For many years eLearning or online education has been used by corporations to train their employees. Today, eLearning has become a valuable tool not just for internal employee education. Now, smart marketers are using online education as a marketing strategy!
In this article, we explore why and how this is being done. What are the options? What’s working and how to get results.
Are you thinking about incorporating online education into your marketing strategy? There are important factors to consider before you get started. These factors include balancing sales with education, prospecting, and selecting delivery types and platforms.
Why and How Companies are Using eLearning?
We already know that companies use eLearning for employee education, something that Lorena Klingel, founder of Learn to Flourish, knows a lot about after 20 years in corporate Learning and Development! But today we are looking at two other ways that organizations are using online education.
1- As a marketing tool to build the know, like and trust factor with their ideal client.
2- As a new source of revenue – creating online courses to sell.
Marketers are always looking for new ways to create visibility, generate leads, and build trust with their ideal client. This is true if you are a non-profit, a small business owner or a huge corporation. Providing your clients and potential clients with educational videos, educational downloads, or interactive eLearning helps your organization boost visibility, leads, and trust.
A ton of businesses are also starting to create online education to sell. This has become a new source of revenue for many organizations. From online solopreneurs to non-profits wanting to add a social enterprise component to their revenue strategy.
Forms of Online Education
Educational videos are just one form of online education being used by companies, but there are many other options! Other popular eLearning tools are printables, which are documents that contain information such as a list of tips, a workbook, instructional guide or eBook. Webinars are also popular, which are seminars with an instructor teaching their students through via video conference. Self-paced eLearning modules like the one below allow participants to enroll and work through course content whenever they want, wherever they want and at the pace of their choice.
Balancing Sales with Education
The goal for most marketing strategies is to generate leads and ultimately to increase sales. It is a balancing act between offering content to everyone for free and paid content. One technique to convert audience members into customers is to establish trust.
People are more willing to trust a brand when they first have a chance to engage with free content that is helpful and professional. Your audience WILL notice the quality and value of your online education. People are more likely to buy from you if your free stuff is of great quality!
Google creates tips and tutorial videos regarding their own services. Providing these educational videos online for free gives learners more of a reason to trust Google since they are providing their customers with help. It also encourages their viewers to take their online courses for Google Digital Garage and Google analytics, giving their viewers an in-depth guide on how to operate their services.
Sparking a Flame
Think about and remember the power of the people. When it comes to online marketing and using social media as a marketing tool, there is one thing that marketers covet…
When someone shares something that you have created, it can create a spark which if it keeps going can become a wonderful flame of exposure.
Organizations must provide content that is useful for people. If people believe that the information provided in an educational video is useful to them they might also believe it could be useful to others. This will cause the video to be shared across social media platforms and reach others who are interested in the subject matter of the video, which ultimately means visibility for your company.
When creating educational videos you have to decide on your channel of distribution. One of those potential channels of distribution should be social media. There are several different social media platforms that each have their own audiences and unique formats of how videos are viewed.
When you are first getting started, you might want to focus on just one or two channels instead of trying to do ALL THE THINGS. It is important for you to think about and focus on the platforms that best suit the needs of your target audience. Ask yourself the question- where is our ideal client hanging out?
Although YouTube isn’t really a social media platform it is an important channel for video distribution. YouTube has the ability to publish a video of any length, can be easily embedded on other websites, and reach a wide audience. Learn to Flourish videos like this one have been uploaded to YouTube to be featured in our educational blog posts!
If you are creating other forms of online education, such as interactive eLearning modules or downloads then you might be hosting them on your web server or using an eLearning hosting platform like Thinkific or Kajabi. But that’s a BIG topic for another day!
If you are doing marketing then you should be incorporating online learning into your strategy. This will help you establish the know, like and trust factor with your ideal client and ultimately could be a new source of revenue if you decide to sell some of the education. To get momentum with this strategy, make sure that your free eLearning is useful, professional and shareable!
For more information about creating beautiful, shareable graphics for your eLearning, check out our previous blog post about finding great stock photos! Share this blog with your friends, and tag @learntoflourish on Facebook so we can connect!
Wishing you inspiration, innovation, and continuous learning!
Lorena and the Learn to Flourish Team
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