Difference between Marketing and Advertising an Online Course

Most people consider marketing and advertising the same or use them interchangeably. On the other hand, these two concepts have nothing in common. Selling more digital products might get more accessible upon understanding the difference between marketing and advertising. If you are a budding content creator, you must understand where to use marketing and advertising to upscale your online business. Yes, both have the same goal- to drive business revenue, yet marketing takes a more comprehensive approach than advertising. Let’s dive more into both these concepts.

Understanding Marketing

Marketing includes all your efforts to get clients to your business and persuade them to make a purchase. Your marketing campaigns should aim to move clients through the sales funnel. Converting visitors into leads and then into consumers is what you want to do. The conversion procedure often takes a few minutes; other times, it might take weeks or months. Yet, it would help if you were consistent with your efforts to get outcomes.
Following is the list of some of the most common and popular marketing techniques you may use to market online courses. However, this is not a comprehensive list:
  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • SEO and search engine marketing
  • Referral marketing
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Inbound Marketing
  • Outbound marketing
  • Influencer marketing
As you’ll see, many alternatives are available if you want to promote your digital products. But if you wish to convert those leads into paying clients, you must have the right plan.
Several marketers employ the four P’s of marketing to accomplish this effectively:
  • Product
  • Price
  • Placement
  • Promotion


You cannot market anything unless there is something to offer. So it might be a service or product, but for now, here is a quick understanding from the perspective of an online course.
When designing and marketing online courses, you must have at least one course to begin the marketing or a thorough knowledge of your course offerings once it is released. In addition, when selling your courses, you must emphasise establishing an emotional and psychological connection with the audience.


How competitive you are in your sector will depend on the price you market your products. If you offer your courses too costly, you will lose clients. However, pricing your systems too low communicates that it is of lesser quality. In addition, you will not generate substantial revenue, and your efforts will go in vain.
To conduct an extensive study on similar online courses. For example, what prices do your rivals charge for their classes? How could you beat them or make your product more appealing to consumers in other ways?


At this step, you must determine the marketing routes for your online courses. You have various marketing channels, as mentioned above. But it is not compulsory to use all of these; indeed, you should not. Instead, choose your marketing channel depending on where you’ll discover your target audience and where you’ll be able to impress them.


The promotion process is about how you promote your online course content on your selected marketing channel. You may not have a great hold on marketing and other promotional activities as a course creator. Yet, with Teachmore, the team will help you with the initial steps. Further, you can find several resources to help you better understand marketing and attract more learners to your course.

Pros of marketing online course:

  • Marketing emphasises how to connect a product with its target market effectively.
  • It takes an organic approach; and won’t deplete your funds.
  • Marketing focuses on the long-term viability of your courses and brand.
Let’s now move towards advertising.

Understanding Advertising

Instead of using organic techniques to draw customers to a firm, advertising employs funds to target specific consumers. Advertising assists in educating consumers about your online courses available on the market and what value they offer. Advertising is for everyone, including children and the elderly. It is achieved by implementing various media types and the most appropriate techniques and procedures. There are several forms of advertising:
  • Television
  • Radio
  • Product placement
  • Billboards
  • Newspaper
  • Magazine
  • Paid social
  • Paid search
  • Display advertising
Each of these strategies may help you to reach more customers, but without a strategic approach, they can easily deplete your budget.
To establish your advertising strategy, you must choose the platforms through which you will promote your online courses. Then, develop content and creatives to achieve your specific objectives. Finally, you must monitor ad clicks to see if the ROI justifies display advertising. Always have a measurable goal; if you don’t achieve it, go forward with something that would provide a higher return on investment.
Understanding the various forms of advertising may aid in defining this strategy.


A cognitive advertising approach targets customers’ ability to process logically through an issue and identify a solution. For example, suppose you are planning for courses that educate individuals on how to quit smoking. You might connect to your audiences by clicking with the issue (smoking) and providing a solution that can result in tangible advantages.


Emotional or emotive advertising emphasises the emotions rather than the thoughts of customers. It evokes an emotional reaction through persuasive messaging, visuals, and other components.


If you opt to employ conative advertising, you appeal to the instincts of your prospects. You want people to purchase your goods, not due to a cognitive or emotional reaction but because they are unwilling to miss a chance. Yet, you want an emotional or mental reaction from the buyer after purchase. Otherwise, dissatisfaction might result in lost customers, negative online reviews, and other negative consequences.

Pros of Advertising your online course:

  • It will bring you quick sales and revenue.
  • Advertising will entirely focus on your product promotion.
  • Help you quickly increase your customer base.
Marketing is a vast concept, of which advertising is just a subset.
If you believe advertising your online courses would increase your return on investment and attract more consumers, you may choose to do so. However, if you’re looking for an organic and economical approach, you may stick to marketing tactics that don’t involve significant financial investments. Either way, you can be successful in promoting your course content. Yet consistency and measuring ROI matter.
Look at Teachmore – the leading platform for creating and selling online courses. Start with your content creation journey today.
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