9th September 2019 Steve Worland

How to build an e-learning Content strategy

We’ve posted before about the future of learning being linked to the future of work.https://site.softpauer.com/the-future-of-work/ and behind every learning module is great content.

The lines between content and learning courses have blurred in recent years, a few years ago learning professionals would just build courses. Back then Videos, PDF’s , Podcasts, images were very removed from the world of learning.

As the line blurs, content is now freely accessible, Videos are cheaper to produce, PDF’s are easy to create and images are available in most placed so e-learning has embraced them.

Companies can build their own content. They can buy content. They purpose that content onto our learning systems.  So with the content being readily available or easily created, we now need to consider who to build a strategy for it;

A pertinent question at this point is how do we know the content is good, is it working for the learner, is the course being learnt? Ultimately is the user/learner engaged and taking the learning in/ enjoying it? 

On any learning management system, you should be able to assess the effectiveness of the content, which courses do people navigate to intuitively, how long they are spending on it and how often – taking the analytics of the system and analysing like any other app and then applied to learning. This can be defined as skill gap analysis.  It plays a key part in building an online learning strategy.

Online content strategy?

Using the techniques to develop a content strategy for a brand can easily be transferred to learning, see the diagram below:

  • Listen to personas – think about what your audience does, what their interests are, how they consume their media, what devices they have
  • Decide on a theme What is your theme going to achieve, what topics will you use to achieve this
  • Create content  Write your content or record a video, think of the user as you build, or even engage a provider to do it for you or if you know some content that works buy it
  • Measure and evaluate Create a custom quiz to test their learning. Plug-in google analytics or a similar analytics plugin on the app or website you are hosting the content on. What will be most effective?  Get a second opinion from a fellow professional
  • Promote your content – From an e-learning perspective this goes without saying, entice the user
  • Re-purpose – Don’t be afraid to reuse a youtube video in your e-learning, if it worked and engaged the user, re-use it

The graphic above is a circle, it suggests you need to repeat the cycle above, but don’t just repeat the same content over and over, that’s madness, you need to remember the measure and evaluate aspect, learn what your user is doing and learn from their behaviours and adjust it to suit,

Analyze  the course Content

E-learning is the in the business of learning and as I say above, the content providers and application developers need to learn how the user engages with the content just as much as the user needs to learn from the app.  Use the data from analytics;

  • See how long the user spends watching the content, 
  • Do they repeat the process before taking the quiz/test or do they read the test and then rewatch, 
  • How many times do they take the test, 
  • How many times do they quit the app, and re-visit,
  • How many users fail to complete the whole video?

Your analytics tool should be telling you all of this, if lots of your users are not completing the video course, then it’s too long, if they are failing the test, its not clear enough or the questions are worded badly.

And this should be a continuous process.


Always promote your content. Send out a slack message or an e-mail, Do not just rely it appearing on everyone’s home screen, inspire and enthuse your learners, it’s an infectious trait (enthusiasm) but you need to inject that into the message to encourage others to continue the promotion

Continuous improvement

As software developers we believe in making our apps better, this is the same for e-learning content, Always look to improve it,

Optimization will drive usage.  And you will learn not to be sentimental about a piece of content that isn’t working.  Take it out.

An online content strategy will prove to be very effective for your objectives.