What is the best selling strategy for education services aside from using social media marketing?
What is the best strategy to reach a large audience to promote my educational services? Different approaches for B2B and B2C?
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Regardless of whether you are a business owner or a blogger, you must have a good marketing strategy that will increase your brand awareness and increase traffic to your site, social media marketing is tactical in nature. That's why you need social media. They play an important role in marketing!
Create videos, either "live" or video scribe, to tell people who you are, what you have to offer, etc. The marketing language is different for b2b and b2c.
Vamsi - depending on what services and what kind of educational institutions, you might want to seek certifications for your services before you embark on active sales! Across Europe and North America, spending on education - particularly higher education - is a subject of hot debate and you should find the relevant regulatory and certification institutions to certify your services and this will enable potential clients to 'feel comfortable'!
Defining your educational service is key in answering your question - as it truly depends on the market.
We get back to the basics. First technology online is a tool to use. The basics remain the same overtime, the tools change. First you need to be seen as someone that is qualified to provide whatever services you offer. You need to establish yourself as The Person for those services and that means being able provide what you say. This is the same in relationships now as it was 1000 years ago. Social media might bring many views but what a business needs is real customers. Better to have 100 views and 8 customers than 10,000 views and 1 customer. Conversion from viewer shopper to customer is where you make the greatest gains. This is what I mean by technology in its place. Social media or any media without your being established as authority in your field or marketplace with recognition is often just chatter. Now after being recognized then you can up the views.
Make a list of who needs educayional services and go and see them
What kind of educational services, and who have you defined as your target market?
If you are speaking of large audiences for keynote addresses, break out sessions or captive training sessions, that's what I am addressing. My point is that if you are talking about selling a product of training or training media or online training, that is a totally different process.
To attract a group to comprise a large audience beyond opted in email lists or twitter et al, I suggest you publish a lot of articles relevant to your proposed audience or topical focus. Best Ezines.com is a great venue, as is WordPress. If you belong to an association that has members who may be potential training attendees, then utilize the newsletters. Word of mouth spreads from you so making a massive number of calls the prominent leaders to spread the word also helps. For B2B, call key-decision-makers to make them aware of your value. One word of warning, if you do not possess an experienced amount of success with true and effective consultative sales, get the training before you dial and dial. You only get one grand opening with any person, be ready to make the best of it. My biggest piece of advice is that if you trying to attract Baby-Boomers they are more tuned into these practices. Gen-X not so much and GenY not at all. Regardless of your audience demographic, I see no practical reason to avoid effective use of social media to communicate what you are selling. The biggest issue is selling by value proposition, not transactional selling is paramount to success. Take a hard look at how Tony Robbins and Zig Ziglar got rolling, they are obviously well-exposed and have had a thriving career with audiences.
Who is your target audience? Specifically, what segment are you interested in reaching?
Start with a simple flow chart(Start => Initialization=> Process=> Conclusion/End ).
The Start consists the following:
Who you are and what you want to do. (You = your firm)
What are your strengths in that field?
Do you have the resources to provide such a service?
What is your firm's brand image in the market? Is it well known or a new be?
The Initialization consists of the following:
Who is your target market?
Why do you want this target market?
Do you already have a small/large share of this market?
Who are the long time players in this market and have you studied their road to success?
What is your advertising budget? Print and Electronic.
Your Process will consist of the following:
Have you done a Market Research for the service you are planning to provide?
Study the market patiently. You dont want to go in huffing and puffing and losing the plot in a hurry.
Do you have a suitable / recent business plan? If not prepare one soon before going to next stage.
Who are your financiers? Think about budgets.Do you have the manpower?
Resources at hand?
If you have gone through the above it will be useful to seek feedback from peers.
You need to address the Why What How and Who before choosing which strategy you want to take.
The Final section will be as follows:
How do I choose the right strategy to place my firm in the front of my target audience? Do I use conventional methods or use Electronic/ Social media?
Some time ago I used Social media to canvas one of my Migration to Australia Seminars in 2 cities- Bangalore and Dubai. Costed me a good figure as I used the campaign for 3 weeks before D Day. I got a few hundred likes and "attending" messages. the numbers were heaps more than I anticipated so I changed to a larger venues(higher costs involved) and increased the snacks and drinks because I thought it would turn out well. I got average 12 attendees and 88 empty chairs in the halls respectively.
The seminar went off well and I managed to convert 3 of them into my clients. That is 3% of the total expectations.
