This year at the Learning Technologies Summer Forum, our Creative Director and Cofounder Ali Soper, delivered a seminar which focused on maximising usage and return on investment when you launch a new learning initiative within your organisation. She used a clever analogy which the audience seemed to really love! Looking at the movie industry, she explored what tips, tricks and techniques are used to promote a new movie, before it’s even released, to boost box office sales, drive engagement and sustain the hype!
Keep reading to find out how and to download the seminar slides:
In the world of cinema, it’s essential to create real ‘buzz’ around a new movie, pre-release to build anticipation, at the premiere to shine a spotlight on the film and after release to boost sales and sustain that all-important ‘hype’!
Movie Producers and directors don’t spend time, energy and budget casting the best actors, refining the best scripts and creating the best sets just to simply release their movie quietly into the cinema, hoping people may stumble in to the theatre and watch it, or happen to come across the movie when they’re online buying movie tickets and decide to check it out!
Instead, movies are promoted prior to release through a number of highly visual and memorable techniques including posters, trailers, teasers, interviews and more. At the release stage, the movie is celebrated with a decorated public premiere. And after release, reviews flood in which undeniably decide the longevity and popularity of the movie, with the reception of the film determining sequel and spin-off opportunities in the future!
We can use this tried and tested method in the world of L&D too! It’s not enough to simply launch great content on a modern learning platform. For learning strategies to be effective, we need to establish and sustain a thriving learning culture within the organisation through active promotion and endorsement of your learning initiatives to champion the benefits of life-long learning pre-, during and post-launch.
By using some simple marketing techniques often used in the world of cinema, we can effectively boost uptake and usage of our initiatives, with targeted and personalised campaigns to encourage your employees to embrace the learning resources and showcase their own development!
Techniques such as creating a brand identity are essential. Prior to launching your learning strategies, it’s a good idea to give your programme a brand identity. By choosing something which is memorable and impactful, your employees will begin to familiarise themselves with the initiative and its benefits before it’s even available. This will really help to build expectation and interest prior to your launch.
This could mean putting posters around the workplace, in areas you know your employees will see them which introduce characters or mascots for the training. Perhaps this could mean running teaser trailers in communal spaces around the office space which demo content or tour the platform. No matter what way you choose to advertise what’s coming soon, you’ll be sure to build momentum for the project the more visible you can make it!
And when it comes to release, why not consider running a launch event? This could be virtual, or events ran simultaneously across different offices if your workforce is particularly dispersed but creating a day which celebrates the arrival of your programme can be a great way to follow through on the buzz you’ve been creating up to this point.
Consider making the event as fun and memorable as possible, with simple ideas to boost interest and drive conversations. What about setting up an area of your work canteen offering branded cupcakes and free sweets, decorated with balloons and banners which promote the new L&D programme? The key is to encourage staff to ask questions and find out more about what you’re launching!
After release, be sure to sustain the messaging and enthusiasm, considering ways to continue to market internally (see blog series for more info!). Reviews, as in the cinema, will be very important. Creating advocates of your initiatives, who champion the programmes and encourage others to participate are pinnacle to the ongoing success of your strategies. Peer reviews really do speak volumes, so encourage people to share their experiences and ratings of the programmes in order to encourage more staff to get involved.
Just like in the world of cinema, you’ve put your time, energy and budget into creating a programme which you think will benefit your employees and organisation so why would you simply put content on a platform and hope people check it out? Instead, think a little more like a movie marketeer and create that all important “Buzz” to drive usage and uptake, as well as helping to positively embed learning into the culture of your organisation.