10 proven and powerful strategies to market online courses with a YouTube channel

10 proven and powerful strategies to market online courses with a YouTube channel

If you’re not actively promoting your online course on YouTube, you’re overlooking a massive opportunity to reach a substantially larger audience.

Let’s take a look at the numbers.

YouTube is the world’s largest video-sharing platform and the second-largest social media platform, boasting over 2.70 billion users. In fact, data shows that YouTube is the second most visited website globally and is projected to grow its user base at a steady rate to reach about 2.85 billion by 2025.

It would be a huge loss not to leverage this incredible auditorium as a marketing tool.  

YouTube Key Statistics

  • YouTube generated $29.2 billion revenue in 2022, a 1.3% increase year-on-year
  • Over 2.7 billion people access YouTube once a month
  • YouTube’s most subscribed channel is T-Series, however Mr. Beast earned the most revenue in 2021
  • YouTube Premium reached 80 million subscribers in 2022

Business of Apps

10 proven YouTube video marketing strategies to effectively market your online course

There are numerous ways to market your online course — however, YouTube stands apart as a particularly effective (and cost-effective) solution.

To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of 10 proven YouTube video marketing strategies that will help you connect with would-be learners.

1. Know your YouTube channel’s strengths

It’s essential to first understand the strengths of your channel. Start by identifying your niche; whether you’re a tech expert, a language teacher, or a fitness enthusiast, a clear focus on your strengths and where you can provide the most value helps align your course with what your audience is interested in.

Next, analyze your audience demographics using your channel’s analytics. Understanding the age, location, and interests of your viewers is crucial for creating content that resonates with them. This is a crucial step, but surprisingly, less than 40% of marketers pay attention to consumer or audience research when making marketing decisions.

Pay attention to which videos garner the most YouTube audience engagement, in terms of likes, comments, and shares. This insight guides you in focusing your course promotions on topics your audience resonates the most with.

Finally, consider the style and format of content that caters best to your viewers, whether it’s tutorials, vlogs, or reviews. This understanding will help you craft compelling promotional material for your course that your audience will appreciate and engage with.

2. Tailor course promotions to your audience

Use the understanding of your viewers that you’ve garnered in the first step to create content that speaks to their needs.  For instance, if your audience is mostly young professionals, highlight how your course can boost their career skills.

But it’s also crucial to segment your audience to address different groups. For example, if your course is about personal finance, it can help to offer distinct messages for beginners and advanced learners — how to deal with debt for a younger audience that’s inevitably going to need that advice for student loan debts, for example, while diving into options trading for the more well-seasoned part of your audience that might be looking to expand their investment portfolios. This ensures your promotions connect with various audience segments.

Use language and examples in your promotions that resonate with your viewer’s experiences. The aim is to make your course seem like a perfect fit for them. Personalizing your course promotions in this way increases the likelihood of turning viewers into students.

3. Create compelling course teasers

YouTube teasers are a great way to capture your audience’s interest. The teasers should be short, engaging videos that give a sneak peek into what your course offers. Focus on highlighting the unique aspects of your course, like a special module or a unique teaching approach. This differentiates your course from others and piques the audience’s curiosity.

The content of your teasers should be direct and to the point, showing potential students the value and benefits of taking your course. Use eye-catching visuals and clear, concise language.

Fortunately, you can leverage AI to create direct and impactful teasers that clearly communicate the value and benefits of your course. The content segment of the EdTech market is growing at 16.8% per year, so not only are these solutions in demand but they’re actively being leveraged by other course creators to maximize growth and conversions.

You can utilize these tools to seamlessly include snippets of course content or testimonials from satisfied students, which will serve to further establish your course as an authority on the subject.

Don’t forget to end your teasers with a clear call to action, guiding viewers on how to enroll or where to find more information.

4. Integrate course promotion into regular content

Be an expert in weaving mentions or aspects of your course into the content you already produce. Ensure it doesn’t feel forced or out of place.

For instance, if you’re running a cooking channel and your course is about advanced cooking techniques, you can casually mention how a particular technique is covered in-depth in your course during a regular recipe video.

The key is to make these mentions as natural and relevant as possible — while being certain that what you’re promoting actually does provide additional value to your audience. If it does not, even if you manage to convert them into a customer, they won’t be a repeat customer — and the bad word of mouth that will follow is sure to make the entire thing counterproductive.

Avoid turning every video into a sales pitch; instead, find organic opportunities to link your course to the content of your videos. This could be through demonstrating a skill taught in the course, sharing a story related to a course module, or providing a sneak peek into the course content.

5. Leverage YouTube Live for real-time engagement

YouTube Live is a powerful way to engage with your audience in real time. It allows you to interact directly with viewers, answer their questions, and discuss your course content live.

These interactions build a stronger connection with your audience, which can help make your course more appealing.

During your live sessions, you can conduct Q&A segments, offer live demonstrations of your course content, or even host guest speakers related to your course topic. This not only provides value to your viewers but also showcases the depth and quality of your course.

