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:Marketing / Marketing best practices

How to leverage student testimonials and create brand ambassadors

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It can be tough to market your online courses, especially since you’re selling experiences rather than physical products. However, course creators or educators can market successfully by using two major resources: customer testimonials and brand ambassadors. Today, let’s break down how you can leverage student testimonials to create brand ambassadors out of your current students or even employees.

Student testimonials matter

Happy testimonials are perhaps the single best marketing boost you can receive. Why? Because they are (theoretically) the real opinions of your customers. In this day and age, more people than ever before want good word-of-mouth before they try a new product, experience, or course.

To that end, it’s in your best interest as a course creator to leverage your customer and student testimonials effectively and create brand ambassadors who can spread the good word about your educational offerings far and wide. Not only is this great for your brand reputation, but it can also be cost-effective. Over time, you may not have to pay much or anything at all for the benefits customer testimonials can bring.

Make the most

So, how can you take full advantage of the student testimonials your courses are bringing in? Here are some of the ways you can maximize your marketing effectiveness.

1. Gather feedback

Whether a testimonial is net positive or negative, you should take any feedback they include. Testimonials are rich resources for determining how you can improve your courses’ quality, your website design or layout, and more.

For example, say that you’ve received feedback in the form of a student testimonial about one of your courses for designing a blog. That feedback is presumably raw, unfiltered, and extremely useful as you improve your course and tailor it for your target audience’s specific needs.

The testimonial says the course was overall good, but your lesson layout needs some work. You can take that advice and improve the layout of your courses on Teachable immediately. When we make our own courses, it’s easy to miss little things that can detract from the customer experience. Testimonials allow you to correct things that you miss. And, in the long run, they improve your brand for the better.

2. Share the good 

Social media marketing is more important than ever before. This is especially true for course creators. With 94% of content marketers leveraging social media as one of their primary distribution channels, your brand can’t afford to be left behind.

Luckily, testimonials and social media go hand-in-hand. You can post positive testimonials for your courses or website on your social media pages. This can act as soft advertisements showing your target audience just how well-received your educational materials really are.

On top of that, you can leverage specific systems or features on different social media platforms with your testimonials, such as:

  • Request video testimonials from your clients or students: Upload them to Instagram Stories. This type of content is perfect for the fast-paced, revolving content model Stories relies on. It can help you build trust in your marketplace.
  • Post-single-image or short video testimonials on Facebook: These may get shared faster than you imagine. Short video or photo testimonials are especially effective for advertising certain kinds of products. For example, using visual media is a necessity for marketing jewelry. In order to understand its value, customers need to actually see the differences between products instead of just being told about them.
  • Use video testimonials or simply showcase customer reviews on TikTok’s Stitch or Duet feature: You can also plug extra information about your courses such as special deals, breakdowns of what’s included, and more.

Maintaining a strong social media profile is key if you want to make it as a course creator. It will also help improve your brand’s image across the web. Ultimately, testimonials can help with this and market for you simultaneously.

3. Respond actively

As new testimonials crop up on your website or social media pages, be sure to respond to them ASAP, no matter whether they are positive or negative. By responding actively to new testimonials, you show your target audience that you are involved and engaged with your brand and the experiences you provide.

Far from being a distant or unreachable content creator, you take your courses seriously and are always willing to hear people out and make improvements. This, in turn, improves brand trust and makes people more likely to give your courses a try if they are on the fence. This is a great overall strategy for brand awareness and marketing in general, not just for testimonials.

4. Reward loyalty

A brand ambassador is someone who spreads positive word-of-mouth about your brand through, primarily, warm testimonials and user reviews. Brand ambassadors can be former or current customers, clients, and even your own employees.

In fact, you might consider turning your own employees or current students into brand ambassadors by offering rewards programs. Internal rewards programs, such as our student referral program, can do wonders for boosting your course’s try-out rate and improving the look of your online reputation.

In addition, if you have any employees for your e-commerce business or website, odds are they already receive discounts or try your products themselves. And who else is as well-positioned to comment on the quality of what you put out than the people who work on it with you? Just make sure that any marketing materials your employees push as brand ambassadors don’t come across as inauthentic. Otherwise, people could just think of your employees as shills rather than legitimate sources of reviews.

5. Create content 

As you market online, you’ll need to create informative and educational content like blog posts, ads, and video messages. These mediums are great places to stick positive testimonials, oftentimes lifted directly from your website’s testimonials page!

You can go one step further and make your content revolve around these testimonials. For example, say that you have a really great testimonial from someone who tried a course on your website and found it to be an excellent source of information. You can make an entire ad about the customer’s unique journey after reaching out and getting the details from them.

Not only does this make that customer more likely to stick around for the long haul, but it also feels like the type of authentic content creation that today’s consumers crave from digital brands.

6. Lean into user-generated content

Lastly, don’t be afraid to leverage selfies or user-generated content. These are testimonials where a pleased customer sends you a video from their own mobile device singing the praises of your course content or other products.

Again, this kind of content is excellent because it reads authentically to your target consumers. Plus, it takes barely any work on your part. It’s essentially free marketing. And it’s all because you did a great job creating and marketing your course in the first place. Lean into these kinds of snowball marketing benefits.

Putting it together

At the end of the day, leveraging customer or student testimonials and creating brand ambassadors are both key to mastering your online presence and making sure your brand reputation is airtight for the future. As you push out new courses and gather more positive testimonials, keep practicing the strategies above. The return on your time investment will be well worth it.

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Author: Nahla Davies, Nahla Davies is a software developer and tech writer. Before devoting her work full time to technical writing, she managed—among other intriguing things—to serve as a lead programmer at an Inc. 5,000 experiential branding organization whose clients include Samsung, Time Warner, Netflix, and Sony.

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