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Where To Market Your Next Course For The Best Results

Today we will be talking about where to market your next course for the best results. We’ll cover how to market the launch of your online course and how to narrow your options.

As businesses owners, we understand the importance of marketing, but how do you decide where the best places for you to market a given product or service are? Marketing your online course is completely different than your coaching packages or in-person services. The people who want an online course are not the same people or in the same point in your buying cycle as the people who want to pay for one-on-one time with you. This post will focus on everything from Facebook Ads to blogging to help you fill your online class and reach your ideal clients.

Why You Need to Narrow Your Marketing Options

   If you write middle grade fiction, advertising on the social media equivalent of late night television or LinkedIn probably isn’t going to work for you. However, running an ad on something like Macroni Kid – a newsletter for moms and families – is a good place for your ad.

   This post is all about smart marketing and putting your resources where they have the best chance of filling your online class with your ideal clients. If you try to market everywhere all the time, you’ll become a full time marketer and not have time left to actually run your business and perform your online class.

   You’ve put in the work to create an outstanding online course you know will help your ideal client achieve their burning desire. Now it’s time to get the word out. With all the marketing options available, you could spend a lot of your valuable time and money advertising everywhere, or you could use what you know about your ideal client to pick the platform they are most likely to view.

Paid Ways to Market Online

There are a number of different options to use to market your online program. Some are paid; some are free. Since everyone has a different budget, I’ll touch on both kinds. Either option can be powerful, and I personally use a combination of both. Let’s start with the paid.

1. Instagram Ads
There are two different audiences available to you on Instagram: those viewing your feed and those viewing your story. In order to create an effective Instagram ad, you need to be conversational and use Swipe Up to engage with your audience.
2. Facebook Ads
The biggest advantage to Facebook is you can target who you want to see your ad. If you’re going for female entrepreneurs between the ages of 25-45, you can target them.

Although there is no such thing as a “correct” amount to spend on an ad, it’s not unusual to spend $1500 to convert 100-150 people. Begin posting the ad 7-10 days before your course launches. Be sure to give yourself enough time to test and gradually increase your ad spend. Use Facebook Pixel to track the progress and effectiveness of your ads. This will let you know what’s working and what isn’t, so you can make adjustments as you go. If you have a small ad budget, Facebook is a great place to start.

3. Google Ads and Retargeting
You can use Google ads to target a set of people who may not use Facebook for business. These people are actively looking for a solution to their problem right now. That means they are ready to buy. You can even use Google to retarget them to your Facebook page if you want. 

It's easier to market with an advertising budget, but don't let lack of start-up funds stand in your way! Start where you are and scale up as you go...

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Free Ways to Market Online

Ok, so you really don’t have a marketing budget, but you have anoutstanding online course that you know will bring in enough money to have a marketing budget. You just need to fill your course. I’ve still got you covered. There are some excellent free marketing options.

1.  Instagram
   Post images and use appropriate hashtags to gain a following. Be sure to mix up promotional and non-promotional images to hold people’s interest. If you’re using Instagram for business, make sure you stay on brand. 

2. Facebook
   Promote your business where appropriate. This is what your Facebook business page is for, but remember to post both promotional and non-promotional content. On promotional days, mention your business on appropriate Facebook groups. You can also message people who are interested in your services about the upcoming online program and mention any limited offers or extra bonuses that are included before a certain date. 

3. Pinterest
   Create a graphic that takes people to a landing page for your online course and pin it to your board. Be sure to have a board dedicated to your blog posts and other informative pages.

4. Blog
   Focus on topics related to your course to build excitement and interest. Create unique posts and let people know your online program is  opening soon and any other details you need to give. Be sure to include a link to your online course in your blog post. When you’re not focusing on promoting your course, continue publishing posts related to your field and services.

5. Twitter
   Twitter is my personal favorite social media platform. I love the immediacy, but there are a few things to remember. Only use 1-3 hashtags per post (unlike Instagram where you can use as many as you want), and keep your posts below 280 characters. Don’t be afraid to use graphics with details from your course like the name of the course, date it opens, and when any bonuses end. 

