If you’re looking for tips to grow and promote your educational organization online and offline, Nelson Achelengwa, founder at BESTech, has solutions to share.
BESTech is an IT consultancy company that serves dedicated and ambitious youth in Cameroon and the United States. The company creates educational content on topics ranging from business and education to strategy and technology.
Nelson’s mission is to help his students apply theory to practical solutions that will ultimately solve large-scale institutional problems. His curriculums help young people transition from school into the job market, and achieve their professional goals.
To attract talented individuals, Nelson and his team employ a number of online and offline marketing strategies. We sat down to talk to him about his stellar promotional plan and his big ideas for his company.
Hi Nelson! Can you start by telling us what inspired you to start BESTech?
I love teaching, and that’s why I started my company in 2019. I like the idea of using my years of experience in the professional world to help young people who may be feeling confused or uncertain about their future.
I also think education is the key to a bright future. I’m from Cameroon, and I want to see my country prosper. So I’ve created a platform to help Cameroon’s youth grow professionally.
What services do you provide?
We provide a number of services, including online courses delivered through our blog and YouTube channel. For instance, we’ve taught courses on Excel, Photoshop, and video editing.
What age group are you targeting and where is your audience based?
We’re targeting 13 to 40 year olds in the U.S. and Cameroon.
1. Use WhatsApp to reach your target audience directly
Let’s talk marketing! What’s your go-to marketing strategy to promote BESTech?
My preferred method of marketing is through WhatsApp. We create different WhatsApp groups for different courses. People can join to stay updated about schedules, talk about the content, or share resources. We’ve managed to create several dedicated online communities.
People often invite their friends and family to the groups to share our resources. Many of these people then sign up for courses as well.
Why do you think WhatsApp is a good way to promote?
WhatsApp is a great promotional tool because of how accessible it is. Think about it. You’re constantly in direct contact with your target audience. You get to know them and learn about their preferences. These days everyone has a smartphone. WhatsApp marketing is a way to leverage that to reach the maximum number of people.
How do people find out about your WhatsApp groups?
We market the WhatsApp groups through online ads. For instance, we use social media and our website. The goal is to let our target audience know about the value of these groups. We promote it as an online community where you’ll learn something new everyday.
2. Post targeted and useful content on Facebook
Speaking of social media, what does your marketing strategy there look like?
We primarily use Facebook to promote. That’s where most of our audience is located. Given that we promote a very large demographic, we feel that Facebook offers the best chance for us to connect with the people we want to reach.
We post infographics; links to our blog posts, videos, and WhatsApp groups; and success stories about our students.
Does this strategy help you get a lot of engagement on Facebook?
Yes, we do get a ton of engagement on Facebook. People like and comment all the time, especially potential students who want to know more about our courses. I always make sure to reply to comments because that then encourages more people to engage with the page. If people feel like you’re not listening to them, they’ll stop speaking to you.
What kind of posts get you the most engagement?
Usually, posts that offer a short nugget of advice gain the most traction. These posts inspire people and our audience comments to let us know. It’s all about figuring out what your audience wants most and then doing that repeatedly. Once we figured out that our audience was connecting with these types of posts, we increased their frequency.
These posts also spark intellectual discussions in the comments between the students, which is always heartwarming to see.
Do you feel like you get more engagement on Facebook at particular times during the day?
Yes, we get the most engagement when we post at 2 pm. and 7 pm. 2 pm. is lunchtime and a lot of people are idly scrolling through their Facebook feed while eating. And 7 pm is usually when people are home and done for the day.
I have to say though, finding the best time to post requires a lot of experimentation. It all depends on who you’re marketing to. For instance, if your demographic is mainly people in their 20s, you might be better off posting late at night when these people are back home from dinners and parties.
3. Be consistent with your education marketing strategy
You mentioned that you put up your courses on YouTube. Can you tell us more about that?
All of our courses are uploaded to YouTube for people’s convenience. We post twice or three times a week. Once a new video goes up, we post a message in the relevant WhatsApp group to let our students know. We also share the video to Facebook.