Encourage live interaction by asking viewers for their questions or opinions. This level of engagement makes your audience feel valued and more invested in your course.

6. Use YouTube community features

YouTube’s community features offer a way to engage with your audience beyond your regular videos.

Start by using the Community tab to post updates, polls, or questions related to your course. This can spark interest and keep your audience engaged between video uploads. Polls are particularly effective for gauging interest in specific course topics or gathering feedback on what your audience wants to learn.

This direct interaction can also make your viewers feel more connected to you and your course.

Regularly posting in the Community section keeps your channel active and visible, even when you’re not uploading new videos. It’s an excellent way to maintain a connection with your audience and keep them informed about your course offerings and updates.

7. Collaborate with other YouTubers

Partnering with creators who share a similar audience or niche can help you tap into their viewership. This is a great way to introduce your course to potential new students.

When selecting collaborators, look for YouTubers whose content complements your course topic. This ensures that their audience is likely to be interested in what you offer. For example, if your course is about trading and investment, collaborate with YouTubers known for their expertise in business or finance.

The collaboration can take various forms, such as guest appearances, co-creating content, or mutual shout-outs. The key is to create content that provides value to both audiences, making the promotion feel natural and not just a marketing pitch.

Through these collaborations, you not only gain access to a broader audience but also build relationships with fellow creators, which can lead to more opportunities in the future. This approach can significantly boost your course’s visibility and appeal.

8. Advanced YouTube SEO for course promotion

Effective SEO is crucial for promoting your online course on YouTube. Conduct detailed keyword research related to your course and include these keywords in your video titles, descriptions, and tags to improve discoverability.

Ensure your video thumbnails and titles are clear and engaging to attract viewers. Detailed video descriptions with relevant links and calls to action are also important.

Interact with your audience in the comments and encourage likes and shares to boost your content’s visibility on YouTube. Regularly use YouTube Analytics to track your SEO performance and adjust your strategy accordingly.

These steps help in increasing your course’s visibility to your target audience on YouTube.

9. Offer exclusive content and discounts to subscribers

Offering exclusive content and discounts to your YouTube subscribers is another powerful strategy to market your online course. This approach not only incentivizes subscriptions but also fosters a sense of exclusivity and value among your audience.

Begin by creating special content that’s exclusively available to your subscribers. This can include additional course materials, behind-the-scenes videos, exclusive webinars, and even downloadable tests or quizzes and tasks in editable PDF format, along with other forms of interactive content. The goal is to provide value that goes beyond what’s accessible in the public domain.

Additionally, offering discounts on your course exclusively to your YouTube subscribers can be a strong motivator for enrollment. It rewards their loyalty and makes them feel appreciated. This strategy not only encourages new subscribers but also helps in retaining the existing ones.

10. Track and analyze your promotion’s performance

All said and done, you won’t know where you stand without data.

To understand the impact of your promotional efforts on YouTube, it’s crucial to track and analyze their performance. Begin by setting clear goals for your campaign, such as increasing course enrollments, boosting video views, or enhancing audience engagement.

Use YouTube Analytics to monitor key metrics like view count, watch time, and subscriber growth. These metrics give you a clear picture of how your audience is responding to your promotional content.

Pay attention to the patterns in viewer behavior. Are more people watching your videos to the end when you mention your course? Do course-related videos get more likes or comments? This information helps you understand what works and what doesn’t.

Adjust your promotional strategy based on this analysis. If certain types of content are driving more course sign-ups, focus on producing more of that content. If some videos aren’t performing well, consider tweaking your approach.

What Ramit Sethi and Nathan Gotch can teach you about promoting courses on YouTube

The tips we shared above have been tested and proven by various experts in different fields using YouTube to successfully grow their course audience. Here are some of the successful stories:

Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You To Be Rich

Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You To Be Rich is a personal finance expert. He uses YouTube to share practical money advice and attract course subscribers. On YouTube, Ramit creates informative videos about budgeting, investing, and earning more income. These videos showcase his expertise and helpful tips.

Through YouTube, Ramit successfully funnels interested viewers to his courses, where they can access comprehensive personal finance education. His engaging teaching style and relatable content encourage viewers to subscribe for more valuable insights.

Nathan Gotch of Gotch Academy

Nathan Gotch of Gotch Academy is one of the most recognizable and respected names in the SEO industry. He is one of the people who have maximized the power of YouTube to grow their course businesses.

He shares SEO tips, previews course content, and encourages viewers to subscribe and join his courses. Engaging with his audience helps build trust and attract more course students.

Now go build your online course marketing strategy

Your YouTube channel holds immense potential as a marketing tool for your online course. Using it correctly can grow your course and revenues exponentially.

Take the tips above, put them into practice, and don’t be afraid to experiment. Remember that building your online course marketing strategy is a journey, and success comes to those who take the first step.

So, roll up your sleeves, grab your camera, and start creating content that educates and inspires. Your YouTube channel is your canvas, and your online course is your masterpiece. So, what are you waiting for? Go out there and build your online course marketing strategy, and let the world learn from you!


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Nahla Davies

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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