The business world is changing, markets are increasingly demanding, and employees often feel overwhelmed with the amount of new information needed to stay competitive. L&D departments are doing their best to meet these growing needs and tailor learning to the immediate requirements of the organizations.
However, developing learning materials, starting from the needs analysis through design, testing, and delivery, is time-consuming. As a result, the materials themselves are often extensive to account for the time and effort put into them. People get frustrated with extensive training material when they need something concise and practical to help them complete their projects.
Moreover, learning is a journey rather than an event, and context is more important than content. This is why an organizational learning model that is similar to marketing campaigns might be the answer to many L&D pain points.
How to design learning campaigns for employee development
Starting from the marketing model, L&D specialists can design learning campaigns to achieve several important goals. First, the modern learner is not particularly keen on the older training methods. Extensive videos, long whitepapers, and lengthy e-learning modules feel overwhelming and unnecessary.
Furthermore, learning campaigns promote spaced learning and reinforcement, thus successfully fighting a steep learning curve. A learning campaign employs drip marketing to bring learning interventions when needed. Drip marketing means delivering smaller pieces of content over a period of time.
In a similar way, the bite-size aspect of micro learning makes it easy to include it in everyday activities, allowing learners to test new knowledge in context without causing disruption. It’s a good idea to start the learning campaign with the onboarding process – instead of immersing the new hire in too much information at once, use micro-learning units to ensure a smoother accommodation to the role and the organization.
Find a good hook
Any learning campaign should have a compelling hook — this will be the first impression the training program makes to learners.
The hook for your learning campaign should do just that. For example, marketers use the unique selling proposition (USP) to communicate why the product stands out among the competition to create a great hook. Yours can include “upskilling,” “advance your career,” “take advantage of future opportunities,” or any other major benefit that learners should expect from their training.
Therefore, don’t focus solely on what the audience will learn but on how that new knowledge will positively impact their lives. This is the “what’s in it for me” part of learning. While usually it was presented at the beginning of the course, now it should be used to attract the audience.
Keep learners engaged
OK, so you have their attention, now you need to keep that interest. In marketing, this is usually done by email. Once the learners are hooked, you should deliver on that initial promise and keep them coming back for more.
Content should be dripped frequently so that learning becomes a habit. It’s essential that whatever you send to your learners is both bite-sized and easily accessible.
The campaign will fail if you break their trust with lengthy modules or complicated instructions. It’s best to deliver the content using your learning platform’s drip content feature. Just make sure the format is diverse (include videos, podcasts, games, quizzes) to ensure high levels of user engagement.
Make the learning conversion
In marketing, this means getting the lead or prospect to make a purchase. In a learning campaign, you want the users to willingly and enthusiastically consume the content and change their behavior in a positive way.
You should also measure your campaign’s conversion rate by the amount of knowledge sharing. The social aspect of learning is crucial, so employees should be encouraged to engage in conversations sparked by the learning content. An easy way to start conversations is to include discussion points or questions at the end of the learning content drips.
Determine the learning campaign’s success
The learning campaign’s metrics depend on the objectives you set at the beginning. These may be increased productivity or engagement, improved times for responding to customer requests, more effective inter-departmental communication, and so on.
As always, it is vital to be as specific as possible with your objectives. Otherwise, it will be rather challenging to quantify the results. If the initial desired outcome was a noticeable behavior change, it might be tricky to calculate. However, you can rely on trainee and team leader feedback before and after the campaign. Even better, use your learning platform’s analytics feature and reports to see learner progress, mastery, and more. This is the easiest and most effective way to measure a learning campaign’s results.
Learning campaigns inspired by highly effective marketing tactics help the organization achieve its goals. Using bite-sized modules and different learning content formats, L&D specialists can get people on board and take them on a pleasant journey of improvement.
Raluca Cristescu is a Faculty of Letters graduate with over ten years of experience in corporate training, focused mainly on soft skills for customer service and direct sales.