6. LinkedIn
   If your online program is designed to be business to business, then you definitely want to be on LinkedIn, but even if it’s not, the professional platform can benefit you. The people on LinkedIn are still people, so if your course is designed to be business to customer, you can reach potential customers them here.

 With the advent of the internet and social media, businesses have more places and ways to market than ever before! This is both exciting and overwhelming. Last post I talked about finding your ideal audience, and marketing is a big reason why. When you know who your ideal client is, you will know what websites, social media platforms, and blogs they frequent. That will narrow down your list of marketing places, so you don’t have to do all the things. Only do the things that work for your business, your industry, and your clients.

At the same time, don’t be afraid to try new ways to reach your ideal audience. Once you have Facebook figured out and working for you, see what you can do with Twitter or Pinterest or a blog. Remember, marketing is an investment of both your time and money, so be smart about it.

Special Guest Aimee Mazal Skillin

Aimee Mazal Skillin is a bilingual, bicultural native English/Spanish speaker and writer, which lead her to become a Licensed Interpreter for 13 years in San Antonio, Texas. This brought her many opportunities to work with numerous business types as well as in the courts. She provides speaking engagements and presentations in both languages as well as courses.

Aimee also managed and curated the largest privately held Holocaust Library for nearly 4 years.  She coordinated fundraising events, social media and re-branding of the entity as well as press releases, interviews and public speaking.  Because of this unique opportunity, she fell in love with marketing and branding. Through social media she was able to connect and expose the Library to many more people and entities and found she was both good at marketing and it made her happy.  

Aimee is incredibly passionate about mentoring people and helping them grow. With a keen focus on training and leadership development, she creates and delivers high-impact programs designed to increase employee engagement and promote ongoing personal and professional advancement.

Where to Start Marketing Your Online Program

So far we’ve covered why you need to market your online course and the options you have available. Whether you use the paid or free marketing options, you must get in front of your ideal client in order to fill your course seats. With so many options and reasons, you might be wondering where to start.

Start with your marketing budget. Do you have one? How much can you dedicate to marketing each month? This will help you zero in on the best options for your program.

Go back to your ideal attendee. Where do they hangout? Which social media platform? In which interest groups? Begin creating content that speaks to your ideal client and is designed for their favored social media platforms.

Make an action plan. Decide where, when, how often, and what you’re going to post. Nail down your fast-action bonuses, cut off dates, and when your cart closes. This way you’ll be ready to use your promotional message and offer once you’re ready to start offering your course.

Without knowing your specific situation, I can’t give you an exact list of what to do, but I can give you the tools and knowledge you need to figure out the best place to market the launch of your online course. You know your business and your ideal client. Use that knowledge to narrow your marketing efforts to the places your ideal client is most likely to be and focus your efforts there to start.

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Laura Pence Atencio

As Founder and CEO of Social Savvy Geek, LLC., Laura Pence Atencio is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and business owners meet and exceed their goals. She is committed to providing the most engaging and effective strategies in online marketing by combining traditional business networking and marketing fundamentals and best practices with current and engaging online marketing methods and tactics. Laura has worked with some of the top names in Internet Marketing and has consulted with entrepreneurs, businesses, and nonprofits in the US and abroad. She is the author of the popular article, 10 Tips to Build Your Twitter List Now, which has been published both online and in print in the US, Australia, and New Zealand. A lifetime student herself, Laura has achieved certification as a Computer Administrative Specialist at Beta Tech and has studied Art Education, History, Art History, and Criminal Justice at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is fascinated by learning, sharing and growing, not just in business, but in life. She participates in US Masters Swimming and has ranked in the top 25 nationally in her age group in both the 50 and 100-yard backstroke. She served in the VA Army National Guard as a Combat Engineer in the 229th Engineer Battalion. She never meets strangers, only friends not yet made– an attitude that serves her extremely well in the networking world, both online and off. She currently lives in Denver, CO with her husband, 3-year-old daughter, and German Shephard.