Have you heard Facebook advertising is da bomb?
How about YouTube?
Are you confused? Should you rush to be on all of them? If not, which one should you pick?
If you are looking to get more students from advertising on social platforms, the most important decision you can make is to stick with one. Any one will work, really, as long as you just stick to it.
Even if you pick the one least suited for your type of teaching and mastering, you’d probably do better than if you spread yourself too thin by trying to be active on all social channels.
It’s sad to see how many people do a little of this on one social site and a little of that on another only to feel bad when it doesn’t work.
I know the feeling.
I used to think that was the best strategy, too.
I’ve interviewed three top experts, each specializing in their own social media platform, about everything you need to know to pick the right platform to advertise to YOUR audience and how to get started.
There are a lot of pro tips in the interviews and you’ll probably end up feeling overwhelmed if you go through the whole thing. So to make things a little easier for you, I’ve created a comparison chart along with five key bullet points for each platform so you can easily pick the one that feels right for you and then move on to read the interview that fits.
There are a couple of aspects that are equal to all the platforms: Every social advertising platform requires some learning, and none of the sites covered will be a magic pill.
No platform is.
None has an advantage over the other because they are all suitable for different things depending on what you’d like to achieve and what kind of teacher you are and how you present your material.
I hope you will enjoy this article as much as I enjoyed creating it!
Aske interviewed four different social media experts on the platform where their expertise lies. He covers the pros and cons and who might benefit from using the platform to help you decide which social media is right for you.
Here are five points to consider about each social platform:
|Social Media Advertising for Online Teachers
Which platform suits your online course?
|Why people go there||Discovery||Search||Discovery||Search|
|Daily users (millions)||1590||1000||320||100|
|Other||Most targeting options||Pay for engagement||Tweets are actionable||Users there to shop|
|The chart is based on the interviews in this article. Source for daily users: Statistica and Expandedramblings|
- Best targeting options available anywhere online
- Has the most traffic of all social media platforms
- High competition as it’s the most popular advertising platform
- People go there to discover and be entertained
- You can choose to pay only for engagement
- People go there to search for something (like on Google)
- It’s the second largest search platform so it has a lot of traffic
- Many people go there for how-to advice
- People are just discovering how powerful it is so the competition is still low
- You choose to pay only for engagement
- People use Twitter to discover and get news faster than other media channels
- Easy to contact influencers (and get a boost to your content)
- Tweets are short and to the point = actionable
- Cool targeting options like keywords and look-a-like audiences
- Better fit for sharing a link rather than direct selling
- People go there to discover and search (some users use it to search instead of Google)
- Competition is low
- People are there to shop and look for how-to advice
- Advertising is only available with US or UK business accounts
- Can help with Google rankings
Interview with a Facebook expert
Aske, you are an expert in Facebook ads. Could you introduce yourself and tell the coaches a bit about yourself and your background?
Hi, I’m Aske and I run scalingyourbusiness.com, a blog that helps online teachers and coaches grow their email list with Facebook ads.
I’ve helped some major companies (Momondo.com and Teespring to name a few), as well as online teachers improve their results on Facebook advertising.
I’m one of those weird people who look through my newsfeed on Facebook to see the ads, read blogs about ads and watch Mad Men for the actual advertising work they do on the show.
Besides advertising, I love traveling and challenging myself with extreme sports. I’m the guy who organized these interviews. I hope you’ll get something useful from it! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.
What makes Facebook different from Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube? What are the pros and cons?
Facebook ads differ from the other three platforms by offering the most comprehensive and precise targeting options available online.
On Facebook, people aren’t looking for your ads, as you know from Google. You are interrupting them and you get to define extremely specifically who you want to show your ad to.
This is great because knowing exactly who sees your ad (you picked them yourself) enables you to build intent into your ad. Those two things combined is insanely powerful and something only Facebook offers to such an extent. Let me show you an example.
Want to target people who are interested in learning to bake? How about only showing your ad only to people who follow FOX’s baking channel AND ABC’s cake channel AND has a previous behavior of taking online courses?
As I helped Kristin from Bake Like A Champ, she identified a particular show on a certain channel that was popular among her students.
