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Promoting an online course can be tough. While the internet provides access to billions of people, trying to cut through the noise and actually interact with those people in a meaningful (and profitable) way can be quite the challenge. This is why a solid marketing campaign is essential to building enrolment.

The marketing campaign that works best for your course will largely be determined by the course’s topic and your target audience, but no matter who you’re trying to enrol in your course, there’s one marketing truth that can boost your campaign: video marketing is one of the best ways to reach and engage with people online.

If you are new to video, this might seem out of reach—but don’t fret! With the right tools and a bit of direction, you can create videos that accurately represent your course and capture the attention of your target audience. First, though, let’s take a look at what video marketing really is and why it’s become such a valuable tool.


How To Create A Promo Video For Your #OnlineCourse @growwebmktg #videomarketing #teachonline Click To Tweet

What is video marketing?

Video marketing is using videos in your marketing. That’s it! It’s super simple and extremely effective. A promo video is a video specifically made for the purpose of promoting a product, event, offer, or in your case – an online course. Promo videos are usually short (ours average about 15 seconds) and have one main focus – to enrol new students, for example.

In all honesty, video marketing isn’t new. People have been using video for years. What makes today’s marketing landscape different isn’t necessarily new video technology, it’s social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat—these are all social media platforms that offer a (relatively) new way for people to share ideas and stay connected. Because all of these social sites are available as apps on smartphones and tablets, people can access them anytime from anywhere. This means that your course has the potential to achieve continuous connectivity with members of your target audience.  

How has social media changed the video marketing landscape?

In addition to revolutionizing how people interact with one another, social media has changed the way that you can communicate with members of your course’s target audience. Unlike television or radio, social media is never off. Additionally, the number of people that video marketing via social media has the potential to reach is staggering. Think about it:

Is the value that video marketing offers worth the energy it takes to create it?

The short answer to this question is a resounding yes. For the long answer, let’s first look at why your course’s target audience might respond well to your video marketing efforts:

  • With well-made videos, you can actually create an emotional connection with your course’s target audience members. Videos can bring out brand attributes that really resonate with your target audience, and people who watch your videos may feel like they know your brand better than if they were to read the same information presented in written form. This is particularly important if your course is an extension of your business.
  • Video is easier for people to consume than text. By providing a visual for people to focus on, video marketing can communicate your message in an easily digestible way that incorporates both sight and sound—making it more memorable.
  • Using video marketing can actually increase the propensity of target audience members to buy whatever is being promoted, meaning people are more likely to enrol for your online course.

While engagement with target audience members is certainly the end goal for video marketing campaigns, it’s important to look at the more technical side of video marketing to see how you can achieve this engagement. After all, you can’t establish a connection with people if they don’t see your content. Here are some of the ways video marketing can add even more value to your course’s promotional campaign by getting your content in front of a larger number of people:

  • Video marketing is great for search engine optimization (SEO). Google and other search engines have updated their algorithms to include video, so video marketing can actually boost your rankings.
  • People love sharing things that resonate with them on social media, and video is an easy way for them to share your message. If you can create video marketing content that provides value to your target audience members, they will be excited to share your videos with their friends, family, and professional networks—and they will be more likely to sign up for your online course.
  • Because video marketing doesn’t require expensive equipment or extensive editing, it can be used as a real-time marketing tool (it’s even faster to create videos than some blog posts!). Believe it or not, you can make a promotional video and post it in minutes (not hours), and this means that you can continually create video marketing content that is relevant, interesting, and engaging. The result is content that people will share.

How to create a promo video for your online course | Julie Ball | Thinkific

Can video marketing keep your course relevant?

Aside from all of the benefits of video marketing that we’ve already discussed, there’s one quite fundamental reason why adding video marketing to your course’s promotional strategy is a great idea: relevance.

As technology has advanced over the years, businesses have had to keep up in order to stay relevant in the eyes of their target audience members. Video marketing is just the next step in a long string of technological advances and marketing tactics. In fact, Cisco predicts that video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic by 2017, and Nielsen believes that 64% of marketing professionals anticipate video to become a fundamental aspect of marketing strategies.

So, now that we’ve established how simple video marketing is and why you should add it to your online course’s promotional strategy, let’s review just how easy it is to make your own videos!

Below are the steps I take when putting together promotional videos:

3 Steps To Making A Promo Video For Your #OnlineCourse @growwebmktg #videomarketing #teachonline Click To Tweet


It’s important to have a clear plan before spending any time producing your video.

  • Decide the goal of your video. What action do you want your audience to take after watching your video? Write it down! Get clear before you go any further
  • What content do you need for your video? List specific images or video clips you want to include.
  • What text do you want to include? List specific promotions, event details, coupon codes or calls-to-action.


This is where most people get stuck because of lack of tech skills. But you don’t really need tech skills anymore! We make all of our promo videos on our smartphones.

  • Choose where you will put together your video. Use one of our favorite apps and you’ll have a stunning video in 5 minutes flat. Some of our favorite iPhone video apps are Quik, Legend, Stop Motion, Flipagram, Ripl and Boomerang. Some are paid, some are free. Most even have templates so you don’t have to “design” anything. If you are tech-challenged, try Flipagram first since it’s a simple slideshow.
  • Drop in your images and text in your app of choice. Only use your own images or those that you have the rights to use. Don’t steal images off of Google!
  • Want music? Some apps have built-in music beds that can make your video sound amazing. But just remember that most of the songs in your iTunes library have copyrights. That means you can face penalties if you use them in your videos without having a license to use the clip. (i.e. you could get sued, your audio may be muted, your video may be banned from social media – gaaaahhh!) My favorite place to purchase music or sound effects is Audio Jungle.
  • When you’re done, save the video to your camera roll or share directly from the app.

Keep in mind that if you are planning to post your video on Instagram, it must be between 3 and 60 seconds long. Remember though that attention spans are short… so keep your video short.

Also, if you want your video to look good on all platforms, stick with a square crop. That way, no one has to turn their phone to view it.

Here is an example of a course promo video that I shared on Instagram (about 15 seconds long):

Course Promo Video Example


  • Post your video on your social media channels with some basic text and a link. Tell your audience what to do. (i.e. reinforce your video’s call-to-action)
  • Add the video to your YouTube channel and embed it in a blog post, guest posts on other blogs, etc.
  • Use the video in your email marketing.

Ready to make a promo video for your online course?

Promo videos are a proven way to grow course enrolment. When using the apps listed above, they really are easier than you think. So give it a go and watch your social media engagement skyrocket!

If you have any questions about creating a promo video for your online course, please leave them in the comment section below. You can also download my Video Planning Worksheet to help you plan and create your next video!


Julie Ball is the Founder of Grow Web Marketing, a marketing agency that helps female entrepreneurs grow their business, their brand, and themselves. To learn how to create high quality videos for your business without spending a fortune, check out her course Easy Video Marketing for Small Businesses.