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Developing a Certification Program: Growing Reach and Loyalty (Guest Post)

October 20, 2016

Developing a Certification Program: Growing Reach and Loyalty (Guest Post)

October 20, 2016
Marketing & PR

Developing a Certification Program: Growing Reach and Loyalty (Guest Post)

October 20, 2016
ATP Europe conference taking place at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow, London on 11 – 13 October 2022

Christine Yoshida Head ShotAt Comms Multilingual, we are very interested in the latest developments within the assessment and certification industries. To that end, we are asking industry experts to provide guest contributions to our blog, which we hope will be of interest to our community.

This post is the fourth in a series from Christine Yoshida, President & Principal Consultant of Enlitefy, Inc.

With over 20 years’ experience with some of the largest program sponsors in IT, Christine has in-depth expertise in creating, launching, and managing successful certification programs that benefit millions of IT workers around the world for Apple, Intel, Cisco, Microsoft, LinkedIn, and Blue Jeans Network. Christine also offers training and certification consulting services through Enlitefy, Inc.

Once you’ve launched your program, continuing the drum beat to raise awareness and communicate value is critical to expanding your community of trained, certified customers. In today’s post I’ll share tips on how to grow reach and loyalty for your program using social media and evangelists.

In this phase of the cycle you will be reaping the rewards of the social media and customer relationship seeds planted in the prior phases of the program cycle. Engage your customer evangelists to participate with you in helping to spread the word through blogging and making use of the LinkedIn assets you’ve already established.

Enlitefy Process

Enlitefy Process

Ongoing Blogging

Continue to use your organization’s blog page to reinforce messaging on the value and benefits of your program. You can incorporate customer success stories and quotes from employers endorsing the value of the program in selecting new hires with the right skills. Your target audience includes not only potential program participants but also people managers and recruiters who are seeking professionals who have completed your program. Always include a clear CTA that is relevant for each of these audiences, such as webinars specific to audience needs or links to your program home page to learn more.

LinkedIn Assets

Leverage your organization’s blog to announce your program, highlighting the benefits and value. Include a clear call to action (CTA) for your target audience with actionable next steps such as registering for a webinar or signing up for an exam.  Ask close customers to blog about your program either as a guest blogger on your organization’s blog, or on their own blog.

LinkedIn

Continue to use LinkedIn’s long-form posts and your Showcase page to announce program updates and milestones, asking your connections to share the posts. Create an email signature for your group that includes a link to your Showcase page and an invitation to “follow” your organization on LinkedIn.

Create a weekly or bi-weekly schedule for your private LinkedIn certification group and enlist your subject matter experts (SMEs) by asking them to commit to contributing an item on the schedule. Items can include sharing an interesting link, posing an intriguing question, or asking for feedback and suggestions. Your goal is to build and maintain loyalty to your program through nurturing group participation in discussions, sharing, and learning from each other. Keep the content lively and valuable for those who have gained certifications status, and designate at least one team member or SME as a group Moderator. Work with your SME recruits to plan topics that will be highly relevant to the industry and professional focus of your certified audience, and make sure the level of discussion is appropriately engaging and matched to the skill level of group members.

Next Blog Post

Next month is the last post in this series. I’ll discuss techniques for the final phase in the cycle: showing the impact and value of your program.

Other posts in this series

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Developing a Certification Program (Part 1): Defining Your Strategy

In this post we look at the first in a series of steps to be addressed when developing a certification program: strategy.
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Developing a Certification Program (Part 2): Build Content

In the second phase, and in this post Christine focuses in on the next phase of the process: building learning content.
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Developing a Certification Program (Part 3): Launching Your Program

To launch the certification program, let’s look at ways you can use social media, with your customer as your biggest champion.
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