She went on to target people who liked that channel on Facebook, while casually mentioning the show as part of her ad’s text. Her performance went through the roof!
It wouldn’t be cool of me to out her awesome ad, but as an example, you could write something like “Want to bake the lime cake Gordon Ramsay baked yesterday in Gordon Ramsay’s Cooking Show? I’ll show you how to whip it up in 30 minutes!”. That is obviously a show I just made up, but do you see how powerful it is?
Want to teach people to play guitar? How about only targeting the addresses of schools that offer guitar tutoring.
The deal with advertising on Facebook is that with more than 1.7 billion active users monthly, you can scale almost infinite once you’ve created an ad that gives you good results.
That means you only have to learn one promotional channel. To me, that’s great as there’s so much other stuff I need to take care of, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
Each platform has its own challenges. On Facebook there are 3 million advertisers, which makes it the most popular social media advertising channel. The learning curve is steep and as many of those 3 million advertisers have learned the hard way, it’s easy to get burned if you decide to spend $50 to just try it out.
I’d recommend setting aside at least $1000 if you are determined to get results. Not because you can’t get lucky and create an amazing ad on $50, but because it’s unlikely.
Are there any specific niches that work particularly well on Facebook? Which type of teacher would do well? Which type of audience is Facebook popular among?
Facebook is such a mainstream, broad, social media platform that most teachers will be able to find their students on Facebook because of all the targeting options available.
As Facebook is so popular, it simply has almost any type of student you could be looking for. I’ve helped people teaching everything from baking to programming with growing their email list with Facebook ads.
Even if you want to target business people, you could go for those with a job title of CEO or import your connections from LinkedIn to show an ad only to them - or even just some of them.
If you are targeting something very specific to a niche crowd, I bet Facebook could be particularly useful to you because you can pick people who only like X AND Y as mentioned in the baking example before.
Could you give one or two examples of ads that did well and explain why?
Here’s a great example of a course in photography.
While there’s room for improvement, it’s nice and simple, and explains what you’ll get for clicking. To improve it, I would try adding more specifics to the text such as a time limit and explain who specifically it’s for in the text.
Another great example is this ad for how to build a course website.
This ad clearly talks about a problem and the reasoning for solving it. I would try to make the text shorter so it’s not cut off (particularly the headline), but I think you get the idea.
There’s a cool, free ad library available here if you’d like more inspiration.
In your opinion, how can teachers best utilize Facebook to sell their courses?
There are as many ways to leverage Facebook ads a teacher. While you can sell your courses directly through Facebook ads, I believe you will benefit more from asking for their email instead of a sale. There’s two reasons for this.
First of all, you will likely sell more. By giving them more time to get to know you, you’ll build the know, like and trust factor everyone is rambling on about these days.
Also, you will sell much more if you sell when each prospect is ready to buy – not when you are ready to sell, and you have a much higher chance of doing that if you talk to them several times.
Secondly, you will be able to easily reach them for free later to upsell your next course. It’s widely known that it’s usually easier and cheaper to sell a second time to a customer than the first time to a new prospect.
If you could leave the coaches with one or two tips, what would it be?
Be patient, deliberate and methodical. Plan things out and you’ll do well.
Before you start, figure out what an email subscriber is worth to you. It’ll make you immediately clear on whether your ad is making you money or not.
It will save you a massive headache and you’ll already be way ahead of the majority of advertisers out there!
If you are curious to see if Facebook advertising is for you, then you can use my cheatsheet to get the answer in just about 30 seconds. There’s a link to it at the conclusion section just below the next question.
Is there anything else you feel is important to mention about Facebook?
Before you start, get super clear on who your ideal customer is and what he/she likes. Write down what kind of job they have, events they go to, TV shows they watch, software tools they use.
Really taking your time with this will give you amazing results, and in my experience the longer you spend on this, the better results you’ll get with Facebook ads.
Facebook has any audience you can imagine and overall the most traffic of any social media site out there. With each platform roughly taking the same time to learn, the core advantage of spending your time learning Facebook ads is that you don’t need to learn any other, as you can pretty much get as much traffic as you need.
