The future in training is here! How do you market that?
Online learning is quickly revolutionizing the training industry. Methods vary from general e-learning to micro-learning, and blended solutions in-between. These new ideas are quickly gaining ground, but they missed a critical factor that is most important when it comes to soft skills development. That factor is personal collaboration and engagement. Because of this, much of the e-learning initiatives have been based on “how-to” courses and “check the box” training. When it comes to professional development and thought-leadership that brings about behavior change and career advancement, instructor-led courses still hold court on those topics. Coaching, in addition to training, gives the extra edge to drive change.
The best of both worlds
Today technology has found a way to intertwine with e-learning and the personal experience, providing platforms for interactivity with peer support and collaboration. This new combination of functionality is a huge advancement that many have no clue that it even exists. How does word get out and spread?
How to sell it
The answer to selling the latest advancements in learning also lies in some of the most recent advancements of marketing. The old form of “advertising” can be challenging to apply effectively to such a specific audience. Organic marketing, on the other hand, is just the right method to bring light to your company. This type of marketing gets to those people who will not only find value in what you have to offer, but they will gladly spread the word throughout the learning communities and get you on the radar nationwide.
Methods of organic marketing
When you think of traditional “advertising,” you have multiple forms of media such as television, radio, or print. In organic marketing, there are also different methods to select from, but they are very different since most marketing content is digital.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
When someone is looking for the latest and greatest learning tools and platforms, the first place they are likely to look is Google or another search engine. They may initiate searches using keywords like eLearning, online learning, LMS, learning platforms, and start exploring the results list from their search. To make sure your company is one of those to be explored, you want your business to come up early in the search. There is an algorithm for that! Without getting too technical, to achieve this, you can pay to be on top, but your ranking will drop the minute you stop paying for your place, so you are chained to that cost.
With SEO, the content and activity on your website determine your natural ranking, and that ranking has no dependency on a monthly bill. The first step is augmenting the content on your website to have several mentions of the most searched keywords. This content may also include separate landing pages specific to those keywords, as well.
The next step is to increase activity to your website to affect your ranking. The increase should include both the number of visits and the duration of those visits. Emails and social media can provide doorways to your website. With that in mind, you want to provide plenty of reasons to stick around and look some more. Things like blogs, videos, and galleries are perfect ways to entice readers to stay awhile.
With backlinks, your business is mentioned on another website, web page, or web directory. Such an arrangement could be a result of a relevant conversation or an agreement between both parties. Such parties may be professional organizations your ideal customer participates in such as ATD, ISPI, or SHRM.
Blogging is a way to get your audience to spend a few minutes more on your site as they read. It is also a method of establishing your brand as a trusted source of knowledge in the training industry. It may be relevant to training or leadership developments with a segue to your business at the end. Write about topics related to your audience that they might share with colleagues, thus increasing your level of traffic. As a trusted member of your industry, guess who is at the top of their mind when they are ready to purchase?
We are talking more than just a profile for your company when we refer to social media. From LinkedIn to Facebook, just about every profession has a couple of favorite groups or “hangouts” related to their training, instructional design, eLearning, and leadership to share ideas, practices, and the newest innovations. Social media has a two-fold purpose. First, if something compelling is shared about your brand, that information travels rapidly if others agree. The next objective is to direct traffic to your website. That compelling information entices readers to explore more about your company. Some may provide a tickler to a blog that is relevant to the group, which also brings them to your page.
Thanks to YouTube, the video has found its way to marketing beyond the standard commercial, and they can serve multiple functions. Not only can you build your following on your YouTube channel, but you can also embed videos on your website, blogs, and even emails to entice more traffic to your site.
Is there someone in your industry with a large following? Having them mention your company, and even better, praise your product and website, is a great way to increase customer traffic.
Email is the oldest form of organic marketing, but it is not to be forgotten by any means. It still yields some of the most profitable returns of all organic marketing. Never ignore the chance to collect the email address of a potential prospect. They may not be ready to purchase tomorrow, however, just being present in their thoughts can lead them your way when circumstances change, be it a new direction, new budget, or new position in the company.
Who does all of this?
First of all, you may not need every example of organic marketing, and much of it can be done yourself if you have the time and resources for it. For those without the time or marketing department, you may choose a specialist in organic marketing such as Joseph Studios. Nothing is one-size-fits-all, so you want flexibility in your agency. Joseph Studios can craft a customized approach to get your company noticed in front of the right audiences. Call us today and start getting the word out and people interested!