How To Market eLearning In Your Organization
The great Milan Kundera has successfully summed up the importance of marketing in a famous quote that has been inspiring marketers all over the world for years now:
Business has only two functions - marketing and innovation.
But you don’t need the Czech-born writer to remind you that without marketing, there is little hope for success for any kind of products. Marketing your eLearning project is fundamental; if it’s not promoted to the right people, it is doomed to fail. However, it is not rare that many organizations, despite having invested a large amount of resources on major online training programs, neglect to promote them and instead, they expect their employees to just take them; an unsurprisingly weak strategy. In this article, I will show you 5 top tips to effectively market eLearning in your company so that you can make sure that you introduce your online training courses in a way that truly inspires and motivates your employees to take them and complete them successfully.
- Identify your goals.
First things first: What are you hoping to achieve by implementing online training in your organization? Are you aiming to reduce costs? Increase productivity? Enhance customer service? Develop your employees’ soft skills? Inform about a new product? Educate about new company politics? Setting the right goals will certainly help you to market eLearning within your organization, as knowing exactly what you’re trying to achieve will help you communicate it more effectively. To establish what you want to accomplish consider following the SMART method, according to which your goals must be:
- (S) Specific.
- (M) Measurable.
- (A) Achievable.
- (R) Realistic.
- (T) Time-framed.
- Determine your audience.
Whom are you targeting your eLearning marketing campaign to? Do your research and analyze your audience. Use surveys, focus groups, and interviews to determine who your employees are. What are their professional and educational backgrounds? How old are they? Are they Millennials, members of Generation X, or Boomers? Knowing the profiles of your employees will help you determine what interests them, hence what motivates them, and define the right message for your eLearning campaign.
- Build a compelling value proposition.
In other words, answer your employees’ vital question: “What’s in it for me?” Common objections that employees make are that they don’t have time for online training as they “have real work to do”, that online training is not relevant to their jobs, or even that online training is really boring. This is why you need to highlight the benefits of eLearning; only by making your employees aware of the benefits you will be able to motivate them to actively take and complete their online training courses. Inform them about the ability to participate via their mobile devices and tablets, explain how online training will improve their workflow by saving them time or effort, and get them excited by sharing information about thought-provoking online discussions and appealing eLearning games. Furthermore, consider providing incentives for those who successfully complete their online courses. How about offering a valid certificate or an incentive program upon completion? The more specific is the answer to the question “What’s in it for me”, the more likely it will be for your employees to be encouraged and motivated to participate in their online training courses.
- Collaborate with the right people.
Having the right people on your side will significantly help you successfully market eLearning in your organization. And by the “right people” we mean:
- Your company’s marketing department.
This may sound obvious, but have you thought about involving your marketing team in building a marketing campaign for in-house use? Take advantage of your company’s experts and allow them to show you how successful marketing works. They will surely have one or two valuable tips to share.
- Popular managers.
When management is on board with any organizational plan, it is always easier to get a message across. Identify the key people your employees like, trust, listen to, and are more likely to follow. Convince them that online training will benefit both their teams and the organization as a whole, and let them communicate that priority to their teams.
- Your company’s marketing department.
- Use the right channels to announce launching.
Now that you have determined your goals, audience, and value proposition, it’s time to advertise your eLearning program. Remember, you need to attract your employees’ interest, so consider keeping your messages short to avoid overwhelming your target audience. Focus on key points and only share necessary information, such as the objectives of your program, how it will benefit the participants, and a small description of activities. Craft your message and deliver it through the following channels:
- Newsletters and emails.
A traditional way to communicate internal messages; indeed, a well-written text empowered with compelling visuals can be very effective. Include details about the time frame of your online training courses and the ways your employees can access them.
- Your company’s website.
Advertising banners, news about the upcoming launch, and access information can be all communicated through your organization’s official website. Just make sure that the information is available only after logging in, to avoid confusing your company’s customers.
- Your company’s intranet.
If your organization has an intranet site, you can take advantage of this platform to market eLearning and promote your online courses. Again, consider including appealing images and graphics.
Apart from advertising trailers, you can create short video interviews with key stockholders and senior executives to highlight the benefits of your online training program. When your initiative is supported by leadership, the message gets stronger and your employees get connected with it more easily.
- Newsletters and emails.
Marketing your eLearning project properly will help remind your employees that learning and development is an ongoing process and they can only benefit from participating in online training. Have these tips in mind and use them to get support from your corporate audience.
Now that you know how to market eLearning, you may be interested in learning more about using marketing to increase the sales of your eLearning products. Read the article 6 Marketing Tips To Boost Your eLearning Course Sales and discover 6 marketing techniques that will help you spread the word about your eLearning courses.