How to Build Customer Trust for Your Online Course Brand Through Your Website
- Natasha Lane
Online courses have become an irreplaceable part of digital learning over the past decade.
Experts expect revenue in online education to reach $166.6 billion in 2023. More importantly, the internet has become irreplaceable in allowing students, professionals, and enthusiasts to build skills in their area of choice. And according to Statista, almost one-fifth of all EU citizens took an online course in 2021, proving the incredible potential of e-learning in all fields.
The downside of the huge demand for online courses is that the market is now oversaturated with them. And that means online course creators need to work harder to stand out and win over potential students.
In this article, we’re going to cover some of best strategies for engaging potential students and earning their trust through your online course website.
Invest in a Professional Website
One of the most effective tactics to position yourself as a trustworthy online course creator is to invest in your website.
No, this doesn’t mean spending a fortune to develop an online educational platform with all the latest bells and whistles. After all, you can use plenty of online course platforms to launch your program.
Instead, focus on guaranteeing that your online presence is as well put together as possible. Even if it only consists of a single-page website.
Scientific research shows that consumers often form opinions based on website design. So, creating aesthetically pleasing online course landing pages could be the key to capturing and retaining your target audience’s attention.
You don’t have to go over the top with unique design features. A coherent, visually enjoyable browsing experience, like the one on the YogaBody Double Your Flexibility course page, will be enough to position yourself as trustworthy.
Always Use Social Proof
The second step towards building customer trust for your online course brand is to employ social proof throughout your website.
After all, consumer research shows that 98% of people read reviews for local businesses. Moreover, 93% of consumers make online buying decisions based on reviews. In other words, you can absolutely count on people at least Googling your name before spending hundreds of dollars on a course.
So why force them to search for reviews on sites like Google or Trustpilot when there are endless ways for you to incorporate social proof in your online presence?
For instance, you can enrich your homepage with a section dedicated to showing off customer reviews and ratings. Take a look at the SomniFix website for a great example.
Or, you could employ influencer marketing and do something similar to Webflow. This company chose to collaborate with designer Maddy Beard, a YouTuber with more than 25k followers, to develop courses that would easily reach their target audience and teach a new generation of aspiring creators everything they need to know about UX/UI design (and more).
Build Brand Credibility With Content
In addition to social proof, you can boost brand trust by investing in content marketing.
If you check out online education brands like MasterClass and Udemy, you’ll see that they all publish content in which they give away some information from their courses, free of charge.
For example, this article about the 5 Ways to Become an Authentic Leader gives readers a few highlights from the course it promotes. Now, it may seem counterintuitive to give away knowledge for free. However, it’s an excellent way to prove that you offer genuine value that potential students could truly benefit from.
If you want to adopt this trust-building strategy, you need to ensure that your approach drives results. There are two things you have to do if you’re going to invest in content to facilitate your credibility.
First and foremost, make sure that you’re covering topics your potential students want to learn about. Answer your audience’s most common questions, but don’t hesitate to also target long-tail keywords or explore niche topics. Moreover, try to do it in a fun and engaging way. For example, you can use interactive content — like ATH does with their Protein Calculator page.
Secondly, don’t forget to supplement your content with an attractive CTA. This can be a simple invitation for readers to explore a relevant class, like on the MasterClass blog.
You could also go with a slightly less sales-oriented solution and add a lead-capture element to your high-value content. For example, MarketBeat does this well on their page about penny stocks. After viewing the page a few times a pop up displays promoting their newsletter and inviting readers to become subscribers.
Make Help Easily Available
One commonly overlooked trust-building strategy you can use for your online course is practicing transparency.
Making it easy for your audience to get information about your company, learn about the courses you offer, or even get answers to some of their questions will effectively prove that they can count on you to deliver what was promised.
With this in mind, don’t hesitate to encourage your prospects to learn more about you.
For one, you should always add some contact options to your website. Whether that’s a clickable email contact form, a live chat widget, or a phone number displayed at the top of your homepage — like on the ShopSolarKits website — is entirely up to you.
Secondly, don’t forget to introduce yourself (and your collaborators).
When trying to sell online courses, you have to remember that one of your most powerful assets is your experience and reputation as an expert. So try to take a page out of Soundfly’s book and create an informative About page that tells your story. It doesn’t have to be anything over-the-top. As long as it shows your potential students that you know what you’re talking about, it’s going to have a genuinely positive impact on building trust for your online course.
Last but not least, as you explore ways to boost your reputation as a trustworthy educator, don’t forget to equip your existing students with everything they need to guarantee a stellar learning experience.
Make learning materials and assignments easy to find. Create FAQ pages to help new course participants get comfortable with your platform. And make sure you’re diligent about answering student questions, especially considering that 46% of people expect support requests to be resolved within an hour of reaching out.
Help Students Discover the Best Course for Their Needs
Lastly, as you embark on the journey of building trust for your online course, don’t forget that one of the best ways to show that you’re a trustworthy course creator is to put your money where your mouth is. That is, don’t just say that you want your course participants to be happy. Instead, do everything in your power to guarantee their satisfaction.
In most cases, this will mean telling people whom a course was made for and what participants will learn — just as it’s done on this Semrush Academy landing page. On other occasions, ensuring student satisfaction will also mean saying why a particular course isn’t the right choice for someone.
Furthermore, don’t lose track of what most people want from online learning experiences. Sure, if they’re browsing courses, they’re likely exploring ways to invest in their personal or professional growth. But consumer research shows that your prospects are still very likely to prioritize value for money, especially considering the current economic situation.
So, why not prove that you care about your students getting a good deal? It’s easy to do. All you need to drive trust this way is to add website elements that can help elevate the customer experience — like this banner on Bay Alarm Medical reminding web visitors that there’s a sale going on at the moment.
Ready to Build Customer Trust for Your Online Course Brand?
Building trust for an online course brand can be challenging — especially if you’re just entering this competitive industry and trying to compete with well-known platforms. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t build a stellar reputation as an expert or a great coach. It just means that you need to use the right strategies to prove that you have what it takes to help your students succeed.
The tactics described in this article are all excellent ways to do just that. And the best part is that they all rely on making small tweaks to your website — whether that’s adding a “who this course is for” section to your homepage, introducing yourself, or showing off social proof. Plus, if you supplement these strategies with additional marketing tactics like building a community via social media or guest posting on reputable sites that cater to your target audience, you’re guaranteed to see even more success.
So don’t hesitate to invest in your brand’s online presence. Start small and see where it leads you. And if you’re happy with the results, you can move on to making bigger investments in your business to support its growth and longevity.