YouTube is the largest video search engine available out there on the net. This means that it is one of the best and most efficient tools to use in order to promote your online courses.
However, in this dynamic and competitive industry, you have to offer something that differentiates you from others. Therefore, in this article, we will give you a brief guide, including the Top 7 steps you will have to complete to promote your online course on YouTube successfully.
So, if you are ready, let’s start!
The following article covers:
Benefits of having a presence on YouTube
Before we dive into the steps, let’s review the benefits that come with a presence on YouTube. In fact, there are multiple benefits. However, we are going to review the CRITICAL ones.
- Increase brand awareness. With YouTube, you can boost brand awareness in an ultimately short period of time, especially if you go viral.
- Reach wider audiences. Due to being such a popular platform and the largest video search engine globally, it provides you with an incredible opportunity to reach audiences worldwide. By the way, a little trick that might help you reach wider audiences is using captions and subtitles.
- Allows you to build an email list. Within your videos, you can work on turning your audience into real-time clients. This would be quite easy to do if you make a Call-to-action. E.g., to fill out a form to get a discount for a certain upcoming or existing course you have. You will collect emails from the registered users. Both sides will be satisfied. You can add them to the email list. And users will be turned into real-time happy customers who get a discount for a high-quality product.
- A powerful marketing tool. You can market your brand in every video made, even if it’s a video just about your favorite book.
- Your audience will promote you for free. If you make a useful video with high quality, most likely, people who watch it will share it. So, you will get free promotion.
- Monetization options are available. Also, one more benefit YouTube provides its creators with is monetization. Of course, this is not connected only to promotion and brand awareness, but it is nice to have an extra source of passive income for further investments in quality.
So, basically, by creating any content related to online courses on YouTube, your main goal is to promote your online courses business.
Step #1 Understand your given value
First of all, you will have to understand the value you can give to the audience. Research some existing channels and coaches who offer courses. This will help you to understand the market situation. The research aims to identify your competitors and understand what will differentiate you from them.
There are several methods to identify your competition. Especially useful would be methods that we usually use to validate our idea, such as:
Write a list answering the questions related to your competitors presented down below:
- Who are they?
- What courses do they offer?
- Do they also have a website?
- What prices do they charge?
- Is their YouTube channel gaining organic growth? And Why?
- What is their main selling point?
- Look globally: comprehend the direct, indirect, and alternative competition to get the full picture.
After completing everything, you will get enough data that will help you come up with or identify already existing unique selling points of yours. So, you will know what value you are going to give to your audience.
What benefits will understanding your competitors provide you with?
- You will comprehend how much you can charge for the course.
- Better visualization of the content type you need to post
- Finding and brainstorming your unique selling point
- The approximate idea about the demand levels in the market
- Chance to use the gained knowledge and be better than competitors
Step #2 Have a content plan
Having a content plan is extremely important to be able to promote your online courses.
What is a content plan?
Have you experienced a crisis when you have a lot in mind, but every word coming out of your mouth sounds like nonsense? I think we all have. To avoid this kind of crisis in a professional sphere, the concept of content planning was designed. Content planning is the process of structuring marketing assets and gathering data to make your content unique, comprehensive, and targeted.
Tips to create a Working Content plan
Before designing a content plan, you need to have a clear understanding of the plan's structure and purpose. To clearly imagine the structure and develop a content plan that meets all your demands, you should follow some steps:
- Identifying the target audience - When you create content, it is essential to define your target. This includes the age range of the users, their sex, interests. This step is crucial to understanding how you are going to advertise your product or services, what language you need to use to convey an idea, and so on. Several tools, such as Google Analytics, exist to help you. With those you can categorize your target and determine their demographics and behavior.
- Defining the purpose - Your product will definitely meet your users' demands and needs if you know what those are. After identifying your target audience, it is very important to understand their needs. This process will help you promote your content easily, gain popularity, and gain financial benefits quickly.
- The uniqueness of your content - By creating specific content, you get categorized and enter the general market. To survive and successfully surpass the competition, you need to clearly know what's unique about your content. While promoting your content, you need to emphasize the benefits the user will get by using your content.
- Content market tactics and channels - To identify what format to focus on, you need to meet your audience where they are. While you might want to record podcasts because they have recently gained popularity, you need to consider your audience’s platforms. If you choose your platform not carefully, your content will either not reach your audience or not capture their attention.
- Content management - Finding out how you are gonna manage and publish your content might be pretty challenging. Before doing this, you need to consider:
- Who is responsible for what
- Where is the content being published
- When is it going live
This might be an easy task in a small startup team, but when you and your audience grow, these kinds of decisions might be difficult to make alone.
