Learn a Language Online: How to Reach Users

September 20, 2007 - Get free updates of new posts here

We’re creating short and useful language videos for travelers, and are looking for interesting ways to get the word out and start a word of mouth campaign. Are you up for a brainstorm?

Languages Word Cloud

Product:
10Things.tv is a website that makes it easy to learn other languages using short video clips. You can watch hot girls and guys tell you “Ten Things to Say at a Market in Spain” or “Ten Things in Spanish when on the Vegas Strip” (who doesn’t like speaking Spanish in Vegas?! ;)).

Problem:
We’re looking to find a lot of people who are interested in learning foreign languages online so we can usability test the site. The site only has Spanish videos now but will ultimately feature a large number of languages. We want to find people who aren’t necessarily looking to become fluent but would love to have some phrases to say while traveling.

Questions for you:

1) How do we quickly and cost-effectively (the site is totally free) reach a large number of people who are learning foreign languages?

2) What else can we do to make 10Things.tv more fun and useful?

Looking forward to your comments and suggestions. Big shout-out to Noah for allowing me to do this.

This post was written by Jon Bischke of Education Revolution.

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12 responses to “Learn a Language Online: How to Reach Users

  1. Nick Bakewell Reply

    Well I’ll go ahead and state the obvious ones: optimized campaigns on Adwords, Yahoo, and adCenter. You should be able to get your bids down to $0.05 with that type of content site I believe.

    Also, advertise/ sig link on forums geared to speakers new to a language or traveler’s forums (there are many out there).

    Contact site/forum owners of traveler’s sites and ask them to mention your site, as this could be useful to their audience.

  2. Sérgio Rebelo Reply

    The best place to sponsor your service along with travelers forums and agencies as Nick said is the embassys and cultural institutes of the foreign countries decided to promote the culture and the language.

    Many times, the people more interested in a culture (that’s your main target) search for elements of that country including music, cuisine and art.

  3. Frank Reply

    When I saw the topic was “at a market”, I expected the video to take place in a market, or at least have a cheesy fake background and people acting it out all skit-like. I think that’d be more fun and immersive than watching someone just talk at me. Other than that, it’s a cool, friendly concept and if I want to pick up some Spanish phrases, I will visit that site.

  4. Chris Reply

    I’d think about going duel purpose and attracting people incidentally. For instance, a video of important phrases to know when Godzilla attacks is bound to get Dugg.

    Chris

  5. Obi Reply

    I love the idea of non-traditional language videos:

    “For instance, a video of important phrases to know when Godzilla attacks is bound to get Dugg.”

    If the videos are to be used for marketing purposes as well as education, then the entertainment value needs to be upped. Or at least non-traditional answers to the standard questions:

    10 Things to Say at a Market. Can I feel your melons? : ¿Puedo sentir sus melones?

    See how much fun that was? 🙂

  6. Chris Reply

    Partner with myhappyplanet.com. They’re a social network trying to connect people who want to learn languages and growing pretty well. I’m sure they’d love to incorporate your videos in their site.

  7. Michael Reply

    Looks like a great concept. A similar site helped me pass American Sign Language this summer and finally graduate, so I’m sure there’s a huge market.

    Given the type of lessons your giving, I think Chris has a great idea, but instead of going for diggers I’d shoot for a larger college audience with a simple facebok app, that lets you send friends short, funny phrase videos and urges them to click through to translate what the attractive, Godzilla-attacked actor is saying.

  8. Jon Bischke Reply

    Great feedback so far. We really appreciate it!

    Nick – I used to do a lot of signature marketing back in the day so I’m pretty familiar with that. Contacting site owners is a good idea as well. We might do some limited PPC testing but we’re trying to keep marketing spend here pretty low.

    Sergio – Good idea. Any recommendations on how to efficiently contact these people?

    Luke – I like this one too. Again, any recommendations for reaching college kids quickly?

    Frank – Thanks for that feedback. So far they have been pretty low budget but we may pour a little more money into production in the future.

    Chris – Genius. I love it!

    Obi – Too funny…

    Michael – Great idea. Know anyone who could develop an app like that for us? 🙂

    Chris and Daniel – Thanks for suggesting those sites. They sound like great places to market 10Things.

    What else can we do?

  9. Jennifer Reply

    Partner with language-learning podcasts (surprised this wasn’t mentioned already).

    Write Amazon how-to guides that list the most useful phrasebooks / CDs available and also your site.

    Partner with STA Travel (student travel, might want money).

  10. Rod Reply

    Genius!! Great ideas indeed! This is the reason why this blog is in my feed list; not only the content is good, but the commentaries are *as good*.
    BTW, are you keeping the layout like a blog? Cos I think it’s going to be a little hard to navigate the site once you have a lot of content.

    Good luck!

    Rod