What makes a product or a service popular in today’s world? It doesn’t matter how good your product or service is; it won’t sell unless and until you master the art of promotion. Promotion is all around us. When you’re watching the television or reading the newspaper or driving to work, all you can see is actors telling you to buy toothpaste or a cellphone, posters and billboards. You name a product and it’s there!
The same applies for any eLearning project. No matter how brilliant your course is, people will not take it up unless they know what it is. Promotion is the key to success and getting people to embrace eLearning is no easy task. However, using a few tricks and tips, you can market your eLearning project like a pro!
So, let’s take a look at 4 simple ways to market and promote eLearning projects.
Take out your loud speaker and advertise!
Advertising is the key to good marketing. If you want people to know about your eLearning course, then get the message out. Like any other product or service out there, eLearning too needs to attract consumers to buy it and keep coming back for more. When it comes to internal marketing within an organization, the launching of eLearning course is definitely news worthy.
This is where you can utilize both direct and indirect means of advertising.
- Direct Advertising: Send emails, publicize the launch in your office newsletters and conduct informative workshops.
- Indirect Advertising: Word of mouth marketing is very useful to generate interest and pass on the message.
Advertising is all about generating interest and gathering attention. Make sure you are selling the benefits of your course and not its features.
- Selling the Benefits: To do this, you can have posters and banners that include screenshots of the course that are visually appealing and highlight the important benefits.
- Answer Questions: When advertising, always remember that you should be able to answer questions such as what does your target audience gain form the course, how is it useful to them and what results will it reap.
If you effectively cover these points, when you advertise, you will be able to successfully create interest in your eLearning course.
If it’s not reliable, it won’t sell. So start branding!
Advertising isn’t enough when it comes to marketing. An ideal promotional strategy includes advertising as well as public relations. Public relations are the key to building brand consciousness, a sense of reliability that what you’re offering is of good quality and beneficial. Many commercial products and services have effectively made use of public relations to create their brands. You can use some of these tactics to back up your eLearning course with the reliability factor.
1. Grapevine: Here’s how you can use grapevine as a PR tool to publicize your course. You can test out your course on a few employees and get them to talk about the course to the rest. “Hotspots”, such as the coffee machine and the parking lot, can be used to create small talk about the course, and word by word information about the course will spread far and wide within the organization.
2. Goody Bag: Another innovative way is to give a “registration goody bag” to your learner, when he registers for the course. Everyone likes free stuff, which they can use, such as t-shirts, pens, badges, mugs and so on. You can be sure that people will flock to register for the courses, once the word about your registration goody bag gets out.
3. Wallpapers and Social Media: Making use of wallpapers and social media is another ingenious way to build your brand. Screenshots or characters from the course can be used as wallpapers, so that the first thing your employees notice when they switch on their computers is your course. Every organization has its own social media platform, where employees interact with each other. For instance, the login page is ideal to display an article or testimonial about the course to garner dependability.
Branding inculcates a sense of trustworthiness and good will.
Give them what they want!
Now that you have your learner’s attention, interest and trust, it’s time to give him what he wants and not what you think he wants. This is important because if your learner doesn’t see how your course benefits him then all hope is lost, and your eLearning course will only gather dust. Here are a few things you need to ‘give’ your learner:
- Relevance: Is it applicable to what your learner is doing right now? If yes, then you’re on the right track. If not, then you need to relook at your entire marketing strategy.
- Certification: Certification for completing the course, especially if it is a compliance course.
- Create Network: A chance to interact with fellow learners via comments and opinions posted online, on the LMS.
Meet these needs or wants, and you will have a good course and contented learner.
Give out Rewards!
Everyone loves rewards; they are a token of achievement as well as appreciation. Here’s an idea – you can have a special award ceremony during lunch hour, as a team building exercise. Give out special prizes and awards to those who scored best, registered first and completed the course first. Consolation prizes can be awarded to every person, who took your course. You can also use this platform to publicize your upcoming course.
Rewards create a sense of achievement and accomplishment in your learner that increases interest in you next eLearning course.
With these four simple steps, we have covered both traditional as well as innovative ways to support you eLearning initiative. We hope that you use these tips to make your online course a bestseller. Please share your views.