Marketing Strategies for Online Courses: Podcast Episode #3
Online courses have been really popular from the big providers like Coursera to individuals who are creating courses as their side hustle. So there are a lot of providers out there, which is good because that means that there's a lot of demand for individuals who are looking to learn online. But as a company that is providing online courses, that also means that there is competition. And when there's competition, that means that you need to be doing things to make sure that you're different or that you're attracting the right people to buy from you over other online course providers.
There are some things that you could do that are more product-related around the topics that your courses cover or the delivery format. And then there are other things that marketing can contribute to. And there's one marketing strategy that is sometimes overlooked in figuring out how to market and how to differentiate your online course. And that is in looking at marketing strategies for online courses related to pricing.
And pricing starts before marketing could work with it. Pricing starts with having a conversation at the company and the brand level around what you want your company to stand for. And that will then inform pricing and considering your revenue goals and how much money you want to be making, how fast, how many products you have all that. Some of the conversations to have around your company and related to pricing are just talking through what your value proposition is. Are your online courses meant to be a premium brand? Do you have more one-on-one workshops or are your online courses something that's being produced for the masses and you want to get a lot of people in there and maybe you'll have a lot of other courses that you could upsell to them afterward. When you're producing these online courses, you want to think about over the long term, what do you want people to think of from your company? And there's no right or wrong answer. You can make money in both ways. It will inform your marketing strategies down the road. Once you have that figured out, then that will inform different types of marketing strategies for your online courses related to your pricing.
If your online courses want to be positioned as a premium brand, and maybe you have fewer people in your courses, but they're paying more or they're getting more out of it. The are some things that you could do to attract people and you don't always need to be doing discounts. And especially in this case where you want people to think highly of your brand, there are some things that you could do. One is you could give things away for free and that doesn't need to be money. Again, it could be the first module or a preview of the course or maybe you give away a worksheet that's part of the course. Another thing that you could do is really look at your messaging and what you're highlighting on your landing pages and in your emails where you're promoting the courses and make sure that you're highlighting some of the elements that make your courses more valuable than others. That could be the amount of one-on-one coaching that they get or the peer groups that they get that lower-priced on-demand courses wouldn't necessarily offer. Another thing that you could do is in your messaging is emphasize the exclusivity and the limited amount of people. So talk about having things like limited seats available. Sign up now. The other thing that you could do too and this is becoming more popular in e-commerce in general is in offering payment plans. If it is a high cost and you want to be able to attract people to your course, you could offer that they can pay a little bit upfront or pay over a period of months or something. That widens the opportunity for people to be able to sign up for your courses even if they can't pay everything upfront.
On the flip side, if you decide that your company is going to produce a lot of courses that are maybe lower-priced and your goal is to get a lot of people into these courses, that's where you can play around with discounts and you could get creative with why you're giving discounts out or be selective about who you're giving your discounts out to. You could give them out to first-time customers or to a group. If you're selling into a company, you could give them a discount if they have participated in another marketing event that you had or maybe you have some kind of preview to the course or webinar related to it, you give them a discount for that. You could also adjust your pricing based on when they sign up. Conferences do this a lot where they have early bird pricing. You could release the course and then you could say if you buy it today, then it'll be this price. If you buy it three months from now, it's going to be this price. And then another thing that you could do is plan around for new courses when you're initially launching them, you can talk about an introductory price or limited time price. You could say it's going to be $10 right now because it's an introductory course, but after this date, it's going to go up to $15. So buy now.
Hopefully, that gives you an idea of the different types of pricing strategies that you can incorporate into your marketing, and all of this is unique to your audience. It starts with your business strategy and what your goals are and thinking long term. What do you want your people to think about with your company and then you could figure out the right pricing and marketing strategies under that and again you're going to need to test them. Look at what you could do through testing different landing pages against each other with different offers or as you launch new courses, try some of these different strategies and get a better idea for what people are being attracted to and what's bringing you customers and more revenue.