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6 Awesome Ways to Improve your RTO’s Marketing Strategy

November 13, 2017

Today’s student is smart, entitled, and loyal, with brand preference playing a huge part in their buying decisions. The information age has given them access to massive amounts of useful data, which they use to compare courses, pricing, reviews, and more. With so many training options available to students, what is your RTO doing to stand out?

A strong marketing strategy is one of the best ways to get noticed. Here’s seven tips to spice up your marketing game.

1. Audit your competitors

Identify your main competitors and use a spreadsheet to compare language styles, colours, and overall tone used in their branding. It’s paramount to differentiate your RTO’s branding, so that you don’t get lost in a sea of options (more on this below).

Analyse your competitors websites. Do they give students all of the course info needed to make a purchase? Is it easy to browse courses, or to make enquiries? Improving the user experience of your website can offer you some big wins.

Your competitors blogs are another good place to look. If they’re producing regular, valuable content, you can be assured that they have a content marketing plan in place, and are already one step ahead of you. Content marketing[1] is a lot of work, but it’s an awesome way to win the trust of your prospective students.

2. Audit your RTO

Similarly to the above, analyse the language that you use in your marketing messaging, the colours that you’ve chosen from your branding, and the tone of your business. Are they a good match for your target audience? If you’re not sure who your target audience are, creating personas[2] will help (more on this below).

How does your website look? Ask a friend to find one of your courses on your computer and start the enrolment process, and see what problems they run into (chances are, they will have problems).

Review the information that you’re showing for each training course, and consider any questions that the student might want to have answered. You might even want to add an FAQ section, to make the process smoother for the student, and reduce the number of enquiries.

3. Create personas

You may think you know who your target audience is, but unless you do some research you’ll never be certain your marketing efforts are directed to the right audience. Research includes sending surveys, phone interviews, and analysing the data that you have available (e.g. from Google Analytics). There’s a guide on how to develop RTO buyer personas[2] at the end of this article.

4. Develop a solid brand identity

Once you have a clear idea of how other RTOs are marketing themselves, and know exactly who your target audience is, it’s time to create a brand identity that’ll resonate with your prospects. This might include writing a unique value proposition and mission statement, writing a language style guide, redesigning your logo, and selecting a new colour palette. Branding is a job that’s worth doing well, so don’t rush this process. Strong branding will help you to shout your message through every student interaction.

For more info on how to develop a brand identity, check out the link[3] at the end of this article.

5. Make your trainers the best

Trainers are the ultimate tool for boosting your RTO’s branding. Their relationship with students is more valuable than any of your online efforts, and key to improving retention rates. Their effectiveness and behaviour can determine whether your students will help or harm your branding, through word-of-mouth, social media, or online reviews.

When you have the best trainers, you’ll have the best training organisation, and your reputation will soar.

6. Make sure you actually offer a great experience

Surveys and interviews will allow you to analyse the experience of your students, and determine whether you’re doing what you promised. If the expectations of your students are met, they’ll complete their courses with greater satisfaction, and be on their way to fulfilling careers.

“This is the foundation of buzz. In order to get people talking about your product or service, you must provide a great experience."
—Emanuel Rosen

Helpful links

  1. How to explain Content Marketing to Anyone
  2. 4 Steps to Developing Buyer Personas
  3. How to Develop a Unique (& Memorable) Brand Identity in 2020

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