In this article you will learn what actions should be implemented to effectively promote e-learning courses in organizations:
- Target group
- Effective mailing
- Downloadable materials
- Webinars – the most popular promotion method
- Learning paths
Kasia works in the L&D department of a large corporation. One of her tasks is to deliver an e-learning soft skills course to employees. She browses the Internet for off-the-shelf training offers from various providers. When she finds a topic that interests her that she believes will also appeal to other employees, she decides to buy it. Satisfied with her choice, she places the optional course on the platform. A week or a month passes and to her surprise no one is interested in the course. The course is attractive, the knowledge is structured, presented by means of infographics, animations and interesting interactions. Kasia does not know why employees are not interested, and she is concerned because her superiors are starting to ask questions: was it the right choice?, could the budget planned for an employee course have been used more effectively?
What mistake did Kasia make?
The course she purchased was a subjective choice influenced by her emotions in the moment. She thought: “If I am interested in this topic, other employees will like it, too.” She believed that an attractive course from a professional provider would guarantee success. And that might sometimes be true, but there was no follow-up. Interesting course topics characterized by modernity and intuitiveness are often not enough. Kasia did not research the target group’s needs or focus on the appropriate promotional activities, so her course went unnoticed.
The appropriate target group
Every e-learning course offered within a given organization should be properly selected for the target group. The choice of an online course should rely more on properly collected and analyzed data rather than our own preferences or guesses. Before a purchase decision is made, it is important to research and become familiar with the target audience, particularly its needs and expectations. This purpose is best achieved by conducting surveys among employees and interviews with managers. Additionally, you need to be up to date with current trends and know what is happening in the world of e-learning.
Purchased e-learning course placed on an organization’s platform should be properly announced to employees. A mailing containing information about a new online course is the best way to do this. It is important not to send one, general message to all employees. This kind of message will not achieve satisfying results. First consider what problem the target group has and what specific value they will gain by taking this course, and then develop the content of the message. Writing good subject line is an art to which many books have been devoted. It makes sense to prepare a few templates and see which ones are popular.
A mailing can be accompanied by materials containing introductory knowledge related to a given course, e.g. an e-book, infographics or worksheets. It is important to remember that these materials play a double role. First of all, they must offer a specific value to the employee, and secondly, they have to intrigue and encourage potential participants to take an interest in a new e-learning course.
Webinars – the most popular method of promotion
Webinars are the most popular and effective way to promote courses. You can invite an expert to give an interesting introduction to the topic during a webinar and encourage participants to take the online course. Webinars can also be conducted in the form of an interview, or, for the most adventurous and open-minded – you can step out of your comfort zone and prepare an introduction to the training yourself that will intrigue employees. Webinars should include valuable knowledge and time for questions. You need to remember to place information about the promoted training in the webinar room, which will be visible throughout the webinar. It is best to design an intriguing, distinctive banner to be added to the webinar room. If possible, you can attach a link to the banner which will direct participants to the e-learning course platform.
It is a good practice to collect and then make a Q&A section about a particular course available to employees. Questions and answers collected, e.g. during a webinar or sent by employees via email, can take various forms (short video or text).
Another interesting approach is to create thematic tracks/blocks. They combine in one place all the activities related to promotion and the online course itself. The path that you present to employees (e.g. in a mailing) includes a set of materials that contains invitations to the webinar, additional resources (an e-book, infographics, knowledge pills, a podcast) and a link to an online course or courses on a given topic. This makes the training materials easily accessible to employees.
It is important to collect feedback from participants after each training session. This can take the form of a short survey, a star rating or informal responses. This generates data for analysis that assists in crafting an e-learning strategy in the company.
e-learning courses cannot be successful without proper promotion. Skillful use of the methods mentioned above can help to increase the popularity of a particular online course among employees. If you are an L&D employee responsible for training in your organization, contact us and we will help you develop a promotional strategy for e-learning courses in your company.