More Than Just Instructional Design Services
At Spark + Co., when we create your training, you get much more than our instructional design services. We don’t produce online training in isolation. We want to ensure your training is a success. So we provide several benefits that you won’t find at other instructional design services firms—all designed to support the success of your online training.
A Unique ‘Instructional Product’ Approach
What makes us different from others? First, we combine product + instructional design services to create a great training product. We understand that creating a terrific online course isn’t only about how good the course looks when someone takes it. Although that’s very important too. You can have the best-designed training course, yet it’s of no use if no one can find it. Or if there’s little demand for your course or topic. Similarly, if you’re selling the training and the price it too high or too low it’s going to affect your success. It’s the same if you don’t come up with appealing packaging. Or you don’t bundle products to create something the learner considers to be of high value to them. All these factors, and more, combined determine if your training product is a success. It’s not only about basic instructional design services. It includes
- Market Research
- Pricing + Packaging
- Driving Traffic To Your Course
- Services To Support The Success Of Your Online Courses
As a result, we ask and answer several questions, including
- How will the product (course) be positioned in the learners’ minds?
- How does the product solve your immediate issue and contribute to your organizations’ longer-term goals?
- What instructional design principles are needed, so your learner takes their new knowledge and applies it in their world.
- What IT, marketing, communications, and user documentation are needed to launch your new course?
- When should you think about revisions or incorporating new information along the way?
Combining Product + Instructional Design Services
At Spark + Co., we take an approach where we combine product and instructional design services. So, you receive an instructional product and not simply a course.
Applying Product + Instructional Design Services
The extent of all these approaches depends on the nature of the assignment. For example, suppose you create a course to sell to consumers or businesses. In that case, the efforts in these areas will be more extensive. But if you want to train your employees, we’ll be more selective about our approaches. While if you are a non-profit or government agency and want to educate a specific audience, many of these approaches will contribute to the success of your project.
Market Validation + Measuring Demand
Many organizations have a training course in mind to create and deliver. But, how many people confirm whether there’s enough demand to warrant making a course? At Spark + Co., we use a variety of techniques to determine if there’s enough demand for your course, including:
- Completing an audience profile
- Keyword research
- Measuring social media activity
- Competitive research
- Aligning sales goals with demand
Also, in our instructional design services we use the value proposition and the business model canvas and apply those to your training product.
Let’s assume we’ve determined there’s more than adequate demand for your training product. Then the next stage is product development. In some cases, if more validation is required, we develop a ‘minimum viable product .’ This is where we would quickly create and launch a teaser or prototype first module. This is to test your assumptions about critical features or aspects of the course with your audience. And this prototype is also intended to provide instant satisfaction to your audience and make them hungry for future modules. It helps warm up your audience too.
Product – Market Fit
We confirm that the product we’ve designed fits your target audience. And check any assumptions we’ve made using focus groups, surveys, or interviews with people in your target audience. As well we get feedback on the prototype module. Questions range from asking about general impressions, benefits of the training, to the motivations for taking the training. As well, if appropriate, we determine reactions to different pricing levels. Also, we would get testimonials from those taking the prototype module to use in future marketing efforts.
Marketing + Driving Demand To Your Course
We develop a marketing plan for your training as part of our instructional design services. It includes specific marketing campaigns using resources you currently have available. For example, email or other distribution lists and other marketing channels that you can use. For instance, social media marketing campaigns.
As well as more traditional marketing efforts, at Spark + Co., we focus on your ability to drive online traffic directly to your training. The following activities complement our instructional design services.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Audit – We conduct an audit of your website to measure how well optimized it is to attract traffic from search engine queries. And we identify recommendations to enhance website performance. This improves your ability to rank highly in search engine results. Our Tech. team of SEO specialists and web developers can perform maintenance on your website to fix any issues and have you search engine ready.
- Keyword Research – We conduct keyword research to define keywords and phrases for your organization. These have high monthly search volume, are relevant to your organization, and have low enough difficulty to rank highly for.
- Paid Ads or Content Marketing? We determine the best fit for your organization to attract regular traffic to your online course. Are paid ads the best route or a longer-term content marketing approach? Or a little of both?
- Content Marketing Strategy – We can build a content marketing strategy if you decide to embark on this approach. And we’ll train you in how to write optimized content that will rank with search engines. The result is attracting people to your course website and increasing the number of people taking your course.
Collaborative Trusted Partners, Not Vendors
At Spark + Co., we’re not interested in developing training products for the sake of making training products. Instead, we want to help you drive your mission forward using our instructional design services and product knowledge.
For example, we don’t produce a generic course for you. Instead, we partner with your in-house team as a trusted advisor. So you can make strategic decisions in the best interests of your organization. The outcome is a training product that solves a defined challenge. And which helps support your organization’s goals.
Not only that, but we don’t bring in a large team for the duration of your project. Instead, we select precise expertise only when needed from our team of experts. You receive the expertise you need, but only for the time required. And if we don’t think a training product will provide the best solution to your problem, we’ll let you know. For Spark + Co., being your trusted advisor + partner is more important than producing a course for short-term gain.
If you’re in need of instructional design services and you think we’d be a good fit, reach out. We’d love to hear from you and find out how we can help.