Learning Content Strategy: Keep it Brainless and Painless

Transparent ball with inscription strategy in a hand

Despite the importance of developing talent in the face of increasing skills gaps, most learners can only dedicate 27 minutes per week on average to their own learning and training.

This means employees simply dont have time to waste searching for content that helps them do their jobs. Consider a sales rep trying to find that nugget of info on how to beat a competitor, or a client support agent who needs to quickly find a technical resource document to resolve a customer service issue; they dont need content at the time of need they need it at the time ofurgency.

But most organizations are ill-equipped to create content and deliver it in a way that makes it easy to find. Many limp along by using SharePoint, or storing content in emails or folders on a select few individuals desktops, or other information black holes.

Its time to change this. As Cristine (Duckworth) Lipscomb discussed recently on our webinar,Learning Delivery: Meeting the Modern Learner Where They Are, Part 1,this problem can be addressed by creating a content strategy thats so simple it makes searching and finding content brainless and painless.

So what exactly is a learning content strategy? Lipscomb defines it as a methodology to solve business goals through the systematic design, development, delivery, and maintenance of content. Notice the lack of fluff here content strategy is all about thebusiness. If you want to increase productivity, sales, or customer satisfaction, you need to be able to create consistent, relevant content and get it into the hands of your learners quickly.

Governance plays a huge role in the success of a content strategy. Now dont think bureaucracy here all were talking about is the need for a person or committee who will make critical decisions about content. What content is relevant for your learners jobs? Who is the audience? Where should it be stored? How can you make it easier to access? They will be responsible for ensuring accessing content is painless and brainless.

And certainly a content strategys success hinges upon the content itself. When developing content, Lipscomb offers 4 rules of thumb:

  1. Content is not a course
  2. Content is smart
  3. Content is shared
  4. Templates drive consistency

Remember, your learners dont have time to search hour-long courses to find information. Content must be developed and made available in little pieces. A sales rep doesnt need to sift through a guide on how to compete against your top 15 competitors if hes only up against one in a deal.

Your content also needs to be smart and easily shareable. Smart content is highly re-useable and can be tagged so you know for which audience it is most relevant. Its a good idea to leverage templates as much as you can. They ease the efficiency of content production and also increase learner effectiveness by providing a consistent development experience because your learners recognize the format, they can dive right into the material and focus on the learning itself.

If you would like to learn more about how to leverage templates and workflows in your content strategy, as well as best practices to more effectively deliver it to your learners, register for Part 2 of our series with Cristine, coming up on July 15th.

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