How to Use Influencer Marketing to Promote an Online Course8 minute read
Influencer marketing has grown in popularity in recent years. Studies show that businesses make an average of $5.20 for every $1 spent on an influencer marketing strategy, and this marketing strategy can help businesses reach an audience that is 11 times larger than the audience they can reach with their own content.
If you are an online course creator and you are curious about how influencer marketing works and whether or not it is the right choice to promote your online course, keep reading below.
In today's article, we will cover how to promote an online course with influencer marketing, the benefits of adopting an influencer marketing strategy and how you can start today.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a type of marketing in which brands partner with influencers (individuals who have a large following on social media, such as celebrities, bloggers, and public figures...) to promote their products or services.
Influencer marketing can be a great way to promote an online course (and any business) because it allows you to reach a large and engaged audience that is already interested in what you are selling.
One of the main strengths of an influencer marketing strategy is the fact that the influencers generally have a very engaged and loyal audience who truly trusts their recommendations - and therefore is more likely to purchase the products or services promoted by the influencer. Let's see some other reasons why you should consider running the right influencer marketing strategy to advertise your online course business.
What are the Benefits of Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing offers many benefits for businesses looking to promote their products or services. Some of the key benefits include:
- Increased brand awareness and reach: One of the main reasons why influencer marketing is so popular is because it can help increase brand awareness. Influencers have large and engaged audiences, and by partnering with them, businesses can reach these audiences and spread the word about their brand. By partnering with influencers, you can reach new audiences who may have never heard about your brand before.
- Higher credibility: As we previously mentioned, influencers are trusted by their followers and are generally regarded as experts in their field. If an influencer endorses your online course, it can increase the credibility of your brand. By associating your brand with the influencer, their followers will instantly trust your product.
- Greater ROI: While an influencer marketing strategy is more unpredictable compared to other forms of advertising, it has the potential to offer a greater return on investment. This is especially true if you manage to pick the right influencer with an engaged audience that is already interested in your online course topic. Keep reading below to learn how to find the right influencer for your business.
- Cost-effective: An influencer marketing strategy can be a relatively cost-effective way to reach new audiences and promote a brand. It's often less expensive than other forms of advertising, such as paid advertising. This is especially true for relatively "small" influencers. However, there is no rule for how much money you will need to invest in influencer marketing and it will vary depending on each case.
- Less "salesy": Influencer marketing can be seen as a more organic way of promoting a brand and - if done well - it doesn’t come across as too “salesy”. In a good campaign, the influencer shares their personal thoughts about using the product or service (in this case, the influencer could potentially offer an honest review about your online courses) therefore making this kind of marketing strategy more relatable and effective compared to traditional paid ads.
- It targets a specific niche: By working with an influencer that fits your niche and shares your values, you can target an audience that is interested in your online course topic, making it a great way to reach your ideal customers.
How to Promote Your Online Course with Influencer Marketing
Now that we learned what the benefits of an effective influencer marketing strategy are, let's see how it works and how you can get started with this promotion strategy. Here are some tips for promoting an online course with influencer marketing:
#1: Look for Influencers in Your Niche
For an influencer marketing campaign to work, you need to find the right person for your messaging.
Most creators believe that a high amount of followers equals a profitable campaign. While a large following is certainly an advantage, and it ensures a higher reach, it is not necessarily the only metric you should analyze when it comes to picking the perfect influencer for your campaign. In some cases, too many followers can also be a disadvantage.
Instead of followers, try to assess the level of engagement that the influencer has with their audience. If you are looking for influencers on social media, check how many people react to the posts they share and if their audience's response is positive.
Identify influencers who share your values and center their content around a similar topic to your online course. Review their posts to see if their content aligns with your brand's values and if their audience is interested in the topic of your online course.
For example, if your course is about photography, look for photographers or photography bloggers with a large and engaged following.
This means that you need to know who your target audience is. You might have to carry out market research and learn about the demographic of your target audience, such as age, location, interests, and behaviors. Check out this article from our blog to learn more about this: Why You Should Do Market Research Before Starting an Online Course Business + How to Do it
Another way to determine whether an influencer is the right choice for your promotion is to find previous collaborations that they did in the past with other brands and check the engagement and followers' responses they received.
To sum up, look for these elements in an influencer:
- A highly engaged audience
- Same values and content focus
- A relatively high number of followers (depending on your budget)
- Successful previous collaborations with similar brands
#2: Contact the Influencer
Once you have identified a couple of potential candidates for your next campaign, it is time to reach out to them and build a relationship.
This step is extremely important as it allows you to learn more about their audience, compatibility with your values, prices and more.
Most influencers are prepared for these kinds of situations, so it should not be hard to find their contact details. Many times they show an email address or a media kit on their social media profile.
Otherwise, simply message the influencer on social media.
In your email or message, be clear about your goals and highlight the reasons why they should partner with you. Describe your online courses and how they can benefit their audience.
#3: Plan Your Influencer Marketing Campaign
Once you have identified the right influencers and built a relationship with them, it's time to plan your influencer marketing campaign.
