“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink” is a phrase we all know… and anyone who’s worked in L&D for any length of time knows how appropriate it is for any customer training program.
You can create the best program in the world, but it’s meaningless if none of your customers actually engage with it. In order to realize the benefits of your customer training program, whether that’s more engaged customers, better customer loyalty or increased sales, you need to ensure that you’re putting the right marketing strategy in place.
Below, we’ll explore how you can market your customer training program, including promotional tactics, getting it in front of the right audience, explaining the value and getting creative with your marketing.
6 Smart Ideas for Marketing Your Customer Training Programs
1. Identify the right audience
Who do you want to target? This might seem like a strange question at first. Surely, it’s just your customers? Well, maybe… or maybe not. While your customers may be the people who ultimately take your customer training program, they may not be the people you need to convince to sign up.
Think about the purpose of your program and the benefit to your customers’ organizations. Will your program help them increase sales? Get more value for money from your products? Find new ways to solve challenges? Along with your “end users,” you may also need to target the HR/L&D team, the management team or even the C-suite to ensure stakeholder buy-in from the very start.
2. Find the best channels for reaching your customers
The number one rule of marketing is to know your audience. What do you know about your customers? Do they tend to visit trade shows or are they very active online? Do they use social media? Do they respond to email? Without this knowledge, any marketing efforts will be a stab in the dark.
Email will most likely play a key role in your marketing for your customer training program. This means working closely with your marketing team to keep your database informed about your training program – for instance, perhaps it could be added to their next newsletter. Your marketing team can also help with initiatives such as social media marketing, sponsored advertising and SEO for your customer training website, and your sales team can ensure that their customers are aware of the program.
3. Explain the benefits of your customer training program
Simply knowing that your customer training program exists is just the first step. Nobody will sign up if they don’t know why it will benefit them, so it’s vital to craft this messaging and tailor it to your audience to ensure that you get your message across.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What do they need, and how does your customer education program meet those needs? For instance, maybe your customers are underutilizing your products, and your training will help them maximize their ROI and make better use of your offering.
Showing customers that you understand their challenges and have a suitable solution will help you attract their interest and convert them into learners. This becomes even more important if there are fees associated with your customer training program, as these customers will likely need more persuading if they need to pay for your training.
4. Nurture your customers
96% of website visitors aren’t yet ready to buy, making “lead nurturing” essential. Put simply, lead nurturing is the act of developing and reinforcing relationships with customers throughout the sales cycle. For example, instead of sending out a single email blast, you might send 8-10 emails on the same subject spaced over several weeks or months to keep your solution front of mind and to build interest over time.
Research has found that customers who have been nurtured have a 47% higher order value than those who haven’t been nurtured, showing that this little-and-often approach really works. In terms of customer training, this could spell the difference between 10 participants and 14-15 participants, which can be hugely profitable for your training department.
A multi-channel approach to lead nurturing can also work well. Emails alone can be valuable, but you can amplify the impact if you also employ other marketing channels, such as social media (LinkedIn is ideal for targeting specific audiences, such as the relevant roles in your customer organizations) or digital advertising (such as Google Ads). Again, your marketing department can help you get this right.
5. Get creative with marketing your customer training program
There’s no single way to “do marketing right.” You have the freedom to get creative with your marketing strategy, and working with customer organizations can open up huge opportunities for you.
Reaching out to the learning or HR departments in your customer organizations may help you capture the imaginations of fellow learning experts, who can help promote your program internally. You could send them a pack of physical resources, such as posters, banners or even promotional merchandise, to display in the workplace, keeping your program front of mind whenever potential learners are at work.
You can also incentivize potential learners by offering certifications, Open Badges or points, which can then be redeemed for rewards or prizes. If there is a cost for your course, you can offer a discount for bulk signups to encourage organizations to sign up entire departments, or a discount for referrals to boost the reach of your program.
To encourage larger contracts, you could offer a private training session at a discount for large numbers of learners from the same organization. With a Training Management System such as Training Orchestra, it’s easy to create private events tailored to the exact needs of each organization with a trainer and venue that suits them. These private training sessions can be marketed as a benefit for customer organizations, who can request specific content for the session and a local venue for a more customized experience.
6. Use your Training Management System’s marketing functionality
With Training Orchestra’s B2B Client Collaboration Portal, you can give your customers access to all of your private and public courses in a single, easy-to-use space. Customers can browse your training catalog and enroll for courses directly within the portal.
Trainers can also access their upcoming sessions, tasks and availability, making it easy to manage customer education programs from a single portal. They can also add pricing discounts for courses, making them more attractive to customers and helping support marketing efforts.
Ready to start marketing your customer training program?
Book a demo today to see how Training Orchestra’s Training Management System can help.
About Training Orchestra
For over 20 years, Training Orchestra has provided training software for 600+ organizations worldwide to help them automate and optimize their ILT and vILT training operations, addressing the complexities often found in: session scheduling, resource management, instructor collaboration, cost tracking and reporting. As a complement to your LMS, LXP and learning technologies, Training Orchestra’s Training Resource Management System can replace all XLS spreadsheets and manual tasks, so you can better manage training as a business.