By Kent Valentin Fallesen, CEO at uQualio
1. Turn your videos into learning
YouTube is increasingly used for a source of tutorials, “how tos” and acquiring skills. Because videos - when kept short with clear messages - are ideal for “bite-sized” learning, which has been proved highly efficient, compared to traditional training courses.
However, watching videos does not automatically guarantee learning. To ensure the optimal comprehension and mastering of the material in the videos, and hence actual learning, you need to add in functionality like practice and social interaction.
With a social learning platform, which incorporates video material, gamification and social sharing you can optimize learning speed and impact.
As a major bonus, the publisher of a learning campaign can follow data indicating the progress of each student and to communicate and facilitate learning based on this data.
2. Offer learning as a 24/7 resource
As with YouTube, we know that users expect accessibility 24/7 – and that goes for learning as well. You can’t make users wait until you have planned next face-to-face course – they want and expect learning on demand. Available online, where and when it suits them. That’s why an online learning platform is the basic conditioning for efficient training.
When you have your online learning platform, you can reap the benefits of effective onboarding, long term learning, marketing and compliance documentation.
Organizations need to adapt to changes – fast. And the larger an audience you want to influence with your training, the more complex it will be. Speed and agility are important factors. Rather than plan and wait for months to facilitate learning material and courses, you want training ready and deployed in minutes.
This is why video material is becoming increasingly popular in training – Video production and modification is within reach for most organizations within a reasonable budget. Basically, all you need is a phone of a certain quality.
With videos, an online, easy-to-manage social learning platform, can facilitate getting your online training up and running in less than 30 minutes.
Don’t have individual e-mail or phone number for each of your employees? Not a problem with a modern, social learning platform. If a person is on a social media – then they can access your platform and receive targeted training segmented by your organization management.
4. The social marketing ‘side effect’ of training
Companies who rely on sales partners like distributors, agents, resellers, retailers, rely heavily on influencing the sales or customer service reps of their partner.
There’s no argument that training is key to ensuring that your partners are sufficiently equipped to sell your product against competitors, but with traditional training courses the process is costly, tedious and simply not efficient, and often not “allowed” by the partner.
Only an online learning platform can ensure that your partners are trained in selling your product in a timely, comprehensible and cost-efficient manner. And it can be argued, that it is beneficial to all parties involved.
When you facilitate online training for partner reps and make them knowledgeable within your product while applying gamification to the process by available badges and sharing of test scores, then they will not only be experts on selling your product – they will also act as promoters of your product when they share their training progress on social media.
5. Trained customers = loyal customers
Customer loyalty is part of the strategy for all successful companies. But probably only a few has taken the advantage of training to accomplish happy users, who become product advocates.
Here’s an example: you’re a software company offering a SaaS tool for supporting business processes. You will probably focus on offering competitive license prices to suit the market. Hence, spending too many resources on customer support is not an option if you want good business despite competitive prices.
So, you want – no, you need – skilled users of your product in order to make good business.
When you train users in using your product correctly and skillfully and are informed about new features, they are more likely to be happy, knowledgeable and cheaper to support.
Add in the social marketing aspect above – you may even have them advocate your product by sharing how great they have become in using your product.
Overall aspects on performance and approach
A modern social learning platform has to perform in such a way, that it is easily accessible, intuitive and easy to use on a smartphone, and has to be based on videos to motivate for more effective learning.
The methods of using shorter videos, exercises, tests, and community gamification are motivating and create high degree of comprehension and combined with dynamic communication with users it can provide maximized impact.
Why does Salesforce, Google and HubSpot provide free online learning? And why we built a tool to do the same.
These companies have done a tremendous effort by creating sites where you can learn by watching video tutorials and certify yourselves for free - again and again - a very effective learning method for busy people who are using their products for work.
Let me start by pointing out. None of these companies would provide this for free if it didn't generate value. No one would, and I am pretty sure that each of them has good reasons. The answer to the question is probably therefore quite simple. Because it provides value to their customers and themselves at the same time.
So, what could the value be?
Value for the provider of the free online learning
From an overall business perspective some of the important values to be gained by companies when providing free online learning are:
So, for corporations, there is an opportunity for positive branding, increased or stable business, and cost savings.
Value for the customers and the individual users
I probably do not need to mention this. The customers and the individual users of the products also get a lot in return:
Can other companies do the same?
What the solutions of the 3 companies among other have in common, is that their solutions are not available as an online software tool for other organizations to use for publishing learning content.
This was where we started to wonder. Wouldn't it make sense for other companies to do the same? We were certain of that. And we chose to do something about it. We recently finished developing the first version of an online software system, where companies can do the same. It is called uQualio and can be found on app.uQualio.com. It is provided as a social platform for individuals and companies and interacts from a user perspective seamlessly with other social networks. All material and tests are offered completely for free for the individual users. The users can learn, take tests, engage in competitions, save and share their badges.
For the corporations, it works as an online software tool for them to publish learning content including e.g. new or current product versions, new releases, new features, support material, webinars, advanced product demos, etc. We hereby make it possible for small and medium-sized companies to do the same as the larger ones. No reason to pay a fortune to develop and maintain your own sites, if you can get it as SaaS, more affordable and constantly improved based on experiences from users and other customers, and always available from any device.
To make sure that the decision is very easy to make, we are offering a subscription model. Companies are only paying for the number of active campaigns they need and at a very low price. We suggest that companies create several sites and that each campaign is developed and published with the target group in mind e.g. Sales, Customer Care, Services, Product Managers, Accounting, IT Administrators, etc. That will provide the most value to each user.
Why not just use YouTube?
We, of course, did some research and found that many had already published on YouTube training videos, advanced product demos, webinars, video tutorials, and so forth. That was good news for us. Confirming the companies' understanding of the value of providing free online learning. Unfortunately for the companies, YouTube is not the best place for doing so.
The material is drowning
Firstly, the most of the material is “drowning” in the success of YouTube, and it can be difficult for users to find and is hardly being watched compared to the potential. E.g. some business software vendors have millions of users and only a few thousand views.
Not a learning system
Secondly, YouTube has a great technology to show videos. But YouTube is not a learning system. Simply watching videos doesn’t motivate the watchers to learn something and to promote the company offering it. Learning demands interaction, and learners want to be rewarded, appreciated and praised for their effort. And to show that they are qualified afterward. This is what uQualio can help the companies and individuals to do.
So instead of only using YouTube, uQualio can in combination with YouTube videos help make the tutorials easy to find, visible, interactive and interesting for the users, even the existing videos, and create value to both the companies and the users of their products. And individuals will notice if companies publish valuable content on uQualio, making it easier for them to prove their qualifications. In some cases, they already partly or completely possessed the qualifications, but could not document having. Now they can.
Thanks to our network
Finally I would like to use this opportunity to say: "Thank you!" to all the people in our network who recently helped us by "stress" testing our software. I wish you all a Great 2017 - Happy New Year!
If you are interested in knowing more about our company and uQualio, please contact us.