Marketing trends are changing daily, but there are some basic definitions that every business owner needs to know and recognize. Here are 30 basic terms that you should get familiar with in order to successfully market your online courses.
When you decide to start teaching online, you are actually starting your own business. You will be faced with many new processes such as creating the content for your online courses, choosing the right software to use, and, last but not least, marketing and selling your own courses. Online marketing is a relatively new field and that is why many teachers find it more difficult to sell their courses than to make the transition from the traditional to the virtual classroom.
In this article we will explain the 30 basic marketing terms that you need to know so that you do not get lost searching for definitions once you start teaching online.
Handy Guide to Marketing Terms
1. A/B Testing
This is an option that allows you to test two types of marketing messages and visions in order to see which one performs better for your course. For example, if you are sending a promotional email, you may use different messages in the subject line and on the call-to-action button to see which one sells the course better.
When you start promoting your course and invest in a marketing plan, you will want to know which channel brings in the most customers at the lowest cost. You will be able to see this information while looking at the data in your blog’s visitor reports, social media channel, and Google Analytics profile, etc.). Thus, analytics gives you the valuable information you need in order to make informed marketing decisions.
3. Business-to-Consumer (B2C)
When you sell your courses directly to an individual customer your business model is defined as B2C (Business-to-Consumer). If you start targeting language centers then your business model will be B2B (Business-to-Business).
4. Bounce Rate
When you promote your course online, you will drive traffic to your blog content. The percentage of people who land on your blog content and then leave without clicking on any blog sections – in other words, single-page visitors – is called the bounce rate. This metric is found in Google Analytics.
5. Buyer Persona
You should sit down and draw up a model of your ideal customer based on market research and real data. This will be your buyer persona and will help you get an understanding of the interests, needs, problems, and desires of your target audience.
6. Call-to-Action (CTA)
A call-to-action is the message that you use to get a customer to perform an action. It may be in the form of a text link, button, image, or some type of web link that encourages a website visitor to visit a landing page and, therefore, turn into a lead. Some examples of CTAs are: “Subscribe Now” or “Register for FREE today“. CTAs are important for you because they are the messages that will make your clients want to sign up for your online courses.
7. Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Click-Through Rate is the number of users who click on a specific link relative to the total number of users who view a page, email, or advertisement. CTR is one of the most important metrics for your marketing campaigns for your online courses.
8. Content Management System (CMS)
Creating your own organic content is the best way to attract customers regardless of whether or not you are selling an online course or selling clothing. People value organic content and that is why it is so important to manage your content properly. Content management systems help you create, edit, and manage your content without the need of any technical skills. They will make your content searchable and indexable, and will help you keep track of the most important metrics of your content.
9. Conversion Rate
The conversion rate is the number of people who actually take an action on your blog or website, like registering for an online course or signing up to receive your newsletter, etc.
10. Cost per Lead
This is the metric you will use to estimate the costs to acquire a lead. For example, if you invested $100 in a lead campaign and you gathered 50 leads, your cost per lead will be $2.
11. Cross-Channel Marketing
This is a marketing strategy that promotes the same message across all marketing channels – social media, Google Adwords, Bing Ads, etc.
12. Direct Traffic
Direct traffic occurs when someone visits your site by directly typing in a URL. For example, if your blog domain is www.onlinecourses.com, and a customer opens a web browser and types in this URL, this visit will be counted as direct traffic to your blog or website.
13. Engagement Rate
The engagement rate shows how long a person is on your blog or website. It takes into account time, as well as the number of pages viewed. For example, if only one course or one page is viewed, that visitor receives an engagement rate of 0. This metric can also be found in Google Analytics.
14. Evergreen Content
As we stated earlier, content is a great value-added asset that you can provide to your customers, especially if the content is evergreen. Evergreen content is content that can be referenced long after it was originally published yet is still valuable to the reader.
When you start selling your courses, you should also be aware of the funnel you want your audience to take. The funnel includes all of the steps that someone takes from the first time they visit your website to the point when they become a customer. The marketing funnel is part of your marketing strategy.
It is currently very popular to use famous people to promote your products and services. Famous personas who can influence other people to buy a certain product or service are called influencers. If you want to sell an online course on public relations, for example, you can look for a famous PR expert and ask them to promote your courses through their online channels.
When creating content for your online courses and blog posts, you may want to include infographics. An infographic is a piece of content that allows you to show complex concepts in a simple and visual way.
18. Key Performance Indicator (KPI)
A KPI is a performance indicator measuring an activity’s success. Marketers look at KPIs to track the progress of marketing goals, and successful marketers constantly evaluate their performance against standard industry metrics. When you start selling your courses online, you may want to choose metrics that will represent how your business is performing – for example, blog visitors per month, registered users, etc.
Keywords are the topics that webpages get indexed for in search results by engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Some keywords that you can use for your online course blog include: online courses, teaching online, etc.
A lead is a person who has shown interest in your course in some way – perhaps they filled out a form, signed up for a webinar, or shared their contact information in exchange for a discount coupon.
21. Organic Search
An organic search is when someone visits your blog or website after clicking on search results that have not been influenced by paid advertising in search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo.
A pageview occurs when there is a request to load a single web page on the internet.
23. Paid Search
When a visitor on your blog or website originates from your paid advertisement, they are counted in the analytics data as a paid search.
24. Pay-per-Click (PPC)
Simply put, this is the amount of money spent to get people to click on your advertisement. PPC ads are displayed when someone searches for a keyword that matches your keyword list. They are used to direct traffic to your website, and PPC is used to assess the cost-effectiveness and profitability of your paid advertising campaigns.
You can use other websites and blogs to promote your courses by posting a link on them. The visitors coming from those websites will be counted as referrals.
26. Return on Investment (ROI)
This is a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency and profitability of an investment, or to compare the efficiency and profitability of multiple investments. The formula for ROI is: (Gain from Investment minus Cost of Investment) divided by the (Cost of Investment). You want to calculate your ROI based on the size of your advertising budget.
27. Tracking URL
A tracking URL is a regular URL with a token (usually called a UTM parameter) attached to the end of it that helps keep track of where the view originated. If you decide to post a link to your blog in a referral website, for example, you would want to use UTM codes to measure which referral website works best for you. An easy link management platform that you can use is bitly.com.
28. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This is the practice of enhancing where a web page appears in search results. By adjusting a web page’s on-page SEO elements and by influencing off-page SEO factors, you can improve where a web page appears in search engine results. SEO is a broad and complicated topic that deserves a separate article devoted just to it.
29. Unique Visitors
These are new visitors who come to your website for the first time.
30. User Experience (UX)
UX refers to the overall experience customers have with your brand. This starts from the discovery and awareness of your brand all the way through their interaction, purchase, use, and even advocacy of that brand. You have to put yourself in the shoes of the customer in order to provide a great UX journey.