5 Easy Ideas for Promoting Training Courses Online


Increasing enrollment for your in-person training programs is a top priority for continuing education professionals. Having a well-defined target audience of association members helps, but even that won’t guarantee learners will discover your course offerings. And to borrow from a famous saying, “If a course has the best content but no one is around to promote it, does it get found?” Help your learners find courses that benefit them by taking steps to promote your training courses online.

Easy Ideas to Promote Training Courses Online

Using your existing course content is an effective way to promote your training courses online. Sharing the course syllabus, a chapter of the course book or a practice exam gives potential learners a clear idea of the information they will receive when taking your course. You can also look at leveraging your existing training programs as a way to spread the word about your new offerings.

Take a look at the infographic below to learn five easy ideas that will help you get started promoting your training courses online.

Ready for more marketing ideas for training courses? Download the whitepaper Promote Your Training Courses With Content Marketing for ideas on how to turn your existing educational materials into effective promotional content.


Easy Ideas for Promoting Training Courses Online

Which of these ideas have you found to be most successful for promoting new courses? Are there other attention-grabbing techniques that are not on this list? Please share what has worked for you in the comment section!


From the Infographic

5 Easy Ideas for Promoting Training Courses Online

  • Share the course syllabus.
    • Motivate potential class participants with an overview of the material to be covered
  • Offer a free chapter of the course book.
    • Sample course content will entice learners to register
  • Post a practice exam.
    • Show students what they can expect to learn after completing the course
  • Increase your online presence.
    • Make your organization stand out when people search for professional development opportunities
  • Cross-promote other training programs.
    • Use banner ads, sidebars, and pop-ups to advertise similar courses that would interest your learners

A New Way to Think About Marketing Your Association’s Courses

Marketing an association’s training courses is not an easy task. In fact, according to our 2016 State of the Continuing Education Industry report, 31% of respondents listed it as their greatest challenge. So it’s important to use every opportunity to help members—and future members—see the value in the courses you offer.

Associations generally focus on the “direct” value their training provides. Direct value refers to the skills or knowledge that the student receives from taking your course. These skills are the most tangible result of your training, so it makes sense to promote this value to get your students’ interest.

But there is another level of value that your training provides. One that can be effective in turning a potential learner into a registered learner. The “end” value is the result of your learner putting their direct value to work. Here’s an example: A chef that is the member of a restaurant association may receive the direct value of learning safe food-handling techniques. When the chef returns to work, the training she received creates an end value of a good dining experience for a family.

Each of these values can appeal to different audiences. A restaurant employee may see the benefit in learning the direct value, while the end value may be more appealing to a restaurant owner. By incorporating both the direct value and the end value into your training and marketing materials, you can appeal to a wider audience.

Take a look at your existing course and marketing materials. You may need to update these assets if you have traditionally focused on the direct value. This will give you an opportunity to send a new message to students, one that also includes the end value. Here are a couple of questions to ask as you audit your existing course materials.

Do your course materials reflect both the direct and end values that your training provides?

As you read through your course materials, do you get a clear sense of the end value your learner will be providing after completing your course? Citing the end value of a new skill can add context to what the student is learning. It also helps emphasize the importance of certain skills by demonstrating how they are used in real life.

The end value that your training provides is a source of pride for your association and your learner. Do you have a similar sense of pride when you look at your course materials? Or is there something lost in translation? Don’t discount your assessment of the physical appearance of your materials. While you know the content well enough to look past an outdated design or a layout that creates a less-than-ideal user experience, a potential student that is new to your training may not be able to see beyond the cover.

Do your marketing materials promote the end value that your training provides?

When you are promoting your training courses, use the end value to generate interest in the student. A great way to engage a prospective student is to get them to imagine their future after having completed your course. What better way to inspire them to register for your course than to have them understand the value they will be able to provide to their community?


When marketing your association’s training courses, there is more than one message at your disposal. It’s important to focus on the direct value that the learners will gain after taking your course. But that is only half of the story. Don’t lose sight of the end value that your training provides. Including both will build enthusiasm in the learner, and also expand the appeal of your offerings.

As your focus broadens, make sure your course materials and your marketing materials are in sync with your message. You may need to refresh your materials to include the big picture appeal that your course offers.

Pinterest for Associations – Visual Content is Key

With travel budget cuts affecting your meeting attendance, engaging members year round with your association content is more important than ever.

Finding the right way to deliver educational content is critical, and more and more associations are taking advantage of social media sites to reach their members and attract new membership. Chances are if your association is doing this, Pinterest is already on your radar.

Pinterest is a popular virtual pinboard where users can bookmark all the fun and inspiring content they find on the Internet. But just because it’s popular, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for your association.

3 Questions: Is Pinterest Right for Your Association?

  1. Do you have visually appealing content?
    Does your association have fun infographics, engaging eBooks and free on-demand webcasts to share? It may be the perfect time to consider making over the first page of your association eBooks, or the cover page of your white papers. If your content is extremely text heavy, stick to Twitter and LinkedIn. Pinterest is all about creating a visual representation of your association content.
  2. Do you have somewhere to link out to that makes sense?
    Remember… You’re dealing with visual learners, so you don’t want to send them to a page with long paragraphs and little white space. Make sure you’re linking your “pinned” content out to visually appealing websites.
  3. Are your members using Pinterest?
    If your current members aren’t using the new social platform, chances are your target market isn’t either. Make sure the social sites you are choosing to present your association on are the ones where new membership can find you. But remember, just because your members aren’t using Pinterest or other social media sites today, doesn’t mean they won’t be using them in the future. Keep these social sites on your radar.

If you’re still not sure if Pinterest is the right social media platform for you (or maybe you’re a visual learner who needs an infographic rather than a blog article to decide), check out this decision tree by Column Five Media and published by Intuit : Should Your Business Be On Pinterest?

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