Today’s customer lives in a highly digital environment that caters for immediate gratification. They no longer must buy unless it suits their terms and they trust you. But for them to trust you they need reassurance that they are dealing with the right company. They need to know that you are knowledgeable, capable and can be trusted.
The most important function of your marketing is to establish trust. Traditional marketing approaches focus on sales-driven messages which no longer work. People do not like being sold and throwing the sales message in too early will send your prospective clients running.
So how do we establish trust and attract customers to come to us? It is simple. We need to slow the process down to speed up the sale and the best way to do this is with education-based marketing.
What is education-based marketing?
Education based marketing is a content marketing strategy focusing on educating your customers. It is the process of building trust with your customers by providing “free help”.
Education marketing is the direct opposite of traditional marketing. Instead of worn out sales pitches, you can share important information and facts that help customers. When you help a customer, you win their trust and you have their attention, so they listen.
This is why education-based marketing is so powerful. It is an important part of your marketing strategy that focuses on engagement.
Examples of educational marketing content
4. Case studies
6. Email newsletters
7. White papers
8. Online courses
Where does education marketing plug in to your marketing strategy?
You should use educational content to warm up your leads before you ask for a sale. You want to introduce educational content at every step of your sales funnel. It will add value and help you to better prepare your clients, so they take the right step.
It is a good way to pre-qualify your clients, so you focus most of your time on the ones most interested in your business.
Education content marketing works for attracting new leads and building relationships. It is the perfect solution for connecting with your audience on an emotional level. Use it to earn continual revenue from your database investment.
How to use educational marketing to attract new clients
1. Set up your online presence
Before you can dive into the content, you need to first make sure that you have set up your online presence. Remember marketing is a holistic solution that only works if you have the right system.
You will need:
1. A website that is mobile responsive with fast hosting and a blog section
2. A CRM system or email marketing system with a lead capture feature to collect and manage subscribers.
3. Your social media pages (Linkedin/Twitter/Facebook)
2. Think like your customer
If you are going to provide content of value that will resonate with your customers, you need to understand their needs. To achieve this you need to get inside their heads and see what their pain points are. What do they experience daily, what does their environment look like and what problems do they have that you can solve?
This is a very vital step that you need to master to get your ideal client’s attention. You need to show them that you know them and can provide good advice that they need so they see you as an authority.
Here are some ways you can do research on your client’s needs:
* Get ideas from customer inquiries
* Use Twitter’s advanced search tools to listen in on relevant conversations
* Survey existing customers
* Use competitive analysis tools to research your competitors content marketing strategy.
3. Determine your educational message
The key to a successful message is to make sure it adds value and drives action. You want to educate and help your clients to take a desired action at every step of the marketing funnel.
It is important to take off the expert hat and speak your customer’s language. You want to write about solutions not problems and teach your customers what you want them to know.
4. Deliver your message
You can use different types of content at every stage of your cycle to deliver your message. For example, you can use an educational eBook as a lead magnet to attract new subscribers. Once they are in your mailing list, you can send them blog articles, a free trial or a short course to generate interest. When you have their attention, you can invite them to a webinar to discuss a certain topic of interest.
You can also use a combination of infographics, videos or case studies in a single blog post. The only limitation you have with content is your imagination. There are endless possibilities that you can explore to deliver a great message that will drive action.
5. Wait for customers to contact you
The more that you share with your customers, the more they will be willing to engage with you. If you optimize your funnel correctly you can prequalify your leads with content.
The idea is to use content to attract the right clients into the funnel and warm them up to lead them to make a purchase. The last thing you want to do is force the sale. That is why you need to slow it down. You need to wait for your potential clients to read all the content in your strategy before they become a qualified client.
When this happens will depend on the client’s needs and how well you have their attention. Some clients will convert quickly, others need more time and nurturing. If you keep providing value and solve problems your leads will keep flowing.
It is time to begin building your content marketing strategy that works for your unique audience. When you do, you will see that new leads come far more easily and convert into customers at a higher rate.
You will establish your brand as an authority and trusted resource for information. This will help you to stand out against the competition and win trust to make the sale possible. Uphold your promise to provide value to your audience so you can help them succeed. The reward will be a much better return from your marketing.