Marketing Your Online Training Internally

Designing Digitally


This blog was updated on 11/19/2020.

What if you built it and they didn’t come? Imagine pouring company time, money, and resources into building an online training program for your workforce, only to have it go unused. The best training program in the world is worthless unless it has the participation of your learners. So how do you entice your employees to get on board with your online training efforts? How do you promote the benefits of online training to a skeptical or hesitant audience?

If we approach the challenge of promoting your online training as simply another sales opportunity, we can begin to see the solution. As with any sales campaign, you need to develop a plan to market your product (in this case online training) to your target audience (in this case your employees). However, it is also important to maintain a level of trust and integrity with your workforce in the process.

Why you need to market your training internally

Generally speaking, people are resistant to change and hesitant to adopt new ways of doing things. This can be especially true in the workplace, as careers and livelihoods are at stake. But change is inevitable, and the new online training programs are in the best interests of both employers and employees. In the effort to gain adoption, you need to actively market this new method of training to your workforce. To accomplish this, consider how Hollywood promotes the latest blockbuster movie to the public.

By building excitement and interest (and yes, a little hype) far in advance of the rollout, your employees may feel more anticipation rather than dread. A strong marketing campaign can turn skepticism into interest. It’s all in how the new online training is perceived, and how successful you are at presenting it. So let’s take a look at what we can do to entice your employees into eagerly jumping on board with your online training.

Using gamification to entice your workforce

The use of gamification or game-based strategies can be a highly successful way to get people interested in your online training efforts. What we mean by this is to implement some of the techniques that make online games so appealing. Here are a few examples of how gamification can be used to encourage participation in training. 

  • Competition - Initiating friendly competition among employees can be a great way to motivate some to participate. Competition can take the form of; most courses completed, highest score, a department with the most participation, etc. There are few of us who can resist our competitive nature for long – just make sure not to alienate any of your workers. To avoid this, consider daily or weekly resets so that all can compete.

  • Status -  Status recognition is a great motivator for some workers, and can promote participation in your online training program. Implementing leaderboards and top performers can piggyback on the competition method, leading to even more participation.

  • Rewards -  Using rewards is a classic gamification technique that keeps learners coming back for more training. Since our brains are wired for a positive chemical reaction to rewards, it actually makes learning a positive experience. Reward systems can be built into the online training lessons themselves, and can also be made a part of the marketing or enticement to participate in the training.

You can build excitement and interest in your online training by using gamification techniques to entice employees to participate. You can also use these game mechanics within your online training courses to encourage learners to continue with the lessons. Gamification has been shown to increase the interest and participation levels in training courses of all types. 

Impact of not marketing your course

Although internal marketing of your online training may seem strange or even a little coercive, it is in the interest of the learning and development effort to do so. Without actively marketing your online training to your workforce, participation will not be as strong as it could be. As a result, the effort you’ve put into building the online training program is wasted. And as we know, training that doesn’t get used is the least effective training of all.

Read also: Tips for Marketing Your Employee Training Course

Creating an Internal Marketing Plan

In addition to knowing tips on how to entice your workforce, you also need to ensure that you are crafting a quality marketing plan for your training program to be effective. Here are some tips to create a strong marketing plan to promote your eLearning course internally. 

Know your audience

To start, it is important to know who you are marketing to and understand why they need to take the training you are offering. You need to be able to relay to them the value they will gain from the new program and how it will personally impact them and their skillset. 

Identify program goals

Your marketing plan will be based on the goals you have set for the training efforts, so it is necessary to understand what those are from the beginning. Identify your goals for the training development, and make sure they align with organizational goals the company has set as well. Establishing goals of the marketing plan will also help to identify who needs to take the training who does not. 

Determine measurement metrics

Once you know what the goals are for your training program and marketing efforts, you need to understand how to measure it. It could be increased completion of training courses or simply improved awareness. Perhaps it could be higher sales of a certain product. Whatever metrics you select, they need to be set early on and measured throughout the training. This can help point out areas that may need adjustments in the future in order to get the result you are looking for.

Create an action plan

Keeping your goals in mind, determine how to deliver/execute your marketing strategy. Once you’ve decided on the methods you want to follow, you’ll need to establish:

  • Purpose - What is the intent of your marketing plan? Do you want to inform, remind, educate, gain buy-in, improve awareness, or increase participation?

  • Method - What will you use to communicate the new information with your employees? You can create newsletters, infographics, flyers, posters, web pages, web banners, email, and presentations. Use a mixture of tactics to cater to different learning styles and to encourage engagement and interest. 

  • Timeline - Create a schedule for each part of your marketing plan and determine when to deploy them: pre-launch, mid-launch, monthly, quarterly, etc.

Sustain your efforts

After your marketing plan has been launched, you need to ensure that it is effective and that you are meeting the goals that you have set. Find out if your learning objectives and objectives for the marketing strategy are being met as desired. Identify if there are improvements in the expected areas and determine if any implemented methods need to be changed for better results.


Here at Designing Digitally, our training experts can help you devise an internal marketing campaign that will help to promote your online training efforts. By building excitement and anticipation into your learning and development strategy, your workforce will be geared up and ready to participate fully.

Let us know how we can help you with your training needs, and getting your workforce on board. Contact our team to learn more and to discuss how online training can help you reach your learning and development goals. 

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