Free online courses as strategy to attract students
The idea of creating and offering free online courses as a marketing strategy to attract students may not be new, but it is effective.
Deliver content to the consumer is the basis of Inbound Marketing, unlike traditional marketing, it is focused on creating a relationship with the customer.
How to get students with free online courses and Inbound Marketing
Capturing students is a challenge to every professional who is starting to sell online courses.
There are several forms of dissemination and ways to communicate with your target audience, but for results, you need to know and study different marketing strategies.
Currently, there are two ways to prospect new clients: passively, through inbound marketing, and actively, with outbound marketing.
As mentioned earlier, Inbound Marketing is to make the customer come to you, luring him with content of interest. Here some examples of how this can be done:
- blog posts;
- free online courses;
- eBooks, among others.
Outbound Marketing focuses on a direct approach, which is to identify your audience, go to them and offer your product. Some Outbound approaches are:
- banners on websites;
- television and radio advertisements;
- contact by phone, among others.
To get a better sense of other differences between the strategies, see the following diagram.
In summary, while with inbound you create mechanisms to attract potential customers, with outbound you identify who has potential to become a client and makes an approach.
Both strategies have value, but you must remember that the Outbound Marketing uses means that require greater investment and therefore are not as accessible to a beginner.
Inbound Marketing, on another hand, is accessible to all, as the largest investment required is time and knowledge.
Direct result of the consumer habits change brought by the Internet, the also called Attraction Marketing is the market response to an increasingly digital society.
By offering the consumer something in which he has interest, such as free online courses, you attract it to your business and earn the opportunity to show your product/service.
From there, it is easier to present your solutions and turn them into customers and even promoters of your brand.
Advantages of Inbound Marketing to promote and sell online courses
Inbound Marketing is, above all, a friendly approach. Focusing on giving something of value, before asking anything, it seeks to approach and create a relationship with the customer.
This strategy does not interrupt the consumer but delivers a message and waits for him go to those who created.
Balanced way to attract potential customers, Inbound search lasting results, which generates many benefits for your business, be it big or small, B2B or B2C.
Method that has everything it takes to build a strong brand and increase sales, check out some of its advantages.
When it comes to relevant content production, we mean just that: relevant content for your target audience.
This means that if you are launching a course on English Literature, for example, and create posts on the topic, people who reach your blog have done a search on the subject, ie, have every interest in what you have to say.
These people are considered leads with high potential for conversion because they are searching for what you offer.
According to Content Trends 2017, companies that adopt content marketing reach 2.2 times more visits compared to those that don’t.
Proving what we mean by qualified audience, the same survey showed that these companies also generate 3.2 times more leads than those that do not apply similar strategy.
Confidence and Credibility
There is a big difference between offering and pushing a product/service, especially when it comes to consumer perception.
For example, if you offer it free online courses with quality content despite you not be paying anything for it, plus the confidence that it generates, it is normal that the customer feel grateful and indebted to you.
This is a first major step in building a relationship of partnership with its audience, and very important for the sustainability of your business.
From this successful interaction, even if the customer is not ready to make a purchase, you ensure a potential lead, and continues to work yours relationship by delivering other types of content.
This is how you will gain more credibility and authority to your customers that also become promoters of your brand.
Short sales cycle
Sales cycle is the time taken from initial customer contact to closing the sale, considering all stages of the journey.
This is a very important aspect to consider when adopting a marketing strategy, because the higher the cycle, more costly it becomes.
According to Martech 2017 survey, 50.4% of technology companies that adopt Inbound Marketing have a sales cycle that lasts less than 30 days. Only 29.5% of those who use Outbound methods have this performance.
This is due to relevant and personalized content delivered to the lead, which accelerates their movement by the sales funnel to the decision making.
A shorter sales cycle is a great advantage for those who have little capital investment and need to attract new customers faster.
Inbound means provide content to the consumer and, therefore, initially you only need internet and dedication.
Offer free online courses, for example, is a way to use inbound to promote and sell your course with little investing.
After all, what cost to you? Research time, preparation of the material and lodging in an online platform like Coursify.me. Only.
The same is true when writing articles for a blog, participate in webinars, podcasts, update your social networks, etc. Means for content production are available to all, and the vast majority, is free.
It is not necessary invest large sums in ads in newspapers and TV, as in outbound marketing, which generates a greater economy of resources for you to invest in more assertive and focused strategies.
Real time measurement results
Successful marketing is always results oriented, and for that we need to draw metrics to monitor the effectiveness of the implemented actions.
According to HubSpot, 72% of organizations that calculate the return on investment say that their marketing strategy is effective.
With most of the actions of Inbound being held in the virtual world, there are several tools that enable the measurement of results.
In the case of blogs, for example, there is the Google Analytics, when it comes to social networks, the platform itself usually keep charts with access data, YouTube shows the number of views, and so on.
Monitor carefully the data from each of your strategies, and do not be afraid to try other approaches if the results are not going as expected.
Free online courses: how to use it in your marketing strategy
We already hit this button, but to prove that offer free online courses works, we brought a successful case of our own platform.
Rachelle-Ann Louear is a professional that has been building businesses for over eight years and is very passionate about assisting women to use their natural giftings to advance their careers or businesses.
To disclose her course she released a first free module, and the results could not be better.
With the audience conquered, soon Raquel released a second lesson, which became a bestseller.
And this is not our only case, so trust us, free online courses as strategy to attract students work out!
Free online courses as complement to classroom lessons
Another idea we witnessed here that works, is the case of classroom teachers who decided to use the Coursify.me to host support materials for their students.
The concept is simple: provide content that could serve as an aid to study at home.
With this, the teacher has gained more credibility and recognition, and soon his students began to disclose its course to others.
The success was so great that the business quickly climbed to complete online video lessons, marketed by varying values.
Note that all started slowly with the teacher using material that he already owned and disclosing for whom it was his client.
Currently, much of the disclosure statement is made by the students themselves and the business continues to grow.
Free online courses in Coursify.me
The conclusion we reached is that the buying habits are changing and purchase products and services online grows in preference between the current consumer.
In this scenario, the great advantage of inbound marketing is that it allows creativity to attract consumer attention and differentiate a brand from others.
SEO, Content Marketing and Social Media are the three pillars of Inbound and make it clear that its focus is the delivery of content and creating a relationship with the customer.
Complete elearning platform (LMS), the Coursify.me is optimized for SEO and is fully integrated with social networks.
The software also allows you to create free online courses without you have to pay anything for it.
The Coursify.me is the ideal solution for those who want to create, sell and publish courses on the Internet, investing only time and effort to start their own business.
Visit our website, test the platform and realize how easy it is to profit working with what you love.