For the next two seminars in Dublin and Heathrow, I included a short news paper advertisement in addition to the social media advertising(FB Twitter and Google Adwords) and included a feedback form with the question( How did you come to know about my Seminar?) . I had 39 and 28 attendees in Dublin and Heathrow out of 50 seats in each hall. On average the response I got to my feedback question was that almost 85% attended the seminar after reading the paper advertisement and less than 10 % attended by way of FB and Twitter and balance were walkins from the hotels I was staying at(I passed my card around and tipped the reception to encourage visitors to attend the seminar instead of simply sitting in the lobby. The coffee machine was a sure hit. I converted almost 15 % of the clients in both of these cases.
this sums up my Final section(Conclusion or End process).
Another simple and yet effective way to determine a possible solution to your question is to do a SWOT analysis. I am sure you know SWOT means Strengths, Weaknesses , Opportunities and Testing.
You have asked an intelligent question and I am sure you will figure out the best way to achieve your target. Good Luck.
>> Note: If you will notice, the majority of answers are asking you for more detail. The reason is your question is vague, and while each of us can give you vague direction, none of us can give your question serious consideration without further detail.
ANSWER: With all that being said, The most powerful form of marketing is Word of Mouth marketing. Consider the following:
1- KOL: Key Opinion Leaders have a captive audience that trust their opinion, think Mommy Blogger.
2- SDM: Social Driven Marketing creates social chatter, and viral spread driven by the masses.
3- CRP: Customer Reward Program provides incentive to the most credible group (happy customers) to share their experience with others.
While the above could be executed with a well designed Affiliate or Network Marketing program, you might also consider fundraising (if the product or service lends itself to such).
BOTTOM LINE: Word of Mouth is PPS (Pay Per Sale), and is driven through a process that involves the Highest Trust Index.
Live IRL seminars are always a great asset for Educational Institutions. And sinergized with well known leaders and public figures to endorse those.
Social media serves its purpose, but when choosing a Formal Institution the hard data is always welcome best from People.
Organizing tours, the old brochure still does wonders. And enforce it with SM.
Can you be more specific about 1) what sort of education services. 2)what is the target market?, age, adult learners, college students, etc.?? Or maybe you're talking about educators and educational institutions.
This will give people a head start.
There are definitely different approaches between B2B and B2Cs.
As far as the best way, what exactly do your education services encompass? It would determine the best channels to reach large sets of audiences. For some, the best channel is through strategic partnerships, sometimes it's direct, and for some, social media.
Determine who your customers are, and figure out where they are, where they hang out, where they shop, where they play. Then you can determine the best way to reach them, because you should be there (I don't mean you physically, but your company) so they can see you and get to know you where they are, where they hang out, where they play.
Vamsi: Are you looking for lead generation / sales or truly looking for an educational medium to inform the consumer be they a business or consumer?
Set up a landing page with a form users must fill out before taking to video page with your course.
Joint Venture as you know is huge in this area so partner up to combine communities and offer packaged goods.
Google Adwords (narrow down the scope)
Content. Content. Content.
Another option is to create white label or affiliate program or network to sell your product.
Give to receive. The more content you create and give out for free the faster you will build up reputation. Make sure the content is high quality, too much CRAP out there.
Social Media Buzz.
This is what has been working for people who do have online edu content. You just have to set up on a system that offers you a total marketing funnel. You can email me for suggestions.
It's hard to answer this question without knowing some more:
-- What kind of educational services? How delivered? Face to face, webinar, MOOC?
-- For whom? You say both B2B and B2C. What kind of educational services attract both?
-- What's the price point? $10, $500, $10,000? Makes a big difference
-- How many are you trying to reach? Can you deliver these services to hundreds? thousands? millions?
-- How familiar are these services to people? Is this brand new? Or delivering a known thing in a new way?
-- How much competition do you have? How protectible is your offering?
-- What kind of people do you want to reach? Where would these people be looking for such educational services? Online? Personal referral or recommendation? A catalog or directory?
-- How are they sold? Website/webstore? Mail list? Sales force? Phone sales? Handle incoming inquiries?
-- Would you offer it through any intermediaries? E.g., through an institute? Affiliate marketing? Associations?
-- What is your budget? Do you have a lot of money to spend on outreach? Or must you rely on inexpensive ways to reach people?
For B2C, promote proof by testimonials etc. that your educational services lead to personal and career improvements. Then create associations with institutions and organizations that promote personal growth, Then advertise.
For B2B, research companies that are growing rapidly and need the types of services you provide. Give them some "free" training.
I have more ideas but you need a marking manager...