Learner Marketing: Why You Need an Effective 360° Communications Plan

Article

Learner Marketing: Why You Need an Effective 360° Communications Plan

Article
Learner Marketing: Why You Need an Effective 360° Communications Plan
Learner engagement is a common problem. To remedy this, L&D teams now use marketing techniques. Learner marketing aims to put learners at the heart of the learning process, engage them, and win their loyalty. Find out when to advertise your training courses and how to put an effective communications strategy in place that will enrich the learner experience.

How should you define your 360° communications strategy?

Companies usually work out their own training needs by assessing the need for change within their teams. But your staff aren’t going to spontaneously sign up for just any course you offer them. You have to make them want to invest in themselves and champion change using a dedicated communications strategy.

Preliminary questions
  • What is the context and what are the challenges and objectives of the training session?
  • Who is the program for (target audience) and what are the expected benefits?
  • What training strategy has been adopted?

Your communications plan is a key support tool for your training strategy. It should engage learners by making them realize how important the program is—for them and the company. It helps you form a group, develop team spirit and deal with possible questions or stumbling blocks encountered by participants.

Communication milestones for training programs

The recruitment phase

Before you launch a course, plan an impactful communications campaign to pique interest among team members. Involve leaders and managers—the real influencers and sponsors—to convey the information to potential learners and sing the program’s praises. Work on your activities with the communications team to learn how to communicate effectively using the tools that best suit how team members work.

Best practices
  • Identify the learners most likely to respond to an engaging offer that suits their needs
  • Create a specific communications plan around messages you can use to spread the word
  • Choose communications tools that work best in your company and tailor your messages to suit each channel (newsletters, goodies, mailouts, events, videos, banners, etc.).
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with messaging and delivery too see what works best.

The launch phase

Combine various tools, such as emails, newsletters, social networks, and gamification, and various delivery channels (on- and offline) to support your communications. Think multichannel to reach as many team members as possible, focusing on their habits and preferences. These communication “experiences” should be meticulously prepared in advance, and planned with the goal of helping you to increase your presence.

Best practices
  • Plan a launch event for each training course
  • Organize small themed breakfasts and encourage attendees to ask questions
  • Give away useful goodies to keep the training program in people’s minds.

The loyalty phase

To engage learners long term, you should keep their interest alive from before the course launch until the end of the course. Use strategic topics prompted during annual reviews, for example, and incorporate your messages into company announcements for a continuous communications stream.

Best practices
  • Source opinions from influencers and sponsors to improve the training experience and circulate these views
  • Survey learner expectations and feedback, then tailor your communications accordingly
  • Root your training course in the company’s core values to give it meaning.

Course newsletter: the key for attracting your target group

  • Provide quality content: each newsletter should feature new and interesting material
  • Keep it short: on average, readers spend less than a minute reading a newsletter
  • Include a call-to-action directing readers to content or news
  • Make it a habit so your newsletter becomes a fixture for your community
  • Write intriguing subject lines so your readers can’t wait to open your newsletter
  • Use an identifiable sender name and include the program’s name.

A key asset in making your programs a success, learner marketing helps you recruit learners, inspire them, and keep them interested until the end of the program. To develop an engaging, long-term 360° communications plan, you can count on our experts at CrossKnowledge to help you create your editorial schedule and choose the best communication tools to suit your training goals.

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