“What is Educational Marketing, Really?”
This is the part when I start to talk to small business owners and I can see their eyes glaze over as they try to stifle a big yawn.
But bear with me a moment. Understanding how educational marketing works is very important and could literally transform your business.
For a small business, educational marketing is the process of determining your potential customers’ needs and wants in order to create a powerful marketing strategy that establishes trust and credibility teaching or educating customers on your industry, products or services.
Why Education is a Powerful Online Marketing Strategy?
- Educational marketing helps the search engines rank your website better
Savvy business owners use education based content to create consumer-friendly articles and blog posts that make their websites more visible online and easier to rank in the search engines.
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 focused 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.
- Educational 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.
A education-based 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.
- Educational 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 Types of Educational Marketing Channels
Our customers have a powerful impact on how we use marketing. The days of outspending the competition by churning out weekly newspaper ads and daily radio spots are just not effective anymore.
Now business marketers and 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.