How to Market your Online Training Class
Online training classes, Webinars, and tutorials make an excellent way to promote a product or service, gain new customers, and educate existing ones. Internally, online training classes are often used to disseminate information about company policies, welcome new employees, and train staff on how to use internal applications.
Whether your online class is for internal use or external, you need to get the word out that it is available. Webinars have become very popular, and are often available at no charge for the purpose of creating brand awareness for the company hosting the event. A common way to promote the Webinar is by partnering with a well-known media outlet, which will promote it on their own site to their readers, sometimes hosting it themselves. There is usually a fee involved for this service, and you would arrange for it through the media outlet’s advertising department. The fee can be steep for high-profile media outlets.
Alternately, promoting your online training class can be marketed and promoted directly. One of the first and most successful paths is to use your existing database of customers and prospects, and promote it through an email campaign as well as by sending a physical piece via direct mail. Alternately, email lists can be purchased for a mass mailing, although these tend to be ineffective, and may have the negative effect of labeling you as a “spammer” in the eyes of potential customers.
Another common tactic is to create a separate web site to promote the class. Although you will want to promote it on your existing web site, creating a separate one (which is still linked to your primary site) will potentially generate more traffic and more interest, because it is dedicated to one purpose. Create this separate web site with a landing page that features brief, bulleted information about the content of the class, and the benefits of attending. Sub-pages should be more geared towards generating web traffic and ensuring a high ranking in the search engines. For example, you may want to create ten or fifteen, 500-word articles that relate to the subject of your class, making sure that each article includes relevant keywords. Link each article to the main landing page to allow for easy registration.
Part of the marketing should educate the user on the ease of use of participating. Some users may fear that they do not have the necessary software on their computers, and would not be able to take part. In fact, almost anybody with an Internet connection and a standard web browser can participate. The platform you choose to deploy your online class will make a difference in usability, so choose one that can deliver content to any standard web browser without requiring the participant to download a “fat client” on their end. Within your promotional messages, make sure to explain in brief terms that participation requires only a standard web browser, and no downloads are necessary. And lastly, when you do get a participant’s registration, follow up with a brief email to confirm receipt; and another brief email on the morning of the event to remind them to participate.