Ross Beard for Elucidat writes: Today’s training industry is ultra-competitive. The Learn 2020 project found competition to be one of the three biggest challenges online training providers will face over the next five years. With more and more solutions entering the field, it’s more important than ever to differentiate through marketing. Here are three simple marketing strategies for online training providers, you can use to differentiate your offerings and sell more training courses.
1. Understand your ideal customer
Before racing into actionable strategies, take a step back. Think about your ideal customers. Who are they? What companies do they work for? Where do they hang out online? Once you know who your ideal consumer is, clearly define why customers buy from you over competitors. In others words, identify your value proposition. Communicate this value proposition in all your marketing communications. This is what differentiates your training product from others. It’s no longer good enough to compete solely on price—you need to focus on why customers buy from you.
GuruFace Comment: At GuruFace we work with you in marketing your course to your target. We work with you in defining keywords for your curriculum and target, then program in strategic SEO optimization to make sure you are found on Google, Youtube, Bing, and Yahoo.
2. Invest in your top marketing asset
When it comes to marketing, your website is your biggest asset. It’s often the first thing potential customers see when they come across your training organization. With that in mind, there are a number of things you must do to ensure your website markets courses effectively.
Communicate what you do and why you’re better
This ties in with the above section (your value proposition). Use your website to communicate what training courses you provide—and most importantly, why they’re better than others.
Build trust and credibility through your about us and contact pages
Customers need to trust you before buying from you. Use your about us page to tell a story about your organization. Where did you start, and how did you get where you are today? Use your contact page to share contact information: address, phone number, email address, and a contact form.
Use a blog to give customers a taste of what they can expect in the course
Content marketing is an effective way to build trust with customers before they’re ready to buy. Try publishing a blog article once every two weeks that focuses on a challenge your ideal shoppers might face and how taking your training course can help them overcome it.
For example, say you operate a leadership training business. A blog post might focus on why generation Y struggles with taking up leadership positions. You could explore this topic and highlight sections inside your leadership training course that teach members of generation Y to become better leaders.
Optimize for search engines
Google and other search engines are the gateway to your website. Optimize your pages to ensure they know who you are and what you do. Search engine optimization (SEO) can get complicated, but there are three core principles you can personally tackle: Technical SEO, linking, and content.
Technical SEO: This encompasses the SEO basics: make sure your pages have meta titles and descriptions that accurately represent the page’s content. Read more about on-page SEO.
Linking: Ensure you’re always looking to build relationships with other related companies. At every sensible opportunity, ask these enterprises to link back to your site. This is where incredible content can really help; if you publish a stellar article on leadership training, other organizations will use it as a resource and link to it from their websites. Read more about link building.
Content: Google looks at your website as a whole to see what you write about. Keep a consistent theme that is relevant to the training courses you sell. For example, if you offer leadership training, product pages must talk about leadership training. Also, make sure you’re blogging about leadership training. By focusing on a theme (or niche), you can tell Google that you specialize in this area. In turn, search engines will trust your site and reward you with higher rankings.
I hope the ideas in this article inspire you to use marketing to differentiate your online training. The industry is changing. You’ll face new hurdles over the next five years, including competition. If you ignore this marketing advice, you risk losing customers. By clearly communicating a value proposition, your training organization will continue to sell more courses well into the future.
GuruFace Comment: As we’ve said we’ll SEO optimize your platform (courses/youtube promotion) and you’ll also have full access to promote your courses on our GuruFace Blog. In sum the marketing infrastructure here is already built and ready for you to use. Don’t let anyone fool you: selling online courses takes a considerable amount of effort. Still, there is a misconception that you can simply put together a few videos, set-up a payment system, and you will soon be counting your money. I think we all wish it were that simple.
Creating elearning in itself is hard work – at least if you want the course to be good. When you sell courses, not only do you have to put in the effort to make sure the course is top-notch, but you also need to understand your market. This why GuruFace is a partner for you to build your business with. You will find a lot of information out there on how to create effective elearning. It is broken down into many different instructional design components and a lot of work.
The GuruFace training platform (marketing and merchandising) makes the marketing of your online courses easy so you can focus on your curriculum.