Marketing Your eLearning Initiative – Harness the Power of the Preview

Summertime marks many the start of many wonderful things—graduation, vacation, relaxation…and blockbuster movie season! Between May and August, more than 500 million people will flock to their local movie theater to see the latest in action, comedy and drama—each experience different and yet, they all will begin with the same message:

More intense and elaborate than commercials, movie trailers are a thing of beauty. They convey the most important parts of the movie’s storyline, yet still leave you wanting more. In just a few short minutes, a viewer can feel fear, elation or heartbreak. And, unlike commercials, movie trailers can live on in history. Take the 1975 summer blockbuster JAWS. Nearly 40 years later, children are still reenacting this famous trailer in their backyard swimming pools.

Jaws trailer

Harnessing the Power of the Preview

As illustrated above, giving a little preview of what’s to come can help get viewers excited and talking about a film. Similarly, you can use course preview trailers to pique your employees’ interest in your elearning initiative. Short videos highlighting the benefits of a course, key takeaways, as well as showing screenshots of the course material, can help eliminate the “fear factor” around elearning and increase trust in your program.

Take the messages you created in your branding and signage exercises and brainstorm ways you can create a short video to illustrate these points. It may seem corny, but sometimes corny is what connects (just look at any Budweiser Superbowl ad from the last three years). It may be a short skit or even a satire on some of the most common myths around elearning (death by PowerPoint, outdated scenarios, etc). The key here is to show how your elearning initiative will impact employees by providing a visual message to the verbal and written messages you’ve been sending out.

To help you along, we’ve shared our template for creating course preview videos. You can see a few examples of how our sellers use these previews to market their courses as well.

Video Trailer Script Planning Worksheet

Use this worksheet to create your script for the video preview.

Course Title:

URL of Course:

Target Audience:

What will the student learn?

Why is it important to learn this topic?

Course Objectives:

What will the course cover?

How does this tie into the company’s goals?


Time of script using stopwatch:

Record screenshot highlights of what is covered in the course:

And here’s an example of the finished product!

Image Credit: Galaxy Media

Other posts in the Marketing Your eLearning Initiative Series:

Part 1 – Start With the Why
Part 2 – Finding Your eLearning Champions
Part 3 – Branding Your Initiative
Part 4 – Using Email to Market
Part 5 – Signage