10 Steps To Use YouTube to Promote Your Online Courses

Article by Nelli Gevorgyan / Updated at .15 Feb 2024
11 min read
10 Steps To Use YouTube to Promote Your Online Courses

YouTube is the second most popular platform by the number of active users after Facebook. However, online educators are mostly focused on platforms like Facebook and TikTok, ignoring the huge potential YouTube can offer while promoting your online courses, masterclasses, digital products, and coaching programs.

To have your potential students stumbling upon the channel and finding out about your courses, you really need to stand out. That is why we will give you a brief guide, including the Top 7 steps to successfully promote and sell your online course on YouTube. 


Benefits of having a presence on YouTube

Why do I even need a YouTube channel to promote my courses? Can’t other platforms do the job? Not exactly! Let’s discuss some reasons why.

Increase brand awareness

If you choose the right tactics and are patient enough, YouTube can be a great tool to get more people to know about your courses. As you continue providing helpful content for your potential students, you will end up on the recommendation pages. And as your videos are helpful, people will most likely share them. So, you will get a free promotion. Thus, your online course brand can succeed, especially if you incorporate the brand elements we will introduce in the next steps.

Allows you to build an email list

With your videos, you can work on turning your audience into real-time students. If you make a call to action, this would be quite easy. E.g., to fill out a form to get a discount for a certain upcoming or existing course you have. You can also add digital download links related to your video content to the video description. Thus, you will collect emails from the registered users.

Monetization options are available

Also, one more benefit YouTube provides its creators with is monetization, providing you with an extra source of income. Of course, there are some requirements you will need to meet, such as having at least 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of public watch time within a year.

High visibility on search engines

Often, when you make a search on Google, YouTube videos take up considerable space on search results. So, you might as well take advantage of YouTube marketing. You can embed your YouTube videos in your teaching website and increase the online authority of your teaching business. 

Now, let’s see what you can do to promote your courses and sell them with the help of YouTube.

Step #1 Understand your given value

First of all, you will have to understand the value you can give to the audience. For that, try to research some existing channels of online educators to understand the market situation. Researching what they already offer will give you an idea of what you can bring to the table. 

Here are the questions you can find the answers to:

  • Who are the main YouTube creators in your niche?
  • What unique format did they choose to offer their content?
  • What are the trending topics they cover in the videos?

As you understand the content demand, you can develop your own format, which will help you find your unique selling point and grow.


Understanding the benefits the competitors will provide.

Step #2 Set up your YouTube channel

The first impression about your online course YouTube channel matters a great deal. One of the main components is the introduction teaser video, which is usually the first thing that plays when a potential student lands on your channel. Remember to keep your introduction video snappy and give your future students a test of what’s to come.

When discussing the benefits of running a channel on YouTube as an online educator, we mentioned that it contributes to your brand recognition. If this is a goal for your business, think about designing a catchy banner for your channel that reflects your teaching style, your teaching environment, or perhaps your personality. Add a profile pic, whether it is your personal picture or your school brand logo.

Optimizing your YouTube channel where you can promote and sell your courses and programs includes filling in your channel’s “About” page. Here, you can share your qualifications, a bit about your life outside the online classroom, and your passion and benefits for which the potential students would want to subscribe to your channel.

Tip: don’t be afraid to use relatable emojis and write how you speak. We are not trying to give a fake impression. Our goal is to stay authentic.

An example of a channel description is Sunny Lennurduzzis’s. She not only introduces the benefits of subscribing to her channel but includes a quote about it from Forbes.


Step #3 Create a content plan and get content ideas

Have you experienced a crisis when you have a lot in mind, but every word coming out of your mouth sounds like nonsense? Yes, we all have! The concept of content planning was designed to avoid this kind of crisis in the professional sphere.

Tip: Out of working content ideas? Explore the “Popular” section of other online educators on YouTube to see what your potential students show interest in and how you can answer their questions.

When it comes to content ideas, think about them as small and complementary parts of one of your courses, masterclasses, or programs. Let’s say you have already launched a course, and your students are constantly asking some questions about one of the subtopics. So, it will be a great idea to create a separate video on that very topic, where you explain everything in more detail. Thus, your YouTube videos can accompany your courses and programs, and you will be able to direct your potential students to your YouTube channel.

Or vice versa. You can give a general overview of one of your course topics in your YouTube videos and direct the watchers to purchase your course on that topic if they want to find out more.

Tip: Offer freebies as part of your educational videos, and do not sound too pushy with your promotions.

Step #4 Come up with unique ways to engage your audience

What is that one reason that will make your audience on YouTube establish trust with you, which will later turn them into leads for your courses? Yes, we are speaking about your unique way to engage your audience.

It may be in the way you start your YouTube videos. For example, you can decide on a line you will use consistently throughout all your videos - your special greeting. Or perhaps it’s the outro of your video that makes you unique. While this does not affect promoting your online courses on YouTube directly, it makes you more memorable and helps establish good relationships with your audience.

