As we’ve noted before, business-to-education (B2E) marketers need to be highly strategic in how they use content if they want to maximize their success. But what does this mean in practical terms?
During a recent Expert Series webinar, the CB&A executive team shared findings from the company’s 2022 Education Marketing Trends & Insights Report—as well as their own observations—to explain how B2E marketers can be more effective with their content marketing.
Download the Report: 2022 Education Marketing Trends & Insights
Align B2E content with the Buyer’s Journey
Being strategic means creating different types of content to achieve various marketing goals. While survey respondents described a number of ways they do this, “the most popular way was to map content to the various stages of the buyer’s journey,” said CB&A Account Director Chloe Dechow.
Dechow used a food analogy to explain the different stages of the buyer’s journey.
In the awareness stage, buyers are just realizing they have a problem, like: “I’m hungry.” In the consideration phase, they’re weighing different approaches to solving their problem, like: “Do I want pie or beignet?” In the decision phase, they’ve settled on an approach and are evaluating specific solutions, like: “I’m getting a beignet at Café Du Monde.”
Targeting prospects at various stages of the Buyer’s Journey with different types of content involves understanding what their information needs are at each stage:
In the awareness stage, marketers are helping the buyer learn the extent of the problem or challenge they face—as well as the consequences for not acting. Short informational pieces are most effective at this stage, such as blog posts, infographics, thought leadership articles or brief white papers.
In the consideration stage, marketers are helping the buyer understand how the type of product or service they provide is effective at solving the problem. Case studies, research reports and how-to guides work well here.
In the decision stage, the content should present the company’s unique selling points, while helping buyers overcome any objections they might have. Assets such as buyer’s guides, case studies and video presentations are especially effective.
Extend your reach with PESO
A highly strategic content marketing plan also recognizes how content will be distributed. To extend the reach of their content, B2E marketers should consider using the PESO model (paid, earned, shared, owned) to distribute it across multiple media channels.
Related Resource: Education Content Marketing Checklist
Paid media channels include advertisements or sponsored content in industry publications or other outlets. Earned media channels include placements earned through media relations, such as a thought leadership article in a trade or consumer media outlet. Shared media channels are posts and shares garnered through social media and industry partners. Owned media channels include distribution through a company blog, website and other properties.
“This year’s survey found that marketers are really using a variety of channels in their content marketing,” said CB&A Vice President Emily Embury. “Diving a little deeper, we found that 92 percent used owned media, 84 percent take advantage of shared media to distribute content, and three in five respondents also leveraged paid and earned media.”
As for how marketers rate the importance of these media channels, owned media tops the list, with 78 percent of respondents characterizing it as important. Paid media was considered least important, with just 36 percent describing it as important.
“Our annual survey confirms that a highly strategic content marketing plan is really the secret to success in the education market,” Embury said. “It’s important that this plan uses different types of content to achieve different marketing goals, and that you use a variety of marketing channels to help promote your content.”
For more B2E marketing insights, read the full report here.