Give Before You Ask: Providing Real Value with Education Based Marketing
Once KPIs were used to measure conversions, lifetime value, and ROI for content marketing efforts, content strategists began recognizing the value of education based marketing.
The internet is saturated with content, making it difficult for brands to stand out and gain ROI from their content creation and marketing efforts. As part of the evolution of content marketing, marketers began creating education focused content to not only drive website traffic, but to reinforce branding and thought leadership efforts. Educational assets that drive engagement provide the most value.
In the B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends Report, marketers identified in-person events as the most effective B2B marketing tactic for six years in a row. While content marketing teams can leverage in-person events to create content before and after the event, it’s important that they focus on the right types of content during non-event periods.
Education based marketing shares valuable information with prospects to build trust and thought leadership branding.
Creating content for education based marketing isn’t difficult, the strategy lies in the data you’ve already collected from other content marketing efforts.
Identify Information and Knowledge Keywords
The first step in an education based marketing strategy is to identify information and knowledge keywords and use them to guide all of your education based content marketing tactics.
Use a keyword tool to identify these keywords, or dive into your Google Analytics data and capture them by looking at website content consumption and interaction metrics.
Information and knowledge keywords provide education based information to internet searchers. You can get a quick overview of this type of content by looking at a company’s social media posts.
At ClickSeed, I focus on information and knowledge search phrases for new customers and existing clients. For example, many new AdWords customers don’t utilize SEO right away, and new SEO customers don’t implement AdWords. Once a brand is established and gaining ROI from marketing efforts, they expand their services to gain even greater market share. As they begin researching options and best practices, I make sure that ClickSeed offers content that gives them the information they are after.
A quick glance at our Twitter account shows the type of educational content that we’re creating and promoting:
Image Source: ClickSeed Twitter
Creating educational and informational content not only attracts new prospects, but it reinforces our expertise in new service areas for existing clients.
Education Based Webinars and Webcasts
Once you’ve identified informational/education-based keywords, dive into a webinar/webcast strategy. The technology available today makes it easy to set up a webinar and capture attention from people who want to learn more about a popular topic.
You can choose from a variety of webinar strategies to fit your team’s experience level and availability:
Schedule the webinar on a specific date and time, send invitations to your email list, promote it on social media, create content to draw attention to the webinar, and broadcast the webinar in real-time to attendees. The secret to a successful live webinar is a clean, smooth presentation without quality issues. Be sure to experiment with several webinar software providers and practice for your team before the big day.
Many top brands turn their live webinars into an on-demand webinar library. You can skip the live webinar and go straight for the on-demand option if your team is hesitant to host a live event.
Citrix gives the perfect example of leveraging webinars for content creation and promotion. Each webinar has its own landing page with a registration link to capture prospect email addresses.
Image Source: Citrix Events Page
Partner & Special Guest Webinars
If your brand lacks the audience to carry a stand-alone live or pre-recorded webinar, partner with a brand in your niche with the same target audience. You can find potential partners through Twitter chats, LinkedIn Groups, or local MeetUp networking events.
Case studies are a valuable piece of an education based content marketing plan. Not only do they provide real-world illustrations on how your clients and customers gain value from your service or product, but they also stand the test of time in the content marketing world.
Content becomes outdated quickly, but the value of a case study is timeless. Use this quick content marketing checklist to start your case study initiative:
- Use an industry-expert copywriter
- Align case study topics with high-value customer personas
- Focus on digital marketing assets for case studies
- Incorporate links to case studies in existing and future content to drive engagement
While white papers are overdone in some niches, they provide a level of value to prospects that they can’t get anywhere else. 71% of content marketers report the use of white papers as a content marketing tactic.
Follow these tips when implementing a white paper strategy:
- Create white papers for multi-screen consumers.
- Outline a white paper strategy; drive traffic to the download page using multiple digital marketing assets and promotions.
- Invest in an industry-expert copywriter. Your white paper is going to cross the desk of CEOs and key decision makers; cutting corners with non-specialty writers will not deliver value.
Video Education Content
If your brand has already invested in on-demand webinars, you can use these as part of your video education content strategy.
The key to successful video content marketing is simple: Don’t rely 100% on YouTube. While YouTube gives impressive traffic value, click-through rates are unimpressive. Measurement is difficult. Conversions are difficult to attribute to the channel.
Add a video marketing tool like Wistia or Vimeo to give you advanced video marketing analytics to drive your strategy. Vidyard provides a tutorial for measuring video engagement rates through Google Analytics.
Remember: Prospects are most likely to watch videos on mobile devices. As long as you set up an education video marketing strategy with a mobile-first approach, you’re on your way to success.
Measure, improve, repeat.
Education based content marketing requires a thorough strategy and constant refinement to deliver ROI. Success is much more than climbing traffic graphs and conversions.
Once the campaign goes live, make sure the right KPIs are in place for accurate measurement. Your KPIs should give you insight and data on all of the following metrics when measuring the performance of education based content assets:
- Bounce rates
- Time on page
- Referral traffic
- Buyer journey data
- Retention data
Education based content assets will not only deliver value to new prospects, but these assets can encourage existing customers to upgrade their services and/or buy more products. Don’t neglect your existing customer/client base when developing your educational asset strategy.
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