Originally published on www.elearningindustry.com
To survive in the LMS marketplace, you have to produce lots of free content to attract search engines and buyers to your website. But developing content is extremely time-consuming and without a long term plan, it can consume all your time.
There is one way to create a lot of great content without a huge amount of effort. This is through a single downloadable eBook that you can repurpose into many different forms.
In this article, I’ll share tips to maximize results with an effective content marketing strategy that hinges on one eBook.
Content Marketing is a Crucial LMS Marketing Strategy
It’s an essential part of any tech companies’ marketing plan. If you produce good content, there’s no better way for qualified buyers to find you through Google searches.
However, it can be expensive and time consuming to develop good content, especially if you do it in an ad-hoc manner. I have worked with more than one company who have hundreds of pieces of content, but only a few are downloaded regularly. It tends to be that those few are the ones they put a lot of effort in producing.
The market is flooded with mediocre content. You must do it right to make it worth the effort.
To do it right and on a limited budget, you need to first develop a long-term content plan that is focused on high-quality, low volume content that is designed around being re-used.
For example, if you’re writing an eBook, then write it in a modular format and break it into five or ten sections that you can use as blogs. An eBook is the perfect thing to convert into a webinar. Also, if you plan to speak at conferences, then the eBook can be converted for that as well.
Imagine writing one eBook and using it for six months to a year of content marketing!
Here are some bits of advice to build a successful marketing strategy around one eBook.
Focus on a Problem-Solving Topic
If you’re going to focus on one eBook, then the topic needs to be compelling. It needs to be valuable to your most important target buyers, and nothing is more important to your buyer than solving their biggest problem.
If your eBook addresses their problem head-on, then it will be attractive to buyers. To do this, you need to be clear about what that problem is.
Let’s say that your ideal buyer works for a software company that does a lot of customer training. Their big problem is that customers don’t consume enough of their training, which leads to under-educated customers, lower training sales, and more help desk calls. Even more importantly, their customers are likely to be unsatisfied and less likely to renew their product.
Those are huge problems. You could write several eBooks, but if you had to start with just one, it could be something like, “10 ways to increase software education,” or “10 ways to develop a more educated customer.”
Of course, your product has to be part of the solution to these problems and should be included in the eBook, but not through a direct sales pitch. Remember that the goal of content marketing is not to sell your product, but to find the buyers who have the problem that you solve. The secondary goal is to establish your company as the expert on a particular topic and create goodwill by giving away something of value to your ideal prospect.
Make It Part of Your SEO Strategy
It’s also important to optimize your content for SEO. You need to know what words your target buyers use to describe their problems. This is crucial because the words they use will be a part of their Google search when they try to find solutions. Where do you put this content, other than on your website and social media? It’s important to rank higher in Google searches by gaining backlinks from industry-related websites that have high domain authority. My personal favorite is eLearningIndustry.com since it has a huge following and is focused on the learning technology industry. You can also reach out to other industry websites or to your partners to write guest blogs for their sites.
And keep in mind that it’s better to focus your SEO efforts on the more specific, long-tail searches that your buyers are conducting, like ‘best LMS to train dealer networks’, or ‘popular extended enterprise learning system’. These long-tail searches will connect you with fewer, but more qualified buyers and they’re much less expensive than one-or two-word keywords. That’s less noise and better leads for your sales pipeline.
Make Them Work for It
I’m not implying that you should start charging for the eBook, as that defeats the purpose. However, you can erect a few barriers that prospects must hop over before they download the guide. For example, they need to provide basic contact info or complete a brief survey. People who are genuinely interested in the product will be more than happy to fill in their email address if it results in a free eBook, but those who are just casually considering a new LMS are less likely to opt-in. This gives you the power to sort hot leads from the rest and expand your mailing list. In the case of surveys or polls, you even get valuable feedback out of the deal. Just make sure you don’t create too many obstacles. Even the most interested buyers won’t jump through countless hoops to download an eBook.
Avoid ad-hoc content development at all costs. Plan way ahead and focus on super-quality content that is easy to repurpose.
Make it an integral part of your overall SEO strategy by incorporating keywords and publishing individual articles on third-party platforms.
If you want to get more tips and tricks for LMS marketing, download the free eBook 10 Marketing Strategies That No Learning Tech Vendor Can Live Without.
About the Author
Gordon Johnson has been a marketing leader in the corporate L&D industry for over twenty years. His specialty is developing transformative marketing strategies that generate qualified sales opportunities, employing the latest digital marketing channels, coupled with traditional techniques to achieve industry-leading brand awareness, widespread web presence and high-impact value propositions. Other marketing concentrations include content marketing, messaging, social marketing, positioning strategy, analyst relations, events, account-based marketing (ABM), email marketing, customer success and lead-generation. Contact Gordon.