Here is when you decide on the type of content you want to create and how you want to distribute it. This varies depending on your goals, budget and the preferences of the influencer, so it is something that you will discuss with them. However, it is a good idea to come prepared and have a clear view of what you want to achieve before you contact a potential influencer.
In some cases, the influencer is the one who will create the promotional content following your guidelines. Other times you will be the one creating the content that the influencer will share with their audience.
It is a good idea to already have some pieces of content ready: either for the influencer to share with their audience or simply to help them learn more about your online course so they can effectively promote it.
Create shareable content, such as videos, blog articles, social media posts etc... Learn more about this: 4 Easy Tips to Boost Content Creation and Promote an Online Course
#4: Offer Incentives to the Influencer
In order to sweeten the deal for the influencer, consider offering incentives like free access to your online course, exclusive bonuses or anything that can be useful for them to make it easier to promote your brand.
Next, you should decide how to handle the payment. This changes from influencer to influencer, according to their preferences. Let's see what the most common ways to pay for influencer marketing campaigns are.
How much should you pay an influencer to promote your business?
The amount you pay a social media influencer to promote your brand can vary widely and depend on several factors, such as the influencer's reach, engagement rate, niche, content format and the length of your collaboration.
Some common ways to pay influencers include:
- Flat fee: This is a one-time payment for a specific promotion, such as a single Instagram post or the creation of a YouTube video. The amount of the flat fee can vary depending on the popularity of the influencer or the time they spend on your campaign.
- Commission-based: With affiliate marketing, the influencer earns a percentage of each sale that is generated through a unique referral link or discount code provided by the brand's affiliate program.
- Free products or services: Some brands opt to give away free products or services to influencers in exchange for promotion. This can be beneficial for small businesses or startups with a limited marketing budget. You could give access to your online course for free in exchange for public promotion.
- Sponsorship: This is a long-term partnership where the brand and the influencer work together on a series of promotions or campaigns. The compensation can be in the form of one or more flat fees, commissions or a combination of the two.
It is worth noting that influencer prices are always changing and depend on many different factors.
Prices can range from a few hundred dollars for micro-influencers to tens of thousands of dollars for more established influencers but can also depend on the size of the following, engagement rate and niche.
Generally speaking, the more followers and engagement an influencer has, the more they can charge for a paid promotion. The best way to find out their rates is to simply ask them!
#5: Track and Analyze the Campaign Results
Once you have found an influencer that is right for your business and set the terms of the partnership, it's time to assess the result of the campaign. Depending on the content format, you might be able to witness results immediately after, or you might have to wait a little longer.
For example, a social media post will generally yield results relatively fast and reach a high amount of users in the first 24 hours, while it will fade pretty quickly as well. A YouTube video or a blog post - on the other hand - might take longer to bring you any results, but they should consistently bring you new traffic over a longer period of time.
That said, the type of content, audience and messaging can impact your campaign, and you might witness very different results.
Once your campaign is ended, analyze the results and use this data to improve your future influencer marketing campaigns.
Where Can I Find Influencers to Promote My Online Course?
There are many places to scout potential influencers for your next campaign. Let's see what the best places to find the right influencers for your marketing strategy are:
Search on social media platforms
Some of the most popular platforms for finding influencers include Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter. These platforms allow you to search for influencers by keyword, location, and other criteria.
You can also use tools like Instagram's "Explore" function or YouTube's "search" function to find influencers that match your niche. On TikTok, you can use the Creator Marketplace to find influencers available to help you in your next campaign.
Check out this article from our blog to learn more about TikTok marketing: How to Use TikTok to Promote Your Online Course [+ TikTok Video Ideas]
Try an influencer marketing platform
There are several platforms that specialize in connecting brands with influencers, such as Upfluence, Influencer.co, AspireIQ, and more. These platforms allow you to search for influencers based on demographics, niche, reach, engagement, and budget.
Search for blogs and websites around your niche
Look for blogs and websites that are relevant to your niche, and use tools to check their website authority and understand the popularity of their sites.
You can also look for influencers simply by running a Google search, asking friends and families for recommendations, or attending networking events around your niche.
Thanks to the high level of trust that followers have for their favorite influencers, influencer marketing is a great way to advertise your online course and reach an engaged audience that is already interested in the topic of your course.
Ultimately, the key is to find an influencer whose audience and values align with your brand and who can effectively promote your course to their followers.
Remember that finding the right influencer takes time, and it's important to carefully research the influencer and check their followers' engagement and content type before contacting them. Once your influencer marketing campaign is ended, track and analyze the results to see how effective the partnership was.
Check out these articles from our blog to learn more about content marketing and promotion strategies for online course creators:
- A Complete Guide on How to Promote Your Online Course and Boost Sales
- Top Digital Marketing Trends in 2023 to Promote an Online Course
- How to Sell an Online Course Without Facebook Ads
- How to Streamline Your Social Media Marketing Strategy and Content Creation