15 Free Marketing Ideas for Your Classes Business

Aavni Desai
July 28, 2021
8 min read

Marketing can make you go above and beyond. The question is - How?

As a small business that wants to spread their classes to more and new students, setting yourself apart is so important. If your budget for marketing is tight, or rather loose, dig into our top 15 free marketing ideas for you to accelerate your business!

1. Google My Business 🔍

Your classes business can thrive with a Google Business Profile. It is an effective and free listing that makes your business show up on Google Maps, local Google Search sections, and the right-hand side of the Google Knowledge Panel where branded searches show up. As a small business, you would naturally want to rank higher than your competitors in Google Search results. For your Business Profile to rank higher on Google Maps and local results, optimize your Business Profile. Verify your ownership of the Business Profile via your Google My Business account.

2. Listing on online directories and marketplaces 🛍️

Website listings give businesses online visibility, improves their SEO ranking, boosts direct and indirect inbound marketing, puts you in touch with businesses looking to partner up and builds your reputation

  • Directories list your name, a brief description, your contact details, an image and rating.
  • Marketplaces enable you to sell your products or services through them. You can list your classes on the site, clients can book classes on them, and opt in for a consultation too. 

3. Get a website 🌐

Potion.so, Webflow, Versoly and Carrd are brilliant options to easily create your website. All you have to do is put your details and content in, and you’re good to go! Ensure that your website is SEO enabled. When viewers search a topic your website will rank higher than others and be visible to them. You can find an SEO starter guide to help you out here. From videos, to blogs, to consultation and class bookings - Your website can handle it all!

4. Engaging Social Media Content 👍

Grow your audience, promote your classes, and drive traffic to your website, and varying social media accounts with this free marketing idea. 

- YouTube

Being the 2nd largest search engine after Google, YouTube is important for you when you market yourself. In the form of video classes; they can be short snippets that summarize modules, or lengthy videos that cover an intricate topic which has high demand. YouTube is a social media giant with extremely high consumption rates - perfect for you to get out there and reach more students!

- Instagram

Leverage new features on Instagram as soon as you can. Reels for one, are all the rage right now and rightly so. These short 1 minute clips can also last a few seconds - but are filled with interesting content. Be it text, audio, images, videos, GIFs and stickers, you can make educational Reels within a few minutes. Reels have high visibility on the Instagram app. Most students use Instagram every day for a considerable amount of time. It’s a great way to reach new students and keep your current students engaged. With the right hashtags that you can optimize online, you are good to go! Posts, IGTV videos, and Instagram Live content is key in building a well rounded account. 

- LinkedIn

A common misconception is that LinkedIn is only for professionals to post about themselves and get jobs, in a mainstream sense. However, it has students, part-time and full-time working professionals, and people from various sectors. As an educator, this is the audience you look to capture. You can easily repurpose content that is suitable for LinkedIn by reposting blogs, sharing educational content, linking and reposting other social media content from different platforms you post on, on LinkedIn. 

- Twitter

It is perfect for posting bite sized educational content and linking other social media content you post. Apart from tweeting, and linking content in these tweets, try out Twitter Threads. Threads helps you put a story out that goes beyond a singular Tweet. You can create one by collecting several noteworthy tweets, and highlighting different perspectives. 

💡 Pro-tip

  • Data rich infographics can seriously boost your social media campaign
    Infographics are eye candy. Students and younger audiences are even more attracted to it. No matter where you post content, your audience will be attracted to eye pleasing infographics that draw them in and excite them. Educational content in the form of infographics is easy on the eyes, easy to digest, and everyone shares them with their peers as a quick review. What does this mean? Your referral traffic and links are about to boom! Canva, Adobe's free vector kit, Ads and even Visme create attractive templates that make it free and easy for you to generate infographics within minutes. All you have to do is insert the content and customize the design if you want to.  
  • Host a social media giveaway
    Announce a giveaway on your social media via a post. Giveaway a free or discounted class or session. Tell your followers to tag a certain number of their friends in the comment section, to like the post, share it on their Instagram stories, or repost it to their profiles, to win a chance at free or discounted lessons. You can read the rules for such events on Facebook here.

5. Repurposing content 🔄

You read that right - You can post content you’ve put up on Instagram on your LinkedIn, and upload a clip of your YouTube videos on your Instagram for Reels. Mix and match content across your social media handle, blog and website. You don’t have to splurge your money on a fancy social media manager or hire a firm to do this for you. Decide what you’d like to post in a week and spread the content out over different platforms. You will drive audiences from each platform towards you, while building your identity as well. 

