Steps to take before you start marketing your online course.

If you have ever been involved in the development process of training material, you know how painstaking and demanding it can be. Unfortunately, designing a course and developing relevant and engaging course material is simply half the battle won.

Once you have created your course, it is time to sell it. With the presence of thousands of online courses, many of them talking about similar topics, making your course stand out can turn out to be a daunting challenge.

While there is no denying that marketing an online course is no easy undertaking, the chances of success can be improved by taking the following three steps:

Build A Buyer Persona

Technically, the process of understanding the audience of your online course begins even before the development of the course material. However, at this stage, simply identifying a target group is not enough.

At this point, you need to start thinking about who your ideal buyer is. What do they do? How many hours do they work in a day? Which social media platforms do they use? Why would they be willing to learn new skills? What other skills would they be interested in learning? Who are the authority figures they follow online? What income group do they fall in?

As you answer these questions and more, you will be able to determine the traits of an imaginary individual that matches the profile of your ideal buyer.

The only advice to create comprehensive buyer personas is to dive deep and answer as many personal and general questions you can answer about your ideal customer (or student).

If you find the process confusing, the web is filled with buyer persona templates and tools that help you generate buyer personas. Here’s one by Hubspot.

Jot Down Definitive, Clear Learning Outcomes

Once you have understood your ideal target for the course, you can begin working on learning outcomes. Communicating learning outcomes efficiently and clearly is extremely important.

For starters, they tell your potential learners what they will be getting out of spending their money and time on your course. Simply communicating these isn’t enough. You need to ensure the learning outcomes of your course are present in a benefit oriented manner.

These learning outcomes will be one of the most influential factors when a prospect will be considering your course. Hence, it is important to not just communicate the knowledge provided by your course. It is also crucial to highlight the benefits of the knowledge you are providing with your course.

Make Sure You Have The Right LMS

While it may seem like your choice of learning management system (LMS) has nothing to do with marketing your course, the case is quite the contrary.

Besides your course content itself, the LMS has great influence over the experience of a learner. Even if you have designed the most engaging and thorough training content, the learning experience can potentially be ruined by the use of a complex LMS. Think about it, nobody taking your course would want to first spend time learning how to navigate through the platform hosting your course.

On the other hand, a smooth sailing LMS will help you provide your learners with an engaging learning experience. A delightful learning experience, combined with practical knowledge that your course will offer, will help you create a positive word-of-mouth around your course.

With that said, simply judging a LMS on the grounds of user-friendliness isn’t enough. You need to make sure it offers the features you need to make your course content engaging.

Conclusion

By executing the above-mentioned steps, you will not just be making sure your marketing efforts return real results, but will have knowledge to guide the process of crafting your marketing strategy. For instance, when you list your learning outcomes, you will realise the USP of your course, and the benefit driven language can be used to empower your marketing communications!

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