The building blocks to a successful e-learning campaign

Last week we spoke about the demand generation and how to generate a true demand for your learning.

The first stage of this strategy highlighted the importance of building awareness which is a critical aspect when implementing a demand generation approach to your L&D strategy.

So, to get you started with step one of this endeavour we have put together a practical guide for you to execute a successful e-learning campaign, which will help you generate awareness of your training and ultimately demand the attention of your learners.

Getting started

So, you’ve just spent weeks developing the perfect e-learning module and it’s finally finished and ready to launch. But what happens next? It’s so easy to spend all your attention and energy on the creation of content and in the process let your launch plans fall through the cracks. After all, you’ve got this amazing new e-learning module that you can’t wait to show off, but how can you ensure your learners are going to be aware it even exists and take advantage of the e-learning you worked so hard to deliver?

Devising an effective learning campaign isn’t about sending out a few emails and hoping it’s enough for your learners to log on; they expect more. To truly change behaviours you must give your e-learning roll-out the planning time it deserves, get that message out there and then you can watch your users rise.

Training isn’t always going to be on the top on your learner’s to-do list. Even if it does help them do their job better, if it’s not essential then it’s not going to be prioritised. Did you know our global workforce allocates an average of 1% of their day to learning and development? So, you must consider the attributes of the modern workforce; they tend to be time-poor with only limited resource for training, expect more on-demand learning experiences and learn on-the-go using smart phones or tablets. It’s vital to build your learning campaign with these factors in mind and be sure to spread the message loud and clear, making it evident your training offering has gone live, why it’s important for your learners to take it and the ways in which it’s going to benefit them in their job role.

Last week we spoke about the demand generation and how to generate a true demand for your learning. The first stage of this strategy highlighted the importance of building awareness which is a critical aspect when implementing a demand generation approach to your L&D strategy. So, to get you started with step one of this endeavour we have put together a practical guide for you to execute an effective learning campaign, which will help you generate awareness of your training and ultimately demand the attention of your learners.

Getting started

So, you’ve just spent weeks developing the perfect e-learning module and it’s finally finished and ready to launch. But what happens next? It’s so easy to spend all your attention and energy on the creation of content and in the process let your launch plans fall through the cracks. After all, you’ve got this amazing new e-learning module that you can’t wait to show off, but how can you ensure your learners are going to be aware it even exists and take advantage of the e-learning you worked so hard to deliver?

Devising an effective learning campaign isn’t about sending out a few emails and hoping it’s enough for your learners to log on; they expect more. To truly change behaviours you must give your e-learning roll-out the planning time it deserves, get that message out there and then you can watch your users rise.

Training isn’t always going to be on the top on your learner’s to-do list. Even if it does help them do their job better, if it’s not essential then it’s not going to be prioritised. Did you know our global workforce allocates an average of 1% of their day to learning and development?

So, you must consider the attributes of the modern workforce; they tend to be time-poor with only limited resource for training, expect more on-demand learning experiences and learn on-the-go using smart phones or tablets. It’s vital to build your learning campaign with these factors in mind and be sure to spread the message loud and clear, making it evident your training offering has gone live, why it’s important for your learners to take it and the ways in which it’s going to benefit them in their job role.

Identify your learners

The first thing to ask yourself when planning a learning campaign is who are you targeting? Creating personas for your learners will help you determine where to focus your time, how you can meet the needs of your learners and inform your decisions. Creating personas makes it easier for you to tailor your content, messaging and offerings to the specific requirements of your audience. Depending on the size of your organisation you could have multiple personas, but start off small as you can always develop more over time. Check out these easy, practical methods for gathering the information you need to start off defining your audience:

  • Conduct a short survey or poll to find out more about your learners, this will give you a more detailed overview of their behaviour, habits and interests
  • Get feedback from your Heads of Department and line managers
  • Collect and analyse trends from the data in your LMS
  • Interview your learners
  • Set goals and objectives

Like with any new learning project, when planning your learning campaign you need to know what you’re trying to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it. Before launching into your campaign set some goals and objectives and decide which measures will show you that your campaign has been successful. Whether it’s user reach, completion rates or awareness you want to increase, be sure to make these measures more concreate than just a statement, for example ‘increasing sales’. Consider making them SMART objectives too.

You should also ask yourself: how much do you want to increase sales by? When would you like to reach this goal? Is this a realistic objective? What is your biggest challenge preventing you from achieving this number?

Setting goals is easiest if you already have benchmarks from previous training offerings you can compare against. Once you know what you’re trying to achieve with your campaign, you can use past metrics to set those all-important benchmarks for your new campaign. This method tends to be a more accurate way of predicting and setting more realistic goals.

Create a brand

Branding your learning campaign can be an impactful way to shape understanding and encourage buy in from your users. As we all know with any good brand comes trust, and that loyalty can inspire an emotional reaction which makes a massive impression on your workforce, increasing their desire to engage with your offering. Creating an overall branded learning culture won’t develop overnight, but having a single brand identity for each e-learning programme campaign can contribute to shifting attitudes in L&D, as well as reinforce your message and attract your learners.

