Written by VP Legacies and Andrea Maliska
One of the deterrents from creating eLearning content is how much it’s going to cost. But eLearning content doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming to produce while generating ROI from the start.
To start budgeting for your eLearning content, you must first begin with the why. You need to understand why and what success looks like before you even start creating content. As a business, you need to figure out what you want to achieve with your eLearning content. Is it education? Is it brand awareness? Figure this out before you start. While the idea of eLearning content may seem great, you want to make sure it has a purpose in the greater content creation in the organization. If it doesn’t you may want to reconsider because it may not produce the ROI you want.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your eLearning content. A trap that many organizations can get stuck into is having an overly-ambitious plan for their eLearning content. This is not the way to go, especially if you are just starting out. Start out small and targeted to specific audiences or niches. Pick one or two niches that you do really well in to test out the effectiveness of the eLearning content. If it becomes successful, then you can expand your scope. By doing this, you build trust, interest, and ROI.
Lite learning tools
If you are just starting out with your eLearning content, keep your tools lite. This can be very cost effective and provide meaningful impact over heavy tools. Plus, there is no use investing in heavy equipment if you don’t know whether or not eLearning is going to be a success or not.
Going along with starting small, you want to make sure you are creating content that is easily accessible. This content should fit into viewers’ day-to-day routine and should supplement to the training and education they already receive. Focus on creating basic content on basic concepts then work on expanding to more complex topics. You don’t want to create content that is hard to consume, too technical, or out of the learners’ scope.
Champions in the organization
When looking to find topics for your eLearning content, looking internally. Find internal champions who can provide internal workshops, webinars, or lunch and learns. These people are often the subject matter experts in the organization and are the perfect people to pioneer eLearning efforts. The key is to cut down your costs by using resources that you have already created internally. This will not only save you money but give the people in your organization time to shine.
Now that you can keep your eLearning content on a budget, it is time to start thinking about ROI and the metrics that you want to use as benchmarks to measure success.
To start, keep the investment in your eLearning content small. If you want to start experimenting with eLearning content, try your hand at a pilot program, where you pick one area of the business or topic to produce content on. This way, you can try it out on a small scale. If it succeeds, you can expand its reach across the organization, and if it doesn’t, you can discontinue the program without a significant loss.
Easily measured programs
If you are looking to the ROI of your eLearning content, you are going to need to gather metrics. To easily do this, select programs that are more easily measured such as sales, support, management, or onboarding. These groups often are measured by metrics that are easier to understand than other organizations. Make sure you have access to the metrics you need and can easily pull them to create reports to show the success or failure of the program.
It is not only about money
While a large part of ROI is about financial return, there are a number of non-monetary benefits that can be gained in implementing eLearning content. Take the opportunity to quantify the non-monetary effects of the program in your analysis. These can outweigh the monetary benefits if it proves to be beneficial to the organization.
A few non-monetary metrics for eLearning content include:
- Time to effectiveness
- Reduction in support hours
- An increase of efficiencies in processes
- Reduction in attrition
- Number of deals closed before training vs. after
You’ll be surprised at just how powerful these metrics can be to an executive or senior management.
The creation and implementation of eLearning doesn’t have to cost an organization an arm and a leg. There are plenty of innovative ways to create eLearning content on a budget using the tools and resources in your organization. And by being smart about your eLearning content creation, you will see ROI from the start—both monetary and non-monetary.