Finding your needle in a haystack!
So, you have a great business and you are offering amazing courses … but it is as good as a hidden treasure or undiscovered island…unless you tell the world about it. Shouting from the rooftop may not work, you need marketing. When it comes to marketing there are two approaches to marketing: traditional or offline and secondly online or digital marketing.
What is traditional or offline marketing?
Traditional or offline marketing involves ads that we come across in our daily routine such as billboards, flyers, radio or tv ads, etc. Here are six main types of traditional marketing:
Broadcast Marketing – This may involve advertising on television and radio, etc.
Mail Marketing – Sending brochures, catalogs, seasonal greeting postcards, etc.
Outdoor Marketing – Such as billboards, flyers, etc.
Print Media Marketing – Such as advertising in magazines, newspapers, directories, etc.
Telephone Marketing – Such as telemarketing, SMS marketing, beacon marketing, etc.
Affiliate or Network Marketing – Offering an incentive to individuals or even third-party businesses for promoting products and services
The traditional way of marketing has worked so far, it still works but the evolution of internet technology has spurred new methods of marketing, rendering traditional or offline marketing as less effective and more costly in comparison to the internet or digital marketing.
Below is a chart showing major challenges faced when using traditional marketing for promoting a business:
In today’s age and time, speedy interaction with prospects of any business is very important. Everything needs to be instant.
Offline marketing lags in that aspect, then there is a problem in measuring the ROI, unless you ask further questions to those who respond to the advertisements, it is difficult to determine whether they responded to the tv ads or pamphlets, etc.
The biggest challenges for offline marketing I see are targeting and expansion. It is easy and cost-effective to do traditional marketing in a local community, but if you want to expand the reach of your marketing campaign to an entire city, state, country, or global level, costs of marketing can blow out of proportions, and then it is time-consuming.
Secondly targeting, let’s say your training institute offers courses for working professionals. You find out that there are 100000 working professionals in the central business district, but you don’t know that who and how many of those 100K working professionals are looking for courses to further their career.
So, you need to print at least 100K fliers, hire personals to go out and distribute the fliers. Still, there is no certainty that each of those 100K working professionals in that area will get the flier.
Have you heard the saying “out of sight, out of mind” ?
Marketing is all about continuous exposure to your courses offering to prospective customers. In order to stay in front of the eyes of prospective customers, you need to continually promote your courses.
Imagine repeating the above fliers campaign at least every week. Imagine the time required and the cost.
You could buy prime time on tv to run tv ads and promote your training institute courses, but the challenge is that no one switches on a tv to find out about training courses.
Not every training institute uses tv ads to promote their business and end-users are not able to find a comparison of different providers and their offerings… tv media lacks such crucial information.
I could go on talking about the challenges with offline marketing, don’t take me wrong, it still works, but in today’s context, it has become very expensive and least effective.
That brings us to the second approach in marketing i.e. digital/online marketing
What is digital or online marketing?
Digital or online marketing refers to the marketing that a business conducts through the Internet or electronic devices such as mobile phones. It may include creating a website for your training institute and attracting internet traffic to your training courses offered on your website.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and paid advertisement can be leveraged to direct interested buyers to their desired courses. The below image will show some of the most popular digital marketing channels:
There are indeed a lot of ways a business can leverage digital marketing, but here I will mention only a few that are most common and popular:
– Website – this is literally like your business front, like your store but it is located on the internet. Unlike your brick and mortar business office or shop, it is open and accessible to global audience for 24/7.
Interested customers can access it, browse your course offerings, obtain required information at any time at their convenience without you being present in your store. They can even register for courses and make payments while you may be sleeping in your bed.
– Content Marketing – Creating online content such as blogs, useful articles, infographics, and informative videos about the products, services, courses, and solutions you offer to provide value for prospective customers is a way to market your courses.
– Social Media Marketing – This is another very popular and effective way of marketing. Social media such as Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc are among the most popular channels to reach your targeted audiences.
You also need to choose which social media will be the right option for you to promote your training courses. To know more about how to choose the right social media from our previous blog post
– PPC & SEM Marketing – These are paid advertisement marketing methods where you can advertise your training courses directly to the interested buyers. This will be the best option for generating leads for your business as well as increasing your brand visibility, etc.
Google ads are the most commonly used paid marketing strategy to promote training courses. You need to have a google ad account or expert help to execute paid marketing in your coaching business
– Email Marketing – Imagine having an email list of people who are interested in the type of training courses your business offers… You can directly engage those people, send them your offers, lure them with tempting promotions. Email lists are considered critical business assets for email marketing.
There are a lot of other ways to execute digital marketing. Digital marketing is a huge topic, in our next blogs, we will discuss the best digital marketing channels and methods suiting your training institute.
But before that, we must establish that why you should choose digital marketing than offline marketing to promote your business.
Which strategy to choose – traditional or digital marketing…or both?
Here are a few stats about the usage of the internet among the population.
- More than 80% of shoppers do their research online before investing in a product or service.
- Almost 70% of U.S. adults use Facebook on a regular basis.
- Around 90% of B2B marketers are actively using LinkedIn for marketing.
- Mobile devices will be accounting for over 80% of digital ad spend by 2020.
- Around 90% of B2C businesses report social media as being the most effective content marketing tactic.
According to a www.emarketer.com report, in the US annual budget for offline ads spend is declining while the budget for online marketing is increasing tremendously. Below is a chart about total media ad spending comparison between Traditional vs Digital in the US in billion dollars.
Source: emarketer February 2019
There are a lot of statistics and data available suggesting that internet usage for bothering consumers and businesses is growing at an exponential rate. But the question is does digital marketing solve the challenges faced by traditional marketing and offer any better solutions?
Let’s look at three challenges faced by traditional marketing that we discussed above.
– Measuring ROI – In internet marketing each campaign can be tracked from lead generation to conversions and in the end, a business can measure the cost of the campaign and the revenue from that campaign. That helps in future marketing strategies.
– Targeting – digital marketing enables marketers to target each campaign a specific audience based on locality, ethnicity, profession, interests, and even the best time to reach the desired audience. That ability makes campaigns much more effective, there is no leakage of resources and ads spend on audiences who are not interested in your courses.
– Expansion – Digital marketing campaigns can be targeted at small communities or localities but at the same time can be targeted at much wider or even at global audiences with just some clicks of the mouse. That flexibility is not available when doing traditional marketing. There is a lot of data and statistics available to effectively construct and plan marketing campaigns.
A lot more can be said in favor of digital marketing over traditional marketing. However, each business may require a different type of digital marketing or sometimes even a combination of digital and traditional marketing depending on the nature and products and services offered by the business. In our next blogs, we will discuss about best digital marketing approaches for training institutes.
If you want to be notified when our new blogs are available, please signup for our newsletter and email updates using the contact form below.