The corporate learning market has a problem – hundreds of competitors all saying similar things. This means that for suppliers, everyone is a competitor. And for buyers, it’s difficult to know which vendor is right for you and your organisation’s needs.
It’s a crowded, noisy marketplace where it’s hard to stand out and hard to make a purchasing decision.
That’s why Rob Clarke, editor at Learning News, and I put on a webinar, sharing our insights on market positioning and creating comms that will get you noticed by buyers. Our webinar explored six ways in which learning brands can stand out from the crowd.
We’ve had some great feedback about the session. The focus on how to be more distinctive with your comms really resonated for attendees. And there was a good discussion around what makes real thought leadership (having something real and worthwhile to say and moving the story on) versus thinly veiled product marketing.
So, what are those six ways that learning brands can stand out from the crowd?
Know your market and position yourself in that space. Doing this has three key benefits: it differentiates your services, it demonstrates to customers why they should choose you and it reduces competition.
Content matters in the research and decision-making process and that’s because buyers spend almost 50% of their time-consuming content before they meet prospective vendors. Buyers trust brands that show they know the market, which is another key reason to invest in high-quality content.
However, so much content in the market is sales led, which means a focus on features and benefits. This approach does not help vendors stand out from the crowd.
This powerful variant of content marketing enables brands to focus in on an area that is a clear differentiator in the market and to build a content campaign around it. Thought leadership is an excellent way to show your brand’s distinctiveness in the market.
Creating news is another powerful approach to cutting through the noise and can form part of your earned and shared media activities. So, create newsworthy content and then use that news as the vehicle to share your insights and expertise. News gives your message credibility and authority and news cuts through the noise, especially on social media (possibly as much as any other kind of communication).
To create engagement with your news you need to create outward-looking stories that show the impact on customers. This means understanding what affects your customers and focusing on their needs to create newsworthy content. A simple announcement about your brand will have little traction compared with an announcement that relates to customer context and challenges. Always put the customer and their needs at the heart of the story.
Once you have your news you need to then consider distribution and the partners and channels that provide the most engagement with your target audience. This might be an event or trade media or an influencer on LinkedIn. The key here is to plan for distribution because without it, your story will go nowhere.
The webinar recording is available here.
The slides are available here.
For help with your content please email firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about Learning News, email email@example.com
This is the first in a series of webinars planned by Rob and I so watch this space to find out more.