How to onboard and engage users

Your brand management platform is up and running. Congratulations! You can rest safe in the knowledge that a big chunk of work is complete. Now you need to ensure that you:

  • Effectively roll out the software to the relevant teams.
  • Provide effective training to individuals who will be using the software.
  • Get proper buy-in from everyone involved.

  • Iron out any issues that may arise as more people begin to create artwork.

Tell your team how your brand management platform is going to make their lives easier

It’s good to get people excited about the platform before they sit down and learn how to use it. So, before you officially launch it to your team, it might be worth sitting down with people and explaining just why you’ve invested in the software.

You’ll want to explain the specific problems you’re going to solve and which people will benefit.

We’ve spoken at great length about the value of involving key representatives from the off, so make sure you utilise these individuals to champion the platform and help build a buzz.

Test, test, test!

The next step is to ensure that you’ve carried out sufficient testing. That means creating an internal testing team full of, you guessed it, your representatives. Asking them to test the new templates before you release them to the wider audience.

Here are some steps you may wish to follow:

  1. Create an internal testing team.

  2. Use this team to test the new templates.

  3. Ask the testing team for constructive feedback about their experience using the templates and the platform. There are two types of testing that you can carry out here;
    1. Basic user testing; create a set of questions to ask each participant for specific feedback.

    2. Scenario-based testing; is used in user experience testing where you set hypothetical scenarios for your participants to complete and ask them questions about it afterwards.

  4. Make amendments to the templates based on the testing team’s feedback.

  5. Inform the team of the reasons why certain amendments were/not implemented.

Pro-tip; scenario-based testing is useful when you’re working to create the structure of the platform as well as the initial templates. It can help to ensure that the user experience of the platform and templates fits with your organisation and is intuitive to your users.

Example feedback questions

Once your testing team has got to work, you’ll want to send them some questions to gather their feedback. It’s a good idea to keep the questions the same throughout as this makes feedback easier to evaluate.

Here are some example questions that you may wish to use:

  1. Were you able to make your artwork from the template and download it?

  2. Did you print the artwork and check it was as you expected?

  3. Was there anything you wanted to do with the template but couldn’t, such as uploading your own images?

  4. How easy was it to make your artwork?

  5. What made it easy?

  6. Was there anything that could be improved to make the template easier to use?

  7. Did the descriptions and instructions in the form area make sense?

  8. How easy was it to find your way around the platform?

  9. How easy was it to find the templates you needed?

Pro-tip; holding a workshop with your testing team towards the end of the testing phase is a great way to gauge and understand how the project is progressing. This will also help you to see if there’s anything else that you need to address before you roll out your platform to the wider team.

Ready to launch - Do you have your rollout plan?

Once you’ve carried out internal testing, you’ll want to launch the brand management platform to a wider audience.

How you present the tool to your team really can determine its success. You want to inspire people to use it and get them excited. After all, it’s going to solve one of their challenges and make their lives easier.

There are a couple of ways that you can approach the launch depending on your organisation and strategy needs. These approaches are:

  1. Phased rollout

  2. Big bang

1. A phased rollout

This involves introducing different teams to the platform, one at a time.

Here is an outline for this rollout:

  1. Plan the order in which different teams will receive training and gain access to the platform. We recommend using a two to three-week cycle to give you time to monitor and respond before it’s time for you to train the next team.

  2. Communicate the rollout plan across the organisation through identified channels. If you plan to run online training sessions, publicise dates in this plan.

  3. Communicate with the first team to advise on the benefits of the software and go through your planned training with them to ensure they know how to access and use the platform.

  4. Once the first team is using the platform you’ll want to monitor their usage and respond to queries. It’s important that you make any necessary adjustments as required.

  5. Repeat steps 2-4 above for each team.

Pro-tip; create a set of common questions and answers from the feedback that you can circulate and publicise. These can be added to the brand management platform for easy reference.

2. Big bang

This is where the platform is rolled out to the entire audience all at once.

Here is an outline for this rollout:

  1. Design an engagement and training plan.
    1. You may want to create user manuals, and ‘how to’ videos, and ask your advocates to prepare user training workshops.

  2. Map out your communications strategy.
    1. Build excitement through staged communication over time.

  3. Roll out the platform to the team.
    1. That means advising everyone on the benefits of the software and going through your planned training with them to ensure they know how to access and use the platform.

  4. Have a post-launch communications strategy to maintain excitement and keep the platform at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

  5. Monitor usage during the rollout.
    1. Identify teams/user groups that may need extra support and the reasons they need more support. For example, perhaps the templates aren’t suitable and they require others that are slightly different.

Product demo and training session ideas

A few ideas to help plan your product demo or training sessions:

  1. Run a few online demos for people to attend, this is the most cost-effective way of publicising the platform.

  2. Record any demos you carry out and make them easily accessible across the organisation.

  3. Create a set of simple ‘how to’ videos for key tasks, such as making artwork from a template or finding the right template.

  4. Run a series of in-person demos, this could be as simple as setting up a laptop in a communal area on set, publicised dates. This is great for getting on-the-ground feedback.

  5. Outline to all individuals exactly where to access the platform and how to use it. You might want to do a broad overview of its main features.

  6. You will also want to show people where they can get help, such as an online help centre or sending help requests.

  7. Create a set of frequently asked questions and answers from your sessions, which you can then publicise and circulate around the organisation.

  8. Finally, be sure to get the opinions of your team and ask them for regular feedback as well as any ideas they may have for improvements.

Ensure you keep checking in post-launch

Once your tool is launched it’s tempting to sit back and relax. You can’t afford to do this. People come and go, and both new and old users will always have new suggestions to improve their experience with the tool. Listening to this and offering continuous improvements will be the key to keeping your users engaged with the platform long into the future.

One way to do this is to create an ongoing engagement plan which may look a little bit like this;

  1. Create a comms plan to continue to publicise benefits and encourage adoption across the organisation. This will also offer information on where to send feedback and ideas.

  2. Monitor usage on a monthly basis for adoption metrics. For example, you may want to know the answers to the following questions:
    1. How many resources are created?

    2. How many assets are downloaded?

    3. How many people are logging in?

  3. When users make suggestions, be sure to follow up on them and offer feedback

  4. Canvas opinions from users through surveys or interviews to help plan new templates and improvements.

  5. Identify ideas and issues and discuss them with your brand management software provider to resolve them.

To summarise

A well-planned internal rollout can make a huge difference to the adoption and ongoing success of your brand management platform. You want to make sure you:

  1. Build excitement before, during, and after launch.

  2. Provide the right level of training and resources.

  3. Monitor usage.

  4. Make changes based on feedback.

  5. Continue to ensure new and old users are engaged with the platform.

If you follow the steps above, your brand management platform is sure to be a success.

How do you ensure it's continuing success?