When it comes to your training content, chances are good that you look at it as an investment in the future of your employees. You create content that helps them learn and grow as professionals and individuals. That improves performance, efficiency, and even longevity in the workplace. However, you can also monetize your training content and expand the return on your initial investment exponentially. Not sure how to do that? We’ll explore what you need to know below.
Why Monetize Your Content?
Why consider monetizing your content? Actually, there are plenty of reasons, including the following:
- Improve Your ROI: As mentioned, one of the primary reasons that content developers choose to monetize their courses is to improve the ROI they see. Yes, you’ll see a return in terms of improved employee performance and efficiency, but selling course content gives you a more tangible, immediate return that can be reinvested in the company in many ways.
- Build Your Brand: Another reason to consider selling your training content is to build your brand. Even if you don’t intend to become an educational authority in your industry, branded course content can help establish your firm as a thought leader and a trendsetter.
- Expand Your Offerings: Perhaps your brand is already seen as an authority within your industry or niche. In that case, selling course content allows you to expand your offerings.
Considerations to Make
While there are plenty of reasons to monetize your training content, many companies encounter hurdles in the process. Often, this is due to a failure to consider an element required for success. You must consider the following before doing anything else:
- Your LMS: Perhaps the single most critical consideration here is your learning management system (LMS). The right system will support your success and provide you with powerful capabilities and tools. The wrong system will cripple your ability to monetize course content. Make sure that the LMS you use offers eCommerce capabilities that are baked right into the platform (not tacked on as an afterthought). Also, make sure that it also provides you with content authoring tools. This streamlines the creation and distribution process.
- Identify Your Audience: This might sound pretty basic, but it speaks directly to your ability to successfully monetize the course content. Who is your audience? What do your learners need to achieve? What are their goals? How does your content help them reach those goals? Can you expand your audience to include other groups or subgroups? There is value in offering hyper-focused content, as well as courses that apply to a much wider audience, but you’ll need to know how wide a net you want to cast from the outset.
- Make Sure Your Content Is Worth It: There’s little point in trying to monetize subpar material. If your content isn’t worth buying, the few sales you do make will likely lead to returns. If you have any doubts about the quality of your content, go through it carefully, and vet it thoroughly.
- Update It: Over time, most content gets a little stale. It could be that style and tone usage changes over time and your content is too stiff or formal. It could also be that your content is dated by discussing technology that is no longer used. Before you decide to sell any content, make sure that it’s up to date. This applies to style, tone, and things discussed in the content, but also to the best practices and topics covered by the content.
- Create a Course Catalog: To sell your content, you’ll need to make potential buyers aware that it exists. Keeping all the details locked away within the LMS won’t do that. It’s important to understand that anything inside the LMS is essentially invisible to those who don’t already have login credentials. Even Google can’t get into the system to aggregate information. You need to create a course catalog and then host it on your website where search engine spiders can access it and those who don’t have access to the LMS can read about what you’re offering.
- Create Additional Content: You might think that creating dynamic, powerful, accurate courses is all you need to do, but that’s incorrect. If you’re going to sell courses, you need marketing material that will do the selling for you. This goes beyond the course catalog we talked about above. You need to create descriptive content for all of your content. You don’t need to author a book about every module offered, but you should shoot for a minimum of:
- A list of features or highlights that gives prospective learners an idea of the key benefits they gain from the course.
- An overview of what the course offers in bullet-point format.
- A description of the course that contains relevant keywords that potential learners might use to search for similar content on Google.
Additional Things to Think About
In addition to the considerations we touched on above, there are a few additional components that bear consideration. One of those is the payment method. How many payment gateways will you offer? What will those cost you in the long run? The type and number of payment gateways offered will affect quite a few factors, including whether an organization chooses to buy from you in the first place.
Another idea to think about is bundling your courses (or not). You might find that standalone courses are more popular with certain audience segments, while others prefer to bundle them and save. There is no “right” answer here. You’ll need to analyze your audience, determine their needs and expectations, and then strive to meet them.
At the end of the day, monetizing your course content is a great way to increase your return on investment, build your brand, establish authority, and achieve other critical goals. However, without the right LMS, you’ll find it a much more difficult road. The right learning management system will give you eCommerce capabilities, course authoring tools, and other capabilities that support and expand your ability to sell content.