Supermodels may have ruled the world in the 1990s, but today it’s the creatives. Everyone wants in on disruptive, viral, [insert your own buzz word here] intersecting worlds of design and technology. Especially the savvy students who are looking for challenging, fun, and economically rewarding professions.

Design and coding academies are rising to meet these opportunities, but there’s a lot of noise swirling around. If you want your academy’s message to shout out and reach your prospective students, you need to be using inbound and content marketing.

Fortunately, your creative natures and enterprises are great fits to achieve great results with content marketing and inbound.

You’re Already Flush with Content

For a lot of marketing teams, creating quality content on a consistent basis is a big challenge. Not so for design and coding academies. Your faculty and students already create amazing content daily. Student projects, faculty lectures, and documented curricula are all content sources ready to be tapped.

You can video individual lectures from different courses and post clips online. You’re naturals for developing some of the best visual content out there. Take some screenshots of the design or coding tools you teach students to use and add some eye-popping captions as a mini-tutorial. Share your faculty’s expertise by publishing their work paired with a short back story or interview with that teacher.

Getting creative is your jam. Review the wealth of content your community is already creating through the lens of your content strategy to attract new students. You’ll see your opportunities.

Improve Your SEO by Repurposing Your Content

The first step with the inbound methodology is attracting your target audience. This requires an SEO strategy based on relevant keywords and topics. A blog talking about things your personas don’t care about isn’t going to help your academy get found.

After you’ve done some SEO research, freshen up blog posts, newsletter articles, and other content you already have. Let’s say your research tells you that prospective students are curious about mobile UX design best practices. Now you can add new a summary, keywords and tags to a lecture video or presentation you’ve posted on this topic that are more relevant. Instead of captioning it “Introductory Lecture on Mobile Design,” you can change it to “Mobile UX Design: Learning Best Practices for Mobile Apps” (or whatever your research indicates).

Understanding what your SEO research is telling you will also help you select the most useful and on-point content to repurpose. Your academy does have a wealth of content, but that doesn’t mean you want to throw all of it up to see what sticks. You want to make strategic selections of what content to look for, what to create, and how to optimize it for SEO so you make best use of your resources.

Your Content Will Build Your Reputation

The linchpin of finding success with inbound marketing is using your content to build trust with your target personas. Academies and bootcamps don’t have the brand recognition that traditional schools enjoy. The waters are also muddied by the explosion in your direct competition.

The number of coding academies grew by nearly 50% in 2016 and is projected to continue growing rapidly. If you want to carve out a spot on the leader board, then you need to boost your brand recognition and make sure your brand connotes credibility and authority.

Prospective students won’t trust putting their professional training in your hands if they don’t see you as a go-to source on topics related to coding or design. Use your content to build up their confidence that your academy is at the front edge of your field and has the chops to make them employer-magnets after you graduate them.

Girl education

Storyline Learning

It never fails that after building an e-learning course in Storyline, someone asks if they can get a PowerPoint version of the course. There are many reasons for this request, such as using the content for face-to-face training, wanting a slide deck for subject matter experts, or creating a PDF handout out of the slides.

Today, we’ll look at a simple way to convert what you created in Storyline and make it a PowerPoint file.

PowerPoint and Storyline are Different Applications

Before we get started, let’s review a few key points when working with PowerPoint and Storyline.

  • PowerPoint and Storyline may look similar, but they are two different applications made by two different companies so they’re not interchangeable files.
  • PowerPoint is designed mostly for linear presentations. Storyline is designed for interactive e-learning.
  • PowerPoint has some interactive features and things one can do to hack a certain level of interactivity, but it doesn’t have a lot of sophistication with things such as mouseovers, drag/drops, variables, etc. Thus going from Storyline to PowerPoint is a bit challenging if the original Storyline content is interactive.
  • Storyline has an import PowerPoint feature to convert the PowerPoint slides to Storyline slides. PowerPoint doesn’t have an import Storyline feature.

The above seems obvious, but I bring this up because many people start with PowerPoint content, import it into Storyline, and then later want to export the Storyline content back into PowerPoint as if they are interchangeable applications and file types. They aren’t.

While there is no feature in PowerPoint to import Storyline, there are some simple things you can do to get your Storyline content into a PowerPoint file.

Tip #1: Start All Course Development in PowerPoint

My first tip assumes you know that you’ll need a PowerPoint version of the course.

If you know you need your content to be in both PowerPoint and Storyline, then plan your projects accordingly. PowerPoint doesn’t support all of the interactive features of Storyline, but in terms of what’s visible on the screen, it’s mostly the same: text, shapes, pictures, etc. With some planning, you can have your course content in both formats.

Here’s what I’d do:

  • Build all your content in PowerPoint first (with forethought as to what you want to be interactive and specific to Storyline).
  • Get final sign-off on the PowerPoint content since the content should be the same. The Storyline specific content is most likely more interactive.
  • Import the approved content into Storyline.
  • Make your interactive edits.
  • Publish your Storyline course.

Using this approach, you end up with a PowerPoint file and interactive Storyline file. If you need to make edits, it should be for interactive features only since you got sign-off on the content while it was in PowerPoint.

Of course, this approach does requires that you plan it all up front, which doesn’t always happen (or the client makes last minute changes). I’d tell the client upfront that this is the production process and that edits after sign-off are outside the scope of the project.

Girl education

My First Blog

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