As employee training and development professionals, we often use best practices from a few common fields, such as psychology, technology, and graphic design, to improve learning outcomes. But to increase e-learning engagement and completion rates, we can also borrow a few lessons from marketing. It may be tempting to simply make courses available on a learning portal, mobile app, or on a webpage, but using marketing strategies can help increase content consumption.
Creating a Learner PersonaThe first step to marketing your corporate training is to gather information about the audience to create a learner persona, which is a comprehensive representation of your audiences' common characteristics. For example, a learner persona would include:
- demographics, such as age, gender, education, location
- knowledge and skills
- technology and media preferences.
A well-defined learner persona will provide insight into the best ways to target your learners; however, there are a few marketing strategies that can help to increase content consumption, regardless of your learner persona characteristics.
Aligning With MediaLook closely at the internal and external communication channels that are already a part of your learners' daily routine. For example, you can use messenger platforms like Slack to create a channel for training updates and reminders. Project management software, like Asana, can also be used to assign training tasks.
Most organizations are already accustomed to internal marketing emails and newsletters, so use email to alert learners to available courses. You can also capture social influences by creating share functions through social media platforms to showcase completion badges or suggest content to peers.
Rules of RepetitionWith so many distractions vying for your learners’ attention, it’s a good idea to offer the occasional reminder. But repetition is key. The common marketing adage Rule of 7 says a consumer must come into contact with an ad seven times before purchasing. When applied to marketing strategies for e-learning, seven times may be overkill, but the role of repeated exposure for converting buyers (or learners) still holds.
Theories like Daniel Berlyne's Two Factor Theory show that just enough repetition increases engagement. To have the greatest impact, market your e-learning through multiple channels rather than create repetitive reminders in the same channels.