How do you spread the word about your courses and grow sales? There are plenty of modern digital options out there: affiliate marketing, digital advertising, SEO and so on. All of these options help to generate exposure for your brand and awareness about your offerings – and you should be using them – but eyeballs on your ads do not automatically lead to sales.
Content marketing, in the most simple terms, is generating something of tangible value (in this case content – like an eBook, infographic, etc.) for your target audience that they can use to improve their lives, businesses or practice. Content marketing is booming in the information age because ads don’t work as well as they used to.
Importantly, content marketing isn’t new – it’s been going on since at least the 19th century (and probably a lot longer). A classic example comes from the ubiquitous John Deere company that originated about 120 years ago and is still going strong today. In 1895 John Deere started publishing a magazine for farmers called The Furrow. It contained information that was useful to farmers and was educational: it taught them how to be better farmers. It was published regularly, sold well and became popular for the quality of the information it contained. The name of John Deere became linked to farming knowledge, and as a result the brand became seen as trustworthy and as making a positive contribution to the farming community. Guess what? Tractor sales went through the roof. John Deere continues to be a trusted brand and The Furrow is still in print, though naturally now there’s an online version too.
As exemplified above, content marketing is an important way of generating trust in your brand; it makes people more likely to commit to buying from you than if they simply see advertisements or come across your website. While it is definitely more slow-burning than other advertising methods, it can create an aura of trustworthiness around your brand that makes people feel they are buying from a genuinely helpful, interesting and knowledgeable source. It’s an integral part of today’s marketing landscape and is used by companies small and large to build their image as a source of good things.
Another classic content marketing example is the Michelin Guide – a brand now synonymous with fine dining. Michelin’s idea to boost its tire sales was to publish a guide to the best eateries around France with their name on it, so that people would drive further to get to the eateries, wear their tires out more quickly, and buy new ones from Michelin, whose name was now associated with quality and the good things in life. It’s brilliant when you think about it.
This strategy can be applied to almost any business. For Moodlepreners interested in selling their online courses, the content needs to be focused on the subject matter of your courses and aimed your target market. The sponsors of our posts related to the Practice of Moodle, Course Merchant, have put together a guide to marketing your courses as part of a series of free eBooks produced to help Moodlepreneurs grow their business. Topics include how to:
- Create course content that is valuable;
- Format your courses;
- Choose a platform for your courses; and
- Effectively market your courses.
To get these free eBooks, visit their download page at http://www.courseindex.com/sell-courses.php
This Moodle Practice related post is made possible by: Course Merchant, the leading provider of eCommerce, Training Management and Digital Marketing software for the Education and Training industry. Click here to learn more.
What is your most effective strategy for marketing your courses? Tell us in the comments below!