Start by conducting an in-depth market research to determine what established LMS companies are doing to market their solutions. You’ll need to examine how quickly they grew as well as their customer rate since the time they first entered the eLearning market. This should help you understand what your customer needs and what LMS marketing strategies successful LMS vendors have been using to slowly expand their customer base.
While doing market research, it’s crucial to understand your ideal customer, their needs, and the type of messaging that will work best for them. This means you’ll need to develop your buyer persona, an imaginary personality possessing the attributes of your ideal clients. Depending on your target audience, you may have more than one buyer persona to represent different targeted groups. The content you develop for marketing and all your subsequent marketing strategies will depend on these.
Know Your Specialization
It’s important to understand that pitches like easy to use, focused on learner needs, economical, etc., won’t set you apart from hundreds of other LMS vendors out there. Taking a generic approach means you’ll eventually lose your potential clients to those who specialize.
Like in any other business, you need to identify and effectively communicate your unique selling proposition (USP) to your target market. From an eLearning perspective, you’ll need to understand your unique specialization in eLearning and how it is going to benefit your targeted customers in accomplishing their goals.
Asking the following questions should help you define your unique selling points and know where you fit in the LMS market:
How relevant is your LMS solution to your core target audience?
How much people are willing to pay for your LMS solution?
Define Your Marketing Goals
When creating your marketing strategy, decide what you want to achieve and determine when you expect to see the return on investment (ROI). Your objectives should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. To market your LMS online, you might want to use the following KPIs:
Traffic Sources, such as SEO, PPC, social media, email, content marketing, etc.
Number of inbound leads
Unique website visitors
Lead-to-customer conversion rate
Visitor-to-lead conversion rate
Research Your Prospects Beforehand
When planning to interact with a prospect, don’t forget to do your homework on the client. Study their website, their LinkedIn profile, and SEC filings to learn everything about the company that you can. Use the insights obtained about them to shape your marketing communication in email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, etc.
This should let prospective buyers know that you have exactly what they’re looking for. When you’re well aware of your client, you won’t sound confused to them when delivering your sales pitch.
Build Brand Awareness
Unfortunately, there’s no way you can develop a broad customer base overnight. In the beginning, you’ll need to optimize all your marketing channels and tactics to build brand awareness. To introduce your brand to your target audience and allow your prospects to learn more about your brand, you’ll need to spend time generating your PR.
There are various ways to build your brand awareness such as hosting live events, marketing on social media, providing free eBooks in return for email subscriptions, etc.
Websites, social media, and other digital platforms are among the fastest ways to build your brand awareness in today’s highly digitized world. Since those looking for online Learning solutions are likely to be tech-savvy, these platforms are a great way to reach your targeted users.
Establish Yourself as the Leader in Your Industry
Keep in mind that in an industry like eLearning, which involves costly purchases of custom eLearning solutions, there’s no concept of impulsive buying. Clients will do a lot of research and study your company inside out before making a purchase. Therefore, you’ll need to establish yourself as a subject matter expert or leader in your field before organizations start trusting you. You should, therefore, optimize your LMS marketing efforts to secure the image of a leader in the minds of your audiences.
But how do you do that? You don’t need a massive business facility to achieve that. Even the smallest of businesses that have recently been launched should be able to do this through consistent online marketing.
Social Media Strategy
One effective strategy is to leverage social media platforms. Develop a social media strategy that defines the platforms you’d want to market on. Think about where your target audience is most likely going to be. While Facebook and Twitter are tremendous channels to reach potential buyers, LinkedIn is the best platform for B2B outreach and engagements. So, regardless of what other platforms you choose, you’d definitely want to utilize LinkedIn.
Because different social media platforms are designed for different types of audiences, the content that works on each of these platforms also varies. Therefore, you’ll need to develop a separate marketing strategy for each platform you choose to market on.
Since LinkedIn is the perfect place for you to build your brand awareness, expand your network, find and engage your target audience, establish yourself as a leader, and boost conversions, let’s discuss how you’d want to market on the platform.
Using LinkedIn’s search engine, you can find profiles related to your business, including clients, other businesses, and influencers in your industry, and ‘connect’ with them on LinkedIn.
Sharing blog posts on LinkedIn or any other social media platform is a powerful way to market your LMS. It will also help drive massive social media traffic to your website. We’ll talk more about what sort of content you should share in the following section, but sharing your website content on social media can really pay off. To earn an image of an industry leader, you should also create a LinkedIn group and post your content there.
