Udemy has over 24 million students and over 100,000 courses, James Dunbar who is the Senior Manager of Community Programs & Strategy at Udemy shared with us how they look at community and support their huge base of online instructors.
The instructors on Udemy are key to the company’s success, without incredible courses in areas where students want to learn students won’t use Udemy. That’s why they have focused a lot of their community efforts to support the instructors, that’s where James focuses his efforts.
What we’ve seen over all the episodes of The C2C Podcast is the most successful (and most funded) community programs do a great job of tying back to business goals. James shared a way of accomplishing this that we hadn’t heard of before which seemed like it could really be powerful. Most will find a way to tie back metrics like revenue, churn, customer support requests in whatever software is used to track those metrics. Of course, there are many variables that go into making those metrics improve so the needs of the sales, support and other departments aren’t always the same. James will get coffee with key people in those departments and ask them “What are some problems you are running into right now?” and see if the community can help.
He figured out after talking with the person who is running social that she needed help creating more content, James knew the community could help. He turned to the community to help create user-generated content and it was a huge success. This method is pretty manual but the brilliant part about it is it allows you to change your focus if a larger area of opportunity arises for the community to impact the company.
Another tactic that we talked about that we don’t normally cover is appointment content. This is anything that is scheduled like a live webinar or Q&A that is a great way to constantly activate the community. If it was just a video or helpful piece of content there is no urgency, the fact that it’s scheduled makes the community activate. James is someone who has worked at a 2 person startup and a 500 person company, community helps at every stage.