These days, employees are more time-starved and distracted than ever before. Because of this, a major struggle L&D departments face is cutting through the noise of daily tasks, meetings, emails and other responsibilities that steal employee’s attention. As learning habits and needs evolve, it’s important that learning approaches follow suit.

The marketing industry has perfected the art of engagement and influence and since L&D strives for the same with their audience, it’s only logical that we learn from their methods and rethink some of ours. If most advertisements contained long lines of text, marketers would have little to no success engaging anyone, let alone make a sale. Clearly, they have the right idea with their use of precise text, catchy language, colors, graphics and videos. When it comes down to it, using certain marketing tools in learning solutions have proven beneficial.

The best learning strategies often involve some sort of L&D/marketing cross-over. Consider having these marketing tools in your learning and development arsenal:

If individuals were asked to choose between consuming the same piece of the learning information from a long text or a well-crafted, insightful video, the consensus would be video is better. Being more dynamic, visually stimulating and engaging, who could argue?

Snagit is a simple, yet powerful screencast and recording software for this. This affordable tool allows you to capture processes on your computer, including audio, and it takes it a step further by letting you add explanations and visual instructions. You can add personality and professionalism to basic screen recordings and captures and even quickly create videos from still images.

It’s great to borrow marketing’s use of video to add to the mix and Wistia is a free online video tool for webcam, live-action and screen capture videos. It provides video-hosting services on its platform topped off with password protection to guard against creative theft and analytics for engagement and audience access.

We have already established that visuals are much more stimulating and brain-friendly than text so besides video, consider upgrading your graphics. These can be anything from presentation slides to infographics.

Venngage is a go-to for high-quality infographics but also has provisions for every other type of graphic you might need. With its infographic creator, L&D professionals can easily design branded job aids and other performance support tools. This free, do-it-yourself design platform is fully stocked with all the graphic design essentials and a wide variety in its template bank to choose from and share within your organization.

Marketers often use mock-up generators to ensure either stakeholders or customers can envision their products. Consider stealing this technique into L&D to drive relevancy with your learner.

Ever have an eLearning course where you show generic images of a monitor? Instead, consider putting your organization’s website within that laptop monitor. Or put your company’s logo on a pillow in the background. PlaceIt is an affordable, online tool that will mock-up the image for you in a variety of pre-set templates.

L&D professionals can utilize email marketing platforms for creating learning campaigns and sharing bite-sized bits of learning information. They are great for opening the lines of communication with the learner.

MailChimp is a favourite amongst marketers because of how easy and reliable it is. This free online tool allows you the opportunity to segment your audience into their different learning groups or personas so they are only sent what is relevant to them and not organization-wide. With carefully curated templates, you can create eye-catching emails with creative subject lines that boost opens and clicks, which are tracked for you. Bulk messaging has never been so easy.

Gif Maker
Extending the idea of using email to share learning information, consider adding an animated GIF that illustrates steps in a training process. Amongst other uses, marketers have done this well by creating animated GIFS of recipe steps into e-campaigns. You can also try simple gifs with Gif Maker, a free, basic tool that allows you to record a section of your screen and convert it to an animated gif.

In order to cater to individuals’ learning needs, you have to, first of all, know what they actually are. This is where tools like BuzzSumo comes in. It’s where you can go to find the top trends in different industries.

L&D professionals can use this marketing tool as a search engine for the top learning trends and for keeping up with what target learners are discussing and concerned about, reading and sharing. You can even venture outside of the L&D space to find out successful tactics in other industries you can leverage. There’s also the option of being alerted to the changing trends periodically.

It’s wise to leverage effective tools and tactics from other industries like marketing if it means empowering and improving your work. Incorporating these marketing tools into your learning programs increases the probability of your learners ‘buying’ into them.