While LinkedIn itself recommends posting every day, we recommend sharing content at least 3 times a week and not more than twice a day. HubSpot states that engagement can significantly drop if you post more than once a day. The best days and times to post on LinkedIn include Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday between 7am and 8 am and 5 pm and 6 pm.
However, even when you share your content during peak times, your posts won’t be seen by all your followers simply because everyone won’t be online at those times. The reach of your content would still be limited by the presence of the audience on the platform on peak times. Therefore, you should consider sharing the same content every 1 or 2 weeks until it becomes irrelevant so that it’s seen by a maximum number of users.
Another effective strategy to establish yourself as a leader in your industry and gain customers’ trust is content marketing. This simply relates to posting high-quality content on your website that will genuinely provide value to the site visitors. As long as you understand your target audience well and know what drives them, you should be able to develop and post valuable content that discusses their pain points and offers solutions to their problems.
A well-designed content strategy should also boost traffic on your website from search engines. Google and other search engines value web pages with original, valuable content so your website should rank well for your chosen keywords, such as ‘best LMS for employee training’. If everything goes well, nothing can stop your LMS from reaching a mass audience.
Since your website visitors— whether they came through social media or through search engines—should be in different phases of the buyer’s journey, you should create different pieces of content for different phases. The three phases of the buyer’s journey include:
Awareness Phase: At this stage, prospects have little knowledge about how things work and the options that are available. They’re most likely trying to find information that identifies and digs deeper into their problems. You can’t expect them to purchase your LMS at this stage. Instead of advertising your LMS, provide them with useful information that comprehensively defines their problem.
Even if they’re already aware of their problems, your content should let them know that your company is well aware of the problems too. Unless you don’t have an idea about the problems your prospects are facing, there’s no way you can develop a useful problem, let alone establish yourself as the industry leader. Hence, use content such as blog posts, infographics, videos, and Slideshare to investigate the problems for prospects in this phase.
Consideration Phase: The buyers in this phase have identified their problems and are searching for solutions. Again, you’d want to include their issues in your blog posts but also take the opportunity to tell them how those problems can be solved. For instance, you could post a blog post titled 4 Biggest Deterrents for Employees.
Providing valuable solutions to critical problems should help build trust with your target audience, and they’d be more willing to share their information and subscribe to emails. One tempting way to obtain their information at this stage is to offer free premium content, such as reports or eBooks in return for subscriptions.
However, don’t sell your LMS products now. You certainly are the main solution to their problem but don’t discuss it now; more nurturing is needed. This means you should aim to solve their problems but don’t give out all information about the solutions through your infographics or blog posts. If they want to know about your offerings, that’s another thing. They’ll find that out on their own on your website.
Decision Phase: By this time, prospects have developed a clear idea about their problems and how they can be solved. They’re ready to make an investment that would genuinely solve their problem. In other words, they won’t hesitate to check out your LMS products, given that your products can fix their troubles. Now is the time to inform and showcase your LMS products to the prospects.
You can advertise your LMS products in this phase through videos, articles, reports, case studies, and evaluations. Be sure to have the right call-to-actions (CTAs) and LMS repoting tools in place. By making things difficult, you can easily deter potential buyers. Once they’ve made a decision, they should be easily able to learn more about an LMS, take demos, and make the final purchase.
During different phases of the buyer’s journey, many prospects will end up subscribing to emails. These are highly qualified prospects that can soon become your loyal customers if you know how to employ email marketing. Some marketers tend to underestimate the impact of email marketing, thinking that people don’t normally read emails. There’s always a reason when a site visitor subscribes to emails. Moreover, when you send out thousands of emails to your leads, even if 2 or 3 of them convert, you’re right on track.
Again, you’ll need to divide your subscribers into three segments or phases. Instead of sending out a standard advertising email to your entire email list, create separate emails for each segment, providing them with content that works well for them. Just as you’d do in content marketing, you should only promote your LMS products to subscribers in the final phase of the buyer journey.
As long as you remain consistent, your social media marketing strategy, content marketing strategy, and email marketing strategy should establish your brand as a leader in your industry.
Once you’ve developed a tremendous learning management system (LMS) that genuinely delivers value to your target audience, there’s no reason for it to not sell. Now that you’re well aware of the top LMS marketing strategies, go ahead, and start marketing your LMS products.