How do you create the need for a person to buy your product and services?
The answer is through education.
Education can be applied anywhere, at any time, and comes in a variety of forms. But when it is combined with marketing, the results are astonishing.
While educational marketing doesn’t just plug a product or service, it provides customers with information that relates to what they want to hear or need to learn regarding a certain topic, industry or product. It’s a technique that’s worked for decades, and many organizations are already taking full advantage of it, for a good reason.
If you want to learn what educational marketing is and how can you use it to your benefit, read on.
|Table of contents|
|What is Educational Marketing?|
|Why use Educational Marketing?|
|5 Educational Marketing Strategies to Help You Grow|
|3 Examples of Companies Using Educational Marketing|
|Smart Tools to Help You With Educational Marketing|
What is Educational Marketing?
Educational marketing is a marketing tactic that educates prospects on the value of the results they can get from using your products or services. It describes the process of teaching your leads about a certain topic or industry that can guide their purchasing decision.
Educational marketing is a way of approaching your content marketing strategy, more specifically it is through the creation of content that will help guide leads further down your sales funnel, focusing on educating about your service rather than pushing towards a sale.
Why use Educational Marketing?
Educational marketing isn’t used only in the education sector – by educators or educational institutions. Any organization regardless of the industry it is based may choose to invest in educational marketing.
And when doing so, the benefits are many:
1It helps to build trust
Instead of pitching your audience on-the-spot, educational marketing allows you to share knowledge that has the power to nurture your relationship with your target audience and more rapport.
Research from DemandMetric, shows that 78 percent of people perceive a relationship between themselves and a company using custom content.
2It creates the need to buy
It instills the need in customers to buy your products. This works because educational messages can dramatically increase the likelihood of people making a purchase.
3It helps people get to know your business
The steady flow of useful content helps to familiarize consumers with different aspects of your business and can easily get anyone interested in what your company does and how it affects people’s lives.
4It generates organic traffic
Having a blog that offers informational content helps to drive more organic traffic to your website resulting in more leads and subscriptions to your email list, and ultimately an increase in your sales.
The same report finds that 70 percent of people would rather learn about a company through articles – organically, than through a paid advert.
5It can position you as a thought leader
Sharing useful content allows you to position your company as a thought leader in the industry providing real value to those who need it and creating a loyal community over time.
6It costs less
It is easy to produce and can reduce the money marketers spend in advertising. The Content Marketing Institute says that educational-based marketing resonates better with consumers and costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing.
7It converts people to customers
The more people get educated and entertained, the more they don’t mind being sold to. Providing useful content with no strings attached makes selling much easier and encourages prospective customers to become recurring customers.
An important rule in marketing is provide value first, then promote your products. And educational marketing strategy does that well!
5 Educational Marketing Strategies to Help You Grow
With the use of education as the main driver of attracting leads and building brand loyalty, you are essentially trying to increase those touch points between your company and target audience.
Before prospective customers can become your customers, they need to have some sort of interaction with your company that will guide further engagement.
Now the best way to do this is to adopt a unique approach to ‘talk’ with your audience.
Here are a few ways you can do this:
1Come up with a customer persona
Getting to know your customers better doesn’t only help deliver a stellar customer experience, but it also helps engaging with them effectively. Coming up with a customer persona can help you create content that is relevant and useful to them.
You can learn more about your target audience through group demographics and buyer intent data. But if you feel that you don’t know your audience well enough, try out the following methods:
All of these initiatives can work great towards creating that common ground that connects your audience needs with your company and the product you offer.
2Create content that puts your customers first
The key with educational marketing is to provide value at every stage. To do this you need to research into your customers needs and create content that can match them.
Think about what your educational content should include by answering the following questions:
These questions should help you come up with effective educational content niches/topics that will offer detailed guidelines on further actions people can take.
So instead of selling, through your content you gradually build the expectancy of something that must change in their lives. In other words, you create the need for your product, without directly presenting it.
The selling phase will come after you have provided this upfront value.
You will start answering the need you have created. Start to uncover valuable insights and solutions that can be brought with your product.
3Choose the right content delivery options
Depending on the audience you are targeting, you will need to decide which format of content delivery is more appropriate to use.
If you are targeting younger audiences, creating a series of short video content based articles is the best way to engage with them. Then again, if you are targeting corporate decision makers, long-form articles offer the best way to communicate with them.
The most popular types of content delivery include:
These are some of the ways you can deliver informational content, but when it comes to digital marketing, there are certainly a lot more.
You can use a combination of these formats provided that you have a clear understanding on why you are using them as they need to be tied with all your marketing efforts and objectives.
4Connect with your audience effectively
Apart from word of mouth, traditional marketing approaches are losing their momentum and this calls for modern solutions that will allow you to communicate with your audience better.
For one, there is social media as content marketing and social media go hand-in-hand. Through the various social media channels (see Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube), you can easily reach out to your audience and provide them with all the information they need.
Such information may involve generic educational content, industry or company news.
For example, let’s say you are working in the fitness industry.
Do you want to help people learn how to do a handstand?
You can come up with a comprehensive how-to guide and share it with your audience on Twitter or create a workout tutorial on YouTube.
Do you want to raise awareness on a fitness industry related issue?
