eLearning Design Principles To Use In Your Marketing Strategy

What eLearning Principles Can You Apply To Your Marketing Strategy?

Take a second to reflect on your last 5 Google searches. Chances are that in a few of them, you were searching for new information. According to a survey by HubSpot, 62.2% of users said that they read blog posts to learn something new. Since such a high percentage of user search intent is informational, applying Learning Experience (LX) design principles to marketing content can help users achieve their intent.

When you compare LX design and marketing goals, they initially seem quite different. LX design creates human-centered, goal-oriented learning experiences that allow learners to achieve a desired outcome. Marketing, on the other hand, is the use of messaging and branding by companies to attract and retain customers. Since one focuses on the customer outcome and the other focuses on driving business goals, combining the two fields can be a match made in content heaven. Let’s look at how LX designers can apply design principles to a marketing strategy for maximum engagement and impact.

How You Can Leverage eLearning Design Principles For Marketing Purposes

Focus On Your Audience And Identify Learning Outcomes

In both marketing and eLearning, the number one question is “Who is the audience?”. This is what will drive the strategy and development of the content. LX designers develop learning outcomes, while marketers identify customer pain points. Combine the two, and you already have a clear idea of where you need to go.

For example, if your company sells luxury pillows, you know that many customers have a lot of trouble choosing the right pillow for a comfortable night’s sleep. So, you could develop informational content based on identified learning outcomes. If you want to help your audience understand how pillows affect their sleep quality or show them how to choose the correct pillow type, you can develop articles and how-to guides to drive learning outcomes. Then you can show them how your pillows are the best ones to address their needs. By sharing your expertise in an industry, you can become a trusted brand that customers look to. This trust will lead to conversions.

Gain Your Audience’s Attention

“The other day I was writing an article when suddenly, my computer went blank. I knew it was fully charged, so that wasn’t the issue. What went wrong?” In learning experiences and marketing, making sure that you capture your audience’s attention from the very first moment is critical. The statement above is the beginning of a story that I wrote for cyber security training. This can also be transformed and used in marketing, though. For example, an anti-hacking software company might want to showcase the benefits of their product by first showing the terrible impact of hacking on a company database. Tell a story, share a mind-blowing fact, or ask a thought-provoking question that makes your content relatable to your audience.

Use Scaffolding To Present Information

In LX design, scaffolding is the principle of providing foundational knowledge for the audience and building upon that knowledge, with the information becoming more complex as the participant moves through it. An important part of scaffolding is chunking. We never want to dump our audience with too much information, or information that is way above their knowledge level. When it comes to marketing content, if it is too advanced and the reader is completely lost, you are buying them a one-way ticket back to the Google homepage.

Instead, design the content so that the reader can choose where to begin. If they need to take baby steps, that should be available to them. But it should also be set out in such a way that someone a little more advanced isn’t totally bored by dumbed-down information. It’s a delicate balance. For example, if you have a knowledge portal for a payment software service, consider the structure of the portal. Separate the content into blocks that indicate knowledge levels, such as “New here?” or “Quick refresher,” so that people can begin where they feel most comfortable.

Use Multimedia For Engaging Content

We’ve been living with the internet long enough to know that video is a highly consumed form of content, especially on social media. However, it isn’t always the best format for sharing information. While it may be tempting to create video content exclusively or rely heavily on it, it is important to choose media formats carefully.

Imagine you want to invest in project management software. Would you watch a video that lists all of the features, or would you rather see the features side-by-side in a table? In this case, it would probably be easier to compare the features in the table. However, other media formats would be suitable in a different scenario. If you want to learn about the correct techniques for toned muscles, you will do better to watch an example of a professional showing you. It’s important to mix up your media formats to keep audiences engaged, but it’s equally important to know which formats to use and when.

Use Case Studies For Social Proof

In eLearning, try to use case studies and examples as much as possible. Information can sometimes feel meaningless if the audience can’t see how it fits into a real-life scenario, especially their own. In eLearning and marketing, stories go far to help retain information. Use case studies and try to be as specific as possible. Social proof is essential when it comes to customer trust.

Make The Content Accessible

One of the wonderful things about creating content in the digital age is that we have tools to make it accessible. And yet, it’s something that we don’t seem to focus on enough. There has been a big shift in ensuring eLearning content is accessible, and this is something that can be applied to marketing strategy, too. There are many different principles to consider when developing accessible content, and it is so worth taking the time to ensure that all people consuming it can engage with it properly.


Consumer education is an important component of marketing, so making it effective and engaging is key. Marketing and LX designers can partner to create content that helps customers achieve a learning outcome that drives business goals.


Editor’s Note: Check out eLI’s eLearning Marketing Articles for more tips and insights to help you reach your target audience and generate more leads. 

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