Learn 8 Proven Steps to Meet Your B2E Marketing Goals
Content is essential for education marketing. It can help drive traffic to your website and generate leads at all stages of the sales funnel.
But that only works if the content you offer is engaging, useful and well written.
How can you create highly compelling education content that gets read and shared? During a recent CB&A Expert Series event, Charlene Blohm, President and CEO of C. Blohm & Associates (CB&A), shared some of the company’s top strategies for doing just that.
#1) Know your target audience
To create content that resonates with customers and prospects, you have to understand their needs and pain points. Ask questions such as: What challenges are they looking to solve? What problems keep them up at night? What information do you have that might help them do their jobs more effectively?
“Your content can answer these key points while highlighting your products and your passion,” Blohm said.
To learn about your target audience and their needs, create a feedback loop.
“A good brand is always going to be based on exceptional listening skills,” she explained. “Your sales reps, implementation team, even the surveys and form fields in your marketing—all of those can be used to initiate conversations about pain points. Having this feedback loop is really going to help your content be much more relevant.”
#2) Know where they are in the buying cycle
At each stage of the buying cycle, your customers and prospects are going to have slightly different information needs.
The fall semester is prime lead generation time, when top-of-the-funnel content might be most appropriate. In January through March, when budgets are being put together, you’ll want to be in front of decision makers with information about your products.
“Connect with educators in a way that’s relevant to them, that demonstrates you understand their role in the decision making process,” Blohm said. Also, make sure you’re working ahead, so your content aligns with the buying cycle when it’s actually published or posted.
To learn more about the school buying cycle and its impact on education marketing, see this earlier post.
#3) Do your (SEO) research
One of the top ways for prospects to find your content is through organic web searches. “If you can figure out what prospects are searching for and what common terms they use, you can embed those keywords into your content—and that’s going to help them find you,” Blohm said.
If you’re not sure where to start, one of the most useful research tools we use at CB&A is called Answer the Public. You can use this service to take a deep dive into the questions people are asking online and how they phrase their questions. There’s also Google Trends, and YouTube is good for revealing how people ask “how to” questions.
When in doubt, you can look at the terms that are being used on your competitors’ websites. You’ll want to find phrases that have a high search volume and a comparatively low usage, if possible.
Here’s a quick tip: Highlight the SEO keywords you use in your creative brief and in your content. Then, when you send around the copy for review, your colleagues will know not to edit out those keyword phrases.
#4) Leverage education industry knowledge
“Speak in the language of your customers,” Blohm recommended. “Your customers and prospects want to see their daily experiences reflected in your content. They want to get the sense that you’re intimately familiar with their needs, their daily lives and how they operate.
Draw upon your education experience to show that you understand this market. Create timely, relevant content that speaks to your audiences on a personal and professional level.
If you’re new to the education market, and you don’t feel like you have the experience to pull this off effectively, consider partnering with someone who does. Maybe your sales reps can help you identify a successful customer with whom you can collaborate on an article. Or, you can turn to an agency like CB&A for help.
In all, Blohm shared eight key strategies for creating highly compelling content that resonates with your intended audiences. For the rest of her advice, you can watch the full webinar here. You can also download our must-have guide: “Education Content Marketing Checklist: Writing to Engage.”