If you’d like to check if you can get cheap email subscribers to your email list, you should have a look at my cheatsheet. It’ll tell you in just 30 seconds. You can get it along with my ultimate guide to getting started with Facebook ads (both free) right here.
Interview with a Twitter expert
Jen, you are an expert in platform Twitter. Could you introduce yourself and tell the coaches a bit about yourself and your background?
My name is Jen Clinehens, I’m a digital strategist. I help coaches figure out how to grow their business using digital channels. I have a Masters in Advertising from the VCU Brandcenter, an MBA from Emory University, and have worked with brands like Coca-Cola, Delta, and AT&T.
What makes Twitter different from the other Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube? What are the pros and cons?
In terms of paid ads, Twitter has a few cool ways to target users. You can target by keyword, users who visit your page, target your existing followers, or even target users that are “look a likes” to your existing customers (this is a really powerful feature if used correctly, but not exclusive to Twitter).
So for example, if my followers are interested in Crossfit and Paleo, Twitter will help me get in front of more customers that are interested in those two things in a huge, scalable way that I simply couldn’t do 1:1. This also helps you maximize ad spend and get the most bang for your buck.
Twitter has a few tactical advantages for organically marketing a coaching business:
Because tweets are so short and to the point, they are really actionable. It doesn’t take a deep level of engagement for a customer to go from copy to call to action. The flip side of this is that tweets don’t allow for a lot of “selling”, they’re a better fit for sharing a link to new content on another platform (like a YouTube video or new blog post, for instance).
Another great advantage of Twitter is the ease with which you can contact influencers. By providing value, you can get a retweet to your content, and your brand will get a boost from someone with a huge amount of followers. Twitter itself is more personal and interactive than other platforms, in my opinion, and great for building 1:1 relationships with your followers.
Are there any specific niches that work particularly well on Twitter? Which type of coach would do well? Which type of audience is Twitter popular among?
As with any channel, there’s opportunity to use it to your advantage in most niches. However, Twitter tends to work well in niches that deal with celebrity, world news, health, and online business or freelancing.
The more digitally engaged your core customer (developers vs. senior citizens, to give an extreme example) the better luck you’ll have on Twitter.
My advice is to find influencers on Twitter for your niche. Notice how, when, and what they tweet – there are lots of best practices you can glean very quickly from what’s working for them, and build on their learnings.
Could you give one or two examples of ads that did well and explain why?
I’m a big believer that the best campaigns on Twitter tend to supplement or take advantage of live events.
Think Oreo’s “You Can Still Dunk In the Dark” tweet.
Here’s an example of a more holistic campaign that I love: when the television channel FXX got the rights to air every episode of The Simpsons, they celebrated with an “Every Simpsons Ever” marathon on the channel. While the marathon aired, the Twitter campaign ran concurrently.
They live-tweeted quotes that were happening in real-time on the channel, published additional content, little-known facts, and even had a #SimpsonsSelfie sub-campaign, where fans tweeting pictures of themselves enjoying the FXX marathon.
In your opinion, how can coaches best utilize Twitter to sell their courses?
To me, Twitter is not a great platform for selling – for coaches, I’d take advantage of your fan base. That means having conversations, answering their questions, and asking them what they think.
To me, it’s not a great use of money for a coach that’s just starting to build their audience, to focus on “selling” using paid ads on Twitter. Instead, focus on driving existing fans to your site, and finding new fans to engage with from across the platform.
If you could leave the coaches with one or two tips, what would it be?
1) Understand your customers and potential customers very well – any marketing you do is all about them, never about you. You want to get to know them very well, even deeper than you do now, and Twitter is a great way to do that.
2) Don’t run to execute huge, complex campaigns. Instead, get good at the basics: talk with your fans, engage (but don’t spam!) influencers, and find out what kind of content works best for you in the Twitter space. Then you can expand your Twitter-scope and try something more complex.
Is there anything else you feel is important to mention about Twitter?
One thing to keep in mind is Periscope – it’s a live video platform that is owned by Twitter. Even though it’s out of core scope of the channel, it’s a great way to engage people live.
Interview with a Pinterest expert
Anna, you are a Pinterest marketing expert. Could you introduce yourself and tell the teachers a bit about yourself and your background?
