Modern marketing practices have changed dramatically over the last decade, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the rise of education-based marketing techniques. Put simply, the modern consumer is no longer willing to be a passive recipient of advertising. Rather, consumers will only do business with those companies that they trust and this requires that the business establish a deeper relationship with their customer base.

Education-based marketing understands this and builds trust by sharing information and educating the consumer. Rather than seeking to make an immediate sale, this technique treats the consumer as a valued individual and provides them with benefits that do not demand an immediate purchase. In fact, the importance of education-based marketing has been stressed by modern authorities, including the Post-Tribune. Below are five techniques to help improve a company’s approach to educating its consumer base.

Focus on Your Customer’s Needs

An education-based marketing policy must provide information that potential customers find useful. For example, a home-improvement business might include tips on how to maintain a yard or home, as well as providing videos showing how to properly carry out various do it yourself (DIY) projects. By doing so, the business not only provides something of value to the user but also encourages them to see the business as a member of their community.

Make Use of Video Presentations

Online video presentations are a highly effective way to educate your visitors, and many individuals prefer video to text or static visual information. In fact, about four times as many consumers prefer to watch videos about a product rather than read about it. For the purposes of education-based marketing, videos provide an effective way to quickly get helpful information to the consumer. This does not demand long videos, as two-thirds of responding consumers stated they preferred a video of under 60 seconds. Thus, a larger number of short educational videos about a wide variety of subjects are likely to be more useful than a few, longer videos.

Make Use of a Wide Range of Contact Methods

A company should not be restricted to a single point of contact when implementing an education-based marketing system. Websites, mailing lists (both physical and electronic), and social media such as Twitter are all vital parts of an effective business plan. Especially for smaller businesses, making use of independent platforms such as Facebook and Youtube can drastically reduce the cost and time associated with developing a comprehensive system to interact with the company’s customer base. In addition, the popularity of social media and its interconnected nature will help satisfied consumers tell their friends and family about a rewarding educational experience, vastly increasing the number of consumers who will be interacting with the business.

Continue to Add New Content

One of the worst mistakes a company can make is to cease adding new educational content for the consumer. A lack of new information will convince the public that they are not valued by the company and they will go elsewhere. Updates do not have to be large, but they must add value and they must occur often. Added content can include articles, videos, and even online discussion groups can help assure visitors that they have entered into a dynamic and growing community.

Leverage Technology to Provide Useful Content

The company should always be making use of new techniques in order to keep the content useful. Allowing users to download articles, linking to other information, and creating site maps to help the user find what he or she needs is a vital part of a successful education-based marketing system. CourseHero’s crowdsourced website on the characters found in its Odyssey analysis is an excellent example of taking a subject and providing a wide range of ways to interact with it. Users of this site can read the information online, download a wide range of documents related to the subject, and even make use of print-ready flashcards for offline activities. Most importantly, its crowdsourced nature helps it to create a community of users, rather than simply offering a passive experience.

Ultimately, education-based marketing is a technique that will help businesses continue to maintain a large and loyal customer base in today’s increasingly competitive world. By making use of these suggestions, a company can help craft a policy that will make it stand out from the crowd and forge an enduring relationship with the world’s consumers.

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