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5 Ways to Adapt Your LMS to Your Brand

Posted by Julia Borgini on May 5, 2017 2:48:32 PM
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2.pngIn today’s fast-growing software world, a branded LMS is key to your business. It is crucial to create a consistent user experience for your learners, one that accurately reflects not only your company's color scheme, but also one that actively reflects the company brand you've created and that you're trying to promote. Consistency in your public "face", from your website to your LMS to your products shows you care about every facet of your company, leading to a sense of trust between you and your customers.

Your brand is a story unfolding across all customer touch points.

Jonah Sachs, entrepreneur, author, journalist and social change strategis

If you want customers to experience your LMS as an extension of your overall brand, you need to put your stamp on it. Here are five ways to brand your LMS to create an integrated and positive customer experience.

Upload your current corporate logo and colors

One of the great things about all the SaaS products available to us today is that they're so easily customizable to your company. LMS' that let you add your corporate branding are a must for today's competitive software company.

Customers expect your training portal/LMS to have your company logo and colors visible. This creates a branded framework for your training, so your logo becomes part of the framework, alongside your training content, participants, and the overall training goals for the portal.

Review the fonts and styles in your LMS

If your LMS is capable, consider using the same fonts and other styles as your website and other marketing materials — that includes any icons and illustrations you use elsewhere too. These visual elements enhance the learning environment and eliminate the preconception that your LMS is just another boring piece of business software. Plus it's more visually appealing to customers, making learning more fun!

Cloudera uses the same font and styles on their Learndot-powered learning portal as they do on their main website (CalibreWeb Light and Regular, for the web and design geeks out there.) 3.png

Ensure diction is consistent with your main site

Look at the words you use in your LMS. Do they reflect the same tone and voice as your main website? Or do you use "higher" level words because it's your training content and so you feel the need to be more academic? (I like to call these, $10 words.) There's no need to use a radically different vocabulary in your LMS just because it's a learning environment. In fact, showing such a different level of wording on your LMS creates a big disconnect between your brand and your customers. Not to mention the fact they may have difficulty learning because you're too focused on the $10 words.

$10 words can lead to a negative learning environment

This disconnect creates a negative impression of you in your customers. They may wonder if your training team is working in isolation from the rest of the company and if the training programs they produce are worth looking at. Not a big deal for your customers that got training as part of their product purchase, but if you're looking to it as a separate revenue stream, you may be in trouble.

Foster a positive environment by matching word choice

Instead, ensure you're using the same diction and tone in your LMS as you do throughout the rest of your marketing and corporate assets. Take a look at your LMS and see if it lets you change the labels on buttons and add custom messages to course listings. Match the diction, tone, and voice with the rest of your corporate assets and show that consistency. Consistency in language in your LMS continues the bond of trust you're developing with your customers. It's another building block in that trust.

Word choice case study: Docker

Let's take a look at how Docker does it. See how Docker uses the same language on both their website and learning portal? They use the same, informal style on both websites, creating a unified experience for readers.

Their website:

4.png

Their learning portal:

5.png

A closer look at how Docker does it

Docker uses a number of tactics to unify their language and style.

  1. They both speak directly to the learner ("you"):

    • Website: "Package dependencies with your apps in Docker containers..."

    • Learning portal: "This hands-on workshop style course will give your team an overview..."

  2. They both use the same, informal language:

    • Website: "Eliminate the 'it works on my machine' problem once and for all."

    • Learning portal: "Get everyone 'on the same page' and working together..."

  3. They both use words in their buttons, in the gerund form since it's a command (for your grammar geeks):

    • Website: "Register Now", "Get Docker", and "Learn More"

    • Learning portal: "Register" and "View Schedule"

Be consistent throughout your LMS

By this stage your LMS is looking pretty good and probably matches your overall company branding. Almost. There's probably a few little things you've forgotten to check when it comes to ensuring your LMS uses your branding everywhere, such as:

  • The internal, non-selling pages of your learning portal like the terms and conditions or FAQ page

  • The individual program or course pages

  • The shopping cart/sales page

  • The sign-up/sales confirmation page

  • Your course videos: both the visuals and audio (are you referencing an older name for your company? Like we have in some of our Learndot success story videos shot before we changed our name to Learndot?)

How to be consistent

Use these tips to ensure your LMS uses consistent branding and language throughout:

  • Include your branding in all the templates available in your LMS (if possible and applicable).

  • Consider consider creating a quick style guide and/or templates your training team can use as they create new courses or modify existing ones if your LMS isn't capable of adding branding at all (or to the degree we've talked about here).

This way everything's consistent and looks the same. Also, if you're unable to update the audio in videos or the video themselves, make sure to include notes on the page indicating that you're aware of the "error" and what the correction is.

  • Task someone on the training team to keep updated with company branding so you're aware of future changes ahead of time.

Consistency in an LMS example: Gainsight

See how Gainsight does this in their Customer Success University (powered by Learndot)? They use the same logos, color scheme, fonts and styles, and language as their main website.

Learning portal

Main Page

6.png

Individual Course Page

7.png


Shopping Cart

8.png

 

Main Website

9.png

 

Ensure your offline assets are consistent too

For training programs that offer certificates or badges, do they match your corporate branding? You may have to work with your marketing colleagues to create some new ones if they don't. This applies to any certificates you may produce in-house (either manually or through your LMS if it's able to do that), as well as any digital credentials you offer through third-party services like Credly.


Let's do this!

Strong branding of your LMS provides a seamless experience for customers as they move from prospect to customer to learner to power user. Branding creates a deeper sense of trust between you and your learners because they're more comfortable in your "environment". They see you've taken the time to ensure all your assets look and feel the same, so they know you do the same for your products as well.

Your brand is one of your biggest assets. Your training function shouldn’t sacrifice it.

- Learndot 

It's this trust that helps them evolve into high software adopters and hopefully, enthusiastic advocates. All from your LMS branding.

Topics: LMS, marketing, Sales, Learndot

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Julia Borgini

Written by Julia Borgini

Julia Borgini helps Geeks sell their stuff. A self-proclaimed Geek, Julia is a freelance writer and content marketing strategist who teaches tech companies how to develop & execute successful tech content marketing programs. Her helpful articles have appeared on CrazyEgg, Social Media Examiner, KISSMetrics, and B2B News Network, as well as her own tech content marketing blog. To learn more about tech content marketing, visit her website at spacebarpress.com.

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