Marketing Your eLearning Initiative - Signage

My previous post in the “Marketing Your eLearning Initiative” series addressed ideas on how to use email as a method for advertising the launch of your program, new courses and positive experiences using the training. While digital communication is a great way to provide regular updates regarding your elearning program, signage can promote your overall training initiative and reinforce benefits of the program. Additionally, diversifying your communication methods, and where the communication occurs, increases the likelihood of the messaging being retained.

Developing Signage Messaging

Let’s do a short exercise. Take a minute and think about your commute to work. Most likely you either pass highway billboards or see advertisements posted on the side of buses or trains. What ads stick with you? What about them is memorable?

Developing signage for your elearning program is just like creating a billboard ad. You want great visuals that are going to catch your employee’s eye and get them to stop, as well as a clear message that delivers key information. And, just like advertisements, you can play to your employee’s emotions, frustrations and sense of humor to achieve the desired reaction.

The eLearning Network has created a fantastic resource for developing effective marketing messages for elearning. Essentially, each message should do the following: 

  • Grab their attention
  • Gain their interest
  • Get them to desire the service/product
  • Call them to action

Following this method, a sample message may look something like this:

Does creating tables in Excel feel like running into a brick wall?
(Grab attention with a pain area)

Excel 2013 - Pivot Tables Training can get you from confusion to mastery in only 60 minutes.  
(Gain their interest)

Complete the elearning course on your own time and take the course again and again until you feel comfortable.
(Get them to desire it)

Purchase today on OpenSesame.
(Call to action)

Types of Signage

Tying in Branding
In our branding post, we shared the idea of naming your program in way that expresses either the goals or desired emotions of your elearning initiative. For example, if you want to promote long-term learning, you may call your program “The [Company Name] Journey, or to encourage exploration, naming your program “Pathfinders”, etc. If you choose this approach, you will want your signage to reflect this theme. Branding signage should advertise the program’s features and benefits, as opposed to individual elearning courses.

Let’s be honest—the word “training” doesn’t always bring a smile to an employee’s face. However, no one can help smiling at a silly cat picture! Using humor can help reduce anxiety around a training program, as well as provide a creative way to advertise confusing or broad topics. Plus, humorous messaging is more likely to be shared among employees, increasing the reach of the messaging.

If you’re like me, it always seems that I find great resources when I DON’T need them—and then can’t recall them when I do. These just-in-time learning needs are the hardest to market too, but not impossible.

For example, on a recent trip to my local library, a rack of business cards caught my eye. Each card had a need-related question on the front, with information on how to locate answers in the library.

The best part? I can stick these cards in my wallet where I know I won’t lose them and where I will notice them on a daily basis. This concept could easily be adapted for frequent training needs in your company, such as software, leadership, etc.

Signage is a great advertising medium because the possibilities are endless—”Summer Camp” poster series advertising team-building and leadership courses, “Share the Gift of eLearning” encourage employees to pass along a favorite course to colleagues around the holidays. Perhaps you already have signage campaigns that are working for you. If so, please share them in the comments so we can add them to our repertoire.

Want more marketing tips? Register for our free webinar on July 9 at 10:00am PDT, "Trump the Usage Slump: 5 Tips For Marketing Your eLearning Internally."

Other posts in the Marketing Your eLearning Initiative Series:

Part 1 - Start With the Why
Part 2 - Finding Your Champions
Part 3 - Branding Your Initiative
Part 4 - Using Email to Market
Part 6 - Harnessing the Power of the Preview