Get Your Learn On

Analyzing Udemy’s Content Marketing Strategy.

EdTech is a rapidly growing sector with a number of established players that primarily depend upon video content to drive customer acquisition and create brand awareness. These companies include, but are not limited to, Udemy, Lynda, Pluralsight, Skillshare, Coursera and Coursmo.


To gain a better understanding of the competitive landscape facing XXXX by analyzing — the market leader in the online video tutorial space. Specifically, this assesses their content marketing efforts over the last 6 months — using BuzzSumo, SimilarWeb Pro & Owler.


Given the high demand for developers in the job market, Udemy’s audience is hyper-focused on continuing technology education. The average visit is a little over 8 minutes. Nearly half of all traffic* bounces. This suggests three possible scenarios:

  1. They’re not reaching the right people, i.e. people who really have an interest in learning something, developing new skillsets, etc.
  2. The content lacks “stickiness” — it’s not keeping people engaged.
  3. They have set up Google Analytics incorrectly and not accounting for the time people are actually spending watching videos.

*Info is for Desktop traffic only. Mobile most likely accounts for the majority of overall traffic.


This info offers a fascinating insight. They’re allocating very little budget to paid media with 99% of traffic occurring organically. Overall, their traffic appears to be relatively consistent, or stagnant, depending on how you interpret it.


Udemy’s Top 5 Content Pieces: (May-Oct 2015)
Total Shares = all social channels combined.

  1. Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Online Course: The Inexplicable Universe
    (Total Shares: 78,400)
  2. Projects in AngularJS — Learn by Building 10 Projects
    (Total Shares: 66,724)
  3. Finding Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
    (Total Shares: 57,464)
  4. The Complete Java Developer Course
    (Total Shares: 44,972)
  5. Online Courses: 30,000+ On-demand Classes from Udemy
    (Total Shares: 29,565)


The #1 Rule of Screenwriting: Show, don’t tell.


Lynda is Udemy’s next closest competitor in an apples-to-apples comparison of each company’s value proposition.

Lynda’s average content shares are substantially greater than Udemy’s. Despite a lower amount of daily traffic, the average visit durations are nearly equal. A comparison of the bounce rates shows that both sites are losing a significant portion of traffic. Google Analytics calculates bounce rates as the percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which the person leaves the site from the entrance page without interacting with the page).

There are three main factors which affect the bounce rate:

  1. Incorrect implementation of tracking tags.
  2. Site design — landing pages should always be A/B tested. Optimizely is a great resource.
  3. User behavior.


Based on the available data, Udemy is overlooking some key opportunities for acquiring and converting new customers. Specifically, they fail to leverage the full potential of popular content distribution channels that aggregate hundreds of millions of viewers each month.

For example, a platform like Periscope offers a fresh, engaging opportunity to reach a customer base whose primary need is the immediacy provided by the mobile experience.

Imagine Bill Nye the Science Guy conducting an impromptu science lesson on the Third Street Promenade and broadcasting it on XXXX’s Periscope account. The broadcast is then archived on and repurposed into additional content and distributed to drive additional viewers and traffic to the Science section of XXXX.

Even though the majority of social traffic is generated by Facebook and Twitter (a distant 2nd), both of these social channels are vastly underleveraged. For example, the last Facebook update was on 11/4 and the one before that was on 09/16. Ironically, Twitter is the channel they devote the most attention to and actively update weekly, if not daily.

Here are some ways Udemy could significantly optimize their Youtube presence:

  1. Udemy’s Youtube Channel should provide free digest videos of course offerings covering a wide variety of topics that are compelling to consumers — technology, health & fitness, spirituality & wellness, the Arts, etc. They currently have 8 videos — none of which contain compelling value propositions or clear CTA’s directing viewers to The last video posted was two months ago and explained the correct way to pronounce Udemy.
  2. TrueView Ads (In-Stream & In-Display) — Youtube Video Campaigns provide substantial reach, brand positioning/awareness and access to highly-segmentable and targetable audiences who actively watch and search for educational content.
  3. Remarketing — everyone who vists Udemy’s Youtube channel, watches a video, sees/interacts with a TrueView ad, comments, likes, shares a video is collected into an audience list. This list can then be used to target this pre-qualified audience later when they use Google Search, Youtube or any partner publisher site in the Google Display Network (which reaches around 83% of all unique Internet users worldwide.)
  4. By linking their AdWords and Youtube accounts, Udemy will be able to aggregate all Google-related data for further analysis within Google Analytics. These analytics can provide advanced insights necessary to execute the company’s core strategies.


“Set It And Forget It.” — Ron Popeil, Visionary

The data suggests that Udemy is taking a passive approach towards content marketing by not activating its core audience beyond the simple act of sharing. They have, however, implemented a strong SEO strategy which is responsible for their successful organic presence. The question remains whether or not these efforts have a positive, long-term impact on conversions and churn reduction.

XXXX is in a position to exploit these deficiencies and establish a competitive position in the marketplace that creates sustainable, scalable growth.

This analysis was prepared for XXXX and is only available through this link.

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