This is a routine we follow after uploading every video. If you’re not consistent, people will not trust you and think you’re unreliable. So it’s very important to maintain consistency when promoting your content.
4. Build your organization through exclusive merchandise
You sell merchandise on your Facebook page. What’s the rationale behind doing that?
Selling merchandise allows us to brand ourselves. Also, when people wear our clothing, we get free publicity. People find out about us and ask questions. We always see a spike in our subscriptions when we sell a lot of t-shirts.
What does your merch selling process look like?
We market the merch on Facebook. People find what they like, inbox us with their shipping details, and we send their merchandise over in a few days. We take online payment so people place their orders and transfer the money online. Unfortunately, we can only sell merch in the U.S. because figuring out the online payment system in Cameroon is a bit tricky.
5. Connect with your audience through informative blog posts
Let’s talk about your blog. How do your blog posts help you promote BESTech?
Blog posts are an incredible way to deliver valuable information that students can keep handy without taking notes. Sometimes we re-purpose video content and turn it into a blog post. This helps students retain the information they learn in the video.
Our blog posts bring in more students because they know they’ll have access to a holistic collection of resources if they take our courses. No more scrambling to remember stuff and take notes. Finally, our blog posts give potential students insight into the kind of content we teach. They can go through the blog posts and see for themselves if getting our help has value.
How do you promote these blog posts?
We share all our blog posts on Facebook immediately after posting them on our website. I usually do this around 7 pm, when people are home from work and looking for something to read while eating dinner.
I always accompany my Facebook posts with a short sentence or excerpt from the blog post. This entices the reader to click on the blog post and read more.
Do you write these blog posts yourself or do you have a team of writers?
I mostly write them myself, but I have a dedicated team of experienced writers who contribute to the blog as well. I make sure all the content is in good shape by reviewing everything before posting it.
6. Send out strategic emails
What other kinds of marketing do you do to attract students?
Email marketing is a big one. Sending your promotions directly to people’s inboxes is a gamechanger. You can send a lot of valuable information, including notifications when a new video or blog post is out. This ensures that your clients never miss a thing.
How do you build your email list?
We ask people to subscribe to our blog. We do this through Facebook and through our website. All students have to provide their email addresses so we have those on hand. We also usually have people reaching out to us for queries about our work via email. We store those emails and add them to our list.
7. Host regular networking events
It seems like you’ve created quite a network of students and intellectuals looking to grow professionally. Do you host any networking events or meet ups?
We do host events sometimes. For instance, we organized a concert last year. These events help to create a sense of community. When people are able to network in person, they share resources and career opportunities that they come across. This way, we all help each other grow.
Any good business needs at least a few events a year to keep morale high. People are always more dedicated and inspired when they feel like they’re working collectively towards a common goal.
How has PosterMyWall helped you elevate your company and promote it effectively?
PosterMyWall has been integral to our journey as a company. I use it for basically everything. For instance, I create all my Facebook content through PosterMyWall — be it infographics, nuggets of advice, announcements for new courses, or promotions for videos and blog posts.
I love PosterMyWall because of how versatile it is. I try to switch up my marketing content so it doesn’t look too boring or predictable. The site lets me try new things and experiment endlessly until I find something that sticks.
8. Add essential elements to all your promotions
What does your design process look like when creating a graphic?
Well, there are certain elements that must go on any promotion. For instance, my company logo is always front and center. Also, colors are important. I always make sure to use at least two contrasting colors. The text is always darker than the background so that it is easy to read. Finally, I play around with the poster maker to add anything else that the design might need — like stickers, stock images, or background music.
9. Avoid false advertising
What marketing advice would you give to other people looking to educate and inspire through their businesses?
Always make sure your promotions back up your content. Don’t make empty promises about the work that you do. This is why I like to incorporate bits of my content into my promotions – people can see exactly what we’re about and the things we teach.
Your content should add value to people’s lives. This is what you need to communicate through your marketing.
That’s wonderful advice. Thank you Nelson! We wish you the best of luck and we can’t wait to see you grow your organization.
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