How to Craft Winning Marketing Campaigns for Your Learning Design Platform


How to Craft Winning Marketing Campaigns for Your Learning Design Platform

May 17, 2020

If this were a podcast, rather than a written article, I’d ask you to close your eyes and imagine a scenario for me. You’ve built your platform, created an eye-catching logo, made your interface as user-friendly as possible, and have dozens of fantastic users creating high-quality content… but now you have no idea how to get your platform out to the wider public. Sound familiar?

That’s where good ol’ fashioned marketing comes in! Marketing is an important component in your overall strategy, as it generates awareness of your brand and makes people interested in learning more; helps you reach the right people; and drives conversions (sign ups).

Of course, having an effective marketing campaign will also keep you on top of the competition and distinguish you from other learning platforms like Canvas or Teachable.

In this article, we’ll go over the steps you need to take to create a successful marketing campaign, plus actionable tips and tricks. Even if you’re just starting out, this guide will help you promote your platform and enhance your marketing skills — who knows, maybe your campaign will be so successful that you might even have a future in marketing (start writing that Ed-tech marketing analyst resume)!

Define Your Target Audience

The first step to any good marketing campaign is having a clearly defined target audience.

Let’s bring this to life with a familiar scenario: imagine you’re watching a football match on TV and an ad for baby diapers comes up. You switch the channel, and another ad for a luxury car pops up during a children’s cartoon. You can probably guess that these ads aren’t hitting their target audience, right?

While they might get some reach, these ads don’t live up to their full potential because they didn’t clearly define — and target — their ideal audience.

The first step to defining a target audience is to figure out the characteristics of your ideal buyer (this is also known as buyer persona). A typical list of demographics includes their age, job, education level, income, marital status, hobbies, and habits. Most importantly, what are their pain points (the things they struggle with) and what are they hoping to achieve?

You should have a decent mix of buyer personas — a good rule of thumb is 3 to 8 personas. This is important because you don’t want to target only one type of audience (i.e. putting all of your eggs in one basket), but you also don’t want to dilute your marketing efforts.

Let’s create an example of a buyer persona:

Ivy is a 35-year old female living in San Francisco with a Bachelor’s Degree and a job at a local start up. Her main hobby is plants, and she enjoys cultivating them, learning about different species, caring for them, and so on.

Meanwhile, Ivy’s two pain points are her work-life balance (she wants to move away from her fast-paced startup and create passive income) and seeing people improperly care for their plants (which usually stems from a lack of knowledge). Many of her friends suggested that she create an online course to share her knowledge with others and make passive income at the same time.

This is exactly where your learning design platform comes in: you can market your company to Ivy (and others like her!) by emphasizing that it’s specifically designed for creating online courses on any topic (like plants) and adding examples of people who have successfully made passive income.

Come Up With a Marketing Strategy & Implement Your Campaign

Now that you’ve clearly defined your buyer personas, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and craft your marketing strategy!

Like any worthwhile project, the first step is to set reasonable and actionable goals. This could be anything from increasing brand awareness to driving sign-ups, generating leads, and so on.

As part of your goal setting, don’t forget the budget! Check the average costs for your potential campaigns (for example, the cost of Facebook ads or the salary for content writers) and budget an amount of money that you’re comfortable with.

From there, pick the marketing channel(s) that will reach your target audience most effectively. For younger generations, this is typically through social media or search engine optimization (blog posts or websites), but you can also consider email marketing, paid advertising, radio and TV ads, and so on.

Once you have the basics down, you can move on to creating the actual content. Whether it’s a social media post or an eye-catching video, a long-form blog post, or an ad on TV, be sure to develop engaging content that aligns with your target audience and makes them want to find out more about your platform.

After you have everything set, it’s time to launch that campaign!

Measure & Analyze Your Campaign

You might have the most amazing marketing campaign in the world, but how will you know if you don’t measure your performance?

Some good key performance indicators (also known as KPIs) to keep in mind are return on investment (how much money you made compared to the campaign cost), the conversion rate (percent of people who took a desired action), and CPA (the cost to acquire a new customer).

You can measure these KPIs with a variety of different tracking tools — for example, Google Analytics is a popular tool to measure website traffic and conversions.

Once you’ve collected your data, be sure to analyze it and look for patterns. Check which channels are most effective, what type of content resonates best with your audience, and if there are any problems (for example, where users fail to convert).

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