This post will guide you through digital marketing strategies like SEO, effective social media presence, and the power of a well-crafted newsletter. We'll also explore how Memberstack's features can help turn your Webflow site into an engaging, monetizable online course platform plus the common challenges of launching and scaling your online course!
Growing your online course with Webflow and Memberstack
Whether you're a veteran or a novice in the online course sphere, this guide is geared towards providing valuable insights that help you launch and market your online course.
Marketing your Online Course
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a set of strategies and techniques aimed at improving the visibility and ranking of a website in search engine results pages (SERPs).
With Webflow, you can easily manage meta tags, alt text, and other SEO-friendly elements. Additionally, Webflow’s CMS allows for dynamic SEO settings. By creating a template for your SEO tags, you ensure that each course is SEO optimized automatically.
Keyword Optimization: The key to SEO lies in understanding what your target audience are searching for and using the right keywords. With Webflow, you can integrate keyword-specific content into your course titles. This helps search engines understand your content and increases the chance of ranking higher in search results which = more potential students discovering your courses. Make sure you do some research around your different course topics to see what people are searching for so you can include the right words in your titles.
URL Structures: A clean, concise URL that includes relevant keywords is another positive ranking factor. Webflow allows you to customize your URL structures, making them SEO-friendly.
Mobile Optimization: As Google prioritizes mobile-friendly sites, it's important to ensure your course performs well on mobile devices. Webflow is designed to create responsive websites, providing a great user experience across all devices.
Skillshare does a great job at seo optimised titles by using well-researched keywords in course titles and descriptions to rank higher in search results. This strategy significantly increases the platform's visibility, attracting a large volume of potential learners from organic search traffic.
Social media platforms are excellent for raising awareness about your course. For instance, Teachable utilizes platforms like Instagram and Facebook to share sneak peeks of course content and instructor interviews, piquing the interest of potential students and driving enrolment rates up. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are great options to share course snippets.
Starting a Monthly Newsletter
Regular newsletters are an effective way to keep your audience engaged and updated about course changes or new offerings. Memorisely, for instance, sends a monthly newsletter featuring relevant course snippets, industry updates, and exclusive deals. This direct communication channel helps maintain a strong connection with subscribers.
Newsletters are usually a simple, straightforward and easy mode of marketing to bake into your weekly tasks. Try starting with a weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly (depending on the amount of content you have) newsletter, for us it's every other Monday. Use a tool like Mailerlite (free for up to 1,000 subscribers then starting from $9!) You can create a newsletter template with your headings, intro, greeting etc so it's super quick and easy to add in your new course releases or snippets of/screenshots of videos to get readers excited. Keep it simple!
Growing a Community
Building an online community creates an interactive learning environment for students, helps builds relationships and loyalty and encourages members to share feedback, questions etc so you can help them along the way. Coursera leverages Twitter to foster active discussions, share insightful content, and respond to student queries, creating a vibrant and engaging community that enhances the overall learning experience. In the screenshot below, they're using a real life case study along with a video to share Kyles story and show members what they could do!
You could use platforms like Slack or Circle and have different channels like course support, advice, specific channels for different courses (design, development, marketing etc). Make or Zapier are great places to build these communities – especially because they contain native integrations with both Slack and Memberstack. P.S. if you're using Circle, Memberstack integrates and allows you to use Single Sign-On.
Hosting Webinars or Co-working
Webinars and co-working sessions offer deeper engagement and relationship building with students. Masterclass, for instance, hosts interactive webinars where instructors can delve into complex topics, answer student questions, and even provide direct mentorship. These sessions not only add value to the course but also foster a stronger bond between the platform and its learners. Although more time intensive it's definitely worth investing into, even hosting one webinar for each course per month, you can always record and post in the community for others to watch at a later date too!
Providing free resources or course trials can effectively lure potential students. Udemy uses this strategy by offering a few modules of its courses for free, giving learners a taste of the quality of education they can expect. This encourages potential learners to invest in the complete course.
YouTube Videos Detailing Each Module
YouTube videos provide an authentic glimpse into your course content. Platforms like Khan Academy leverage YouTube to showcase their educational content and teaching methods attracting a diverse global audience and generating interest in their courses. You could explore offering free short snippets of content on youtube or clips sharing one main tip from each main course video to give people a taster and discover your course via SEO without giving too much away for free.
Testimonial Page/Case Studies
Showcasing testimonials, particularly video testimonials, adds credibility to your course. Codecademy, for instance, features video testimonials that highlight the success stories of its learners. These testimonials act as powerful social proof, showing prospective students the real-world impact and benefits of their courses. A fun and exciting way to show off the real benefits of your course and how it's helped real people! You can turn these case studies into shorter snippets and share on social platforms too (think Twitter and Instagram.)
