Webinar Highlights: The Role of an LMS in implementing your Digital Learning experience
This blog was kindly written by Daniela Ochoa, Content Marketing Specialist at Thinkific.
Last week we invited Adam Jones, VP of Sales at Thinkific to join us for an engaging webinar to learn how you can build a business case for digital learning throughout your organization and by optimizing the value and impact of your existing LMS across your business.
Given the recent changes to market conditions, businesses worldwide (particularly in SaaS) are needing to change their focus from growth at all costs to focus on efficiency and scalable investments across their business. Selecting and implementing a Learning Management System can be a major contributor to those efficiency gains, but only if managed and measured in the right way.
Here are some highlights from what we learned during the session:
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1. Build a business case for your LMS by building a digital learning experience that supports your organization’s goals
An LMS can help a business achieve its goals in several different ways. For instance, your business’s priorities might lie in reducing customer churn, increasing product adoption, or upskilling your employees.
Depending on your priorities and goals as a business, you can use your LMS for multiple purposes such as Customer Education, Lead Generation, Employee Education and Partner Education. To maximize the value of your LMS spend, explore creating a digital learning experience to support each of these areas of focus across your business.
Your business can accelerate its customer success with customer training at scale. Through an online customer education program, you can improve customer onboarding, increase product adoption, and reduce “churn” rates.
Having built a successful business already, implementing a customer success strategy around your products and services can and will help you take your organization to the next level.
Through online learning, you can support your businesses’ customers by educating them on your existing and new offers, improve customer retention, build a positive customer experience, and activate your customers and their product adoption faster.
Take Later Media as an example: A leading Instagram and social media marketing platform that helps companies schedule and plan their visual marketing strategy. With content already created for their customer onboarding webinars, they uploaded their video tutorials to their LMS to improve their customer experience and had their course up and running in a week.
- A 20% increase in retention
- A 467% increase in the adoption of features
- A 368% increase in purchasing paid plans
The example from Later media goes to show that you can leverage your LMS to help your business save thousands of dollars in customer churn and increase brand loyalty with online education.
If you are looking to leverage your LMS for customer education, these are good questions to consider to implement your digital learning experience:
- What is the critical action in your customer journey that initiates success, and can you increase the number of customers who reach it via digital learning?
- Why are customers currently leaving or outgrowing your business?
- Can an online course be created in your business to alleviate customer churn?
Your business can transform leads into brand advocates by providing high-value education at every stage of the funnel. By building a digital learning experience for lead generation purposes with your existing LMS, you can differentiate your brand with engaging educational content that brings in new leads.
Take Hootsuite as an example: One of the world’s most widely used social media management platforms. Hootsuite recognized that there was an opportunity to use education to connect with customers at any point of their journey, attract new customers, as well as build their brand as a leader in the social media space.
The company uses their LMS to host their Hootsuite Academy – an online training site with courses on social media marketing and Hootsuite platform training, with the goal of attracting new customers and nurturing current ones.
- Reduced churn
- Increased customer engagement
- Over 2,151,000 students (aka new leads!)
If you are looking to leverage your LMS for lead generation, these are good questions to consider to implement your digital learning experience:
- Who is considered the leader in education in your space, could it be you?
- What problems are your prospects facing? Can you help solve them?
Your business can also leverage its existing LMS to improve the onboarding process for your channel partners and resellers with a thoughtful education program that helps you drive sales. Building a digital learning experience for your partners also allows you to keep them up-to-date and informed as you continue to grow.
Take Keap for example, an e-mail marketing and sales platform for small businesses. Because Keap already had a successful business, they accelerated their growth by reaching into new markets and attempted to fit into new audiences they did not have access to by relying on their partners to be able to advocate for them and implement their platform on their behalf through Partnerships.
- Since switching platforms and re-launching their online partner education program with a new LMS in June 2020, Keap has reduced the time spent on partner onboarding by 30%.
If you are looking to leverage your existing LMS for partner education purposes, ask yourself the following questions:
- What kind of knowledge can you equip business partners with to ensure success?
- How can you leverage your LMS to support your partners?
Your business can create unique employee experiences with thoughtfully designed and brand immersive learning pathways that support your team’s onboarding, growth and development.
Employee training and development is an essential tool that can help you effectively onboard, reduce employee turnover, develop your organization’s talent, and create innovative ways to meet customer needs.
Your existing LMS platform can support your employee training and education efforts by providing a centralized location to build, design, market, and host training courses.
Another perk? Building a digital learning experience for employee training allows you to provide remote access to dynamic educational materials that your employees need to stay focused.
Take Echosec Systems for example. They launched Echosec Essentials in 2020 – an online customer and employee education program built to equip their customers and employees with a better understanding of the platform’s capabilities using their LMS.
