August 15th, 2017 Instructional Design

Micro-content is on the rise yet many online course offerings haven’t implemented it yet. Easily differentiate your offering by getting in early on the trend.

If you are selling an online course then you have probably realized that the competition out there is fierce.

The barriers to entry in this industry are virtually non-existent. Anyone can set-up a website, create course content, and slap a price on it. Sure, not everyone is going to sell their course. That requires a dedicated marketing approach and from experience I can say that this is often underestimated.

But what about those who have a course similar to yours are good at marketing or at least have some form of visibility? How do you differentiate your offering from theirs?

First, the meat of the offering is always the content. That is, what people are buying. What will your course allow them to do (i.e. what benefits will they receive). You need to figure out your unique selling proposition so that it helps to differentiate your offering.

There is however an additional way to differentiate your course, and that is by using micro-content principles.

Micro-Content is Low Hanging Fruit… For Now

If you haven’t heard of micro-content then you should first have a look at these articles on the subject to familiarize yourself with the concept.

From what I can see this is the direction we are heading for online courses.

Yes: micro-content will eventually become mainstream, but that will take time. This is not all that different than gamification. The learning programs that got in on gamifcation early stood out and benefited.

You can do the same with the micro-content trend. Get in on it early and reap the benefits just like the programs that got in early on the gamification trend did. There are many potential benefits in doing this, but mainly:

  • Your courses will be seen as more contemporary
  • Your courses will be seen as more convenient
  • Learners will better remember the course content
  • The structure of the courses suggests greater value for investment

Your competitive advantage will not last forever, but that can be said for anything really.

Eventually the crowd catches up and you have to innovate again. If you get in on micro-content early, then at least you aren’t the one who has to play “catch-up”. 🙂

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About Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Justin's Homepage | Twitter


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Very interesting Justin,

Patrick Kellog and I were have a discussion about this very topic just the other day. Looking forward to 2019.

Avatar Ryk

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