3 Tips for Digital Marketers from Online Learning Professionals

Jan 10, 2018


BEST PRACTICES SERIES

Article ImageThe bain of every marketer’s existence is a lack of audience engagement. If people aren’t interacting with the content on your website and social media accounts, business will surely suffer. Luckily, other industries have already figured out the secret to engagement—it’s time to look at other industries to see what they’re doing right. One industry worth looking to for inspiration is online education. Online teachers have the same struggle with student engagement as teachers in more traditional classrooms—and they have some tips and tricks to share.

Despite our constant connectedness, people still haven’t perfected online communication—especially in the classroom. Sometimes things are just easier, and can be explained better, in person. Also, with a lack of teacher and peer supervision, many students can get lost in the virtual crowd and even forget they have class. Online teachers have to work extra hard to encourage class engagement. Many educational professionals have come up with new ways to keep online students engaged and focused. Marketers can apply what teachers have learned, to drive engagement—and, eventually, sales.

Learn Your Audience's Goals

Pinpointing your audience’s goals is integral to both educators and marketers. For teachers, it’s important to know the aspirations of their students in order to tailor a learning plan that will benefit them most. When students know their teachers actually care about them as an individual, they are more likely to put in extra effort for a class. Learning what students’ goals are also helps teachers find more relevant examples that will interest them and enhance student learning. These same principles apply to marketing as well.

Discovering the goals of your target audience is essential to any campaign. When you know what the people you want to sell to want to achieve, it makes it a lot easier for you to figure out how to pitch your product or service to them. Engage potential customers on social media by specifically asking what their goals are.

With this information in hand, create content that addresses these goals and demonstrates how your product can help people reach them. Also make sure that your marketing material feature real-life case studies that address your potential customers’ needs. The more authentic your content is, the more likely people will trust in you and your business. 

Inspire Interest

There will always be people in an audience who seem to elude every attempt you make to get their attention. Online teachers as well as marketers have felt this pain. When teachers run into an obstinate student, they get right down to business and ask the students what they like to do.

By learning what students’ favorite pastimes and hobbies are, teachers can incorporate some of these favorite activities into assignments and lesson plans. Combining a lesson with a student’s interest will undoubtedly encourage more engagement. Marketers can take advantage of this practice as well. Find out what your target audience likes to do. Take the question directly to the people, and connect with them by posting an online poll to see which direction you should take.

Once you discover what will peak your audience’s interest, it’s time to put your research into action. If potential customers like movies, create short video clips featuring your product or service. If your audience likes the outdoors, show how your product will improve their next adventure. Whatever it is, finding a way to incorporate your audience’s interests into your content will help boost engagement  

Show and Tell

Sometimes the biggest hurdle to full engagement with a class (or brand) is a lack of knowledge. Online learning is still a relatively new education option, and not everyone gets the hang of it right off the bat. Teachers need to give clear instructions on how to complete and submit assignments if the goal is for all students to get the most out of their education.

When it comes to marketing, you need to make sure potential customers know exactly what your business offers. Create how-to videos and post images of your product or service being used to help educate your audience.

Lastly, be quick to answer questions about your product. This will show them you care about more than just making a sale, and that customer satisfaction is an equally high priority.

At first glance, marketing and online learning don’t seem to have very much in common. But with these online engagement principles at your side, your marketing campaign will definitely be the top of its class.  


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