Growing your online course with Webflow and Memberstack
Utilize Free Trials
You can emulate successful platforms like Coursera, which offers a "free trial" model for their specialized programs. With Memberstack, you can offer potential users free trials, giving them a glimpse into your course before they commit. This can significantly boost your conversion rates. Free trials, essentially a form of lead magnet, allow potential customers to experience the quality of your course firsthand, and more often than not, they will be convinced to continue with the full program.
Leverage Memberstack’s features
Memberstack provides a new feature called Member Metrics. This allows you to keep track of vital data like total members, sign-ups, active subscriptions, and more. Each of these data points contributes to an understanding of your course performance and user behaviour. Having separate live and test mode data ensures that you always have accurate, actionable insights at your disposal. Informed decision-making based on these metrics can significantly enhance your course's growth and profitability.
The use of Memberstack's onboarding forms can drastically improve the user experience for your course. These forms allow users to save their progress, offering a seamless and personalized learning journey. There's a wealth of free onboarding form components available to clone on the Memberstack website and a comprehensive video tutorial on creating your custom onboarding forms. Such a smooth onboarding process can lead to better user retention rates and increase the perceived value of your course.
Social authentication, a feature provided by Memberstack, is a strategy used by renowned platforms like Udemy. They allow users to sign up using their existing Facebook or Google accounts.
The convenience and speed of signing up with existing social media account not only improve user experience but also drive faster conversions. By eliminating the friction in the sign-up process, you're likely to attract a wider audience, leading to an increase in course enrolments and overall growth.
Challenges of Starting and Growing an Online Course
Embarking on the journey of creating and expanding an online course comes with unique challenges. Among them, establishing an appropriate pricing model stands prominent. It's essential to balance profitability with value for students, check out this blog on subscription pricing models if you need any help!
Creating engaging, high-quality content in a market filled with heavyweight competitors with substantial marketing budgets is a demanding task. In addition, deploying effective marketing strategies and guaranteeing a smooth learner experience is also necessary for the course's success.
These challenges may seem daunting, but they're not insurmountable. With resources like Memberstack and a consistent focus on student value, you can navigate these hurdles, setting your course on the path to growth despite the competitive landscape.
Know Your Competitors and What They’re Doing to Promote
In the competitive world of online course creation, keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing is important. An understanding of their strategies, the marketing tools they're using, and their promotion methods can help give you valuable insights and help shape your approach.
Consider a basic competitive analysis so you can identify gaps in your strategies and refine them for better performance. For instance, if a competitor is successfully utilizing SEO or social media campaigns, it might be time to review and possibly ramp up your own efforts in those areas. Likewise, staying informed about the latest marketing tools and technologies they're using can help you optimize your course promotion and engagement strategies.
Understanding your competitors' offerings and their unique selling propositions can help you highlight and communicate your own differentiators more effectively, making your course stand out and highlight its own uniqueness. It's not about imitation, but rather about learning, innovating, and finding ways to provide even more value to your students.
Remember, success in online course creation isn't just about the quality of your content; it's also about effectively promoting your course in a competitive landscape. And understanding your competition plays a crucial role in this.
Case Study: Leonardo English (built with Memberstack and Webflow)
Leonardo English, an online platform teaching English through podcasts, provides a compelling example of effectively leveraging Webflow and Memberstack to run their English teaching course. This platform elevates the learning experience with rich content that includes translations and interactive transcripts.
By integrating Webflow and Memberstack, Leonardo English streamlines its monthly subscription sign-up process, creating an intuitive experience for its learners. A sign-up form simplifies user onboarding, allowing eager learners to quickly join the platform and commence their learning journey.
"Memberstack allows our paying members to access members only content and also to access certain parts of a page, which were hidden to other non-members. So what it does is is allows me to very easily manage my different levels of membership and then shows different bits of the screen to different types of members."
"I'm not really sure how I would have built my site without Memberstack. I guess it would have to have been some kind of password protected pages or sending people, PDFs and links to videos and MP3 files and stuff. Which would've just been a terrible experience. So I don't really know what I would've done without Memberstack."
To strengthen customer support and retention, the platform has integrated Crisp Chat as well as integrating with Airtable, Mailerlite, Jetboost and Make.
"I built the website on Webflow and integrated Memberstack without being a developer. There's a lot of stuff that is very accessible to people who don't have a technical background. But that being said there is quite a lot of my website that has custom code in it and Memberstack deals with that very well, it had a lot more flexibility than other platforms I believe."
In conclusion, growing an online course requires a blend of effective marketing strategies, utilization of tools like Webflow and Memberstack, understanding the competitive landscape, and overcoming inherent challenges. From SEO and social media engagement to newsletters, webinars, and compelling lead magnets, your marketing efforts can significantly influence your course's growth.
Always remember, success in the online course industry hinges not just on quality content, but also on a robust promotional strategy and an outstanding user experience.