Step #3 Make your channel SEO-friendly
When your channel is SEO-friendly, it can be easily found, meaning that the promotion of your online courses would definitely work.
What is SEO?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of organizing and structuring the content so it ranks higher on Google and other search systems. The difference between SEO and paid advertisements is that SEO is completely free. It aims to create organic traffic. Moreover, it involves an "organic" ranking, meaning that you do not have to pay to be in a specific space. There are on-site and off-site SEO. On-site is about internal/external links, meta descriptions, alt descriptions, and keyword stuffing. Meanwhile, off-site SEO is about "behind the scenes" actions. E.g., Backlinks ate part of off-site SEO.
How does SEO work? Using basic skills and logic
Search engines such as Google and Bing use special tools often called crawlers or spiders to gather all the information available on a topic. Crawlers explore the pages as well as the external and internal links put on those pieces of information. Afterward, they compare and combine the new information with the one available on the search engine's database, called index.
The process is done to understand how the website or channel works and how relevant is the provided information to the presented topic. When the user speaks or types in the searching box, the search engine uses complex algorithms to suggest what it finds the most relevant to the topic.
How to make your YouTube Channel SEO-friendly?
- Focus on the Quality of the keywords rather than Quantity. In this competitive industry, everyone is fighting for the top spots. So, it is extremely important to make wise decisions related to SEO. For example, choosing 4 or 5 related keywords is better than a list of 30, which will just spam your content. To conduct keyword research and identify relevant keywords, you can use tools such as Google Keyword Planner, Semrush, and Ahrefs.
- Use keywords in your video title: You have to understand the search intent of your audience in order to name the content properly. Make sure to match the title of the video with their intent, using the target keyword/keyphrase in the title.
- Include the keyword in your video file. YouTube possibly uses this as one of the ranking factors. So, name your file properly and include the key phrase in the video file name that you will upload.
- Optimize your YouTube video description. One more ranking factor is a video description. When you update a video description, YouTube will automatically reevaluate the video. And that can have positive or negative consequences. In the first couple of sentences, try to put the most important keywords. Also, a useful tip will be to keep the description shorter than 200 words, meaning that it should be short and to the point.
- Use hashtags. Tags make trends more visible and help you to drive more traffic. Once you add a tag, it will show above the title of the video and automatically become a hyperlink.
- Select a video category. If the search is conducted to advanced search, that means that users can select display of the videos only in certain categories. You can use this knowledge to your benefit and correctly categorize your video.
- Customize thumbnail image: Thumbnails grab people's attention, and that is a fact. The explanation is quite simple; thumbnails are visuals. Most people tend to pay close attention to the visual elements as most of us are visual learners. Therefore, you have to make a good-looking, readable, and at the same time, contrasting and modern thumbnail to grab viewers' attention.
- Add subtitles and closed captions: closed captions are for people who cannot hear the audio. Both subtitles and closed captions are files containing the text of what is said in the video. These files would not only broaden your audience, but they will also allow YouTube to better understand the SEO part of your content as Google does with blog posts.
Step #4 Publish mini-courses
Publishing mini-courses on YouTube is one of the best strategies to promote your online courses.
How will it help you to promote your business?
- Show the Audience your Teaching Style;
- Increases shares: When people see something that resolves an issue they were concerned about, most likely they have like-minded friends and will share the resource with them.
- Statistics: 65% of users use YouTube to find solutions to their requests. Therefore, YouTube is the perfect platform to launch a mini-course tutorial in any area/industry.
- Passive Income: If you market the course you have created correctly, you will be able to monetize the videos and gain passive income from it.
How to create a mini-course on YouTube?
Now, let’s take a look at the main steps you have to complete to create & publish a mini-course on YouTube.
Step 1 - Choose a topic
The course you are going to create has to relate to your niche. Are you a lifestyle coach? Then, choose a course topic such as “How to be more productive” and create a 3-4, 10-20 minutes each video course on that topic. Or you can choose a topic of the course you have a larger one on and provide a shorter version of it. With the second option, you can mention that viewers can also purchase the longer and more detailed version of the course on your website.
Step 2 - Plan & create a course content
The next step will be to create an action plan, then create course content. The action plan will be more of a checklist or a to-do list. An example is presented down below:
- The topic
- Course Structure
- Video scripts
- Shooting the videos
- Editing videos
- Description, tags
- Marketing plan for the mini-course on YouTube
The main elements of the course content are:
- Text content
- Video & Image content
- Screencasting content
To create course content, you will need to know:
- What is your goal? Why Are you creating that course?
- What value will that course give to your customers?
