Why you should think about branding your online course - Part 2

Your online course is your brand. It’s all about consistency and visual messages. Once you have a clear idea about the type of brand that you would like for your online course, you can start creating the details that will distinguish your presence as an online teacher.

The idea behind branding

The first thing to consider is the purpose behind the course. Most online students learn visually so you need to keep this in mind when creating the brand identity for your course. It is also important to establish clarity and relevance.

The second thing to consider is your target audience and to try to figure out what will best speak to them. Good branding will create a good audience. For this reason, keep your style consistent so as to be recognizable and pleasing to the eye.

Your online brand should incorporate several different components, such as the tone of the message, overall look and feel, and logo and color scheme. Familiarity is comforting so it is critical to be consistent. This will signal to your online students that the quality of your courses will also remain the same.

Who you are talking to

Identifying a gap in the market is a key part of every marketing strategy. Since you know what the audience needs, give them exactly that. Let your students feel important. Therefore, create relevant content. In addition, ensure that it is delivered in style. Another thing to consider is language. Speak to your specific audience in a corresponding language and manner. Additionally, use an understandable language for your students.

Most importantly, create a personality for your brand that immediately connects with your audience. To do so you will need to consider the students’ ages, nationalities, and even personalities. It may also help to adopt a style that is already well known and well accepted.

How to use emotions

First, create an e-learning experience that stirs emotions in your learners. Evoking emotions is the key to making a bond with your audience. Moreover, emotions make your brand memorable. As a result, your students will also more easily remember your content. Here are some guidelines to incorporate into your course:

  • Be simple. Create clear messages and make sure they are understood. Furthermore, select images that supplement your text.
  • Be personable. Be the best spokesperson for your brand. Your teaching style should correspond to your brand, as well as to your audience.
  • Be adaptable. There is the chance that not every online course will go smoothly. Therefore, accept this fact and never settle. Test different approaches and don’t be afraid to be social and ask for feedback.

Where to start

Now that you have already chosen your brand archetype, colors, and fonts, it is time to think about the content as a whole. In other words, let’s find how to implement your knowledge from Part 1.

Set up your templates

Once you have a brand style, use it. Create templates relevant to your subject and audience. Most importantly, don’t mix different styles. This will only confuse your e-learners, making it more difficult for them to focus on the content. Another thing is to prepare a different template for every course, which can be a great time saver once they are completed. Finally, think about every detail, including exams, homework, and certificate templates.

Revise the white space

First of all, give yourself a break before editing. As soon as you disconnect your brain from the created visuals, you will have a chance to look at them differently. Because of all of the information that you are providing, you may have included too many details. Therefore, avoid the saturation of elements. Let your audience focus on one major piece of info at a time. In other words, always be sure that you have enough white space and, if you are in doubt, increase it.

Focus on your screen

First, because your teaching is conducted online, it is important to pay attention to what your students will be seeing. Thus, find the appropriate place for your credentials (for example, logo, chapters, topics, titles, etc.) and think about relevant menus. Second, make sure you can easily turn off what you don’t need on your screen. Finally, adhere to the goal of your course and make sure that your audience also understands it.

Consider visual breaks

Maybe you already know that images can either detract from or support a learning sequence. Thus, it is important to think about the stylistic design of your images. Therefore, all of the visuals should be consistent with the rest of the content and should be placed in an appropriate and logical manner.

Change styles once in a while

Don’t be static; after all, e-learning certainly is not. Let’s be clear, changing your style does not necessarily mean changing your brand personality. On the contrary, it serves to add spice to your identity. Likewise, you can test different approaches – combine new fonts, change the color scheme, or create new image styles for a certain course (things like comics, infographics, art, etc.) You should be constantly modifying your layouts, but don’t forget to test how well they are accepted.

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Tanya Ilieva has strong experience in journalism, advertising, creative copywriting and digital marketing. She has a PhD in Graphic design from Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication in Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. Some of her creative works in advertising has been rewarded both in Bulgaria and abroad. Her fields of interest include: philosophy of language, semiotics, visual metaphors, linguistic.
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