Avoid These Mistakes When Marketing Online Training In-House
Any time you’re pushing a product, you want people to like it. But you also want them to put their money where their mouths are. You want them to go beyond pleasure and over into payment. This isn’t quite the case with in-house training. Marketing in this context means getting your employees to take an active interest. You want them to sign up and invest their emotions, and to see the course as more than a cursory activity. You want them to care about their training tasks. But, how do you draw them in and what errors should you avoid when marketing online training in-house?
1. Excessive Backlinking
At the moment, we all seem to over-emphasize the role of backlinks. It’s the only component of search algorithms we can control, so we go all in. This obsession with cross-linking has seeped into all areas of content, even when it’s not “live”. So, we put lots of internal backlinks in our online training materials. It applies even more for course material that’s available offline. Internal backlinks allow corporate learners to access content without internet connectivity. Backlinks can also be used to curate digital reference libraries. They’re crucial for JIT scenarios and troubleshooting. However, it’s possible to overdo it. Think of the last time lateral navigation sunk you in the YouTube abyss. Or when you lost hours piggy-backing on Wikipedia and can’t trace your way back to your original query. The same thing can happen in online training courses. Balance out your backlinks and optimize them with a function to “open in a new tab”. This helps you maintain your original focus. Plus, once you have six tabs open, you know it’s time to stop drifting and return to the primary training path.
2. Overlooking Social Media
Online platforms play a different role in our varying lifestyles. For some, it’s a networking tool, both professionally and personally. For others, it’s a way to stay in the worldwide loop and keep up with the latest trends. Either way, we spend hours on it every day. For many of us, it’s our first move when we wake up and our last one before we doze off. As such, we may as well harness it for good. Create intraoffice training teams based on social media. It could be a Telegram channel or a group on Facebook/WhatsApp. The only caveat is to make it interactive. Many such groups have lurkers, who float in the background judging posts. But for social media to be an effective training tool, everyone has to participate. Create a quota, establishing the minimum number of posts and comments online learners need to make in a day or week. If a particular team member is too quiet, draw them out with a direct query. Do this sparingly though, or quieter, more introverted colleagues may feel harassed. This sense of being “bullied” could double down their disinterest and heighten their reticence.
3. Ignoring Feedback
It’s fairly easy to seek views regarding an online course. You can gather automated analytics, run anonymous surveys, or employ pop-up feedback forms. But once you have these comments, you need to apply them to your online course. They may seem unimportant, but if you ask someone’s opinion then refuse to use or acknowledge it, you lose. Next time you ask, they won’t offer. Worse, they may feel dismissed and respond in kind, which is bad for online training. To get the most from user feedback, ask specific questions. Mix the direct approach with open-ended queries. Use follow-up techniques as well. For example, “When was the last time you logged into the system? Why (not)? What do you (dis)like about this course? What do you want to explore next?” This is all data you can apply as you onboard fresh learners and improve marketing online training in-house. Employees see their feedback implemented, realize their views are valued and become more invested.
4. Taking A Passive Approach
You post weekly on social media to promote your upcoming course or send out a monthly newsletter to talk about the latest training activities. But it stops there. The key to successfully marketing online training in-house is consistency and follow-up. Reach out to employees to get their input. Invite them to participate in development test rounds. Host live events that give everyone the opportunity to stay updated and generate more excitement. Your online training isn’t passive and your marketing shouldn’t be either.
5. Not Getting Leadership Involved
Your team leaders casually mention training to their subordinates only when it’s mandatory. They aren’t involved in the marketing process and they don’t play an active role. Thus, you’re missing out on a golden promotional opportunity. Managers, supervisors, and department leads should all be online training advocates. Hosting events, providing guidance to their team, recommending resources; it is all part of the job. You should also provide them with their own support resources. Such as closed social media groups, where they can share ideas and experiences with peers. As well as learn more about the LMS, personalized training paths, and moment of need library.
Marketing isn’t just about getting people to pay for things. Sometimes, it’s about convincing people to sign up for a course or take up an idea. eLearning works better when online learners take an active interest. In-house marketing is focused on stoking this curiosity and promoting active participation. Use backlinks strategically to avoid cognitive overload. Utilize internal social media groups. Actively seek feedback regarding training modules and use their responses to improve your internal training marketing strategy.