- Increased positive feedback from new and existing customers
- Improved Customer Success Rates
- Reduced onboarding times
If you are looking to leverage your existing LMS for employee education purposes, ask yourself the following questions:
- How does your current employee education align with your brand?
- Are you providing employees with all of the information/ education they need to succeed?
- Are there existing training and onboarding processes that you could bring online to reduce time and costs?
You might be thinking to yourself, there are so many options available for how I can leverage my LMS to support my business goals. Where do I start?
Adam recommends asking yourself which acceleration path would work best for your business and what the current largest need is and starting there.
Turning your LMS from a cost centre into a profit centre
Right now, there is a strong opportunity for businesses to increase their revenue and reach new levels of success with online learning.
Establishing your business as a knowledgeable expert in your industry and diving into the industry of online education for customers can have a significant positive impact on your business. In fact, nearly half of US organizations have managed to increase their income by reaping the benefits of e-learning since 2019.
If you leverage your LMS efficiently, you can utilize online learning to turn your LMS into a profit centre rather than a cost. Creating a successful, revenue-generating online academy through your LMS will allow the platform to pay for itself and help you generate growth for your business/organization.
Take CFI for example, a Leading Financial Analyst training company that drives revenue primarily through online courses. CFI offers financial analyst training programs and classes for individuals looking to improve their financial analysis skills. Their programs and certifications have been delivered to over 1 million students from over 170 countries, helping them become world-class financial analysts.
Their founder Tim Vipond, wanted to build an online academy that made it accessible and affordable for anyone to get the financial analyst training they needed, at any point in their career. He used his experience and knowledge expertise to build a successful business.
- Steady growth – both in terms of the number of student signups, as well as revenue.
- Over 1 million students in 170 countries and no signs of slowing down.
- The team is continuing to reinvest their earnings back into the business to make their existing courses even better and aims to branch out by developing new courses.
CFI’s example goes to show that by leveraging your knowledge expertise, you can create a powerful revenue stream for a business using an LMS.
If you are looking to leverage your existing LMS for revenue generation purposes, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is your business’s biggest pain point right now?
- How can you leverage online education to equip your customers/partners for success?
- How can you leverage your business’s knowledge and expertise?
Ensure that your existing LMS is tied to clear success metrics which align with the business’s Objectives and Key results
It can be hard to tie Customer Education, Lead Generation and Partner education efforts within your existing LMS back to a measurable return on investment. Make a business case for your LMS and demonstrate its effectiveness long-term by ensuring that you have outlined clear goals for your digital learning experience, as well as metrics that demonstrate the success of your online courses such as:
- Percentage of increase in product adoption
- Percentage of reduction in onboarding times
- Number of enrollments
- Course completion rates
- Percentage of revenue increase
- Number of certificates issued
Keeping an eye on these metrics will help you tie your efforts and investment in your current LMS back to dollars and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Reusing and recycling digital learning content to gain more value from your LMS
Did you know that you can maximize the efficiency of your LMS by reusing and recycling digital learning content across different areas of your business?
- The Later team repurposed webinars, FAQ sections and knowledge base articles to create their first online course
- The Echosec Systems team realized after launching their customer education program that the materials available through Echosec Essentials could serve a parallel purpose by helping to onboard new employees who need to know the product details to perform well in their roles.
Here’s a framework that can help you understand what you need to do in order to repurpose that content you already have.
This framework is by Aleyda Solis, an SEO consultant who built it for content marketing, and it works great for your LMS content as well.
- When you have a piece of content first determine if it can be expanded on – this might be a case study, successful social posts, or other bite-sized content. Then, if it’s expanded enough, determine if you can reformat anything – i.e. a blog post into a video or book into multiple chapters and lessons.
- Then, if you don’t have something that can be reformatted, look at curating it together with other content – so if you have a one-off video on YouTube that could go into a course, maybe combine it with a lead magnet workbook or notes from your coaching program to make it more robust.
- If all else fails, look for content for a different audience that can be refocused on your students here. This might be from a presentation you did to train internal employees that would be beneficial for customers too, or if you work in multiple industries, refocus the content for one industry on the industry your course fits into.
- As a last resort, you can jump into creating from scratch. This takes the most time and for the purpose of getting your course up in a day, I recommend the above options first.
Once you take stock of your existing material, you can move on to creating your course, and choosing a format for each lesson and learning support!
Now that you have learned multiple ways that you can leverage an LMS to generate change across your business/organization, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you need different platforms for your different digital learning and business goals?
- Are you getting the full value from your LMS right now? Is it time to maximize the value of your current LMS by creating new digital learning experiences, or make the switch to a more efficient platform?
Get the full value from your LMS and maximize its efficiency by making the switch to Thinkific Plus today.
With Thinkific Plus, you can build scalable online programs that your employees, customers, and partners will love, all in one place. Learn more about Thinkific Plus or book a call with our team to try it today.