Marketing Your Mentoring ProgramApril 21, 2017
Launching a mentoring program involves a large investment from your organization. Your time, effort, and money need to see significant return. However, you will not prove the worth of the investment without marketing your mentoring program from the very beginning.
But why is it so important?
Like our Marketing Coordinator, Katie Mouton, said in an Insala webinar, “just because you have mentoring program doesn’t mean that people are aware of it, know anything about it, or want to be part of it.”
In that same webinar, we took a poll and found that only 13% of participants had a marketing plan for their mentoring program. If you fall into that 13%, great job. If not, don’t worry. We have some steps to help you with marketing your mentoring program.
Step 1. Ask yourself, “Do I have a strategic marketing plan?”
This is not something you can do the night before your program launches and experience success. This is also not something you can skip altogether until after you launch. You need to actively work on your marketing strategy before anything else happens to give yourself the highest rate of success.
Your strategy should…
- Focus on your program’s goals
- Consider your timeline and available resources
- Be documented
A documented strategy will make sure your marketing plans are effective and steer you towards the goals you have for your program. Further, marketers who document strategy are 313% more likely to succeed, according to CoSchedule.
Step 2. Choose your target audience
You need a target audience so you know who you’re talking to. One of the best ways to determine your audience is to examine your program goals and consider who would benefit from participating.
Some target audience examples include:
- New hires
Step 2. Define your message
This is what you will be sending out to potential participants. You want to make your marketing message to be simple, short, and easy to read.
When composing your message, you need to think about your audience and what they’ll respond to. You also want to consider who is sending the message, and keep in mind that your recipients are more likely to pay attention to things sent out by authoritative figures.
Along the same lines, you should be mindful of recipients when crafting your message. You need to be clear and get them to open it. Think about how many messages you are exposed to everyday. You need something unique and clear to capture their attention.
Step 3. Time your message
Once your marketing message is crafted, you’ll need to think about the best time to distribute it. You want to have a large open rate, and you want people to skim through your message as well.
In addition to picking the best time to get attention, you want to avoid times where your message will be ignored. Some examples may be emails on weekends or discussing the program during meetings where attendees will be distracted.
Finally, make sure you consider the timeline to launching your mentoring program. You shouldn’t wait until the last minute to start sending out marketing messages.
Step 4. Distribute your message
Some of the most common ways to distribute internal messages are email and company newsletters. These are easy and simple ways to ensure everyone receives it. But you are not confined to these channels.
Consider spreading the message through word of mouth or get managers to refer their employees as mentees. You could even hold small events like lunch and learn sessions or use preexisting events like office parties to get the word out.
After you send out your marketing message, look for feedback to see if anything can be improved. You’ll need to know the best time to communicate with participants for after your launch.
Also, remember that this is not the only time you will be sending out marketing messages. You have to continuously market up to and past launch date to recruit the proper participants.
Step 5. Continue even after launch
You’ve launched your program, but marketing your mentoring program doesn’t end here. In fact, it should continue throughout the duration of the entire program.
At this point, you should have a number of participants. This number should continue growing, as your program expands and envelops more of your company. To accomplish this, continue marketing as you were before launch.
The difference between pre- and post-launch is now you have active participants to think about as well. Your current mentors and mentees should not be ignored once they’re in the program. Continue email correspondence regularly to check in on the participants and keep your program administrators on top of any issues that may arise.
Step 6. Content Marketing to Current Participants
Like we mentioned, you’ll need to pay attention to your current mentoring program participants. The way to market to current participants is with content.
Create a content strategy for mentors and mentees that focuses on what topics you’ll talk about, what kind of content you’ll create, and when/how you’ll share it. Great ideas for content marketing include articles on topics such as “tips for being a good mentee” or “maintaining a successful mentoring relationship.”
Now that you’re an expert on marketing your mentoring program, don’t forget to periodically reevaluate your strategy to make sure it’s working. If you’d like to learn more, download our eBook or our webinars (part 1, part 2) on the marketing for your mentoring program.
For more information about how our mentoring software can help you market your mentoring programs, request a demo today.