How Education Is Like Content Marketing
Take a moment to think of the brands that you are most loyal to.
Which brands do you often recommend to your friends?
What do all of these brands have in common?
You may have thought that the reason why you love your favorite brands is because they build trust by making you feel capable, informed, and connected.
This is also how great teachers empower students, and how great curricula win over minds. This is how content marketing is similar to education. This articles digs further into this idea.
Show Empathy And Trust
As Joe Pulizzi asserted in his article, Why Education Is A Powerful Content Marketing Strategy,
people don't care about your brand, they care about themselves. So the more that we can educate them (and entertain them) the more they won't mind us selling to them.
When you educate and entertain, instead of selling, you build trust with your clients. As a result, they will be more likely to come to you when they need to fill the need that you've created.
If you are committed to this idea of education as marketing, check out Gary Vaynerchuk's book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. The premise is to build trust, build trust, build trust, then sell. This means that you don't place an immediate call to action on your landing page saying "Buy Now."
You have a strategy of educational blog articles, entertaining Facebook posts, and interesting downloadables. Then when you have data showing that your clients area ready to buy, that's when you give them the "Buy Now" CTA. Let's check out a few companies that do education as content marketing well.
A visit to SproutLoud's website will make you linger for a while. You likely got here, because you wanted to know more about marketing. You stay, because they offer a wealth of free information, topics like traditional vs. digital marketing, brand marketing, and driving leads with websites. Then you notice SproutLoud U and a wealth of blog posts, white papers, videos, reports, ebooks, and press releases.
All of this open-access content demonstrates well-researched information that takes vast knowledge and a lot of time to curate. Paired with this is a lead generator where you share your information with SproutLoud.
This allows you to get regular updates on valuable content. In return, SproutLoud will have a way to directly contact you when they make a stronger push to market their products and services. But, to you, their marketing will look like education that works to build your trust, and empower you.
You likely get to the Art Storefronts site, because you are a visual artist, gallery, or print studio, and you are looking for a smart e-commerce solution. The demos of the software keep you scrolling and exploring, then you find their blog and podcast, because you notice the words "we teach you."
Now at your fingertips is seemingly endless content on Facebook marketing, SEO, email marketing, site optimization, copywriting, and case studies on all of this.
But wait, aren't you on a software company's site?
Yes, you are.
And this is a great example of education as content marketing. Art Storefronts is committed to educating their target market to be better digital marketers. This, in turn, will make them more successful with the software, and build more trust with the brand.
As you search the Art Storefronts content, you are asked to fill in the email lead generator. You do so willingly, because you love the content. Art Storefronts now has a way to directly contact you for the right hook of a sale after they have been steadily building trust with their jabs of content as education.
Summing It Up
SproutLoud and Art Storefronts are two excellent examples of companies that use education as content marketing. They have high quality educational content in the form of blogs, podcasts, videos, and downloadables. They are only two of the many examples that exist. Now return to the favorite brands that you thought of at the beginning of this article. Do they use education as content marketing too? Do they build trust, by making you feel capable, informed, and connected?