Put away the textbooks and save the dry lectures for another day. Marketing is a great way to make education exciting.
Some of the best branded content out there is educational, including tutorials showing new users the ins and outs of a product, webinars on important industry challenges, and videos that provide useful information in a digestible way.
So how do the top brands develop a marketing campaign that’s fresh, fun, and informative? Take a look at these stellar examples, all drawn from Kapost’s top 50 content marketing brands of 2014.
1. Farmers Insurance
The first step in making your educational content work is to make it look good.
Smart design means people will be enticed by your material and will be able to find whatever they need with ease. The Inner Circle hub from Farmers understands that.
The well-designed hub features insights about car ownership, home ownership, and major life events that could impact insurance.
Also, never underestimate the power of a familiar face. Farmers has a video series called Inside Track where NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne gives tips for improving car safety and performance. There’s a reason why celebrity endorsements are so popular for traditional advertising; why not apply that same star power to an educational purpose? A great teacher can make any topic come alive. Every industry has its own rock stars, and bringing in a well-known personality is a great way to get more eyes on your videos and more people aware of your company.
Salesforce took the unique approach of integrating a crowd-sourcing angle to its online resources.
The company has an extensive library of official documentation, but sometimes users just want a fast and easy response to their questions. It’s like having a study group just a few clicks away.
Salesforce has even added extra incentives for this community involvement, such as giving badges that reward extensive participation. You can also create a profile for this forum to share your Salesforce and general CRM expertise.
This approach to asking and resolving questions serves several purposes. First, it creates a community by encouraging helpful interactions. Second, it reinforces interest and knowledge of the brand; experts can feel proud for their ability to guide others or resolve tricky problems. Both of those yield positive results for everyone involved.
In any marketing campaign, an understanding of your audience is crucial for success. Intuit has adopted that mindset, and created two separate blogs that address different groups of people who might be using its services.
Mint.com is an Intuit resource for managing personal finances. The MintLife Blog goes all-in on that topic, with posts all falling under that personal finance umbrella. Some articles offer general tips, but others go more in depth into suggestions for smart holiday shopping or wedding gifts.
Another of Intuit’s projects is B2B software called QuickBooks. To serve those customers, the company hosts a separate Small Business Center that still offers tips and tricks, but for the more advanced, corporate audience. Since these groups have such different needs and lessons to learn, both about financial products and finance management, lumping all that information into a single platform would make the resource less useful.
Remember in college when you had to sit through long lectures with a couple hundred fellow students for an intro-level class? Even if there was a topic that piqued your interest, the professor probably never had a chance to delve too deeply in order to cover the broad survey.
The videos in Moz Academy are the equivalent of senior-level classes in SEO for the company’s Moz Pro audience. Each clip has a clearly defined and focused subject, so a viewer knows exactly what they’ll be learning. That means an easy process for those who need a fast tutorial and a detailed education for somebody newer to the field. A narrow topic in each video also helps viewers absorb lessons in bite-sized amounts for better retention.
Class Is Now in Session
These four brands are a great jumping-off point for any company developing content marketing for education. Put some time into your presentation. Tap into all of your resources (even the unexpected ones). Know your audience. And finally, make your information easy to digest. Just these four concepts can help your company’s campaign to get an A+ grade.
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