We talked a while ago about the content marketing strategies you can steal to help market your training, but are there other strategies you can use to manage and develop training programs? Sure! Let's take a closer look.
Develop an Umbrella Training Strategy
In content marketing, understanding the basic framework of how to implement it guides marketers in their planning and execution. Training pros can use the same framework to help keep their training development "on message" and on target.
For example, try this basic strategy from the Content Marketing Institute (adapted for the training professional):
Consistent messaging: Standardize everything from phrasing (style guides) to training delivery methods and align your development across the entire training team.
Training and business objectives: Align training programs with specific goals and business objectives to ensure every program is useful and valuable. For example, are you looking to increase sales and revenue? Reduce support calls by better educating customers?
Training roles: Do you have enough staff to cover development, implementation, and delivery of your training programs? Is there an overall manager that drives the training strategy? Defining these roles early can help avoid overlapping responsibilities, inefficient workflow, and turnover.
Training workflow: A defined workflow for training programs helps the team work efficiently and produce the highest quality work possible. That could be a single person that manages the entire process or a working committee that comes together frequently to discuss milestones and end goals.
Training guidance: Further to the consistent messaging idea, guiding information helps customer education teams become familiar with the type of training you produce. Information such as a short description, training brief, and samples should be available at all times, and updated as your training library expands or contracts.
Training approvals: Determine the workflow for reviews and approvals of training programs, including existing ones and how to incorporate customer feedback.
Training metrics and analysis: Branch out from the typical surveys and dig deeper to learn whether your customer education programs are effective. Are they doing what you intended? Are you tracking behaviors that align with business goals and KPIs?
Set Clear Goals for Training
Often, training pros work in a bit of a vacuum, not fully understanding how their work impacts the company's bottom line. Communicating the end business goals helps with this, as does setting quantifiable progress goals. Set monthly and quarterly goals for your training team so everyone knows what to aim for.
Quantify the ROI of Training
Not only must you define clear goals for training pros to meet, but you must also define and track quality and production numbers for the team. Understand what "high quality" means for training and then how to measure against it. Show a clear through-line from these goals to the overall company goals and objectives so they understand exactly how they fit in.
Use a Training Editorial Calendar
Content marketers use an editorial calendar to work ahead and understand future deadlines since they're often working on multiple projects and deadlines. The same concept can be used by customer education pros. It helps keep the team informed on everyone's progress and makes changes and updates simpler and less stressful.
Create an Education Platform Supported by Training
Content hubs are a great way to centralize information online, making it easier for audiences to find and consume. American Express did this with Open Forum where small business experts share their knowledge in the form of blog posts and articles, videos, and more. Gainsight does this with their Customer Success University, which gathers courses and training programs in study streams, such as Admin 101 to help customers become Gainsight Administrators or CSM 101, the first step in their Customer Success certification program.
Do Not Sell Your Products in Training Programs
Your company uses other vehicles to sell their products, such as shopping carts, free trials, and an entire sales team dedicated to it. Your training programs should not sell, but rather, provide value to the audience.
There you have it. A few more content marketing strategies training professionals can steal and use. Have you used any of these? What about other content marketing strategies? Share in the comments as we'd love to hear about it.