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Tutorials Best Practices Toolkit: Publishing & Promoting


Research on marketing web tutorials is limited.  Foster et al. (2010) conducted research on their promotional efforts of LibGuides. To determine marketing effectiveness, they publicized half of their LibGuide collection and measured the usage of all LibGuides over two semesters. The advertising initiatives included emails, website listings, blogs and social media. Results indicate that there was a significant increase in the use of the marketed guides and that faculty and student listservs were the most successful form of outreach.

Another study reviewed student interpretations of library guides that had been embedded in the campus learning management system (LMS). Librarians conducted post-course interviews with students to determine knowledge and usage of the embedded library tutorials. The study found that students had a low level of familiarity with the guides unless the guides were specifically assigned by an instructor or department. Librarian involvement in courses also had a positive influence on guide usage (Murphy & Black, 2013).

Alyse Ergood, Kristy Padron and Lauri Rebar (2012) in exploring the development of screencast tutorials also identified marketing strategies. They created a marketing plan for the tutorials that included the following suggestions:

  •         Display a repeating slide on a large library lobby monitor
  •         Banner on online library home page
  •         Tutorial hyperlinks next to service hyperlinks on online library home page
  •         Embed tutorials in online subject and class guides
  •         Encourage embedding of tutorials in Blackboard (LMS) by professors
  •         Faculty e-mail (mass e-mail to all or by college/department)
  •         Announcements in university online bulletins for faculty/staff and students
  •         Announcements on Twitter, Facebook, or other social media
  •         Screensaver slides placed on public library computers

Interestingly, other authors (Baker, Noriega, Echtenkamp, Rose, & Richards, 2008; Thornton & Kaya, 2013) identify the library tutorials as marketing tools for the library, especially for libraries that are not open 24 hours. Thornton & Kaya (2013) highlight that the collaborations developed with students and faculty in designing and creating tutorials serves as a marketing tool.  

 All referenced resources can be found under the Further Resources tab.