… and how to engage LMS buyers.
This article was originally published on eLearning Industry
As an LMS vendor, you need to focus your website copy on just one visitor: your ideal buyer.
That’s not to say that your other website traffic isn’t important. Your ideal buyer is the one who pays the bills – and you have to cater to that persona so that when they hit your website, they find what they’re looking for fast and they like what they find.
To do this, it’s critical to invest your time in writing great content that creates a great first impression, engages your ideal buyer, and differentiates you from the 300 or so other LMSs that are competing for their attention.
Here are the 3 key things you need to do to present great content on your site.
Present A Specific And Compelling Value Proposition
The moment your ideal buyer hits your website, they want one of two things: They either want to know what you do, or they want a specific bit of information.
The majority of website visitors who don’t know you will have these two question in mind: “What do you do… and can you solve my problem?” When they hit your site, they want to see answers right away, right at the top of your home page.
Does your value proposition on your home page answer those questions? How would you grade it based on these five key criteria?
• Is your value proposition concise and focused?
If you can’t say it in one sentence, then it’s probably too watered down and you’re trying to make your product all things for all people. Unfortunately, with 300+ competitors, you can’t afford to be generic. The only ones who can do that are big vendors like Cornerstone, Docebo, Litmos, Degreed, etc., who have great funding, armies of salespeople, and massive marketing budgets.
There’s a bunch of LMS vendors who don’t have huge marketing budgets, but they are specialists and have staked their claim on a very specific value proposition. Those LMS companies are mostly very profitable because they have a high win-rate, since they’re so focused.
• Does your value proposition address their biggest problem?
The language your prospects speak is what I call “problem language.” They speak it fluently. They lose sleep over it. They want it gone. What they don’t speak fluently is your “product language.” You’re too close to your product and don’t realize that buyers don’t understand that language. All they want to hear is that you solve their problem. That’s it. Once you establish that you do, they will invest the time in learning your language.
• Is your value proposition unique?
There is nothing new under the sun. Of the 300+ LMS companies we looked at, 95% had generic value propositions. Paraphrased, they all said, “We have a learning system that is great and does everything.” That’s the safe strategy and it’s good for only one thing – when a buyer reads it, they won’t immediately exclude you. But in the back of their mind, they will mark you down as an also-ran. To be unique, you need to claim something that solves their specific problem.
• Is your value proposition believable?
Is it over-hyped? Are you using marketing-speak that immediately creates suspicion in the buyer? Have you ever experienced a salesperson who tries too hard to sell you something? Your radar goes up and you discount everything they say because you know they will say anything to get your sale. Over-hyped value propositions come across the same way.
However, if you do have an amazing product that does amazing things, then you should say those things. But then you need to back it up quickly so that it doesn’t sound over-hyped. The best way to do that is to simply explain in detail how you do it. If you can communicate that and back it up with real-life examples, then you’ve got something big.
• Is your value proposition sustainable?
Don’t center your value proposition on innovative product features that will be copied by others. The LMS market is a leap-frog market. After you develop something innovative, a few months later someone else will have the same thing, but better. You’ll play catch-up for a while, and then you’ll release something even better and leap-frog again. And on and on it goes.
If you build your value proposition around something that is innovative just for a little while, then it won’t have much shelf-life. Again, the key is to build your value proposition around solving a prospect’s problem. That is much harder to leap frog.
Here are some examples of value propositions that are short, sweet, and communicate a lot.
Doesn’t this value proposition make you want to take action now? Didacte says a lot here, in just a few words. They appeal to the universal need for instant gratification and the comfort of knowing that it will be easy. If I was a potential customer, I might have been looking at their site to check them out and maybe add them to my RFP list, but this message makes it sound so easy that I might as well go ahead and start a trial.
Moodle takes a very different approach here. They appeal to the higher good of “improving our world.” But by using the word “educators,” they also stake a claim on the education sector and essentially ignore corporates, which will appeal to educators.
What Makes Great Copy?
Great copy is elusive for most of us. Writing is hard. Clever turns of phrase, good grammar, and making it interesting are skills that take time to develop.
However, there are some things that you can do today to write better copy without going to journalism school or hiring an expensive copywriter. All you need to do is get to know your customers better:
• Translate features into benefits
This is an obvious one and you’ve heard it before, but it’s deceptively hard to do. Probably because we know our products so much better than we know our customers and how they use our product and what impact it has on their lives. You have to know this better than you know your product.
• Speak their language
I can’t emphasize this enough. Great business writing can be easily understood. As I’ve stated before, your LMS buyer has a Master’s degree in THEIR problems. You have to speak their language. If you speak to their problems, then you will get through to them.
• Use plain English
Journalists in the United States are generally told that they should write at an eighth grade reading level. It’s not that our audience reads at an eighth grade level. The reason is because easier reading requires less thought. If you want people to read effortlessly, then avoid big words. It may make you feel good to use that perfect word that expresses exactly what you intended, but chances are that it does more harm than good. You can always find a substitute word that doesn’t aggravate the reader.
• Don’t be afraid to have some fun
The LMS business is serious stuff, and inserting humor into copy can be a little risky. However, the benefits outweigh the risks – and it almost always works. It keeps people engaged and adds a little spark to keep them reading.
Here are a couple of LMS vendors who we ranked high in content quality:
TalentLMS copy is all about benefits. They do a great job of translating everything into value for the prospect. They’re also good at addressing concerns in the copy, so it’s not all hype.
Unboxed Spoke presents good, solid web copy, packed with benefits and value.
Content Marketing (and Resource pages)
It’s surprising to visit an LMS website and see that they have no resources at all. No white papers, case studies, eBooks, webinar recordings, etc. Having resources communicates a lot about you to buyers. A lack of resources communicates a lot as well.
Having a lot of good, valuable resources communicates:
• We’re not a fly-by-night vendor.
You’ve been around for a long time and have been writing about this stuff for a long time. You’re not going to disappear after you sell your product.
• A thought leader.
You know this industry well and you’re delighted to pass along the knowledge.
• You give back.
Especially to your customers. You’re here to help. You’re giving out resources for free to demonstrate your commitment to helping them solve their problems. You will be there and will help them, even when there’s nothing in it for you.
• You love this stuff!
Why would you spend so much time writing about it if you didn’t love it?
So, to be a long-term player in this space, resources are key. And also, the Google search engine algorithm loves resources, as long as they’re not gated by forms.
Here are a couple of vendors who have compiled a huge library of high-quality resources. Not by coincidence, they are the market leaders in the LMS space.
Cornerstone set the standard for the industry. They have compiled a significant amount of resources and designed a resources page that is easy to navigate and is a nice place to be.
Docebo has also produced a massive amount of resources and does a great job presenting them in an interesting and visual manner.
If you do all of these things and do a great job communicating on your site, you will see higher conversion rates, longer average time on your website, and most importantly, buyers will have a great first impression, which will make them much more likely to turn into a customer.
The Top 10 Best LMS Website Content
After evaluating 300+ LMS websites, we selected these as the 10 best sites for content and messaging. The main criteria we used to judge these sites were their value proposition, content, messaging, and quality and quantity of resources.
2. Talent LMS
3. Absorb LMS
7. Litmos LMS
10. Vowel LMS
For the complete list of the top LMS Websites and many more tips and tricks for building great websites, download the ebook now.
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.