With the ever-growing interest in E-Learning, it seems that new companies are entering the space every day and looking to carve out a niche for themselves. One thing that we often see missing in early marketing efforts is effective personalization. Here, we’re going to outline a few quick tips for incorporating personalized messaging into your marketing plan.
Think in Terms of Student Personas
When creating your messaging for any marketing channel in your E-Learning program, it can be very useful to borrow from the playbook of other industries, many of which divide their efforts into specific buyer personas. A persona is an in-depth profile that describes your target market. It can include any number of things like motivations and desires, income profile, barriers to entry, demographics, and more.
For example, let’s say you’re marketing a 9-month online data science bootcamp. One target persona could be a professional 10 years into his career, college degree already in hand, looking to add to his portfolio of skills and open up added earnings opportunities for the future. For this persona, the cost of the program would likely be less of a factor than program content, flexibility with an existing work schedule, and applicability to higher-paying roles.
Conversely, you might also have another persona who recently graduated from college but is yet to be employed, and she’s looking to retool some skills before entering the job market. This person will likely be much more concerned about program cost, having already amassed debt in pursuing a college education. Flexible payment options, such as financing, deferred payment upon becoming employed, and even job placement guarantees, can make a big difference in successfully recruiting this student.
The first step for building personas is studying your current students. Survey and interview them to better understand what led them to enroll with you in the first place. These conversations will give you invaluable clues to developing the personas that will define your marketing message. The more time you spend in this process, the better your personas will reflect the reality of the students you are working to attract.
Finally, build every element of your marketing – whether in paid search, social media, email, or other channels – to speak to the right persona; delivering just the right message at the right time. It’s much easier said than done, but with the right help along the way, this goal is definitely in reach.
Track How Prospects Interact with Content
Tracking is the foundation of any personalized marketing strategy. But setting things up for success can take some work, and that process isn’t always easy. It will help if you begin by thinking about what you specifically want to track, and then build from there.
For example, in your paid search campaigns, you’ll want to track interactions with specific pages on your site by creating audiences related to those pages. You might have audiences dedicated to visitors to each of your landing pages for example, or at least one audience to track interest in a given course, perhaps spread across several landing pages. You could also have audiences dedicated to interaction with specific site content that might provide crucial information about those individuals. You can then use this information to customize ad messaging and how you interact with those people going forward.
Another example pertains to your email follow-up campaigns. Perhaps you send out an email linking to three different pieces of content on your site. Paying attention to which links get clicked, and what people are doing after the click, will give you key insights into what your prospects are truly looking for and what you should be talking about in further emails.
Define The Outcome Students Really Want
When it comes right down to it, your prospective students don’t actually want your course, training program, boot camp, or whatever you’re offering. What they want is the outcome that will take place as a result of the experience and knowledge that they gain through your program. So, along the same lines of thinking used for developing your personas, think about the ultimate objectives that your students have. Then, in your marketing messaging, remember to frame the conversation around those objectives. The promotion to a more interesting role. The move to a new industry or career path. The possibilities that come with improved income.
All of these factors are more likely to resonate with a prospective student than the dry facts about your program. And don’t get me wrong, those details are still important. But if you ensure that your messaging helps to elicit the emotions associated with knocking out a huge personal goal, your marketing strategy is much more likely to be successful.