You might have noticed over the past few years that online courses are springing up everywhere. There are sites like Udemy and Skillshare where you can find courses on almost any topic you like. And there are also people who release and sell individual courses on topics they specialize in directly from their websites.
This is because online courses are in high demand. The E-learning market is expected to grow to $325 billion by 2025. But selling courses directly isn’t the only method businesses can use to generate a profit. There are several other ways you can use them to get more customers. One of them is to weave courses into your content marketing. It will make your content an even more powerful marketing medium.
Today I am going to show you several ways you can use courses to boost your content marketing…
Use courses as lead magnets:
Email has become an essential component of most businesses’ content marketing right now. When I visit most blogs these days, they use any number of tactics for capturing leads. They implement techniques like popups, sliders, and content landing pages to convert traffic to subscribers.
And a lot of them ask you to sign up in exchange for a lead magnet to increase conversion rates. The lead magnet is an essential part of email marketing. The better it is, the more people will sign up.
Also, if it contains top quality information it can make a wonderful first impression and subscribers will be more likely to open your future emails. This is why you should make a strong effort to create a breath-taking lead magnet.
One way to do this is by creating a course. Think about it, most people are selling courses from a few hundred to thousands of dollars. But if you offer the same content for free instead of an ebook or a white paper, don’t you think a lot of people will want it.
So, create a course on a topic your readers will be interested in and offer it for free in exchange for a sign up.
An example is this Course on Facebook ads from Leadpages.
They created a course with 11 videos and offered the option for visitors to either watch it for free or sign up and download all the videos. It contains tips that both beginners and intermediate users will find very useful.
This is the sort of quality course that can get them a lot of sign ups. The course is relevant to their target audience as people regularly use Facebook ads to promote landing pages.
They also promote the course on a landing page built with their software (Leadpages is a landing page tool) as it promotes the product.
If you don’t want to display your videos publicly like Leadpages and only allow access to them after a sign up, you can implement the technique that Tailwind uses with their Launchpad courses. Here they display several free courses, but you can only access them by signing up.
They too stay relevant to the topic like Leadpages and only offer courses on Instagram and Pinterest. As their software lets you schedule posts to these two networks only.
To set up something like this you can use a tool like Kajabi.
It has everything you need for running a course site. This includes building regular course site pages, setting up landing pages, setting up gated pages that host content and of course video hosting. There are several other features that can help you with capturing leads, sending email broadcasts and setting up quizzes so that course attendees can test themselves.
To help you create better content:
One of the best parts of creating an online course is that you can gather a wealth of data. If you use a good tool you can take a look at which pages in the member areas are visited most, which videos got the most plays, the average amount of time most viewers spent watching a video, the cheatsheets and workbooks that were downloaded most, etc. Some course platforms also let you create quizzes which can assess the effectiveness of your course and the interests of your audience.
The data gathered from here can be used to not only improve your course but to also create better content. For example, you can use the information from the most popular and engaging videos and answers from quizzes to create other forms of content like ebooks and blog posts that more people will want to consume.
You can easily obtain this information by using the aforementioned tool, Kajabi as it has got features like video analytics, heat maps, and quizzes.
If you want to get the most out of these tactics, you should limit the length of each video to 4 to 10 minutes. Creating long videos will make it harder to understand user preferences.
Short videos will also make it easy for course attendees to consume the content as they won’t have to sit for long periods. They can watch the short videos, implement what they learn and come back for more later.
To nurture and segment users:
Two important aspects of content marketing that come after lead capture are lead nurturing and segmenting. They are a necessity if you want to convert maximum leads into sales.
Nurturing with more content after lead capture helps build a stronger trustworthy relationship with your subscribers. And segmenting helps you divide your subscribers into different categories so that you can only serve them the most relevant emails. Categorising subscribers will increase click rates and decrease unsubscribe rates as subscribers will only be sent content they want to read.
Most businesses nurture their leads by sending more content that compliments the ebook or white paper they initially downloaded. But when you run a video course, you can just divide the course into several modules and release a new module every day or every week and then inform them about it.
This will nurture leads and increase course attendance rates as the emails will act as a reminder.
Through these emails you can track subscriber behaviour and segment them based on the emails they open and the links they click. Some software will also let you score lead engagement based on the number of clicks and opens. This is another benefit of lead nurture.
For example, if you run a course on how to play Football better and most of the modules are about playing football, but you have one module on eating better and the email reminder to it gets the most opens. It shows that there are a set of people that are specifically interested in improving their diet. Therefore, you can send this segment of people only emails relating to food and diet.
If you prefer releasing all the videos at once instead of dripping them slowly, you can provide access to all modules as soon as someone signs up and then promote each module every day or week.
Another option would be to nurture leads with extra content in the form of workbooks, cheat sheets and infographics. These should help subscribers get the most out of the videos they watch.
To segment your list and to score leads, you will need to use an advanced email marketing software like Drip.
To create content that sells products better:
You can also use courses to promote your products. While teaching the solution to the problem in your courses, you can show attendees how to achieve a quicker result while using your products.
This way attendees don’t just learn about the solution, but also get informed about your product.
Many companies like Adobe already execute this. For example, Adobe has a course on their website on How to Design a Logo.
You can view all the 6 videos in the course for free, even without signing up. But in order to design the logo you need Adobe’s Illustrator software as they show you how to create the logo with this software. They mention this at the beginning of the course itself and they provide the link to it so that people can sign up for the free trial.
To sum up, through the course they are promoting their product, getting subscribers and helping their target audience learn useful skills.
Adobe has similar courses all over their website that promote other products like Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere Pro and more.
This is a great way to not only gain subscribers but also gain sales. Hence, you must definitely give it a try.
Now begin using courses in your content marketing…
Content marketing is becoming highly competitive year after year and those who invest more time and effort into it will standout and generate the most leads.
Setting up courses can be a time-consuming process as creating the videos and editing them requires a lot of work. You also need to create workbooks and cheat sheets that go along with the courses. But the time spent creating them will be worth it as your course will stand out from the other overused forms of lead magnets.
Courses can also help you nurture your leads better, hence you will be able to get more sales out of them as well.
So, begin creating a course today.
Are you using courses in your content marketing? How have they benefited your business? Please leave your comments below.