Social media is one of the best tools for course creators to market their products effectively. When used correctly, it provides platforms for reaching online audiences and multiple ways to expand into new markets. As with any opportunity for growth, challenges can arise. Social media makes no exception. The duality of social media use results in new social media marketing challenges, but some are more common than others. This is especially relevant for course creators as the e-learning industry is projected to grow to 320 billion US dollars by 2025.
Social media marketing is readily available to course creators at all stages of their journey, and it should not be discounted because of the challenges it brings.
In this article, we’ll discuss the root of social media marketing challenges, the top challenges for course creators, and how to overcome them even with limited resources.
What’s behind the social media marketing challenges for course creators?
There are three themes in social media marketing that create the most challenges for course creators. Each relates to a specific understanding that the foundation of your marketing strategy is built upon.
The themes are:
- Understanding the target market;
- Understanding quality content;
- Understanding product-market fit.
These three areas of understanding can create difficulty for course creators when they are not addressed properly.
Ultimately, the solution to the challenges of social media marketing boils down to balancing business development strategy with sales strategy. Let’s see how this plays out with the challenges and solutions.
Top five social media marketing challenges for course creators (and their solutions)
Now that we’ve covered the areas of understanding that create the most marketing challenges for course creators, it’s time to develop a plan to solve the common problems.
The best way to approach marketing challenges is to:
- Balance action with patience as growth takes time;
- Balance business development strategies with sales strategies;
- Track and measure results constantly.
You’ll need to step outside of your comfort zone if you want your online course business to thrive.
So, here are the top five social media marketing challenges for course creators and what to do about them.
Identifying your target market
One of the benefits of social media marketing is that course creators constantly have access to an audience online.
Over 3.6 billion people worldwide use social media daily, but not every lead is created equal. This is why it’s important to find a common thread between each of your customers.
To identify your target market successfully, you need to:
- Choose a niche to narrow down your options;
- Create your course to solve a specific problem within that niche;
- Gather demographic data from early sales and look for similarities between customers;
- Use those similarities to create your ideal customer persona;
- Use the ideal customer persona to target new leads and increase your presence online.
Each of these steps will build your understanding of your target market, which allows course creators to focus on one lead pool. The more focused the lead pool, the more likely you are to drive sales.
Support your findings with research into similar products in your market. You’ll likely find an overlapping audience to pull data from that will help you to flesh out your ideal customer.
Choosing the right platform to begin marketing
Now that you’ve found your target audience, a new social media marketing challenge arises:
How do I choose the right platform to market my course?
Choosing the right platform for growth is key to making sales. After all, your audience is the focus of your product, and where they spend most of their time is where you want to be.
For example, if your online course is about growing a social media following with video content, your audience is likely to be on platforms where video content is the most popular.
If your course is about improving your social media photography, photo-sharing sites like Instagram will be of use to you.
The best strategy will involve a combination of platforms that meet the needs of your overall business development goals. Focus on factors like reach, engagement rates, and the habits of your target audience to decide which platform is right for you.
This relates to understanding quality content because, ultimately, it’s not about finding the perfect platform. It’s about showing up consistently on a good social media platform to market your brand.
Read more: Social media platforms to consider when marketing your online course
Consistently creating value for your audience
Speaking of quality content, the next big marketing challenge is consistently creating value for your audience.
If there’s one thing that sets apart course creators from successful course creators, it’s the ability to consistently create value through content marketing.
This is because offering value through content creation is the foundation for how knowledge entrepreneurs direct their audience to their online courses.
Ninety-four percent of content created by business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers is done through social media.
When you create value for your audience, you establish authority online and build trust with your customers.
To consistently create value consider adding these items to your marketing strategy:
- Free digital downloads via an email sign-up on your website;
- A knowledge base (like a blog or media channel) to educate on niche related topics
- An email list to keep in touch with your customers;
- Short-form video content to connect with prospects at every stage of their buyer’s journey.
These can all be used as resources to create value for your audience. When people download or interact with your content, they are entering the awareness stage of their buyer’s journey. Consistently creating content helps nurture leads down the sales pipeline and increase conversions in the long run.
This is key to understanding quality content. The topmost quality you can create will come from solving a problem for your customer. If you’re unclear on what problem to solve, consider building your content marketing strategy with content buckets to help you get started.
Read more: Top 8 social media content bucket ideas for course creators
Growing your personal brand
Investing in the growth of your personal brand is one of the best ways to overcome social media marketing challenges.
A strong personal brand has multiple benefits including:
- Growing your online presence through content marketing;
- Increasing your authority online builds trust with your audience;
- Creating more business development opportunities;
- Solidifying top-of-the-funnel content to draw in new leads.
Content marketing is the foundation for personal branding. Content created can be used to gather sign-ups that pre-qualify leads for your course.
This is also an excellent way to pre-sell your online course and validate the market if you don’t yet have the resources to invest in content strategy.
A great to grow your personal brand in 2022 is with the video-sharing platform TikTok. Ninety-seven percent of consumers say that video content helps them to understand a brand’s products. Not only that, but TikTok includes the option to add links to your profile that can direct you to your online course.
Part of your branding is the way you communicate online. It’s important to know what the DOs and DON’Ts of responding on social media are.
At the end of the day, investing in the growth of your personal brand is a way to balance business development with sales efforts while validating product-market fit for your course.
Read more: 3 Key personal branding tips for online course creators
Using KPIs effectively to track conversion
Now, you’ve identified and validated your market and have begun creating content to navigate the challenges of social media marketing.
The only thing left to do is track your progress.
Peter Druker said, “If you’re not measuring it, you can’t improve it.”
And he’s right.
All your social media marketing efforts will be wasted without accurately analyzing the performance of your content and lead generation tactics.
That’s where key performance indicators or KPIs, come in.
Tracking KPIs will allow you to see what content is converting, how engaged your following is, and give insight into trends in your audience.
Fortunately, there are lots of free resources that allow course creators to tap into the technical side of their marketing strategy. Some examples include:
- Google Analytics for website traffic metrics;
- Instagram creator studio to analyze content performance and sales integration;
- WordPress integrated analytics or plugins.
And much more!
Social media has updated exponentially since its beginnings, and many platforms include their own analytics for each user at no additional cost.
The key takeaway here is to focus on the platform where the majority of your traffic is coming from. You can use that to balance your content marketing and sales strategies to overcome social media marketing challenges.
Overcoming social media marketing challenges
Remember, the key to overcoming the challenges of social media marketing is to balance business development strategies (like content creation and branding) with sales strategies (like prospecting and lead generation.)
As long as you make an effort to build your understanding of your target market, quality content, and product-market fit, you will be successful as a course creator.