Instructor tips: A Q&A on updating your course for Black Friday (and beyond)
We asked three of our Instructor Partners for their best tips for optimizing courses for Black Friday promotions. While our questions are specific to the Black Friday/Cyber Monday promotion season, they share a lot of great insight that you can do year round keeping courses up to date and your students engaged.
Phil Ebiner, Video Creator and Photographer
First, why does Black Friday matter for Udemy instructors?
Black Friday isn’t just one day of sales, it’s typically a week-long event that kicks off the biggest quarter of the year for instructors, so it’s very important to do whatever you can to improve your chances of success.
How does search engine optimization help courses for Black Friday?
Your courses sell more when more potential students see your course landing page. More students see your landing page when your course appears in search results.
Knowing this, the goal before Black Friday is to do whatever we can to increase the ranking of our courses. The best way I’ve done this is by increasing course engagement. In general, more course engagement leads to more reviews.
So where do you start?
I update as many of my courses as possible. Then, I send educational announcements that feature these course updates. Other things you can do to increase engagement and student satisfaction is by holding live office hours via YouTube or Facebook.
Do you update your course content at all?
With courses that teach technical applications or tools, I create lessons that share any updates that have been made to that application. For example, Adobe typically releases new tools or features to Photoshop every year so I’ll make sure that I have those new features covered in updated lessons before Black Friday.
What if my course doesn’t need content updates?
For courses that don’t need any content-based updates, think of some sort of download that you can create and share with students. This could be anything from a printable worksheet to a full ebook. Students love these, and it’s a great way to increase the student learning experience as well as course ratings.
Another way I update courses is to add additional case studies. Students enjoy seeing examples of how the subject being taught in the course can be applied in the real world.
Scott Duffy, Chief Instructor, GetCloudSkills.com
How do you get your courses ready for Black Friday?
First, perform a Udemy search for your course’s keyword, and find your course. How does it look next to the other courses? Is your course image as good as the others? Is your title as clear as the others? Why would someone choose your course and not the one above you in search? Don’t be afraid to change it.
What do you change first?
You want to improve your course landing page. Really look at it in detail. Read your course title. What can you do to make it better? Read your subtitle. Can it be even more enticing to students? Go down each element of the page — course objectives, description, section and lesson titles — and spend a few minutes thinking about what you can change to make it more attractive to students. Real Estate agents call this curb appeal. Make sure your course has good curb appeal.
Anything else you can do to improve your courses’ curb appeal?
Watch your promo video, and think about how you can spend a few hours making that better. Then watch your intro video and the free previews that you have chosen. Can you spend time re-recording them to make them better? That’s worthwhile to do if you can.
Do you change your actual courses?
Some courses are evergreen while others require updates from time to time. It might be interesting for you to watch your course. Like most consumers, students will believe that newer content is better. They’d much prefer content recorded in 2021 to content recorded in 2018. So consider updating parts of your course. Ensure there are no places in the video that mention old dates. And if you update the course, be sure and mention that in the course description.
Thibault Houdon, Formateur et développeur Python
What do you do to get your course landing page ready for Black Friday?
I always try to make sure there’s consistency across my courses. My preference is that my course images/thumbnails are consistent by having a similar style (similar color scheme, illustration style, fonts, etc.). This allows my students to be able to identify my courses amongst others.
How important is it to update the copy?
I make sure to check if something new has come up (for example, a new version of a software or a big tech update) and I’ll add a note into my course landing page to let students know if there are differences between the versions or provide them with any information that they should be aware of.
What’s the best way to find out how you can update your course itself?
Use your Q&A to address some of your course’s weaknesses. Add content to your course to answer the questions you receive most often. This could be rerecording or adding a lecture or adding non-video resources.
Some other ways to use learner feedback to improve your course: If a learner leaves a negative rating with constructive feedback, try to address it within your course. This is also a great opportunity to reach out to your learner with a direct message to let them know that you addressed their feedback. If the update is big enough, you can inform all your students in an educational announcement about the change you’ve made to your course content.
You can also review the most dropped lectures on your course engagement section of the instructor dashboard. If you see that you have a lecture that is more dropped than others (that’s not the introduction or thank you, since these tend to have higher drop off rates), think about how you might be able to update this content to better engage your learners to complete the lecture.
Much thanks to our Instructor Partners for offering their expertise.
We welcome you to continue the conversation, ask questions, and share your experience in the Instructor Community.