The concept of credibility and its impact on consumer confidence has long been an important issue for marketing professionals. Research on this area of marketing suggests that when consumers believe that the marketing material has, as its primary goal, to sell them something, they are less likely to purchase than if they perceive that the attributes of the product or brand are relevant to them and are credible.
In writing course descriptions there are several areas where the issues of relevance and credibility are expressed. In the title of the course, relevance may be expressly stated (SAT Test Preparation) or it may be inferred. In the body of the course description, there should be a focus on the benefits of the course. This addresses the relevance issue directly and relates to the credibility issue. And, finally, at the end of the course description, a short bio of the instructor addresses the credibility issue directly and relates to relevance.
The instructor bio information is not included just so readers can get to know their teachers, but as key marketing copy. This is true whether you are promoting a $79 enrichment or leisure class, a $499 conference or a $1299 long-term workforce training program. Some instructors have an outstanding reputation and that alone can motivate registration. The bio also confirms the competence of the instructor to carry out the stated objectives of the course which establishes credibility. If the instructor is not necessarily well known, knowing what his or her credentials are add an important element of credibility to the course and may make the difference in whether someone signs up or not.
When trying to decide what to include in the instructor bio, keep in mind that people want to know that the instructor knows what he or she is talking about. As such the information provided should cover the instructor’s background in the area (i.e. training or occupational), why the instructor is interested in teaching and what all the instructor teaches or has taught. If you have the space including something personal about the instructor can help the reader connect with him or her.Increasingly, consumers are seeking information about the validity and quality of products and this includes education. The reputation, expertise and experience of instructors can make a big difference in selecting one program over another. It can be particularly important for career training options, where the reputation and expertise of instructors can influence a person’s decision to select one organization’s programs over another’s. Strong instructor credentials are a reassurance factor for prospective participants and like other valuable marketing copy, should not be eliminated.