How to sell courses online - 5 technology tips for better course marketing
There are specific things you can do if you want get better are marketing and selling courses online. You might be a training provider that sells face-to-face training to employers and now you want to produce online versions of some of your courses. You want your online courses found by as many employers as possible - they find the courses, maybe go for a free trial and then pay for access for their staff.
Here are five technology focused tips that may help you drive more enrolments:
- Get a learning management system that has a public facing course directory. You want your branding on it and you want to make it as easy as possible for people to browse the courses and and try out samples.
- Can people book online? Is there any reason why potential customers have to pick up the phone and talk to someone before they decide to buy some enrolments? Go for a solution that does the full customer self sign up unless there is some business reason why you need to go through a more involved face-to-face or over the phone process.
- Use social media to promote your courses. Even if you’re selling to employers and not direct to individual learners. Facebook is incredibly important - find some who understands how social media works and give them the job of marketing your courses, particularly on Facebook. Consider paid adverts on Facebook before Google Adwords.
- Design online content that use the ‘SCORM’ standard - that means your content can send tracking information backwards and forwards to the learning management system. Be careful about developing some kind of clever proprietary content because it means it’s harder to resell separately to employers that already have a learning management system. Flexibility is good - keep the option of selling your great e-learning content standalone, outside of your learning platform.
- Back to Facebook again. I think there’s a good argument for getting a system that lets learners login with their Facebook account. It depends slightly on your business model but it may well be possible (technically it will work) and it means that you can really encourage learners to post stuff about your course to their timeline. The same thing applies to LinkedIn. The reason for doing it is that learners can post news about their enrolment, progress and achievements into their timeline - that gets seen by their friends. Think about it, a course certificate that gets shared with Facebook friends is a good way for you to market your course.
There are now more software as a service (SaaS) learning platforms that fit the training provider model. You can find them on the web and usually sign up for a free trial. Many have some kind of per learner charge. They are inexpensive at the start but you pay more and more as your business grows. The alternative is to develop a bespoke system that you own or maybe look for a white label solution that is purpose built for a training provider. Either way, look for a solution that gives you complete control over branding and has the flexibility to fit your business model.