- Generate interest before the launch
One of the primary benefits of running a launch campaign before introducing a new set of courses or LMS to your organisation is generating interest before it all kicks off. Working in a similar way to a typical marketing campaign (we’ll get into that a little later), publicising the upcoming changes through internal advertising (billboards, emails, videos, posters, etc.) can be a great way to get people talking about the exciting developments you have ahead. It can be tricky to get employees as excited about learning changes as we are in L&D, but this is a fantastic way to spread your enthusiasm and create intrigue across the organisation.
- Prepare your employees for change
Beyond generating interest, a launch campaign also has a lot of practical implications. In organisations of any kind or size, resistance to change is completely natural and should always be expected. Running a campaign ahead of launch not only allows you to generate interest in the new learning initiatives, but also give your employees a heads up that something new is coming. If resistance to change is a primary concern of yours, do what you can to get your employees involved in the campaign.
- Allow your workforce to feel more involved
Getting your employees involved in the launch can bring great benefits to learning and development as a whole in your organisation. Whether you want to push a user-generated content (UGC) campaign (where you encourage your workforce to enter competitions, pose with props etc) or invite them to be involved in a teaser campaign, active participation is shown to increase engagement.
- Increase engagement in learning
Boosting learning engagement is always in the forefront of any L&D strategy and what better way to do it than before your new learning initiative is launched? As we’ve already discussed, active participation boosts engagement but so does feeling included. Feeling included doesn’t just mean featuring in a teaser campaign or winning a competition, simply using this launch campaign as a platform to communicate directly with your learners can boost engagement and make them feel more valued.
- Boost morale in the workplace
In our definitive guide to boosting learning engagement, we discussed the importance of learner feedback and feeling both heard and valued. This not only helps with learning engagement but also to increased morale and workplace engagement as a whole. Running a campaign before, during, and after launching your learning initiative provides a fun way for employees to be heard and get involved.
What does a launch campaign look like?
There is no one definitive answer to this question. A launch campaign will look completely different depending on what you are launching, your organisation’s brand identity, budgetary allowances, and timeframes.
How do each of these elements come into play?
Let’s take a look at each one a little closer.
Here, we are essentially looking at the difference between launching a new course, an entire LMS, or a shift to mobile learning. A campaign exists to drive action, but the action you require from your employees, while always in the pursuit of learning, will be different depending on the required outcome.
If you are launching a new health & safety course for example, the goal for L&D is short term completion rates and overall compliance. When shifting to a new form of technology however, the focus is more likely to be on general uptake and learning engagement over the course of six months to a year.
“The campaign itself can also be a part of the learning experience.”
One of our favourite anecdotes from Learning Technologies 2019, was from Channel 4. They needed to revitalise their health & safety program to increase engagement. This sparked the creation of ‘Terry’, a man with a soulful voice singing about risk mitigation, helpline numbers, and legal health & safety requirements. The campaign ran primarily in the form of music videos and billboards. This tongue-in-cheek approach to compliance training is incredibly on-brand for Channel 4 – so how will your brand influence the way you distribute a launch campaign?
As with most decisions in L&D, a lot of what can be done comes down to budget. While you may not have the budget for music videos and fancy billboards, that doesn’t mean you can’t be creative. Find ways to interact with and grab the attention of your employees – chances are, they’ll engage in your campaign without even realising.
We discussed, in part one of this guide, the impact timeframes can have when deciding how to launch your new learning initiative. If you are seeking to carry out a campaign, you need more than just a couple of weeks heads up before the launch kicks off. However, what we mean by timeframes here, is how long you wish for your employees to have visibility of this campaign. You can spend months planning a campaign that will gather high engagement levels in just two weeks – it’s all about figuring out the best way to engage with your teams.
Now we’ve covered the logistics, it’s time to start planning a campaign.