Then engage with fitness coaches who are influencers in the industry and let them spread the word about it – or your company, through their Instagram account.
Do you have a new product release e.g. handstand equipment?
Then let your audience know through a Facebook post, and educate them on the equipment usage or its features.
As you can see, it can be that simple.
Apart from social media though, another way to communicate with your audience is through email marketing.
Having an email list gives you the opportunity to distribute content straight to your customers’ inbox.
With email, you can direct people to your blog to read the most trending articles, give them company insights through a newsletter or share a link to your most recent webinar that offers exceptionally useful content that can help them start using your product.
The possibilities are endless.
5Build your content marketing team
No one has been born being expert at marketing, but everyone started from somewhere. If you don’t know all the whereabouts of educational marketing, you can start building your own content marketing team – or hire a marketing agency, that can help you learn how to use education as your primary marketing tactic.
While results may take time to show, dedicating time and money on content marketing and forming a content marketing team with experienced members, will allow you to expand your reach and get all the associated benefits that come with it.
Hint: more sales.
3 Examples of Companies Using Educational Marketing
If you are thinking about investing in educational marketing, conducting some research on what you can do is a great place to start with.
Many famous companies around the world are investing in educational marketing and are creating useful educational content that their customers want to consume.
Here are some examples:
Hubspot: Building an inclusive academy
Through its Education Partner Program, HubSpot’s academy offers educators and Higher Education professors the opportunity to access inbound marketing resources and sales education (guides, templates, ebooks, webinars). As members of the academy they can use HubSpot’s software for free and become part of a vibrant community.
Indium: Launching a powerful blog
Six months after the launch of their blog ‘One Engineer to Another’, Indium Corporate has seen a 600 percent increase in their leads, which is remarkable. Their blog offers valuable content to their audience through articles and videos that give answers to many engineering topics while featuring a range of their products. Despite focusing on such a niche topic, the blog is successful at providing insightful information and initiating conversation.
Apple: Creating a series of how-to videos
Apple’s ‘Today at Apple at Home’ presents a series of how-to videos conducted by the team’s Creative Pros. These educational video sessions aim to give out tips and tricks on how you can get creative at home engaging with fun projects. From ‘How to draw playful portraits with iPad’ to ‘How to make your videos more cinematic with IPhone’, Apple customers have plenty of resources available for study.
LearnWorlds: Course Creators Academy
LearnWorlds’ Academy educates edupreneurs on how to create and sell their online courses. It includes courses that teach their users and customers on how to use the software but also how to learn the basic skills they need as a course creator like: Creating an educational video, creating content and marketing.
Smart Tools to Help You With Educational Marketing
To get educational marketing right, you will need to have the best equipment. Below are some tools that can help you make your content marketing efforts a lot easier:
1Learning Management System
A Learning Management System (LMS) can help you provide educational content in the form of a community where people learn by themselves and can also communicate with each other – an Academy.
Through an online academy, you can express your expertise and perceptions about life in a friendly and lively manner-without any obligation for someone to buy. This is the vision that inspired LearnWorlds in the first place.
In an online academy you can include every form of education delivery we mentioned before including ebooks, interactive videos, quizzes, downloadabled guides, communities, learning analytics and much more to communicate your ideas. With the use of an LMS you can also create online courses that your audience will love.
2Video Editing Software
Video offers the best educational content. With it, you can easily create all types of videos including explainer videos, product or demo videos, animated content, how-tos, expert interviews, customer testimonials and many more.
To make it happen though you will need a video editing tool.
A video editing tool can help you build instructional videos you can share with your audience. It can make it super easy to create videos even as a beginner.
To help you out, we have compiled a list with the best 34 training video software in the market to compare your options.
3Content and Social Media Planner
What will you do with all that content? Once you start creating and distributing educational content, you will need a tool that will allow you to monitor all your content delivery activities.
Apart from managing course content – which is an LMS’s job, a content and social media planner can help you concentrate all your efforts and plan out content creation ideas on one platform.
ContentStudio, Trello, Airtable, Asana, and Wrike are all great tools you can use! Just choose which ones match your preferences and budget.
Create Your Own Online Academy
The most effective way to get people to buy from you is providing exceptional upfront content that is designed to create specific needs and deliver value.
The more you share your wisdom, the more customers will trust your brand as the right brand. However, you should always make sure that your educational approach is providing pure value and expecting nothing in return.
When you try to sell right away, you break the trust you have gained so far. So, use your knowledge to educate your audience with zero commitment to your business. Even when you’re creating value, you are still marketing in the background.
The best way to do this is to create an online academy using a great and flexible LMS like LearnWorlds, that can help you provide a great learning experience to your audience.
Claim your free 30-day trial and get started with LearnWorlds today!
Anthea is a Course designer and Content Creator for the LearnWorlds team. She holds years of experience in instructional design and teaching. With a Master of Education (M.Ed.) focused in Modern Teaching Methods & ICT (Information & Communications Technology), she supplements her knowledge with practical experience in E-Learning and Educational Technology.
Kyriaki is a Content Creator for the LearnWorlds team writing about marketing and e-learning, helping course creators on their journey to create, market, and sell their online courses. Equipped with a degree in Career Guidance, she has a strong background in education management and career success. In her free time, she gets crafty and musical.