Are you a pro when it comes to marketing? It doesn’t matter whether it’s digital marketing, inbound marketing, email marketing, PPC marketing, or any other kind of marketing skills that you possess – this is a field that many students are dying to learn.
Why not make the most of your digital marketing skills and help others learn digital marketing, too? Online learning is taking the education world by storm, and there’s no reason why you can’t create your own marketing courses to help others learn digital marketing, too.
If you’re looking for advice on how to start an online marketing course, you’ve come to the right place. Creating a helpful, groundbreaking class is easier than you might think – here’s how to do it.
Start By Selecting Your Topic
You know you want to teach about marketing, but have you decided what kind of marketing you’d like to teach yet? You’ll want to pick topics for marketing courses that you will enjoy teaching – and marketing skills that are sought after by students, too.
If you don’t love your topic, it will be obvious that you aren’t passionate about it. As a result, your online marketing course will be about as interesting as a paper bag. You don’t need to have a university degree in marketing or a related topic in order to teach it, either – you just need to be passionate.
Think carefully about your traditional and digital marketing skills, talents, and experiences. This will help you come up with a list of potential course topics that is not only helpful but marketable.
These are some of the most popular topics that you can teach in an online marketing course. For the most part, you will want to focus on digital marketing skills in your online class, as these tend to be the most commonly searched for topics. That said, a course in traditional advertising (as compared to online advertising) could be a successful avenue for you if you know exactly what kinds of content you’d like to offer.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing your website so that it ranks higher in search engine results pages. This can increase the amount of free (also known as organic) traffic that is sent to your website. The best channels for SEO include blogs, websites, and websites.
When you teach a course on search engine optimization, you might focus on on-page SEO, off-page SEO, or technical SEO. You could also teach a combination of the three.
Content marketing is the creation and promotion of content for the sole purpose or increasing brand awareness, generating leads, and pushing traffic to a website. In this kind of marketing, you might write and publish blog posts, write whitepapers and eBooks, or even produce infographics. You could focus on one or all of these items in your digital marketing course.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is a type of digital marketing that has grown increasingly more popular within the last few years. In this kind of marketing, you will promote your content and brand via a number of social media channels. This can drive traffic, increase awareness for your brand, and generate leads.
You can teach social media marketing through a myriad of channels or just focus on one (ideally the one in which you have experienced the most success or are the most comfortable). Some options include Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.
PPC marketing, or pay per click marketing, is a way to drive traffic to your website by paying a publisher each time an ad is clicked. One of the most commonly used types of PPC is Google Ads, which lets you pay for the highest spots on Google as it ranks pages at a price per click of links you place.
However, it’s not the only option. Your PPC marketing course could focus solely on Google or on a marketing channel like paid ads on Facebook, Twitter ads campaigns, or sponsored messages on LinkedIn.
Affiliate marketing is a performance-based advertising in which you receive a commission for promoting someone else’s services or products on your website. Some of the most common affiliate marketing channels include Amazon Associates and hosting video ads through the YouTube partner program.
This kind of digital marketing refers to a methodology of marketing wherein you attract and engage with customers at every stage of the journey. You can use just about any kind of digital marketing technique used you’d like, but ideally, you’ll use several that work in tandem with each other. Some of the most common include bogging, video marketing, and email contact lists.
All kinds of companies use mail marketing as a way to communicate with their target audience. You can use email to promote events, discounts, and content as well as to direct people toward your company’s website. In your online digital marketing course, you can teach your students who to write and deliver blog subscription newsletters, tips or series emails, holiday promotions, customer welcome emails, or follow-up emails to website visitors.
Do Some Market Research
Market research to teach a marketing course? How fitting!
When planning, designing and teaching any kind of online course, it’s essential that you think carefully about whether there’s actually any demand for your product or service. After all, why would you want to spend hours of time making an online course – only to have nobody buy it?
Once you’ve selected your online course topic, your next step is going to be to conduct several market research tests. This will help you analyze whether there’s any interest in your topic.
Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that just because there is a lot of competition in your content area that your course will not make the cut. A bit of competition is a good thing because it shows that there is a good market demand for your topic. It’s worth looking into the idea further.
