Lynda.com is a leader in online training. In April 2015, it was acquired by Linked in. The site has over 250 learning topics and approximately 4000+ video courses with content at different levels from beginner, intermediate and advanced. Broadly speaking the key learning topics are technology, software, education, business, design, digital marketing, web development, photography, video, audio, animation, and computer aided design.
lynda.com, Inc. was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Carpinteria, California with offices in San Francisco, London, Sydney, and Graz and is funded by Accel Partners, Spectrum Equity, and Meritech Capital Partners.
Their mission is to help the individual learn the skills to achieve his full potential. Their business objective is to be the one stop resource for individuals, organizations and academic institutions for their continuous knowledge requirements
Approach/Strategy adopted by Lynda.com
Before we talk about the technical of the strategy, there are some unquantifiable elements that go into the success of any venture. In this case, it was the passion of the Founders Lynda Weinman and her husband Bruce Heavin. Hailing from a broken family, Lynda was a thinker and observer of life from a very early age. She was very fascinated by the concept of school where a person could learn any subject of his/her choice. As she grew up, she realized that she loved teaching. Fortuitous circumstances introduced her to computers and the internet. As many people asked her for guidance on the subject, she decided to write a book on web designing. At that time Lynda.com was her space for trying out new stuff that she could demonstrate to her students. As her popularity grew, she and her husband stated an offline school that taught face to face and through videos. This later grew into what we now know as Lynda.com, an online training platform. It was their passion that kept it afloat through the dot com bubble. The following are the key elements of their success strategy.
Content is King
They focused on sourcing quality content from all parts of the world. The content team analyses the latest trends and potential requirements for the year ahead. Based on that they contact experts on the domain who are not only experts but also have the ability to deliver at a level where the learner is comfortable. The three C’s that they follow are conviction(experts who are good communicators), choreography(well structured with good animation) and compassion (meeting the learner at their level)
Focus on Analytics
They constantly analyse user behaviour on the site so that he/she finds what they are looking for with minimal fuss. Moreover, there are opportunities of serendipitous discovery of new unrelated content .
Keeping up with Technology
From screen shots and voice overs, they have come to a point where they use 3D motion graphics. Their in-house production team makes sure that the latest programs are rendered highly consumable using the latest in tech & video. At any point they have 200-300 courses in production. These courses are now available in multiple devices whether smart phones or tabs and across operating systems as free apps.
The subscription model allows the learner to browse to his heart’s content and discover new areas of learning and thereby ensuring that learning is a life-long affair. It is akin to taking a membership of a library. As a result they do not have to market each course separately. Rather a learner becomes a repeat customer very easily as he/she has access to the full inventory. This is in line with what the current psychology of discovery led behaviour rather than by intention. This model promotes engagement as a natural progression.
Afflilate & Referral Marketing
They run a transparent affiliate marketing plan where every affiliate gets 40% for a monthly and 10% for an annual membership.
Reputation & Trust
They allow a fair amount of free content so that the potential learner can sample the content before he commits. Using ratings & reviews futher leverage transperancy.
Good SEO practices
The transcripts of all their lectures are available on their site thus making their site SEO friendly
Listening to their customers
There are many instances where they have benefitted from this . To cite one, their offerings for academics was developed entirely out of the request of one institution who worked closely with them.
- More than 100,000 users & 4000 plus courses are active on the site
- They have got acquired by Linked in for 1.5B in April 2015. This ties in well with Linked in’s philosophy of connecting people to opportunity.
- Continuous monitoring of the environment in order to embrace the changing trends in technology.
- Using creative skills along with tech to make their content more consumable
- Keeping quality as their core focus rather than user acquisition. The user acquisition is a natural progression.
Photo credit: Lynda.com