How you deliver your learning is crucial to how your learners embrace and sustain their learning insights. Sure, your content may be answering a need or even better it may be solving a problem. But, without creative methods to deliver and maintain learning experiences - you won’t see true success and sustained success.
There are many ingredients to consider when creating captivating learning experiences. You need to think about the purpose of your content, the needs and desires of the audience, plus the practical implications and long-term benefits. Interestingly, there are many similarities here to how marketer’s plan their campaigns. Could this way of thinking be beneficial to creating more impactful and lasting learning?
Could each learning experience be planned like a marketing campaign?
What is your main objective? What does success look like? Who is your target audience? What are your main messages? How will you disseminate your message? How will you capture attention? How will you maintain momentum?
These are all valid and worthwhile questions and considerations when it comes to developing your learning content. Marketing as a discipline is sometimes seen as an add-on task by many and sometimes forgotten about due to time and resource constraints. Despite this, we encourage you to go one step further and think like a marketer.
Think like a marketer
Sure, your content is relevant, tailored and full of a variety of different learning styles - but have you considered if the content is also memorable, practical and purposeful? Will your learning insights be considered for a long time after? Will learners adopt and create changes for the long-term?
Marketers are constantly assessing the success of their campaigns and looking at ways to improve and readjust. Plus, most importantly, they are constantly listening to their customers and are open to feedback. The work of a marketer is never complete. It’s not just about putting an exciting piece of content live and then reaping the benefits - it’s about nurturing, adapting and tweaking as you go. And ultimately, it’s about making sure your customer is happy and continuously engaged.
This kind of strategic, agile and customer-centric thinking will give you the edge and ensure you’re delivering valuable learning that really works for your learners.
Marketers are also natural storytellers. They use case studies, anecdotes and facts and figures to bring their campaigns to life. We all love being part of a story, we love to follow a ‘journey’ and we love to feel accomplished after starting something new. All great stories have a hook to secure the reader’s attention. This is also vital for successful learning content.
Putting your marketing cap on and taking a campaign-based approach to learning can have a significant impact on engagement, knowledge retention and creating a sense of culture and community.
How can you adopt this approach in reality though?
We have come up with 5 marketing approaches each containing parallels that lend themselves very neatly to launching any learning campaign:
On the campaign trail: 5 steps to launching your learning campaign
1. Create your campaign (and be original)
The all-important initial stage. Coming up with your “why” will enable you to raise awareness and reinforce your message throughout the life of your learning campaign. This is your platform to grab the learner’s attention, tell stories, problem solve, connect, and create behavioural changes.
Your campaign concept can be as creative as you want it to be. This is your narrative to sustain interest throughout your learning campaign.
2. Know your market inside out
Build, know and grow your learner profiles:
- What challenges are individuals facing in their roles?
- What expectations do they have after completing the training?
- What is their current level of ability?
- What motivates and inspires them?
- How can they keep learning momentum after the training?
This will not only help you to identify their needs and the most effective content, but it will provide improved connections, a stronger community, and more engagement and greater results. You can personalise your learning based on your audience profiles and continue to learn more about them over time.
3. Engage and engage some more
Learners like rewards! It’s nice to be acknowledged or recognised for an achievement or for participating. One good idea is a notification when they log on that there is updated content waiting for them such as “Congratulations, you’ve unlocked todays quiz!”. Alternatively, concepts like short videos or simple pop-up reminders encourage a sense of community and communication.
4. Check in to keep momentum
No matter how fun and engaging you think your content is, it’s important that you continuously take the time to evaluate the course content with your learners. Ask what is working, what’s not and what’s important to them. Their feedback is vital, and the findings can make all the difference. Remember the customer is always right!
5. Get results
Take time to look at your results and follow up on feedback. Discuss lessons learned with your colleagues, follow up on your findings and build on those communities that have been built through successful engagement. Just like our friends in marketing, taking a data-driven approach to learning can help uncover what is and isn't working, and inform what you do next.
You might not be trained in marketing or have any professional marketing experience. But, there can be huge benefits to thinking how a marketer would. Marketers are always creative, keen problem solvers and are always obsessed with making their customers happy. These are all attributes that you could benefit from when creating successful and memorable learning. If you’d like to learn more about enhancing your learning campaign approach then get in touch with us. We can help boost your learning experiences by thinking more like a marketer!
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