Posted by Ann Fuerst, Ph.D., TCC Chief Learning Strategist

This the next post in a multi-part blog series on the business benefits of training an external audience.

Marketing Strategy

When you plan to market your courses, it’s necessary to formulate a plan which takes into account risk factors and presents market strategies. So, how do you market a successful course? Which aspects must be taken into consideration to be on par with your competitors?

Invest in Your Website (hint – your LMS!)

In a day and age where time is money, the key to attracting prospective clients is by allowing them to know you in a crisp yet informative manner. Your website is your best bet. Keep it simple but impactful. Emphasize on how your business differs from your competitors without compromising on ease of access to information. Make it user-friendly. Make it strike a chord.

Optimize it making it easy for search engines to search. Create a product page where you encourage learners to enroll for a free course to experience your training. Use a blog to familiarize learners with the features of your training courses.

Social Selling

So, you have your website online, how do you make it reach the target audience? Here is where social media comes into play. Sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn serve as a quick and brilliant portal to promote training methodologies and courses. Package your courses in enticing offers such a free trials, freemiums and self-assessments and advertise those using trending keywords. This will show clients you respect their needs thereby increasing your credibility and their trust in you.

Thought Leadership – Make Yourself an Expert

The success of your training venture is based on how interested the customers are kept. Monotony will eventually lead to failure as better ideas are acted upon by rival companies. Innovative approaches to interactive learning via simulations, games, quizzes, flash cards etc. help in keeping competition at bay. Therefore, you must develop the ability to visualize and lead the company into with future while continuing to make advancements. Write thought leadership articles, blogs, and white papers to draw attention to your offerings.

Know the Difference Between B2C and B2B eCommerce

B2C – Business to consumers is based on individual selling.

Here, you must focus on individual requirements and cater to them. This can be enhanced by facilitating hassle free viewing of ratings, comments of the course by other customers and providing suggestions based on choice. It can be further enhanced by implementing promotional offers, discounts and vouchers and payment via authorized portals such as PayPal.

B2B- Business to business.

Here, unlike B2C, you offer your services as a bulk to an organization. Even though it is within the LMS, the organization can make the offerings field-specific. For example, it can be directed towards whole institutions such as schools (how to make teaching interesting in schools, or teaching math made easy) or hospitals (effective office management, or communicating clearly with patients).

This would require bulk purchases, discounts, payment options with availability of electronic renewal.

Communication Plan

Without the right communication, the efforts put into creating fantastic training for sale is futile. It should be easy to access, understand, and review. Identify the target audience and objectives. Plan for communication channels such as emails, newsletters, blog posts, promotional videos, and webinars. Be sure to use these for each phase of the life cycle of the training such as pre-launch, launch, and post launch.

Hooks to Keep Them Coming Back for More

Craft a blitzkrieg of follow up messages. It’s important to let your customers know you are interested in their feedback and you value their opinion. Take a personal interest in how the course is working for them. Have they achieved their desired goal? Has the content been helpful in the expected way? This leads to maintaining consumer loyalty and bringing in new clients.

Use Netflix like recommendations: An audience appreciates a business where they can access more by giving less. Companies like Netflix profit on this motto. By offering a variety of courses with a one-time pay satisfies client curiosity and need. The packages can differ in contents and cost with or without a validity period attached to it. Leverage your LMS to market and upsell to existing users by emailing them discount coupons and course recommendations. All of these techniques make accessing new content easy for your customers, enticing them to buy more.

To download the entire paper, please visit our website

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