I am Anna Bennett, a Pinterest marketing expert and the founder & owner of White Glove Social Media Marketing. We are a Pinterest focused Marketing Agency and have been in business since 2011.
Recently, I was honored to be recognized & invited by Pinterest to be part of their Elite Business Program, which Pinterest set up to provide businesses with Pinterest marketing help.
What that means to my followers and customers is that you have the opportunity to apply proven strategies & tactics from a recognized Pinterest Marketing expert when you apply advice from my course.
In addition, I have also been featured in Forbes Magazine, Investor’s Business Daily, The American Marketing Association, and several other publications.
My background before Pinterest includes having over 30+ years of experience as a leader and business coach in the fashion and beauty industry.
I am the author of two courses:
Pinterest Marketing for Business a mostly video lesson based online program for learning how to use Pinterest as a marketing and sales tool
How To Become a Pinterest Account Manager designed to train people how to manage Pinterest accounts professionally as a career or business
Plus, I really like tennis and am learning to like golf just as much:)
What makes the Pinterest platform different from the other social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube? What are the pros and cons of marketing with Pinterest?
NOTE: Because our agency only focuses on Pinterest we are not fully familiar with the other socials.
Sales and ROI
If you want to reach more people or reach a specific target audience, you can do so very effectively on Pinterest using the Promoted Pins.
1) Pinterest claims advertisers get about a 30% bump in earned media for their campaigns. What that means is for every $1,000 in advertising dollars the brand received $300 more worth of free impressions.
2) Advertisers who use the Pinterest Ads Manager received an average of 20% more (free) clicks in the month after they started a Promoted Pins campaign.
3) Promoted Pins helps drive brand equity. In an internal brand lift study comparing Pinners who’ve seen Promoted Pins to Pinners who haven’t, people who saw them had 40% greater awareness of new products and 50% higher purchase intent.
Pinterest announced it is partnering with Oracle Data Cloud to measure the return on investment for ad campaigns for 29 consumer packaged goods companies. The study reportedly found:
- Promoted Pins drive 5x more incremental in-store sales per impression vs. other online advertising.
- Pinterest users were highly desirable prospects. Nearly 40 percent of Pinners make over $100K each year.
- Compared to the national average, CPG brands are 3x more likely to reach existing customers on Pinterest, and those customers spent 16 percent more.
- People who engage with Promoted Pins are 12 percent more likely to be buyers of that brand.
4) You can choose to pay for each type of engagement: a click through to your website, repin, or close up.
5) Pinterest can help you rank on the first page of Google if you know how to use it right. That can mean a flood of new interest traffic to your website for free.
6) It is still relatively speaking, early days with Pinterest. Meaning if you understand and maximize the platform before your competitors do, you will get a noticeable competitive advantage that will show up in your traffic and sales numbers.
7) Pinterest delivers free market intelligence. Pinners tell you what they want more of.
8) Pinterest users have a buying mindset. They are there to shop. That is not true on other social platforms.
There are a lot more pros for using Pinterest.
1) Promoted Pins are only available to U.S. or U.K.-based business accounts.
2) You can target based on:
- Cities in USA, Canada, and the UK
- Customer list targeting: Target existing customers using emails or mobile ad
- Visitor retargeting: Reach people who’ve visited your site
- Lookalike targeting: Reach a larger group of people who look and act similar to your audience
I think Pinterest can improve their targeting. You can target based on keywords that people are looking for, but Pinterest also provides their own recommendations and they are often weak, which means you have to be very strategic about what keywords you use to find new customers.
3) Pinterest has a lot of rules about what can & can’t be included on your images and pin descriptions. Don’t be surprised if your ad doesn’t get approved. The good news is you can get help from Pinterest themselves about why your ad was denied and what you need to do to fix it.
Sometimes, they are quite general so you have to be persistent, follow up with them and ask for specifics. Knowing the rules ahead of time is the key to getting your ads approved.
4) You have to have the right images in the right size. You have to be consistent. Many businesses don’t have the discipline to get the correct resources to succeed on Pinterest nor do they manage their time well enough to be consistent.
