How Can Internet Marketing Benefit OER Commons?

OER Commons, a project of the Institute of the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME), is a one-stop website for teachers, students, self-learners, and parents searching for educational content that is free and open to use and reuse.

While many people are familiar with the concept of open source for software, far fewer people are aware of open source for content – material that can be used or reused, often with a Creative Commons or GNU license. People can find textbooks, lesson plans, course materials from major universities, audio lectures, and more, all free to use, from K-12 through higher education. One challenge we face is trying to reach people who could benefit from our site, especially in an economy where resources are limited, yet many don’t even know that what we provide exists.

ISKME is an independent 501c3 non-profit organization which does not have a dedicated person to provide internet marketing. As site manager for OER Commons, I am able to provide some help regarding the online visibility of the site, but am aware of the limits of my time and knowledge in this area. I feel services from ProspectMX could be used to expand the number of people we serve via more visibility in the search engines, social media strategies to increase awareness of the OER movement, and more effective use of our small Google AdWords budget.

We need to make sure these users find our site useful to them, and that they have motivation to interact with and return to the site. We would like to expand some of the features of the site, and could use advice about the best implementation and design of these features. A review of our website copy, keyword use, call to actions, and newsletter strategy could help with this user retention.

An examination of our analytics logs could help show how people found us, what they are doing on the site, and where the exited the site. We have had Google Analytics installed on the site since its launch in early 2007, and would benefit from help in understanding the data we already have, and in configuring the analytics code to be the most useful to us in the future as we make changes to the site. For example, we would like to track clicks to outbound links, and to run a/b or multivariate testing with Google Website Optimizer.

Ultimately, ISKME would benefit from a comprehensive internet marketing strategy by being able to expand our outreach to our target audience, and we would be able to help maintain these gains with the resources we have in-house.

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