Digitally Literate Courses: Building buzz through freebies

Digitally Literate Courses: Building buzz through freebies

This is the eighth project update for my project “Digitally Literate Courses” as part of the One Side Project challenge. In my first update, I identified the focus and goals of this work. In my second update, I discussed some of my thinking about the pricing plan of the courses. In my third update I discussed reviving my mission and focus. In the fourth post, I detailed the deliverables that will be included in the courses. In the fifth update, I discussed the need for a critical friends group and identified the name for this initiative. In the sixth post, I described the structure of content in the courses, modules, and learning pathways. In the seventh post, I discussed my thinking about audience, launches, and leaks.

In this post I’ll document my thinking about marketing and building buzz through freebies and social networks.

Creating buzz

As I build up these courses, I know there is a need to build up buzz as I share and sell this content. There is so much good stuff online, that it is often difficult to separate the good stuff from everything else. Regular updates to content and free content shared openly online should help create this buzz. It’s also very important that everything is branded to look like it all interconnects. With the same color and design scheme, it should help bring audience back to the main website, and the courses hosted there.

Much of this buzz will be built up by sharing out free content online. This content will all originate from the main website for the courses, and be shared out through social networks. I’ll begin sharing out freebies while the courses are still being built and use lessons learned from responses to this free content as a way to improve and target the materials and courses that are developed.

I will most likely start up an online advertising drive to bring in an audience as well. The freebies and shared social content will help bring in viewers, but there is a need to pay for some online advertising as well to help build an audience.

I’ve also been thinking that I need to reach out to colleagues online and ask that they help build awareness by sharing and retweeting content that I share out online. This means that I’ve been thinking that there is a need to identify content that is extremely valuable to me. When I tweet out specific links, I ask a core group of colleagues to immediately jump up and retweet the heck out of the messages that I share. In turn, I’ll also vigorously promote their work as well.

Identifying the freebies

The structure of free content that will accompany the courses is listed below.

Website – The website will serve as the main hub of all courses. The colors, design, and branding for the courses will originate here. All social networks, freebies, and content will send viewers back to the website. The structure of each course is detailed here.

Updates – Each week we will offer one quick tip, trick, or hack that fits the focus of this initiative. Each blog post will be brief (300 to 400 words) and provide the reader will actionable advice to help build their skill set. This could focus on privacy, security, assessment, pedagogy, or other areas relevant to the courses. These will not be called “blog posts”…I just haven’t thought of something snazzy to label it at this point.

Webinars – Monthly, free webinars will be presented to help share materials from the courses, as well as get feedback on content and value for the audience. These webinars will be 30 to 60 minutes long, and will sometimes repeat throughout the year. The video from these webinars may be offered as an update after the event has completed.

Twitter/Facebook Stream – We will create Twitter accounts and Facebook pages to help build awareness, and share updates from the website. These notifications will include the content from the “updates” section as well as information about the courses and webinars.

Next Steps

I’m continuing to play and build the site. I have already offered two webinars and used those opportunities to build awareness, and test out design choices.

Please feel free to act as a critical friend and send along insight/critique of anything you see above. Thanks again for joining me on this journey. Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to stay up to date on everything.

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Also published on Medium.

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