There’s a few easy approaches that will help you create a brand that stands out and appeal to your learners:

  • Give your campaign a catchy name and slogan
  • Keep your visuals and colours tight and tidy (ask your graphics team for help)
  • Brand your LMS dashboard with a homepage image promoting your offering
  • Get yourself a brand advocate – Pick a few people in different departments or teams to become a champion for your training and help spread the word
  • Communications mix

So you’ve finished all your initial planning. It’s time to get the message to your learners and decide which communication mix will be best for your new e-learning campaign. A multi-channel approach has really become the norm for marketing communications, however this doesn’t mean you should harass your learners on every platform available. Instead use the information and data you collated and analysed when identifying your audience and consider what communications mix would work for them. This ensures your message will reach your users and reach them on a level they are acquainted with.

Another factor to consider is timing. You know your learners the best so use your knowledge (and data of course) to decide when the best time of day to deliver your message is. This will maximise your conversion rate and help to ensure your learners log on. I expect your learners are likely to anticipate contact within their working hours, so be sure to set an appropriate time for any email or content automation to avoid that disturbance during dinners or any early wake up calls. Here’s a range of communication channels you could leverage for your campaign:

TOP TIP: Don’t be afraid to ask your Marketing department for help with this!

Email

It’s pretty likely you already have a list of your learners’ email addresses, so why not send them a dedicated email showcasing your new training offering, outlining how it can benefit them and why it’s vital they complete it. But these days your modern learners expect more than just a standard email to grab their attention, so here’s some top tips to consider when constructing your email:

Responsive – Guarantee your emails are actually read by designing them using a responsive template, that way they are clear and easy to read regardless of the device they are opened on. With more and more multi-device e-learning taking over, this is key feature your learners now expect.
Personalisation – Personalised learning experiences is currently a hot topic in L&D, and you’ll be happy to know it applies to marketing too! There are a few easy hacks you can follow to personalise your emails:
Try signing off your email using your name, an actual human tends to be more relatable than signing off ‘The L&D team’.
Use the recipients’ real name in your email; I know it seems simple and obvious, but it really does have an impact.
Segment your email database and personalise your messaging to create a more targeted email. Here’s an example: you’re trying to roll out compliance training across the whole organisation, so segment your lists by department and outline the different advantages for different teams, sending each list a message that’s specifically relevant to them and their job role.
Rich media – Always include an image or graphic in your email.
Focused call-to-action – Think about where you want to send your learner and give them the option to convert at a couple of different points in your email, to maximise conversions ensure you are only sending them to the same link throughout your email.
Content

Content is key. Generate a range of support materials and resources around your new learning offering and use them to heighten interest for your new programme and demand the attention of your learners. The content must be helpful and relevant to your readers, make sure you produce something your learners will want to read and will help them exceed in their job role. To stay organised try writing a content release plan that outlines what content you want to create and when you plan on delivering it, using your goals and objectives to identify timescales. To inspire you to create some varied resources that will in turn inspire your learners, take a look at our list of recommended content:

  • Blog posts
  • Videos (Selfie video, instructional video and more)
  • Posters, flyers
  • Infographics
  • Guides, reports, PDFs, e-books
  • GIFs/Memes
  • Internal press releases
  • Animation/cartoons
  • Graphs, diagrams, content visualisations
  • SlideShare/presentations
  • Audio/podcasts
  • Social

Reach your learners on a platform they are already familiar with and using all the time both during work hours (dare I say it) and in their spare time. Here’s some ideas of how you can leverage different social media platforms for your learning campaign:

  • Twitter – Of course you should be tweeting about your training offering from your account, but try asking your brand advocates and people who have taken the course to share links to the training too!
  • LinkedIn – Use your company page to build a LinkedIn showcase page that’s dedicated to your organisation’s learning and development. Use this platform to post news, helpful information and of course push out your learning campaign messages.
  • Facebook – Facebook is a great way to share rich media and videos, you’ve created all this informative content and filmed your selfie videos, now push them out using a Facebook group. It also works well for discussions and interacting with your learners and answering any questions they may have about your new e-learning module.
    LMS

Try to maximise conversions in your LMS too, just like you would on a website by utilising CTA’s (calls-to-action) to prompt your users to take a specific action. So upon the completion of a performance development review why not finish up with a CTA reminding your learners of a new e-learning module. Here’s an example:

‘Interested to find out more about how you can improve performance, drive results and excel in your role? Our new Self-Development e-learning course (link this) will share vital knowledge that will help you develop your skills, management and take control of your own growth and development. Click here to take this course now!’

Report on results

In order to ensure your learning campaign has been successful, be sure not to miss this last step out! Measure your campaign’s performance against the initial goals and objectives you set and see whether it has achieved the results you wanted.

This gives you a great opportunity to reflect over your efforts and provide yourself with actionable insights to improve the strategy of your next campaign, as well as a solid platform to benchmark against. By reporting on your results you are able to define your priorities, identify opportunities for development and demonstrate value and effectiveness of your campaign and your efforts, so it’s well worth investing the time.

Just remember the more pro-active you are about promoting L&D in your organisation the more buy in you will get from your learners, meaning the more successful your training will be. Interested in finding other ways your L&D department can learn from marketing to hook your learner’s attention and keep it?

 

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