As I discussed in Parts 1 and 2 of this blog series, I presented a webinar with Litmos recently that outlined my top ten tips to guarantee a successful eLearning program launch. You can see the full webinar by Part 1 covered the first three tips; part 2 covered tips four through six; and now, we'll take a look at tips seven through ten. Also, for further reference, I’ve provided a short video for each tip, so you can augment your reading with those.
Ok, let's wrap up this series with our final four tips:
Tip #7: Use marketing techniques to engage your audience
The most useful tip I was given as I implemented my first eLearning program was to ‘treat eLearning as a business and treat your learners like customers’.
This advice stayed with me and helped me change my mindset as to how I think about my responsibility within the business.
Any business can create the most amazing product or service, but if they don’t market it correctly, the business will fail. I see many companies recruit learning professionals, content developers and platform administrators to deliver their program.
But they forget about marketing.
One of the most important things to add to your to-do list when delivering an eLearning program is create a solid marketing strategy. There are thousands of different marketing strategies and techniques - so don’t be intimidated by this. The key is to pick a couple that work for you.
This article gives some great advice on how to use marketing to promote your program: Double Your eLearning Return on Investment.
Tip #8: Create a network of eLearning champions
Many eLearning programs kick-off with a small budget. The responsibility of implementing the platform and creating content may be given to one or two individuals. Other eLearning programs have bigger budgets, where the project is outsourced or an internal team is recruited.
However, investment is usually allocated to creating a suite of courses and subscribing to a fancy LMS. Investing in a strategy for how the program will be marketed to maximise engagement isn’t usually budgeted for. If you’re working alone or as part of a small team implementing the eLearning program, you are facing an uphill battle if you try and go it alone.
There are many techniques that you can use to leverage the support of others within the business. Finding key stakeholders within the business and encouraging them to promote the program will go a long way to ensuring the success of the program – these are your eLearning champions.
We must ensure that these ‘influential people’ see the real value in eLearning. We don’t want them to just be paying us lip service when they politely agree to promote the program. So spend some time talking to these people. Find out what makes them tick, what keeps them up at night, what would help them to do their job better.
You’ll find them coming back with requests for new courses, admin access or something else that benefits them and the program.
You can also involve them before you develop new courses, ask for their input etc. This will be an excellent way to give them ownership and they will naturally feel more inspired to promote the content.
For more on this idea visit: Promote eLearning through a Network of Champions
Tip #9: Remember eLearning is only one piece of the jigsaw
If you’re expecting your eLearning program to deliver real change to your company on its own, you’re probably headed for disappointment. eLearning is one piece of a much bigger jigsaw and you’ll need support from many other areas within the business to affect real change.
The most effective training programs usually take a wider approach and can include classroom training, 1 on 1 coaching and peer group discussion forums to name but a few.
You will also need buy-in from management who are going to lead employees – for example, if they don’t give staff time for training, are they likely to participate?
Tip #10: Ask for advice!
It always amazes me how often people try and tackle a project like this without talking to others who have been through this process (preferably with the same platform or LMS that you’re using).
There are often community user groups you can join, with other users who are facing the same challenges. Sometimes these are hosted by the LMS companies themselves, but you might also find user groups created by users – both offer different advantages.
You might need to move outside your comfort zone and speak to people external to your organisation – these guys have been there and made the mistakes, they will be bursting with enthusiasm to share their stories.
If you can’t find any groups, maybe you could start your own? Tools like meetup.com and LinkedIn groups are great for this type of thing.
If you’d like a free consultation to ask questions about YOUR eLearning program, click here to choose a date and time.
Launching an eLearning program is a big challenge! But there are some simple hacks that you can use to help guarantee your program is successful.
I hope these videos were useful – if you want to see the full playlist for all 12 videos, click here.
To avoid the most common mistakes when launching your eLearning program, check out this free, 5-day crash course and make sure your program is a hit.