One of the major challenges HR and L&D professionals face is getting the employees to get interested in the learning programs. Games or rather game-based learning can help here. This article will focus on how a company can market its so-called boring learning programs and make them interesting.
Using Games To Market Your Learning Program
Getting your employees interested in your learning program is a herculean task. You won’t find a lot of people coming up to you and asking about your next eLearning course. Why should anyone? It’s not the next iPhone. Or the next Avengers movie.
So, the solution here is not just creating the most engaging course ever, but also making it sound like it is as interesting as the next iPhone or the next Avengers movie.
Now imagine these 2 scenarios:
Scenario 1: You’re standing in a meeting room and you say this—Raise your hands if you want to go through my next eLearning course!
Scenario 2: You’re standing in a meeting room and you say this—Raise your hands if you want to play my next learning game!
Which announcement would generate more curiosity? A game would definitely have the upper hand. As a planet, we play 3 billion hours of games every week. Why not use this to transform your training program into the next iPhone!
Games As A Medium For Marketing
Games have been used for marketing for years now. Go to the Play Store and search for ‘Justice League games’ and you will know what I am talking about. Games are exciting, competitive, and provide an immersive experience.
The first thing you should do is move to game-based learning. Stop thinking about your course in terms of a presentation with images and tabs. Think of it as a game, where the learner must find the hidden treasure or kill the demon, and the learning content will help him achieve this objective. Add a storyline and let the assessments appear in the form of learning games. Now you have an engaging and exciting game-based learning course ready. Is that all? Target achieved? Not at all. This is just the beginning.
Think Like A Marketer
Stop thinking about your course as a learning manager and start thinking like a marketer. You’re no longer marketing a course, but an exciting game. Get your marketing department involved as well. How would you go about it? Plan your marketing campaigns in 2 phases:
Phase I – Pre-Launch Campaigns
Start with a teaser campaign with catchy copy, like ‘The Lost Treasure. Coming soon!’. Send out emailers or put out posters with cryptic messaging. Plan this for a week or two before your course launch and start attracting eyeballs. Make sure you use game-related visuals or theme to put this out. They have to connect back to your game so your audience can relate to it when you reveal your course.
Have you seen these short videos featuring the characters from the popular game—Clash of Clans? Here’s one of them. These entertain you and generate curiosity about the game. Create short videos like this and share with your employees. These will help you with the much-needed virality. You don’t have to create rich animated videos like this, but you can create simple ones. There are a lot of tools out there which can help you get these created or one of your training partners can help you with this.
Quiz Contest Using Learning Game
A lot of products offer samples to provide a first-hand experience to the customers. It is one of the most effective strategies. Create a quick learning game which you have used in your course and plan out a quiz contest using the same. Reward the top players with vouchers or certificates to encourage word-of-mouth publicity. Plan this as a trailer and inform your players to watch out for the larger game.
Phase II – Post-Launch Campaigns
Leaderboards And Rewards
Once your learners start playing your course, monitor it, and look out for the early adopters. These are the first ones to access your course. Reward them for this feat. Do create a leaderboard featuring the top 5 or 10 players. Share this within the organization to recognize the top players.
Have you ever bought a happy meal from McDonald’s? Remember the free toy which you got? It is one of the major reasons why people buy a happy meal. Giveaways have a huge recall value and do encourage virality. See if you could plan for a small giveaway, like a keychain or coaster which features one of the characters from the game.
Remember, just because you have put a lot of effort to create the best eLearning course, does not mean others would be interested in it as well. You have to communicate it in a way which your audience would find it interesting. So, put your marketing hat on and get started!