Are there any specific niches that work particularly well on Pinterest? Which type of coach or coaching programs would do well? Which type of audience does Pinterest attract?
There are most definitely a number of verticals and niches that do extremely well on Pinterest. A few examples are: Beauty, Weddings, Food and Beverage, Home Decor.
Pinterest users are on Pinterest planning their lives. They’re on Pinterest looking for help for themselves, their family, their job; their intent is planning for the future. There is a great opportunity for coaches to get discovered on Pinterest and offer “how to” services.
As coaches, you want to be positioned as a person or business that can help them achieve their goals and solve their problems. You do that by creating helpful blog posts vs. blog posts that are directly selling your services.
Indirect selling works best on Pinterest.
If the blog has images, those can be pinned onto a Pinterest board. When people are on Pinterest, they see your images and if they click on them, they are taken back to your website. If you don’t have a blog or have no desire to start one, then I’d say Pinterest is not for you.
Could you provide one or two examples of ads that did well on Pinterest?
Here are several case studies of businesses that have had success with Promoted Pins.
In your opinion, how can coaches’ best utilize Pinterest to sell their courses?
It’s best to use an indirect selling approach on Pinterest in general. Think helpfulness. Create an e-book giveaway. Offer tips. The coaches have to begin building a relationship with their target audience by slowly offering tips and tricks based their coaching.
Help them a bit, let them see they can gain value with the coaching services. Help them begin to trust the coaches. Leverage success stories from your current customers and display them if you can with images portraying the types of benefits they have gained from the coaching.
Before and after images are great for makeup artists, home décor coaching, fitness coaching, cooking coaching etc. Create an image of a free e-book that pinners can download. Link this offer to an opt-in-page so you can collect more email addresses for your database. Your opt-in-page should include:
- A branded image
- Some text overlay of what they can expect to receive
If you could leave the coaches with one or two tips, what would it be?
Coaches know this better than anyone, and that is if you’re not sure you’re doing something right, then get expert help. Pinners are on Pinterest looking for ideas, stuff to buy and help.
It is a great place for coaches to be. If you don’t know how to use Pinterest correctly as a business, get help. Avoid wasting time & money.
And second, if you do commit to Pinterest plan to be consistent for 4 to 6 months before you see a significant payback. This is not a quick fix marketing platform unless you use Promoted Pins.
Is there anything else you feel is important to mention about Pinterest?
Pinterest is not a social media network like Facebook is. Think of it more as a discovery tool. 46% of Pinners use the platform in place of a traditional search engine. Pinterest is a search engine like Google.
This is very important to acknowledge because if Pinterest is more like a search engine then the goal becomes to rank high under the keywords your customers use to search for your services.
This drives more of your target audience to your Pinterest page and in turn back to your website. And it is free traffic.
Search engine optimization on Pinterest is one of the core keys to success.
You have to learn how to do this to win on Pinterest if your goal is to drive more potential buyers and visitors to your website.
It will take several months of consistently pinning fresh content while at the same time optimizing (search engine optimization tactics using keywords) your pins and boards to accomplish this goal. There is no overnight, quick fix to accomplish this very important goal.
Interiew with a YouTube expert
Tom, you are an expert in YouTube. Could you introduce yourself and tell the coaches a bit about yourself and your background?
I come from a scientific background. I studied performance and psychology, and after working in London for several years as a psychologist I found that the best way to promote myself was through video.
One day, I noticed that just adding one video to my website tripled my conversion rate and got me fully booked.
After a while business owners started asking me how to do video, which slowly led me to focus more and more on video and YouTube. That turned into the agency I’m now running called Viewability. We’re team of 10 and we are very good at creating videos that convert through YouTube and Facebook. We work on a cost per acquisition model, which means we only get paid when we deliver results.
What makes YouTube different from the other social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest? What are the pros and cons of marketing with YouTube?
When people search on YouTube they have intent, they are searching for something for something specific. They are watching certain videos because they are motivated. They are looking for specific information or instructions.
Of course, there are always those people that are searching for entertainment, cats and babies and so on, but 47% of the users are actively searching for answers to their questions. So if you, as an advertiser, can get in front of that audience it doesn’t take a huge amount of salesmanship to turn those viewers into leads and those leads into customers.