On the flip side, that’s not to say that just because nobody has ever taught a course on your subject before, absolutely nobody is interested in it. You need to do some legwork to figure out whether there is viable interest in your topic before you put the time into planning, testing, and launching a course.
Ask yourself these three questions before you start working on your online marketing course:
- Are people searching for my topic (are they talking about it?)
- Are they curious about it – are they asking questions about it?
- What gaps exist in what the competition is offering?
Once you have a rough idea of the answers to these questions, then – and only then! – can you begin planning your new online marketing course.
Come Up With Some Learning Outcomes
And not just any old learning outcomes – we are talking learning outcomes that are specific, understandable, and easily quantifiable. If you don’t come up with clear learning outcomes, the popularity, productivity, and success of your online course will falter.
Plus, it will be a lot harder for you to create an online marketing course if you don’t yourself even know what you want to teach.
As someone with good marketing skills yourself, you probably already know the importance of being able to list and define clear learning outcomes. After all, you wouldn’t fork over money for a product you don’t really understand – and you have no idea what it will do for you.
Therefore, you need to have a clear idea of what exactly it is you are going to offer your students. If you don’t know how it will help your students, how can you possibly hope to engage in the proper online advertising to convince your students that they should enroll?
Learning objectives or outcomes sound like they would be difficult to create, but really, they’re not. They are simply statements with actionable and measurable verbs that explain what students should be able to do, know, and feel by the end of your course.
To come up with your learning outcomes, answer the following questions:
- What skills should students be able to demonstrate?
- What new knowledge or understandings should students have obtained?
- What feelings will students have moved to or away from?
When you come up with solid learning outcomes prior to making your course, you’ll have an easier time developing your course modules – and you’ll also be sure that the right students are joining your course because they will have a clear idea of what they’ll get out of it. You’ll have fewer refund requests, higher satisfaction rates, and overall better completion rates.
While the learning objectives for every online marketing course will vary, here are some examples to help give you an idea of what you could provide your students.
By the end of this course, students will be able to:
- Develop a digital marketing plan to address common marketing challenges
- Recognize key performance indicators tied to a digital marketing program
- Evaluate and improve the return on investment for a digital marketing program
- Launch a new career path in digital marketing
Gather and Narrow Down Course Content
Once you have your online marketing course objectives in place, this next to-do should fall right into place. You need to gather and select your key course content. If you have clear objectives, this part should be easy – but if not, it can feel like you are falling into a black hole. There is so much information out there that you can include in your course, but part of creating a beneficial, successful course is knowing what you need to keep – and what you need to omit.
If you find that you are having a hard time narrowing down your course content, you may want to pause, set the content aside, and revisit your learning objectives. They might not be clear enough.
The reason why so many people get stuck in this stage is that there is so much information that surrounds you – especially if you turn to the Internet for help. You will want to conduct some research – but don’t get overwhelmed. Look through your piles of content and get rid of anything that doesn’t directly relate to your learning outcomes.
If you’re having a hard time narrowing things down, just remember – you can also save some of that information for later courses or supplements that you’ll offer alongside your marketing course. You can always add more information later, but it will be hard to pull information out of the class once you’ve already built it. You don’t want to overwhelm your students – this can lead to burnout and cause poor completion rates. Start small and build from there.
Build Your Modules
Next, you’ll need to take a look at all of the content you have collected and group it together into ideas, tips, and themes. Categorize your material as best as you can and then order the lectures so that they are structured in the most logical, progressive way. Everything should be fairly sequential and flow well so that a learner can easily understand how the course should progress.
Pick a Course Platform
There are essentially three ways you can sell your online course – with an online course marketplace, with a learning management system, or with a plug-in or software on your website.
Deciding which one to use will ultimately be a personal decision that is guided by your course preferences, content, and budget.
When making this decision, you might want to evaluate the purpose of your online marketing course as it relates to your larger business plans.
For instance, will the course be used as a free lead magnet to your primary service or product? Will it serve as its own income stream? Will it be your primary income stream? When you answer these questions, you’ll have a better idea of how to design your course and provide value.
Each method has different marketing methodologies, too, and potentially a different audience. It may be helpful for you to consider the answers to these questions as soon as you start to design your course.
