The holidays are upon us! Many of us are very busy finding gifts for nearly everyone we know and often trying to manage a budget at the same time. Whether you have just created a new online course or have several courses on Udemy, you should try to take advantage of this seasonal scenario with your online course promotion. It’s the perfect time to promote your courses as an “easy” and budget friendly Christmas gift – for that person who has everything, for all those teachers who need thanking, or for that relative that someone doesn’t know all that well but just can’t leave off the list!
All you need to do as a Udemy instructor is find the “hook” that will play off people’s desire and need to purchase a Christmas gift. The advantage of doing a little extra to promote your online courses during Christmas time is that the increase in enrollments will help boost your rankings for the upcoming Udemy January sale.
We know that as an online course instructor you are probably short on time right now like everyone else. So, we’ve put together 8 simple and quick ideas that can help promote your courses this week and the next to capture the giving spirit of the holiday season.
We assume here that you will already have an email list, website, social media or other means of promoting your online courses. So these ideas are meant to be incorporated into your December promotional announcements and other course efforts.
1. Play to holiday season emotions
The holiday season is a very emotional time for many, with emotions ranging from stress to joy and everything in between. Your online course should be promoted to play to these emotions, so make sure to get emotional with your Christmas time messaging. Rather than talking about how great and useful your course is in your messages, tell an emotional “story” about your course.
You can include stories of successful students, tell how your course can improve quality of life in some way, or give testimony about how learning what you are teaching has helped you or someone you know personally.
Use emotional phrases such as “Inspire the person who inspires you”, “give a gift that helps them grow with online classes” or “give the gift of education this year”. Essentially you want your course to fill an emotional desire for either the person buying the course or the person to whom they will gift it.
This brings us to our next suggestion.
2. Update your course landing page and messaging for the season
Following on the previous suggestion, you should do just as the big brands do to their websites during the holiday season. Update your landing page with a “story” or description that appeals to the holiday season if you can. Change the promotional video if you have time to be more seasonal (i.e. wear a santa hat, use holiday music in the background). In your promotional emails and posts use holiday colors and imagery. This way when a user sees your promo, they will know immediately it is seasonal and are more likely to pay attention if they have gifting on the mind.
3. Update your course keywords to reflect holiday searches
Looking in our Teachinguide database, we can see that some instructors have taken advantage of the season by inserting “Christmas” into their title keywords. One example is a new course, “You can Draw!….Christmas”. Clearly this instructor is just venturing out on Udemy and is exploring course creation with a simple course that is attractive for this promotional season. This course has risen 79 places in its sub-category ranking this month, and has a 5.0 rating. No doubt the enrollments this instructor gains during the Christmas season will be used for promoting follow on course. After Christmas, he’ll likely drop the “Christmas” and change the course name to “You can Draw!”.
Another example of a new course instructor taking advantage of the holiday season to launch is “Christmas Design on Nails – Nail Art”. This instructor launched in December and has 7 students. Hey, it’s a start. She can then launch into other nail art courses to be sure.
It’s still very important to have your primary course keywords in the title, subtitle or course description. But if there is a way to include a seasonal keyword phrase why not do so.
4. Consider giving to charity as part of your promotion
Playing on the emotions of the season, you can promise to donate a percent of your online course sales for charity. In your promotion, you can include a story about a charity and why it is important to you. It could be a charity related to your course topic – for example, a course on dog training can donate to a dog rescue shelter.
One great example of an instructor using the season to promote a course that would not typically be a “gift” is “Christmas Micro Macroeconomics Course – ALL fees to charity”. And here is the picture that goes with the course landing page.
Aww. How’s that for pulling on heartstrings? Now clearly very few people will want to gift a macro economics course for Christmas (unless it is for someone you really really wish never to see again), BUT it is a clever way to try and rope in new students for the season.
The course description reads “Just to answer your immediate question…this is called Christmas Economics as ALL the fees due to me go to CHARITY!” And the course is priced at $189.99! The course has risen 8 spots in its sub category ranking this month.
5. Keep promoting after Christmas
The week between Christmas and New Year’s presents ample promotion opportunities as well. It’s a great time to continue driving enrollments. This is a time when people are relaxing with their family and passing lots of free time on their phone or laptop.
They are also thinking about what they didn’t get that they wanted, or about someone they forgot to send a gift to. You can promote your course during this week with an “I didn’t’ get what I wanted” or “yearend” promotion, for example.
One great way to promote your course this week is to add the keyword “2019” to your course title. Following on the idea of seasonal keyword changes, another popular keyword is “2019”. For example, the course titled, “The Complete 2019 Web Development Bootcamp” was updated this month and retitled for 2019. It has gained about 15,000 s new students just this month!
We can also see from our Teachinguide database that this instructor has most likely used a promotion to help drive this kind of volume. With a rating of 4.72 and over 2000 new reviews, she is well positioned for the January sale and beyond.
We see many other examples in the Teachinguide database of courses using “2019” as a title keyword and doing very well by offering December promotions. Another “Hot and New” course, “Advance SEO 2019: Learn SEO Tools Rank High On #Google SEO” has gained over 1,000 enrollments in its first few weeks and has also used promotions.
What’s more is that the Teachinguide database shows that less than 200 courses (out of >50,000) actually contain the keyword “2019” in their title right now. So if you do this, you will be among the few instructors to capture an audience looking for “new” 2019 courses.
6. Create a cutoff date for last minute purchases
You can use the Christmas rush to encourage people to purchase a course. You can make a cut off say, December 22 to take advantage of your promotion. Of course, the better the promotion (i.e. the perceived value of the discount you are giving), the more likely potential buyers are to cave to the last minute pressure and buy.
7. Bundle courses
Why sell just one class when you can sell two or more? While spending money for gifts, people often want to get a gift for themselves. It follows that while investing in the education or development of others, they may wish to do the same for themselves.
This is especially true of courses that might be fun to do with a friend – test prep for motivating each other, dieting, arts and crafts, dancing or just about any new hobby. You can create a promotion, “buy 1 course get 1 free” by offering a free course coupon for redemption on a second enrollment, once someone purchases your course. Or offer two course coupons or discount redemption codes.
Just remember to make it a limited time offer to encourage quick purchase decisions and remind people how to gift a course from your landing page.
8. Consider affiliates who are promoting Christmas specials
Promoting your course on other Christmas gift-oriented websites can be effective. You can give exclusive promotions to your affiliate’s audiences for use on Udemy. This is easy to do and with so many websites and blogs promoting Christmas “lists”and “ideas” it’s worth trying.
So, there you have it! 8 online course promotion ideas that you can implement the next two weeks. When it comes to marketing, promotion and sales, timing is important. Since the Christmas holidays are coming up soon, make sure that you are giving gift givers with what they need and at the most appropriate time they need it! Remind your contacts that Udemy courses can make great gifts for friends, family and colleagues. The best thing is that they are easy to send!