In the world of B2C marketing, content has gradually emerged as the single most effective weapon. This reflects a significant change in consumer behaviour across multiple markets, with an estimated 200 million people now using ad-blocking software to tailor their online experience.
While it is now widely-accepted that content can be used to effectively engage and convert customers, however, the question that remains is whether it as impactful when communicating with employees? After all, one of the toughest challenges associated with learning and development is information retention, and in some respects the implementation of a diverse and integrated content strategy is ideally-placed to tackle this.
So how exactly can content be used to inform, engage and educate your employees? Here are some ideas: –
Leverage Gamification to Educate Employees on Compliance Matters
If we consider information retention to be one of the most challenging issues when educating employees, it is important to cultivate content strategies that bring even the most mundane topics to life. By creating a striking contrast between the subject matter of individual courses and the mediums through which they are taught through, you can engage the interest of employees and enhance their capability to retain crucial data.
In the modern age, one of the methods of educating people involves the use of gamification. This practice enables you to apply classic gaming patterns and techniques to real world scenarios, while allowing participants to communicate openly, challenge one another and interact with specific products. It also has a broad appeal across multiple demographics too, with the video game market alone set to achieve a value in excess of $118 billion by the end of 2019.
Make mistake, this has the potential to bring staid and uninspiring subject matter to life, while driving higher levels of data retention and empowering employees to seek out further information independently.
There are other benefits too, particularly when you leverage gamification to drive business compliance. After all, this allows your venture to simulate corporeal scenarios in a safe and virtual setting, while energising a topic that usually drains students. Similarly, gamification can also drive longer-term compliance adherence, saving your business considerable sums of money in the future.
Use Your Blog to Educate Employees Over Time
If you own a business, the chances are that you will also operate an affiliated blogging resource (whether this is featured as part of the main website or as a stand-alone entity). There is good reason for this too, with websites that feature a blog though to have approximately 434% more indexed pages than those that do not.
While you may have used blogging to reach, engage and inform consumers, however, you can apply similar methods to communicate with your employees. This process must start by challenging behavioural trends, however, so that you staff members are encouraged to read and interact with your blog on a daily basis.
To achieve this, start by publishing the vast majority of your internal communications through the blog. This can include everything from your quarterly newsletter to social and company updates, with the central goal being to establish your blog as a key resource for company stakeholders. You can then build on this foundation by driving engagement and compelling employees to interact with the blog, primarily through content vehicles such as interactive polls and customised surveys.
Over time, your blog will become a seminal resource that employees rely upon for core, company data and insightful content. It is then that you can begin to leverage this as a progressive learning resource, using your blog to feature video tutorials on a range of relevant topics and in-depth, long-form posts that serve as detailed and interactive guides.
Beyond this, you may even want to invite external contributors to add their voice to your blog, in a bid to utilise industry expertise and present a fresh perspective to staff members. This will build trust between your brand and your employees, which is crucial of the latter are to heed your lessons and build their knowledge base effectively.
Utilize Podcasts to Challenge Employees and Incite Debate
On a similar note, podcasts can also be used to educate employees and encourage further learning through debate, interaction and conversation. After all, while the benefits of podcasts may be widely-accepted in 2017, this type of content has continued to grow in popularity with more than one billion broadcasts having been downloaded from the iTunes store alone.
The key, competitive advantage offered by podcasts is that they include a panel of voices, which exposes staff members to variable opinions and challenges to form their own. This is not crucial to the process of independent learning, but it also encourages the type of progressive debate that helps employees to become more informed and strategic thinkers.
If you are to successfully leverage this free and accessible learning resource, however, there are two key things to bear in mind. Firstly, regular publications are crucial if you to fully engage employees, so it may make sense to record elongated training sessions and break these down into structured, bite-sized segments. This should optimize engagement while ensuring that topics can be explored in depth without losing the listeners’ interest.
Similarly, why not empower your employees by actively involving them in the creation of future podcasts? This encourages them to fully utilize their expertise and participate fully in the learning cycle while providing an outlet for their knowledge afford the educational process merit and context.