Figure Out How You Will Deliver Your Content
Next, you’ll need to decide how you want to deliver your content. Are you going to have videos? Reading modules? Audio? Group activities? What sorts of visuals will you use? Will you have sections of the course that will allow for community learning and interaction?
Ideally, you should consider your target audience. If you’re going to work primarily with older adults who want a thorough course with as little fuss as possible, you may want to offer a course with as few frills as you can. Stick to a few tried-and-true learning methods and don’t get too far out of the box.
But if you are working with a younger audience that expects a bit more out of an online course, you may want to consider things like learning preferences and all the unique ways you can deliver a training to make it as engaging as you can. Ideally, an online marketing course should include as many audio, visual, and practical methodologies as possible to keep everyone engaged – and to make sure your students feel as though they are getting their money’s worth from the class.
Film, Record, and Edit
The next step in starting your online marketing course will either be the most challenging – or the most enjoyable, depending on your needs.
At this stage, you should have a detailed and thorough plan of action for your course. You’ve gathered all of your content, you know how you are going to organize it, and you have an idea on how you are going to deliver every element of your online marketing course.
How you film and record your course will ultimately be up to you, your course content, and your preferences. What method do you think will help you deliver your learning outcomes the most effectively?
Most online instructors use a combination of video and audio to deliver their lectures. However, this is far from a one-size-fits-all approach and there are several ways you can go about this.
One of the most popular methods is as a talking head video. In this method, you’ll be the host on camera. There are also green screen talking head videos, in which you record with a green background behind you. You could put anything behind you afterward, including a video, animations, or an image.
Some instructors use a green screen background so that they can have their PowerPoint slides behind them to add some supplemental images for a classroom-type training.
You can also screencast your lessons, if you’d prefer. This method will enable you to record your computer screen as you talk over the information on the slides. You can also include a webcam video of yourself on top of this (or as a supplement) if you choose.
The screencasting method works well for courses in which there is a very specific type of content that needs to be delivered – for example, when you need to show your students a certain technique, such as how to search keywords for search engine marketing.
Either way, regardless of the method you choose, you will want to allow yourself plenty of time to record and edit your videos and audio material. It can take some time to learn how to do so and to work out all of the bugs, particularly if you’ve never worked with this kind of technology before.
There are all kinds of programs you can use to record and edit your course material, too, such as Camtasia, a program that will allow you to edit and replace your green screen, provide logos and text, or even alter your sound. Plus, with programs like this, you can download everything as an mp4 file so that you can upload it easily to your preferred online learning system later on.
Decide on Pricing
There is no right or wrong way to decide how much to charge for your course – but ideally, this is something that you should do early on in the planning stages. Once you decide how much you are going to charge for your course, you can use that information to guide other decisions in your course planning process.
Analyze and compare what other course providers are charging for their online courses. What are your competitors charging? Can you charge less (or more) and still provide a similar (or better) return on investment?
Don’t sell yourself short, either. Even if you don’t have a lot of experience – even if this is the first online course you’ve ever created! – underpricing a course creates the impression that it is low in value. You don’t want to give the idea that your course is of lesser value – this will drive away potential students.
Create and Launch Your Course – and Marketing Plan
This is the part of creating an online marketing course that should come easy to you – you need to launch your course and then market it yourself!
As a marketing whiz, you have the innate advantage of knowing the importance of marketing as it relates to online course creation. Prepare a marketing strategy ahead of time, knowing exactly what sorts of strategies you will use to sell your online course.
Ask yourself some of the following questions:
- Will you run early discount promotions?
- Do you have a content marketing plan to help you sell your online course?
- Do you plan on running ads? If so, what kind of online advertising campaign do you intend to run?
- Do you have an email list that you can market to?
- Can you partner with influencers to help you sell your course?
- Do you plan on running an affiliate marketing program?
- Will you use social media – and if so, how?
There are plenty of ways you can use online marketing to sell your marketing course. As a marketing pro, you’re probably already aware of many of them – meaning you automatically have a leg up on the process. However, you should plan for twelve to eighteen months of marketing, if possible, to keep selling your course.
Create an Online Marketing Course – No Teaching Experience Required
You don’t have to have a degree in education in order to create a rewarding and profitable online marketing course. All you need is a bit of motivation, a little bit of time, and to follow the instructions above. You’ll be rolling out new lessons in no time!