Online training classes, webinars, and tutorials are an excellent way to promote a product or service, gain new customers, and educate existing ones. Within companies, online training classes are often used to disseminate information about company policies, welcome new employees, and train staff to use internal applications.
Whether your online class is for internal or external use, you need to get the word out that it is available. Webinars have become very popular and are often available at no charge, and they can create brand awareness for the company hosting the event. A common way to promote a Webinar is by partnering with a well-known media outlet that can promote it on their site to their readers, can even host the Webinar themselves. There is usually a fee involved for this service, and you would arrange the agreement through the media outlet’s advertising department. The fee can be steep for high-profile media outlets.
Alternatively, your online training class can be marketed and promoted directly. One of the most successful ways is to use your existing database of customers and prospects and promote it through an email campaign, while also sending a physical piece via direct mail. Email lists can also be purchased for a mass mailing, but these tend to be ineffective and can have the negative effect of labeling you as a “spammer” in the eyes of potential customers.
Another common tactic is to create a separate website to promote the class. You will want to promote it on your existing website, but creating a separate one (that is still linked to your primary site) that is dedicated to promoting your class can generate more traffic and more interest. This separate website should be a landing page featuring brief, bulleted information about the content of the class and the benefits of attending. Sub-pages should be 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, and make sure each article includes relevant keywords. Link each article to the main landing page to allow for easy registration.
Part of your marketing efforts should focus on educating the user on the ease of participation. Some users may think they do not have the necessary software on their computers and will 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 affects 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 that no downloads are necessary. And lastly, when you do get a participant’s registration, follow up with a brief email to confirm receipt. Send another brief email on the morning of the event to remind them to participate.