6. Hosting webinars 🎙️

Webinars or web seminars are videos where you teach a topic of your choice to reach a potential audience. You can host a beginner’s introductory class, an in-depth seminar on a trending topic - just about anything you think will be a hit amongst the audience you want to reach. Host it via Zoom, Google Meets, YouTube Live or Instagram Live for a shorter webinar. Record the lecture and post it on your social media for later use. It’s like handing out a free experience of what it is to learn with you, while building a hunger for the education you put out. Ensure that you advertise your webinar via emails, social media and by word of mouth to create awareness. Link the webinar into the message for everyone to access it. Specify the time, date, topic and length of the webinar in this message. 

7. Industry partnerships 🤝

Collaborate with other educators and institutions, social media influencers and eminent figures when you host webinars, create YouTube videos and Instagram Reels. You can also invite them as keynote speakers to drive in traffic and new viewers. This is a great way for them to reach out to a broader audience as well. 

8. Competitor Contacts 📇

Ask your competitors if they know potential students whom they had to turn away due to an overflowing timetable. They can send them your way, while you show how this will benefit your competitor in some way or another you deem fit. 

9. Student referrals and incentives 🤳

Education is a long process and students do bear quite a weight with the various expenditures that come with it. As an educator, displaying a small act of compassion towards their finances goes a very long way. You can give them concessions by offering a small discount every time they draw in a new student into your class. 

10. Post student reviews 😍

It’s refreshing to see students review their teachers considering that it is usually the other way around. Get them to review you on Google Reviews. They can review you on websites that list your business as well. Include their reviews on your newsletter and emails. You could ask them to send a video of them reviewing you as well - Perfect to post on Instagram Reels, your website, and other platforms you deem fit! It’s always good to help students realize that learning is a two-way street and your goodwill will shoot up with this. 

11. Guest blogging ✍️

Guest posting works two ways:

  • You publish an article on someone else’s website 
  • You include someone else’s article on your website 

Guest posting helps you position yourself as an authority on the topic being written on, building your name in the industry. It helps you make connections and drive traffic back to your website. You can get an in depth guide on guest blogging here. Ensure that the content is SEO enabled. SEO enabled blogs might seem like a daunting concept but you can get a free keyword searcher built into your Google Search machine. Pick out the keyword you want to use in your blogs and mention it several times, and once in the title. Every time a student searches a topic - Your blog will pop up. The more popular the keyword, the higher your ranking! Be careful not to overuse the keyword and maintain the quality of your writing. 

12. Lead magnets 🧲

From SEO enabled blogs to booklets that summarize the various topics and sub-topics you teach in your lectures - self-publish this content. You can use this to generate leads as well. Before viewers open your blogs and books, you can put a form out on your website that allows them to fill their names and email IDs in. You can use these contacts to send emails and newsletters. It spreads word about your lectures, your generosity towards spreading knowledge builds goodwill, it’s a great branding opportunity and makes students want to learn more. Link your lesson plan and registration forms in these books and blogs to direct students to your classes business. 

13. Backlinks 🔗

Backlinks are links of your website on other websites. These links come from social media websites, blog posts, and directories. Google considers it as a “vote” for your website. Find these links from websites that are related to your niche and industry. Building backlinks to your website is key and you have to maintain both the quality and quantity. You can read more about them here.

14. Stock images upload 📷

This is a lesser known marketing technique with so much power. Upload high quality images on stock image websites like Unsplash and Pexels to drive traffic to your website. This is a great way of raising awareness about your website while encouraging others to share your blogs and pieces that interest them on their sites as well.

15. Newsletter 🗞️

Email newsletters include calls to action. They are filled with information you want to put out and the goal is engagement. You can repurpose content from your social media and website on your email newsletter. Newsletters can include guest writers, original content, bite size articles from academic papers you’ve written, snippets of your lecture, pieces on trending topics and so on. An engaging template is key here. Substack is a great way to put out paid newsletters for people to subscribe to - try to encash on this source. 

“Focus on these free marketing ideas that are within your reach, to grow your business and its reach.”

You can measure the effectiveness or the impact of your free marketing ideas by checking your overall website traffic, the source of this traffic, the number of new and old visitors being active, an increase in likes, followers, comments, subscribers and shares, and the most visited or viewed pages/content. See what’s working best by this measurement and double-down on it in future marketing activities. With an open mind, you can do it all. Don’t worry about busting your wallet and the return on investment your marketing will provide you with. It’s about getting your classes business there in the most resource efficient way you currently can!

Aavni Desai

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