As a marketer, how do you ensure that your campaign is heard above the other marketing noise that seemingly drowns out your message? Educational marketing, also known as content marketing, is one of the most powerful forms used in marketing your product, service or organization. The reason is simple: It answers the “why” question that may be implied or asked. Why should I want this product, service or why should I support this organization? Educational marketing also adds value to the “student” or consumer.
Consumers are tired and leery of more traditional forms of marketing that barrage the senses and scream of distrust or misrepresentation. Consumers are constantly presented with marketing and advertising, dozens if not hundreds of times throughout the course of their day. Stop and think about it for a moment: Social media, TV, movies, websites, billboards, radio, magazines, sides of buses and vehicles, and sporting arenas. It is seemingly everywhere.
Educational marketing is far less aggressive, offensive or “in your face”. It connects with your audience by building trust and adding value to their life in some way. The goal of educational marketing is to:
- Connect with your audience through some common interest or subject.
- Establish a relationship through multiple connection points. This could be a social media “follow”, subscription to email or blog content on your website.
- Accelerate word of mouth marketing – widely recognized as the most powerful form of marketing. This educational approach has the multiplication effect propelling people to tell others about who you are and what you are all about.
Common examples of educational marketing:
- Blogs or articles
- Social media posting (Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are top three channels)
- Events, workshops and conferences
- Books or e-books
- Video (You Tube or Periscope)
- Podcast or digital audio
A great example of educational marketing is “Tablespoon” owned by General Mills, the behemoth food manufacturer and processor. In a brilliant move, General Mills created a website that curates content for people “passionate about food”. The website includes recipes, hacks and “how to” information from foodie contributors. The value-add from Tablespoon includes membership (AKA relationship), print coupons valuing up to $300 annually, rewards, chat rooms and recipe swaps.
So, as a marketer, how do you get your message out above the other marketing noise? How do you get in on this educational marketing? First, identify how you and your organization can become a creator of information that will educate your audience as it relates to your product or service. Second, develop your platform where this content will live or curate. Make it easy to digest with good formatting, pictures, graphics and citations. Your platform should clearly connect the education to your call to action. Third, promote your content and drive people to your platform. Fourth and finally, be sure to track results through analytics and data. Identify the most popular topics or information and evaluate your success in reaching your audience.
Are you ready to leverage the incredible potential of educational and content marketing?
What are examples of educational marketing that you have been impressed with recently?