Trainers can incorporate marketing concepts in learning.
By Emma King, INXPO
Marketers have been leading the way for many years, delivering a simple yet attractive message in short snippets or segments, like TV advertising slots or social media. When training employees in a virtual learning environment, often the goals are very similar to that of a marketer’s, the strategy needs to grab the viewers’ attention and help them retain information. Luckily for trainers, marketers have already shown us many different tried and true best practices to apply to virtual learning.
Target your demographic. Marketers work to place their TV show on a channel that fits their ideal target audience. “Top Chef” wouldn’t air on MTV, and “The Deadliest Catch” would never air on E!. Applying this same concept, trainers should segment their content into different channels based on the learning profile, or demographic, of the specific user. Therefore, learning content that is relevant to the user is easily separated, ensuring that the learning topics are better focused to the user. Content should also be delivered wherever employees are with the option to choose to tune in from their phone, tablet or laptop.
Create an “Aha” moment in a short period of time. Successful marketing accommodates shorter attention spans and capitalizes on getting a message across in a short period of time while still making an impact. Successful learning must run off of the same concept. Effective trainers should be creating bite size chunks of content that are easier to absorb and retain within a minimum investment in time.
Run a social media stream in parallel to content. Live tweeting during TV shows has become an increasingly popular way viewers engage with programming. Marketers know this helps drive activity with their audience. Having a strong presence on social media helps create a conversation around their messaging. When applicable to external audiences adding a social media stream can give learners a platform to share what they have learned and help people to stay engaged. Social streams continue the conversation and bring empowerment to the learners though interacting with thought leaders on the subject.
Give an easy reference. QR Codes, such as the one on the left, can often be found on the packaging of products that consumers purchase. The codes are often used to easily drive traffic to How to Guides & Instructional Videos. Marketers recognize that once the attention of their audience has been captured, they need to feel empowered to be satisfied with the purchase. For trainers, this applies to providing learners with a simple cheat sheet handout summarizing the key concepts they learned. The cheat sheet should be able to be downloaded anytime, anyplace, anywhere, in formats that meet the always-on culture we live in today.
Next time you tune into your favorite prime time show, watch the messaging; take note of how simply they incorporate music, catchphrases and interesting stories to capture your interest in the moment. Then, think how you can apply this concept when delivering your training program.