How a brand image can help in you sell more online courses.
Many educators fall into one of two categories when it comes to branding: Either they spend so much time on branding that their course never gets off the ground, or they don't think about it at all and muddle around for years without one.
Of course, neither of these groups is something you want to be a part of. On the one hand, unless you have anything to brand, branding should take a back place. Why obsess over the logo for your new series of online courses when you haven't even started developing them?
A strong brand, on the other hand, might make your task a lot easier after you have those training and are ready to start your firm. Here are some reasons why you should devote time to creating a brand for your online course.
1. Differentiate yourself from the competition.
Very few educators have a completely new course to sell, and those who do often have a tougher time marketing it than those who sell courses in a well-established market. You may believe that competition makes your job more difficult, but competition just implies that your target market already understands what they want. All they have to do now is choose between your course and someone else's.
This is where the importance of branding comes into play. You're not selling a generic product; you're selling a one-of-a-kind course, and you're a component of the value proposition. At the very least, that's what your brand should communicate.
Your company's ideals and motivations are expressed through your brand. This is the type of course you'll create if you believe online education should be flexible, adaptable, and inventive. If you believe it should be intellectually demanding, you will create a course that is entirely different. Your brand communicates that attitude, and as a result, it attracts students who share that mindset. Which brings us to the next point...
2. Establish your audience.
Whether you realized it or not, you probably designed your course with a specific type of learner in mind. Perhaps you imagined a young entrepreneur getting ready to create a business. Perhaps you were designing a course for a fourth-grade class. You could even be working on a huge corporation's training program. You have an audience, no matter who it is—even if you've never given much thought to who it might be.
The difficulty is that even if you know who your target audience is, you could not be communicating effectively if you don't have a strong brand. Visitors to your website may learn about your course, but that alone may not be enough to persuade them to sign up unless you can guarantee that the course was created specifically for them.
A working student taking an online evening course has quite different needs than an employee attending an ongoing education course during work hours. You may immediately address any reservations they may have by utilising your brand to demonstrate how your training was designed to meet those needs.
3. Create a memorable impression.
On any given day, the ordinary individual interacts with hundreds, if not thousands, of different brands. This can be a problem for your online education course since, while your students may have come across you before, there's no assurance they'll come back if they don't recognise you.
To put it another way, you don't just need to stand out from the crowd; you also need to stick in a potential learner's mind long enough for them to remember you after they've left your site and are considering signing up for a course.
A powerful brand acts as a mnemonic device, aiding visitors in remembering your name and course specifics when they need to find you again. It also helps them in describing your course and its distinguishing features to others. After all, not everyone who comes to your booth will want to attend your course, but they might tell their friends about it. They'll talk about your brand if it gives them something to talk about.
4. Build an emotional connection.
Finally, brands elicit strong emotional responses. Consumers are more inclined to a brand that is exceptionally motivating. Many folks don't just want to sign up for a course; they want to feel good about it for reasons other than its utility.
This is why so many firms are embracing social issues or attempting to build value signals through marketing or messaging. They want you to know that they are environmentally friendly, that they give back to their communities, and that they have a long history.
This isn't to imply you should strive to link your brand to a charity, but you should leverage your brand to trigger emotional responses from your target audience. For example, you can use aspirational messaging to connect your course to your students' deepest desires and dreams. You can also use comedy to make them laugh. In either case, by evoking emotion, your students will be more inclined to register in your course, feel confidence in their decision, and urge others to do the same.
Course first. Branding second.
Remember that branding is important, but content is everything. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of developing your brand identity and use it as an excuse to ignore the far more important—but difficult—task of building a course. Allowing yourself to fall into that trap is not a good idea.
Furthermore, your brand is a work in progress, as significant as it is. It's possible that you'll need to launch your first course and get your feet wet before you have a good enough understanding of your program and your students to determine what you want your brand to be.
Once you have a course to market, your brand will assist you in marketing it. Don't put things off indefinitely, but don't let it stop you from taking actions either.