“Why Use Education for Marketing?”
If you are like most small website owners, then building rapport with your online visitors (potential customers) is important, right?
So how do you build trust in a world filled with people who say, “I Won’t Get Fooled Again”?
You educate them. Or what I like to call “teach to reach”.
This is the part when many business people’s eyes glaze over and they try to stifle a huge yawn.
They have heard this all before…
Now bear with me a moment.
I know that “educating” customers sounds a lot like a selling technique where the sales rep spends time jawing with the customer in order to understand their problem and then “educates” them on the right product or service can fix that problem.
Nope, education-based marketing (which is a type of content marketing), isn’t like that.
Teaching to reach potential customers is about sharing insights or solving little problems so that build your credibility to such a level that people see you as a trusted adviser and willingly listen to your advice and recommendations.
Understanding how educational marketing works is very important and could literally transform your business.
What is Education-based Marketing?
According to Forbes…
“Education-based marketing is the sharing of knowledge with the purpose of building trust. It is a strategy that establishes credibility and trust with your customers by using educational messages.”
For a small business, education-based marketing is finding out what information your customers want to know and giving it to them.
Why Does Education-Based Marketing Work?
- Education-based marketing helps the search engines rank your website better
Commercial teaching (or education-based marketing) creates web content that makes websites more visible to the search engines and easier to rank in their search results.
Search engines like Google By understanding the deep seated informational needs and questions of their customers, a small business marketer can exploit the search terms and keyword phrases that reflect those desires in their online content.
The most important goal of educational marketing is to make sure that the your website visitors understand exactly HOW your small business can help them solve their problems and answer their questions.
- Education-based marketing helps people see you as an trusted expert
The Internet has made everything more personal and more immediate. Nowadays, people don’t want to spend a lot of time looking for professionals or experts to help them.
People don’t want to do hours and hours of research in order to find the information they need to make a good purchasing decision. They want it quick, 1-2-3 boom!
A education based website with the right information, allows potential customers to find what they need from you quickly.
- Education-based marketing makes it easier for people to do business with you
Education-based marketing captures potential customers MUCH earlier in the decision process and establishes a relationship of trust, resulting in higher in-store sales and better leads.
An informational website makes it possible for you to attract and directly interact with potential customers. When you know and understand your customers, you can easily create the articles, blog posts, videos, podcasts and other web content that educates and informs them – the way they want.
This in turns allows them to know and like you enough to trust your recommendations on which of your products or services they should buy from your company.
- Education-based marketing increases your online visibility.
Education-based marketing helps you stand out from the crowd and positions you as a expert when compared to your competitors. This in turn attracts targeted traffic (from both organic traffic and word of mouth referrals) and builds a solid online reputation. This trust and credibility allows you to convert more of your website visitors into paying customers.
The Kinds of Education-based Marketing Channels
Your customers have a powerful impact on what marketing channels we use.
The days of outspending the competition by churning out weekly newspaper ads and daily radio spots are long gone…
Nowadays business owners have to take their time and find out which online strategies and communication channels work best – both for them and their customers.
Below are just a few channels that business people commonly use to “teach to reach” out to their customers.
Now some of these communication channels, as a business owner you actually have little to no control over such as:
- News media stories
- Social Media Sharing
- Online review sites
- Comments on other blogs or in discussion groups or forums
- Word of Mouth referrals
- Private emails
The idea is that you should select and use just a handful of the sources you can control to actively promote/announce your website educational messages.
Please understand that you don’t ever have to use them all. Just look over the above list and see which ones attract your attention the most.
I recommend that you never use more than 3 to 5 different channels at any one time. More than 5 and you will end being overwhelmed and confused.
The two basic communication channels that I recommend that every small business people should master and use to educate your customers are:
- Business Blogs
- Email Lists
Remember to pick a “teaching” channel that is both easy for you to learn how to use and is affordable enough for you to use on a consistent basis.