Are you ready to put on your professor hat and send your customers back to school?
Ok, so we’re not really shipping off your clients to boarding school, but today we are going to talk about why your company needs to implement an education-based marketing strategy if you want your business to grow.
If you’re not familiar with the term, education-based marketing is a form of content marketing that promotes your brand’s services, shows potential customers your value, and connects with members of your target audience on a deeper level.
You’re probably thinking there’s no way one marketing strategy could possibly be so perfect — and you’re right; it almost sounds too good to be true.
But you’d be wrong to ignore the power of education-based marketing for your brand. Let’s find out exactly why this strategy works so well for your company and your customers.
Education-Based Marketing 101
Education-based marketing falls under the bigger, more general umbrella of content marketing.
As we learned from our primer on why your business needs a content marketing strategy to grow, providing useful and informative content to your target audience builds awareness for your brand and markets your product or service without the hard sell.
People are tuning out traditional marketing, but content marketing, which doesn’t focus on selling as much as connecting, has seen engagement rates skyrocket. The more fresh, helpful content your brand provides, the more followers and customers you’ll attract.
Your content can come in many forms, one such being an educational, instructional, or informational piece. This is what defines the offshoot known as education-based marketing.
Basically, you’ll create an educational form of content — such as an e-course, e-book, how-to video series, whitepaper, podcast episode, etc. — that address a common problem or challenge facing someone in your target audience. Your user should be able to overcome this obstacle thanks to your instruction.
This informative content will be free for your website visitors… sort of.
See, you won’t charge a monetary amount for your content, but you will ask for something arguably more valuable: an email address.
Now you have an actual lead to work through your sales funnel. All without ever asking your potential customer to make a sale.
Here are 6 Reasons Why Education-Based Marketing Works
Education-based marketing, like all content marketing, is the very opposite of a sales pitch.
Your content should never call your reader to make a purchase of your product or service. Readers do not want to feel ‘sold to’ and respond better to content that provides them with the information they need to become more informed consumers.
When you hit the nail on the head, education-based marketing will help you:
1. Focus on Your Brand’s Story, Not Selling
Instead of focusing so much of your team’s energy writing sales copy, take the time to truly think about and craft a brand story that will connect with your target audience.
Your visitors want to learn about how your company became so successful. They want a genuine and authentic story they can also relate to. Show off what you’ve learned by sharing your knowledge with your target audience.
2. Establish Authority
Instead of asking potential customers to just trust your expertise, providing tangible examples of your brand’s skills goes a long way to prove that you know what you’re talking about.
For example, if you’re marketing for a financial planning company, a few educational pieces about personal finance, retirement savings, and mortgages will show potential customers that your company can ‘walk the talk’.
Visitors will not only have the information they’re looking for, but they’ll have it presented in a way that they’ll gravitate towards and actually understand. Your brand will be known as a reliable source of information within your niche and potential customers will be willing to pay for everything else you know.
3. Create Trust
The fact remains that people don’t buy from brands; they buy from people. And in order for your online visitors to turn into customers, you need to create trust.
Besides connecting with your brand’s story, visitors should feel as if you’re educating them because you don’t want them to struggle with the same obstacles you faced or you see others facing in their position.
This part of your sales process shouldn’t be focused on the sell, but on building a rapport with your target audience in order to develop a relationship.
Offering up this wisdom is like negotiating a deal on good faith; you’re not telling your customers that you’re going to make their lives fantastic — you’re showing them how they can make their lives better on their own, thanks to your help, of course.
Using this method, you’ll never have to prove your worth to court clients again. When you show prospective customers and potential collaborators what your team is capable of and knowledgeable about, they’ll have no hesitations about you being the perfect fit.
4. Make Visitors/Potential Customers Happy
Let’s face it, how awesome is it when you find a site that has pages of helpful content you can’t wait to click through?
Education-based marketing will give visitors exactly what they came for: all the facts, zero pressure to buy your product or service.#Education-based #marketing will give visitors exactly what they came for! Click To Tweet
As strange as it sounds, not pressuring visitors to become customers actually makes them become loyal subscribers. Even though you know these visitors are progressing through your company’s sales funnel, they still maintain a sense of independence and control on their end.
5. Grow Your Email List
Everyone has a fear of missing out now that we’re all connected. When your visitor learns one helpful piece of information, they will be certain to want more of what you’re serving up.
Don’t be surprised if your education-based content grows your email list with people who can’t wait to implement the advice you’re sharing. This will overflow to your social media accounts as well and continue to bring awareness of your brand to bigger audiences.
6. Earn a Return on Your (Time) Investment
As Christine Comaford-Lynch writes for Bloomberg:
Education-based #marketing attracts buyers before they are thinking about buying. - Christine Comaford-Lynch Click To Tweet“Education-based marketing attracts buyers before they are thinking about buying. It casts a wider net, attracts more buyers, and closes a higher percentage of prospects if the education you give is of true value. This is the least expensive, most effective marketing concept you will ever use.”
Think about it this way: Your team will create one piece of educational content that will be available to anyone, at any time of the day, anywhere in the world since it lives online.
This means your content will be attracting potential leads and building brand awareness for your company all the time.
Your company doesn’t have any salespeople who can say they work every weekend and holiday and at all hours of the night for your brand. But your content does this.
Education-based content is a marketer’s secret weapon in a very packed toolkit.
With just one informative piece of content, you’ll be able to connect with your target audience, provide a helpful way they can solve their most frustrating issues, and build a loyal following. As your authority grows, so will your audience’s trust in you.
Converting leads in your sales funnel is easy when your audience likes, respects, and learns valuable information from you. And isn’t that the goal of every company — to make your customers’ lives better?
Now you can also make them smarter, thanks to education-based marketing.