- How long is each video going to be? How many videos will your mini-course have?
- What is your USP?
- Gathering and Structuring your knowledge
- Create visuals (presentations, whiteboards, etc.)
- Writing video scripts, homework assignments, and other related content.
- Creating thumbnails and playlists
- Screen Record and edit if required
Step 3 - Promote your online Course
The last step in the creation of a mini-course is promotion. Yes, it is quite hard due to competition, but if you focus, you definitely can succeed. First of all, you will need approximate marketing goals and a plan. One of the most successful practices is to share the readily published course on your social media platforms using call-to-actions. Call-to-actions, in this case, can be either watching the video or reposting this news to get something in return. E.g., a discount for the longer course.
Implement best copywriting practices to write selling copies. Always remember about pointing out customers' pain points and providing solutions. Basically, write a persuasive piece about why they need to watch your mini-course. And, when they do watch the free mini-course on YouTube, you will grow your audience and be able to turn them into real-time clients. Because if people like your free course, they will subconsciously think that paid one will be even better. So, take this opportunity and start a YouTube channel right away.
Step #5 Keep consistency
“Consistency is the key to success.”
The quote mentioned earlier relates to every aspect of this life. YouTube is a platform that loves consistency. So, if you post regularly, you will deftly have an organic growth of the audience.
Why is consistency important?
Consistency gives your audience reason to be excited about the upcoming content. It creates a certain form of positive expectation and keeps them engaged. Besides, the YouTube algorithm favors regular posting and uploads. However, it is crucial to comprehend that consistency is not only about posting regularly.
Consistency is also about content. Identify your niche and goals in order to be able to build/create content about a specific topic. For example, as an online dating coach, publishing a course on programming all of a sudden won't be a wise decision. Why? Because your audience consists of people interested in dating.
How to be consistent on YouTube?
- Have a video/content schedule: To be consistent on YouTube in terms of time, you will need to stick to a certain schedule. Make sure that your audience is aware of the schedule as well. How to do that? At the end of the video, you can mention that you post every Tuesday and Saturday.
- Find a niche: Knowing your niche is critical. When you know your audience, you can be consistent in terms of content topics, overall design, and branding of your channel.
- Stick to a format: You have to stick to a certain format, including length, topics, and design of the videos.
- Have a pre-made ready-to-publish video: Emergencies can always happen. But, letting your business go down because of them won’t be a wise decision. So, before you start publishing, make sure you have 3-5 videos ready ahead of the publishing schedule.
Step #6 Use call-to-actions
Call-to-actions are crucial because it shows people what to do next. Let’s take a look at the three main reasons why CTAs are important:
- Motivates Sales Funnel: call-to-action is basically an instruction for the customer on what to do next.
- Customers expect those: customers really expect to see those. If you describe or present a nice product/service and forget to mention the next step they need to take to get it, they will be disappointed.
- The success of digital marketing depends on CTAs: all digital marketing is about is generating hype over a product/service. Generation of that “hype” is aimed to generate further leads and turn them into real-time customers. Use your chance, impress the potential client and use CTAs to direct them towards the next step.
How to write effective CTAs?
- Use a string command Verb - Buy, shop, order, download, subscribe, share, visit, etc.
- Use words that will provoke emotion or associate with power - e.g., death provokes more emotion than “can’t survive.” Millions of vocabularies and articles have collections of power and emotional words, which will help you.
- Give a reason - Before making a call-to-action, your sales copy must give a string reasoning why potential clients even need that service or product.
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. If you want to continue growing, you must employ certain engagement strategies.
Tips on Building a Loyal Community
Step 1, as you remember, was about finding your value. It is important because only then you will be able to create valuable and truly useful content. Down below, you can see tips on how to create valuable content in order to build a loyal community:
- Create meaningful content: Your followers can be easily distracted as in any other social media. However, if you create meaningful and attractive content, people will watch your videos until the ned, rather than scrolling the sidebar to find a better one.
- Proper Branding: Sticking to certain topics to shoot videos about is as important as sticking to a certain design. Choose a color palette and a certain style or elements that will regularly appear in the videos, such as thumbnails. The truth is, everything is branding, even your opening line, so think about the best and most memorable one. Also, make sure to use high-quality editing software.
- Communicate with your audience: When you are consistent and providing value, your task is to keep people engaged. In order to do that, you have to create a communication channel. Market your channel properly, open it alongside social media channels, and let your audience know about those, so they can follow you there and be more in touch. Make sure to answer their questions in the comments or general response and thank them for positive comments.
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 forwards and being consistent. YouTube is an incredible platform to improve a brand’s awareness, promote it, and connect with your audience.