Education-based marketing is an excellent means of providing value to your customers and prospects. The educational approach moves us away from self-promoting, sales-oriented communication, toward relationships built on substance, understanding, and trust.
Educational marketing can be used to:
For example, in both course development and inbound marketing, it is useful to start by developing personas to understand your audience. This understanding naturally leads to engaging content, a desirable outcome for education and for marketing.
Whether you are working to achieve learning objectives, or increase brand awareness, or generate leads—you need to create content that captures your audience's attention, and gets them interacting, thinking, and actively engaging.
Bear in mind—people don't want to be sold to, but they do want to be educated. Fortunately, there are a broad range of educational techniques that can be used effectively in marketing.
Quizzes can be used to evaluate your audience's knowledge, and present relevant information. Or they can be used to help define a customer's preferences, simplifying the buying process. Moreover, quizzes are great for helping people to retain information.
Quizzes are a form of gamification, and other forms can be used to retain audience interest, and enhance learning. For our purposes, gamification refers to the use of game-playing principles in either education or marketing. Gamified features can play into the user's enjoyment of the simple entertainment value, or possibly other game attributes—achievement and reward (winning, leveling up), exploring, use of strategy, or even the social aspects of gaming (multiplayer games, leaderboards, etc.).
Storytelling is another excellent way to promote learning and engage your audience. The best stories will allow your audience to see themselves as characters in your company's story.
A common marketing story form is the case study. As we take a storytelling approach to collateral such as case studies, we can consider how these forms can be rendered to convey emotion, and how we can integrate fundamental storytelling elements such as characters, conflict, and resolution.