Do you want to reach more learners with your continuing education program? Perhaps you want to promote an upcoming conference or educational event?  

If your organization hopes to reach more learners or successfully promote an upcoming event, it might be time to create a marketing plan. With a marketing plan, your organization can strategize how to grow your continuing education program, increase engagement, and attract more learners.

Want to learn more about marketing plans? Continue reading for helpful marketing planning strategies.


What is a marketing plan? 

Marketing plans are operational documents that outline an advertising strategy to reach a target market and generate leads. A marketing plan also describes how a business will accomplish a particular mission or goal. This includes which campaigns, content, channels, and marketing software you might use to execute your mission and track its success.

A marketing plan will often include the following: Marketing Tools and Technology

  • Market research to support your plan 
  • Personalized messages to reach certain learners
  • Platforms to promote the campaign 
  • Metrics to measure results


Types of marketing plans 

A marketing plan contains one or more marketing strategies. It is the framework from which all your marketing strategies are created, and helps you connect each strategy back to a larger marketing operation and business goal. The different types of marketing plans could consist of paid marketing, social media marketing, campaigns designated over a certain set of time, new product or service marketing, and more. 

The scope of your marketing plan varies depending on its purpose or the type of organization it’s for. You could create a marketing plan for the following examples:  

  • New product launch. Create a marketing plan to promote a new learning course, an upcoming webinar, or in-person learning event.
  • Time-based. You can use time-based marketing plans executed annually or quarterly to promote your continuing education program.
  • Social media. Leverage social media platforms to advertise your continuing education program, focusing on virtual engagement to market your upcoming courses. 


Why should an organization create a marketing plan?  

The purpose of a marketing plan is to establish your business strategy to meet your continuing education goals. If you’re like most learning programs, you hope to grow your program, attract new learners, retain your current learners, and sell more courses.  
A marketing plan can help you analyze current success and shortcomings as you try to reach your goals. Having these insights can influence a current campaign, helping you target the correct audience and steer marketing efforts in the right direction.  
Without the help of a marketing plan, you’ll have to rely on guesswork to determine how to promote an upcoming course or attract new learners. If you don’t create a marketing plan, you won’t be able to establish a baseline for your program’s success. Ultimately without an accurate baseline, it would be challenging to build a more effective campaign for the future.


How to write a marketing plan 

Now that you understand the purpose of a marketing plan and the different types of marketing plans, you’ll be prepared to create one. To promote your continuing education program, follow these five steps to start writing your marketing plan today:

1. Establish goals

Identify your goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) by developing quantitative, attainable goals. KPIs are individual metrics that measure the various elements of a marketing campaign. They help you establish short-term goals within your mission and communicate your progress to business leaders.

Successfully set these goals by determining where your organization is struggling the most. Avoid outlining vague goals like “Get more learners,” or “Increase retention rate” Instead clarify the percentage by which you want to increase learner engagement.

As a rule of thumb, be as specific as possible. Set goals that include real numbers in impacting website traffic, conversions, and learner success. 

2. Identify your target market

Identify your audience to decide who you should be targeting and how to segment them. This may not seem extremely important, but the value of knowing and understanding your market will lead you to your ideal customers and personalize the experience.  

Once you’ve established this baseline, your ideal customers can help you understand their goals, biggest problems, and how your organization can solve these pain points. 

3. Determine your call to action

Identify your messaging and your calls to action (CTAs). Decide what you are trying to communicate to your customers and what action you would like them to take. Examples could be to download learning content, register for a new course, or submit information.

Throughout your marketing strategy, you might be striving to attract industry professionals to enroll in a membership by leveraging your continuing education program. Once your messaging attracts truly engaged learners to take your courses, you have access to promote the additional value of your membership. 

4. Establish your strategy and execution

Identify your channels for communicating your marketing messages. Will you use email, social media, your online community, or another medium?

It’s important to think about what resources you have available to you. Some channels may already be in motion that you can use to your advantage. Depending on the length or goal of your message you could then decide on which channel best fits that content. 

5. Set your plan

Plan your communications schedule without over-communicating. Strategically think about the timing for all types of communications. The timing of your social media campaign should be different from your direct mail and email marketing, and so on.   

After completing these five steps, you can now act on your marketing plan. Now that you understand a marketing plan, you can strategize your market entry, identify your marketing strategies, and integrate your marketing methods for maximum efficiency.

Take time today to identify your continuing education goals and establish your marketing plan to exceed your objectives! 


How can Freestone LMS help you reach your marketing goals?  

Freestone learning management software (LMS) is an ideal solution for associations looking to expand their content strategy with webinars, webcasts, and on-demand courses. The intuitive viewer interface makes it easy for presenters to interact with viewers while also empowering those viewers to navigate learning material.

With Freestone’s interactive features, learners can network with fellow learners, take quizzes to gain valuable learning insights, get credit for participating in live continuing education courses, and more. Freestone integrates seamlessly into multiple AMS platforms to streamline member management, track learning engagement, and generate revenue. 


Learn more about Freestone LMS

To learn more about how Freestone can help your learners earn credit to meet their continuing education course requirements, talk to one of our LMS experts today to set up a free demo.