Step #5 Make your channel SEO-friendly

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) involves an "organic" ranking, meaning you do not have to pay to be promoted on search engines. Besides optimizing your teaching website, you will also need to optimize your YouTube channel to be able to promote your courses.

And how do I make sure my YouTube video pops up in high positions when the searcher types the query? First, make sure you have the keywords in your video title so your title matches the intent of the searchers. Besides the title, we also have the video description part, where you want to include the keywords.

Quick tip: Keep your video description under 800 words.

Another component that helps the searchers find relevant videos is the hashtags. So, you may also have the main topic of the video in a hashtag format.

Now, when your audience finds your video, your goal is to get them to click on it. In this case, your video thumbnail will help to get their attention and provide a reason why they should click on the video, whether by means of a catchy short text or just an image.

As they click on the video, your goal is to get them to watch your video for as long as possible. So, try to add closed captions and subtitles to accompany your speech for those needing them.

SEO searches.

Step #6 Use call-to-actions

Call-to-actions are crucial because they show people what to do next. For example, visit your website, download your guide, leave opinion in the comments section, etc.

How to write effective CTAs?

  • Start with a string command verb - Buy, shop, order, download, subscribe, share, visit, etc.
  • Use words that will provoke emotion or associate with power
  • Give a reason why they would need to perform the action now

Step #7 Build a loyal community

When you start being consistent, you will notice the numbers growing, including views, subscribers, and likes. Therefore, your community is growing, and now your goal should be to build a loyal community and interact with them.

To engage with your community, try closing up your videos with thought-provoking questions that may arouse discussions in the comment section. Be active in the comments and go live on YouTube to keep in touch with your audience.

Step #8 Cross-promote on other platforms

As you upload your videos on YouTube, do not forget to share them on other social media channels for promotions. Also, if you have relevant articles or other pages on your online teaching website, you can include the YouTube embed code or promote them in educational communities.

Another way to promote your online courses and programs is by repurposing YouTube videos into shorter formats and sharing them as Shorts, on IG as reels, or on TikTok.

Step #9 Collaborate with other creators

If you find other creators on YouTube with whom you share a similar audience, you can make a collaboration offer. This way, a new potential audience will get acquainted with your content, and you will potentially get more subscribers who are likely to be interested in your paid offers.

So, come up with a concrete collaboration idea that aligns with both your and the other creator’s content. It can be joint videos, interviews, challenges, etc.

Step #10 Keep consistency

YouTube is a platform that loves consistency. So, if you post regularly, you will definitely have an organic growth of the audience. Consistency is not only about posting regularly.

Consistency is also about content. For example, as an online dating coach, publishing outside your professional spectrum won't be wise. Why? Because your audience consists of people interested in dating.

How to be consistent on YouTube?

  • stick to a certain schedule.
  • stick to one niche
  • stick to a format

What can you learn from online educators-creators from YouTube?

Ali Abdaal

Ali Abdaal is a YouTuber, podcaster, and online educator. He mainly offers content on productivity, study techniques, and personal development. Ali Abdaal currently has 5,07 million subscribers on YouTube. His online courses include productivity masterclasses and study techniques.

Key takeaways from his YouTube channel

  • His introduction covers all the main aspects of his courses and videos.
  • His video descriptions include a clear and concise CTA, directing his audience to the website and encouraging them to download a free guide.
  • His channel banner is telling and gives a complete idea of what the channel is about
  • Most of his offers and educational content are covered in YouTube Shorts, presented in a creative and visually appealing way.

Thomas Frank

Thomas Frank is an online educator, YouTuber, and entrepreneur. He has about2,95 million subscribers on YouTube. Thomas Frank mostly talks about productivity, habit tracking, using Notion, and study tips.

Key takeaways from his YouTube channel

  • His video thumbnails represent exact emotions that correspond to the video titles.
  • As he focuses on multiple topics, he organizes his videos into neat playlists, so everyone can easily find the topic they are most interested in.
  • His channel description is well-written, with a little humor. He mentions what the users can find helpful about his channel, as well as tells some short facts about himself.
  • Reading his video titles makes you ask the question, “Why?”. If you also want to make your videos clickable, make sure there is the “why” in your video titles.
  • The video description includes his paid resources, and the ones who watched the video can apply their promo code to get the resource.

Team work

Keep rocking on YouTube

Although it may be challenging due to high competition to become a creator on YouTube, it is definitely worth your efforts. If you follow the steps and tricks mentioned in this article, you will be able to build a big and loyal community. Alongside the promotion of your Online Course, business would become a lot easier. 

At some point, all your efforts will bring amazing results if you keep moving forward and being consistent. YouTube is an incredible platform to improve a brand’s awareness, promote it, and connect with your audience.

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