You have a lot more in common with your prospective sponsors than you may suspect.
If you think about it, you both offer value, you both seek to be sustainable businesses, and you share a common target market. You are also both seeking to nudge that target market through the buyer’s journey to invest in what you offer.
And since research shows over 70% of buyers conduct over half of their research online before making an offline purchase, your online learning portal is prime real estate for partnering.
Sponsorships of the past focusing on ads, signs, and logo placements are no longer enough. Brand awareness is still important, but sponsors are looking for opportunities to tell their story and develop a rapport with prospective customers (just like your organization is!).
Consider you’re in the market for a new laptop. First, you needed to realize you want a new laptop. Something triggered that need. It could be your laptop failed, but it could also be a colleague talking about their new laptop or some information you encountered about updated features now available that would make your life easier. So you do some research. You check out known brands, bargains, and industry rankings. You note the features that would best suit your needs – speed, memory, graphics card, support – and begin vetting solutions based on those criteria. You’re definitely in the market now, intentionally narrowing down laptop options. But before you whip out your credit card, you really want to validate your short list. You reach out to that colleague about why they chose the laptop they just purchased. You read reviews of the models you’re considering. You potentially reach out to your social media network for opinions on your short list. You factor those personal insights into your final decision.
Now peering back over your shoulder at that journey from realizing you want a new laptop to making the purchase, how much did a brand placement influence your decision? It matters, but it’s only the very beginning of generating curiosity that may trigger a commitment.
Your prospective sponsors are looking for ways to become an active part of the buyer’s journey. This is valuable to those who are developing a shortlist of solutions – your learners. How can you offer win-win-win opportunities that will delight sponsors, your customers, and offset your eLearning infrastructure expenses?
Organizations that believe sponsors are only interested in live events because they can’t sell online sponsorships are leaving money on the table. It’s not the “live-ness” of events that attracts sponsors, it’s networking with their prospective customers. If your online sponsorships do not offer this opportunity they will be tough to sell.
Not just any online learning portal will be attractive to prospective sponsors. Build value – and traffic — with these key features:
Consider these opportunities to negotiate win-win-win sponsorships that sell:
Talk with your sponsors about who they are seeking to reach and what component of that buyer journey you can partner on that will also benefit your learners. Win-win-win sponsorships offer value and they sell. If you want to learn more about utilizing sponsorships with Blue Sky’s products and services, contact the Blue Sky team today.
Tracy King, MA, CAE
As Chief Learning Strategist & Founder of InspirEd, Tracy leverages her more than 17 years in the education industry for associations interested in increasing their relevance and revenue with meaningful live, online, and mobile learning programs. Tracy specializes in the intersection of learning science and technology. She’s a thought leader in education strategy and learning experience design. In addition, Tracy offers training to instructional design teams, content experts, and at conferences to promote leading edge practices developing learning experiences that make a measurable difference. For more information, please visit www.inspired-ed.com or www.tracy-king.com.