Internally marketing a new LMS is an essential step in the eLearning rollout process. Successful learner engagement relies on your staff being aware of your online training provision, understanding how to interact with it and seeing the potential benefits it brings.
With this in mind, we’ve created an internal marketing strategy for you to implement. With these nine steps, you can ensure that your online training program runs smoothly from day one.
Launch your LMS With an Internal Email Campaign
First up, let everyone in your company know what’s coming and when: don’t just randomly spring eLearning on your staff out of the blue.
We suggest putting together an internal email campaign that introduces the idea, explains the background, progresses to support the rollout, and walks people through the initial login. Launching your LMS shouldn’t be a dramatic surprise one Monday morning! Instead, send out a steady flow of introductory emails that gently switch to supporting LMS usage. Try and make these mail shots intriguing and relevant; you want to launch your LMS into an atmosphere of interest and enthusiasm.
Start The Campaign Weeks Ahead To Give Learners Time To Adjust
Consider a substantial timeframe for your initial marketing campaign, as staff will need a little while to adjust to making time for and actively using your new LMS.
A few weeks is an ideal window to give folks the opportunity to become used to new terminology, get a good picture of what the interface might look like, and begin to understand that they have agency when it comes to learning paths they can take. Familiarity with a Learning Management System’s uses and functions, should remove some apprehension when the first log-on day arrives.
Send Out Surveys To Fine Tune The LMS
You may have your LMS ready to roll, but are you sure it will be met with a warm welcome?
One way to check that the interface and features, as well as the first batch of content, are a good match for your learners is to send out surveys as part of your initial marketing campaign. A quick poll should reveal whether your eLearning software reflects staff needs or expectations, and you can fine-tune anything that might be a misstep before releasing your software into the workplace.
First impressions count, and this is an easy way to launch an LMS that captures your employees’ attention for the right reasons.
Create A Short Video Guide On How To Use The LMS
One of the first pieces of content you should create is a guide to using the new Learning Management System. A video is a great way to do this since it can be informal, entertaining and instructional.
It’s generally easier to understand steps or actions when you have someone explaining a process directly, so consider a live speaker clicking and navigating the LMS as a format. To make this information more accessible and digestible, keep it short, as a few brief videos will hold everyone’s attention better than an hour-long lecture. Aim to cover the basics and begin with the simplest actions, then build from there.
The easier the whole process seems, the more learners will hop on board from the beginning.
Explain To The Learner The Benefits Of An LMS
If this your company’s first LMS, you may find a degree of suspicion hovering over this new situation. They might be thinking, is this more work? Or, why do I need this when I’m already good at my job?
To stimulate interest and adoption, you’ll need to explain the benefits of online learning clearly. Underscore available accreditation or certification, and show how eLearning can help staff along their desired career paths. Reinforce the idea that eLearning is not just another hoop to jump through, but instead, that it’s an enjoyable process that fosters personal growth and supports them in their own goals.
Don’t forget to mention the positive impact on company culture too. You can do this in your initial internal email campaign via videos or organise a short classroom session.
Incentivise Adoption Through Company Rewards
If this is the first online training program you’ve implemented (or even it isn’t) incentivising engagement with eLearning through company rewards should boost interest and adoption. Great communication with your workforce is key here, and you can regularly advertise rewards for online training.
This might be as simple as points and badges that introduce gamification to learning, or it could be small-real life prizes – whatever works for your company style or culture. The first months of LMS usage are critical to instil the habit of regularly logging on, so presenting a little extra encouragement in the form of an instant benefit is a good move.
Present Testimonials And Case Studies From Past Learners
We all rely on recommendations when evaluating whether to use a product or service, and education is no different.
You’ve likely invested in a particular LMS based on strong reviews or testimonials from companies in your sector, so it makes sense to ‘sell’ your eLearning program to staff similarly. Present relevant testimonials and case studies from other learners to help strengthen your case for eLearning. If folks can see the advantages of training online (and particularly if these points come from their industry peers) you’re going to see increased interest. Short videos or bite-size text should deliver the message.
Hold An In-Person Classroom Session To Walk Learners Through The LMS
While video and text-based how-to guides are a great way to familiarise staff and demonstrate the features of your LMS, it’s also a good idea to support this with in-person tuition.
We all learn differently, and classroom sessions that walk learners through using the Learning Management System get everybody on the same page quickly. One worrying scenario is that some individuals get left behind with eLearning onboarding purely due to simple access issues.
Consider different generations may react differently to being online, so young digital natives may demand another style of introduction to older employees. By getting everyone in the same room to discover how the LMS works, you bring home the importance of online training for everyone regardless of role. Additionally, you can also identify who might need a little more help on their eLearning journey, and which individuals are fine with self-directed training.
Allow Learners To Contribute Ideas For Training Programs
We’re firm believers that inclusion generates the best ideas, and it’s good practice to encourage learners to contribute their thoughts on online training programs. Your teams know their jobs and will probably have plenty of suggestions that could help them with the more complex aspects, or assist new recruits. Reach out in person or through forums to gather topics which your employees will welcome and enjoy.
You may have SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) who have fantastic concepts for courses which would benefit your business operations or talented graphic designers who understand how to communicate difficult topics visually. If you make space for your employees to create what they need, you’re going to end up with a healthy company online training program going forward.
Set Up A Discussion Group About The LMS On The Company Intranet
Lastly, collecting feedback is crucial to understanding whether your new Learning Management System is hitting the right note. Just as it’s important to send feelers out pre-launch to check whether your initial offering will go down well, checking in on everyone’s first interactions is vital. In fact, it’s a good idea from day one to establish a space where any questions about the incoming eLearning software can be answered by your admin or L&D team.
Setting up a discussion group about the new software on the company intranet is the easiest way to offer learners this kind of platform. In this space, you can give learners a way to raise any small technical issues, or offer positive feedback about content once the LMS is live, so you can continue in the right direction.
Two-way communication is a vital component of excellent learning outcomes as the body of material available on your LMS grows – we say start as you mean to go on!