Consumers are hungry for educational content these days, always eager to learn more and more. This new wave of curiosity has them turning to their favorite brands, publishers, and thought leaders to gain insights and information. Smart organizations understand that adding educational material as part of their content marketing strategy not only broadens their consumers’ knowledge, but also gives them valuable insights on their customers’ behaviors—much more than blog posts or videos. Companies adopting short-form, online educational approaches such as how-to sections, lessons or webinars see many significant benefits including longer time-on-site, higher email conversion and a more detailed engagement data (think quizzes answered, slides viewed and videos watched). Here are three reasons why you might want to consider introducing learning content in your next content marketing planning meeting:
1. Educational content engages prospects and customers and develops a deeper connection.
Content drives engagement. Every piece of content published creates an interaction with your audience, an opportunity to inform and educate. It’s up to you how deep and meaningful that interaction should be. Remember not all forms of content are created equal. Including online educational content as part of your overall marketing mix offers a rich learning experience that works hand-in-hand with your other core content marketing tools such as articles, blog posts, infographics and videos. Best of all, your prospects and customers learn more about your brand, your products and your philosophy.
So where is adding online learning appropriate and how do you go about delivering it? In the last few years a number of online learning platforms have sprung up that will allow you to create lessons, how-to sections and other forms of online courses quickly and easily. With these you can build interactive learning experiences and bolster engagement using quizzes, video, discussions and more. So where to start? First think acquisition and build out a short-list of courses, lessons or how-to steps that will help your prospect as they make those key buying decisions. Second focus on customer engagement and help your newly acquired customers as they unbox your product or sign-up for your software. Most of all share your valuable industry insights with your core customers and loyal fans. Your customers will love you for it.
2. An educated customer is a buying customer.
Getting your customers truly engaged with your products or services can be difficult. Starting the educational connection early on in the lifecycle of a customer is critical. It helps with discovery in the shopping or trialing phase and is so important during the product adoption curve. How many millions of new customers buy products or take trials only to vanish after a few days or weeks because they failed to grasp the value or jump that adoption hurdle?
Introducing learning as part of your content marketing strategy will help educate those in the early stages of your funnel, helping with conversion and product adoption. In the later stages of the customer lifecycle there are strong connections between increased lifetime value and the level of brand and product education. Think about your super users; they buy more, evangelize more and purchase related products and services at a higher rate than many others.
3. When shared, educational content not only advances the knowledge of the reader but reinforces the value of the brand and its thought-leaders.
Content creation and thought-leadership go hand-in-hand. Offering consistent educational content on specific areas within your industry will feed your consumers’ hunger for knowledge and provide valuable information that can be used to instantly advance their skills. Not only that but it will do wonders for your brand, thought-leaders and subject matter experts. How many fantastic product insights are waiting to be shared by your organization?
So why not give a little more consideration to the value of online education as part of your marketing mix? You will gain new insight on your leads and customers and will spread a lot of good will along the way. We are at the beginning of enormous growth in consumer learning and people in the millions are turning to brands, publishers, bloggers and experts to learn. We promise you won’t be disappointed.