You did it. You built a custom e-learning course brimming with bells and whistles. Your dream of promoting behavioral change through social learning and games is here! You have it deployed to your LMS and now…what? You need to think about how to internally market your course to your learning audience or you risk failing to reach–and truly engage–your audience.
Weird, right? They have to take the course. It's probably mandatory. So why do you need to market to your learners? The answer is to increase true engagement, get internal buy-in, generate excitement, and to instigate a change in the way learning (of all kinds) is viewed in your environment.
NogginLabs can help you develop your course, but ultimately you have to get your audience excited about it and engaged with it. If your learners don't actually want to take your training, it becomes worthless. You don’t want to labor for hours on projects that immediately enter the Internet Dust Bin of Eternity, do you?
Let's start by identifying what you are actually working to overcome.
BAD E-LEARNING OF THE PAST
This is your biggest hurdle: your audience's preconceptions about bad training (electronic or otherwise) they have taken in the past. Countless TV shows and movies have had a heyday making fun of corporate training, because everyone watching can relate to it. We can all share a story of some terrible training experience we have had.
Problem solved. You're here on this site, so you know that you can build training that is actually compelling and fun. This should be enough to motivate you to internally market your course. You have access to something truly special now, so don't keep it a secret. Get the word out there and allow your audience to build a sense of excitement and anticipation.
TIME AND RESOURCES
You probably don't have a multi-million dollar budget to market your course. You probably don't have any budget to market your course. You have deadlines, reviews, instructor-led sessions to run, and every other things that makes marketing training your lowest priority.
We are not suggesting that marketing your course should become a full-time job. There are a number of things you can do as you are developing the course that will be easy and relatively painless, if you take just a little bit of time to put some forethought into them. And NogginLabs has some of the inside scoop to give you a leg up, so keep reading...
SIMPLE ACTIONS MAKE AN IMPACT
Over the years, we have seen clients have varying levels of success rolling out courses to their audience. Here are basic steps you can take for little or no cost that will directly impact the way your audience engages with your content:
- Email your audience early and regularly: Since you are building the coolest course ever, tease your courses with screenshots and videos that whet your audience's appetite. Give them a glimpse into the development process and allow them to appreciate all of the hard work you are doing.
- Get their hands on it: If you have time to demo parts of the course with people or bring in some influential stakeholders during development, their word-of-mouth, grass-roots praise will go far to get your audience eager to take the course. Building a formal pilot program can give you critical feedback during the development process, if your timeline allows for it, but it can also start generating some good word-of-mouth marketing.
- Make some promo items: Take a trip to the printers! Banners, cardboard standees, posters, and flyers strewn about the office help to get the word out that something is coming, something new and awesome. Let us design a game or course logo for you and then you can slap that logo on buttons, t-shirts, thumbdrives, or whatever tchotchkes appeal to your audience. Hand them out or leave them on desks and slowly worm your way into the minds of everyone in the company. People love free stuff (don't you?).
THE CUTTING EDGE
One of our clients, Delta Air Lines, has had a particularly unique and successful approach to internally marketing their gamified customer service training–Ready, Set, Jet. In addition to many of the actions listed above, they have pushed the boundaries of internal e-learning marketing. With our help, they were able to roll out initiatives such as hiding easter eggs within games that correspond to real-world prizes, running a promotional booth with demos and testing stations at an internal conference, and even creating a promotional comic book with updated instructions and information for a later phase of the project. Through these efforts, they were able to blend the real world and the virtual world of their game via traditional and innovative points of connection to the audience. The audience has embraced this approach and, after three years of RSJ, they are still clamoring for new content–so they can keep climbing the game's leaderboards.
So, as you work with NogginLabs, let's discuss how to make marketing part of your development process. Outline your ideal outcomes not only in terms of behavioral change, but also in terms of how to win hearts and minds. Together, we can make decisions in and out of the course that can impact your marketing efforts. We may even have some brand new ideas specifically for you.