The reason I love YouTube is because as an advertiser you really only pay for the engagement, so if someone disappears before the first 30 seconds, for example, it won’t cost you anything. They are actually a viewer, not just an impression. That means YouTube is a very cost-effective platform to advertise on.
Another pro is that it has a ton of users, it’s the second largest searching platform after Google, so it has a lot of traffic. Unlike Facebook where people are there to talk to friends, they are actively looking for something on YouTube.
Are there any specific niches that work particularly well on YouTube? Which type of teacher or teaching programs would do well? Which type of audience does YouTube attract?
With YouTube, it’s easy to work out where your customers are. It’s easy to start off by thinking about your customer’s moment in time. What are they going to YouTube and searching for? What are they looking for more information about?
So if you’re a coach and you’re putting together a package on Teachable and it’s really useful for this type of person with this type of result – it might be people looking to get more customers, how to advertise on a certain platform – whatever your platform does, really identify that and think: where can you solve your customer’s problem? What problems might they have?
If you were to map all those out and can potentially put your product as an ad in front of your customers who are looking for that sort of information. You can, of course, go one step further and show your ad to people who aren’t necessarily looking for your product in particular, but are in the right sort of field.
For example, if I have a YouTube advertising course I want to sell, I might still advertise on keywords such as "How to advertise on Facebook" - sure, it's not exactly what they are looking for, but it's closely related and should still do well. Your intent is to get more customers and whilst your viewer might want to learn about Facebook ads, it's not too difficult to get them to investigate YouTube ads instead.
A good idea to figure out what people are searching for on YouTube is looking for how many views there are per video for some of those searches. Show your audience some sort of value and then lead into how they can start that course with you.
Could you give one or two examples of ads that did well and explain why?
Many of our customers follow the same structure for creating ads, we’ve created videos for Frank Kern, Andy Harrington and other similar names.
A great way to start the video is using a big claim such as “In this video you are going to discover how to (whatever it is you might do)” and then deliver a really enticing offer that shows what you’ll cover in the video.
Then before you go into the actual content you might say something like “This is a short version of a longer video that I have on my website. You can opt-in for it and I’ll go into a lot more detail for you” – or it might be cheatsheet or a PDF.
Once you get into the video content, really deliver one, two or three valuable pieces of information. Something that’ll be really useful for them, even if they don’t take action and opt-in.
Then at the end you can close with a reminder - something like “if you liked these tips and would like to find out more, go to my website and opt-in for the longer video.
In your opinion, how can teachers best utilize YouTube to sell their courses?
I’ve highlighted some of the key points in the previous question. One of the key things is to really think about what your customers are looking for, something that truly gives value and can match the moment in time when people are searching.
Deliver the ad like you’re speaking to the 1-on-1 and close with a call to action.
Don’t go into the rocket science of how to do something too early, peak their interest first.
If you could leave the teachers with one or two tips, what would it be?
I’d recommend getting into YouTube advertising as quickly as possible while it’s still cheap and effective, but people are starting to realize how powerful of a platform that YouTube is.
Once you learn a skill like this, it’s a huge asset to your business as advertising is one of those things that’s reliable, scalable and turns heaps of leads to join your course.
My major tip would be to understand how to use in-stream ads on YouTube, go through the Adwords setup – spend a day investigating, understanding how in-stream ads work and use placements as your targeting to begin with. That means choosing specifically which videos you’d like your ad to be in front of. You should be able to drive lots of high quality just with that strategy alone.
Is there anything else you feel is important to mention about YouTube?
It’s something that’s going to stick around for a reason. It’s not just there for communication, but also as a library and a legacy of information.
By mastering YouTube and really growing your content there, it’s where the youth of today are. It’s growing a lot and will become the new TV. The plans for YouTube are super exciting and if you’re able to master it now, you’ll become part of the elite that’ll get incredible results while it’s cheap. Then later you can make sure you are the thought leader in your space and it’s an asset in your business that you can turn off and on as you need.
As a coach your audience is there and if you can deliver value you’ll see great results.
What social media platform is your goto for promoting your online business?