With time slowing down as it has this past year, many have decided to finally pick up that new hobby or skill. And what better place to find information on how to get started than on the internet, the largest source of free information anywhere? As a small business owner, harnessing and keeping customers is the ultimate end goal, but it doesn’t have to be sales tactics all day to get them to stay. Providing the education clients need to make an informed decision can offer better retention in the long run, and can even help customers on their own personal journeys.
What is Educational Marketing?
A common mistake made about the concept of marketing is that it is often used interchangeably with the concept of advertising. Advertising is used to help sell a product or service effectively. Effective marketing can be aided by advertising as support, and outstanding marketing can make advertising a neat extra or something entirely unnecessary. When a product or service is marketed precisely to meet your customer’s needs, they will feel compelled to invest without having to be won over with traditional sales techniques. Small business owners want to stay in that boat.
That’s where educational marketing comes in! Educational marketing is used to inform potential clients about specific or related subject matter regarding your business. This specialized marketing material comes in many different forms, from lengthy white pages to vibrant infographics. All it takes to create compelling educational marketing is someone who knows their stuff (AKA, you and your business team!) to offer valuable knowledge about the services or products you offer. The form of your educational marketing material can differ from industry to industry. One factor that should remain the same is that educational marketing material provides solutions to problems, as opposed to products for sale. When customers know everything they need to make an informed decision, the purchasing power piles on from there.
How to Introduce Action With Information
Finding out what your audience needs to know to make an informed decision will require some reflection. Your best bet is to think like the customer: when you’re doing product research, what type of information are you looking for? If you own a restaurant, potential customers might appreciate knowing where your food is sourced from. Making educational marketing material fine-tuned to your industry, such as a blog series breaking down how your business team buys produce and fresh meats from the local farmers market every week, is highly appealing. You can make a vlog series where you follow a morning shopping trip and talk about each ingredient. Or, you can create a simple home recipe card e-book that uses the ingredients you source for your restaurant. The options are truly endless, and the key is to stimulate user engagement with the content.
Another highly popular form of educational marketing is offering online classes. Online classes are easily accessible to clients, can be taken at their own pace, and can be a direct call to action to get involved with your business. If there’s something interesting to be learned about who you are, an online course can surely be created for it. Take a look at Hootsuite, a social media management tool. On its website, Hootsuite offers a broad list of classes that center on social media marketing skills. Some are free, like one called “Learn How to Use Hootsuite.” The free course tells potential customers all they need to know about the platform before they even make the purchase of the suite. Classes that come with a cost offer a certificate of completion at the end, a valuable addition to clients who want to learn more about how to market themselves. The online classes provide tangible value to the customer (free education and a certificate of completion), while seamlessly integrating the business, Hootsuite, into the courses.
Become a Teacher for Your Business
There’s obvious value in making a course for your business, but it can be tricky to know where to start when creating educational content. If it’s feasible, think about simply asking your current customer base what they’d like to learn more about with a targeted survey! Once you’ve gathered your answers, the form your online courses take is up to you and your best skills. You can make a podcast if you prefer to speak at length about a subject. If your educational content would do better with something more focused, a customized slideshow on Google Slides is fast and simple to make. Visual learners would appreciate in-depth Youtube videos. Find your preferred focus and move from there.
The right educational marketing will sell your products or services with ease and boost your business’ positive reputation. Check out this helpful link for more guidance on how to start, and watch your interactions soar!
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