back.

Forking out money isn’t always a surefire thing, but using paid channels can greatly boost your audience in a small amount of time.

Here are a few different ways to leverage paid ads to sell your online courses.

8. Landing Pages

design-landing-page-my_school

If you’re investing in paid advertising, having a landing page is a good place to start. When someone clicks on your ad, you can take them straight to a landing page and offer them something of value (like a content upgrade) in exchange for their email address.

However, not all landing pages are created equal, which is why we’ve created a guide on how to make an optimal page.

Read: Best Practices for Landing Page Design [SlideShare]

This post walks you through on how to:

  • Use compelling landing page copy
  • Headlines and subheads
  • Social proof
  • Calls to action

9. Webinars

webinarsignup

Here at Teachable, we love webinars. They are a great way to engage your audience, give them a high level of value, and also pitch your product all at the same time.

Webinars take a lot of effort and it’s not a passive marketing strategy. However, if you’re up for it, a webinar could deliver huge results for your online course business.

Read: Teachable’s Guide to Hosting a Stress-Free Webinar That Converts

Reading through this, you’ll find out how to:

  • Grow and convert your email list through webinars
  • Define your webinar and create the content
  • Create a registration page
  • Make a webinar email workflow
  • Promote, replay, and analyze the results

10. Video

video_studio

Video is booming. It’s the fastest growing content medium right now, and only projected to grow more in the following years. It’s also great to share on a variety of platforms.

However, video is a time-consuming marketing strategy that takes time, patience, and a whole lot of work. If you decide it should be cornerstone to your marketing strategy, we can help you out.

Read: How to DIY: Home Video Recording Studio Setup + Video Editing

This post covers a wide range of topics, including how to:

  • Set up your own at-home studio
  • Choose the most cost-effective equipment to use
  • Setting up pre-production
  • Editing, post-production, and distribution

Social Media

Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay. It’s also one fo the easiest ways to reach out and engage people who may have genuine interest in your product.

That’s why we have all kinds of ideas on how to turn your social media marketing strategy into a veritable goldmine.

11. Pinterest

teachable-pinterest-board

Most people see Pinterest as a women’s platform to pin pictures of pretty wedding ideas, but it’s far more than that. It’s actually a powerful visual search engine that draws a large audience of both men and women on just about every topic imaginable.

What’s more, Pinterest is a powerful tool that only grows over time. If you plant the seeds now, you’ll reap the rewards in the future.

Read: How to Use Pinterest to Drive Traffic to Your Website

This post goes over how to:

  • Choose the right profile image for your Pinterest
  • Make featured board sections
  • Create new pins
  • Loop and schedule pins
  • Track your success

12. Instagram

instagram story home page

Instagram, the social media platform owned by Facebook, reaches 800 million people a day and is a great way to keep your brand top of mind to followers. 

However, getting started can feel a little overwhelming, especially when there are so many people who already have curated, magazine-like feeds and tens of thousands of followers.

Read: Launch, Grow, and Explode Your Business Instagram

This guide will teach you how to:

  • Create an Instagram goal and design
  • Write engaging copy
  • Launch your account
  • How often to post
  • Campaigns and growth hacks

13. Facebook

facebook share

Despite the deluge of bad PR for Facebook lately, it still remains a ubiquitous social media presence — and it’s not going anywhere any time soon.

There are dozens of different ways to use Facebook for your online course marketing strategy, from creating your own group to buying Facebook ads or making viral posts.

We’ve decided to talk about networking in niche Facebook groups, as they can be a potent (and free!) way to reach your ideal audience.

Read: How to Network in Niche Facebook Groups

This useful guide will show you how to:

  • Search keywords
  • Sort through groups
  • Establish yourself in Facebook groups
  • Promote yourself without driving people away

14. Twitter

Twitter

Twitter brings out the best and the worst in us, but it sure is a great way to get your professional name and face out there.

Of course, there are some great, terrible, and mediocre ways to use Twitter. Learn how you can leverage Twitter as your marketing strategy to get more course enrollees and more cash in the bank.

Read: How to Use Twitter Effectively as an Online Entrepreneur

This quick guide will walk you through how to:

  • Set up your profile
  • Create a pinned tweet
  • Grow your following
  • Engage the right audience
  • Get retweeted

Video

Humans are visual creatures, which is probably why video captivates us the most out of any medium.

And now that YouTube has provided ways to monetize your channel and reach a greater audience than ever before, it’s as good a time as any to make it part of your marketing strategy.

15. YouTube

how-to-promote-youtube-channel

Read: How to Promote Your YouTube Channel

Go through this guide to learn how to:

  • Use SEO in your videos
  • Create custom thumbails
  • Choose relevant tags
  • Drive traffic to your website from YouTube
  • Promote your videos on various channels

Looking at so many different marketing strategies, knowing where to start can feel overwhelming. The most important part is choosing a tactic that works for your target audience and fits your strengths.

Which marketing strategies work best for your online course? Which ones are you most interested in trying? Sound off in the comments below!

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Kristin Hoppe

Written by Kristin Hoppe

Kristin is a writer and content marketer in New York City.