Five cheap ideas for training promotion
The size of your promotion budget for training offerings or similar programs rarely matters more than creativity and execution.
Blade Runner 2049, which received great reviews, cost $150 million to make and is considered a bomb because it has thus far brought in less than $100 million. Pocket change, right? Compare that to Blair Witch Project, a $50,000 independent movie shot in the woods with camcorders and a handful of no-name actors. It eventually grossed more than a quarter billion dollars worldwide thanks in part to a fabricated website detailing a supposedly real witch that haunts rural Maryland.
Promotional efforts to improve class registration for continuing education or other offerings don’t have to break your budget. If you scan the web for popular guerrilla marketing efforts, you’ll find many of them are anything but cheap. But your promotional efforts can be low-cost and still push beyond traditional marketing efforts like news releases, flyers, or paid advertising.
Below are five ideas to can help put a charge into your creative thinking. Consider how you could adjust and apply them to your situation.
- Go Hollywood
If you offer webinars and want to increase participation among a certain company or department, send their staff Movie Time packages. Stock the packages with popcorn, Raisinets, and other theater treats. Include tickets that provide webinar details and a QR code they can scan to sign up via their phones.
- Meet a small need
Several Learning Stream customers provide childcare professional development training, so we’ll use them as an example. Childcare providers always can use more of certain supplies, such as baby wipes. They may also have dozens of employees who require regular training, but it’s not always easy to find the time to sign them up. A childcare training organization could send each center director a small package of wipes. Inside the opening, they could affix their message about a special training opportunity and how to easily sign up their workers.
- Make a video
You don’t have to spend a dime to create a fun video, post it on YouTube or Vimeo, and then email the link. Here’s one Loctite produced to introduce a new Super Glue. Could they have spent any less on the video? In addition to executing a simple prank, they didn’t try to make the video look expensive. A lot of cheap videos fall flat because their producers try to turn amateurs—co-workers, family members, etc.—into actors. Bonus tip: If you have a GoPro, do a POV video of what it takes to prep for training.
- Write a book
Books reinforce your status as a continuing ed expert. It may seem like a lot of work to write a book regarding your training topics or expertise, but much of the subject matter is already in your head or written somewhere. Further, the book doesn’t have to be a tome the length of IT. You can easily create a digital version of your book and make it available on Amazon, Smashwords, and other book sites. Create Space, for example, allows you to create and distribute hard copies. The idea is not to write a bestseller, but to use the book for promotional giveaways and as a key part of your bio.
- Live Stream
Use Facebook or other platforms to live stream an event to spur buzz and generate more followers for your social media accounts. Events could include the first portion of a new training opportunity, your interview of an industry expert or the other way around, or a Q & A with your audience. Don’t overdo it, however. If you live stream too many events, your target group will begin to lose interest. Often, the key to effective promotion is knowing when to pull back.
Besides being relatively inexpensive, these ideas for promotion all have something else in common: They show program organizers understand their audience and don’t stick with the same old same old. If you have cheap, effective marketing tactics to share, please use the Comments section below. You can also use it if you would like to know more about online registration software and Learning Stream.