Your latest and greatest product for teachers is ready to launch. You know the exact customer personas that you will be marketing to. You have prepared email marketing campaigns and social media content. But what's missing?
Unless your product costs mere pennies, very few teachers are likely to become customers having seen a simple tweet or Facebook advert. Why should educators trust your brand? What shows that you understand their needs?
This is where content marketing comes into play. A well crafted blog post and a downloadable resource will show schools and teachers that you:
- understand their needs
- create genuinely useful resources
- can be trusted with school funding.
What is the role of content marketing when selling to schools?
Content marketing plays a vital role at all stages of the inbound marketing methodology but it's particularly important at the attract and convert stages.
A great blog post will improve the SEO presence of your website (how easily it can be found on search engines like Google). It will also provide the basis of what your social media campaigns point to.
Downloadable resources, often in PDF format, can be positioned behind a landing page. This allows teachers to indicate their interest in your brand by providing contact details in exchange for your content. It's a micro-transaction that indicates your leads are willing to start trusting you.
That trust is vital. Your downloadable resource needs to deliver on the promise of the landing page and demonstrate that you are capable of delivering high-quality results. It's a first step towards teachers becoming your customer.
What should you blog about when marketing to schools?
Knowing that blogging is a vital part of your marketing strategy is one thing. Writing content that delivers results is much harder.
Many educational suppliers will treat their blog as an opportunity to explain why their product or service is the best on the market. While there's certainly a place for that (usually during the decision stage of the buyer's journey), self-promotional content should not be at the core of your blogging strategy.
You content marketing should focus on defining and solving the problems faced by schools and teachers.
Are you an education-specific recruitment agency? Write blog posts that help school leaders to draft effective job descriptions, person specifications and adverts. When a headteacher finds your resources, they will make use of them and you will be front-of-mind when it comes to solving their next recruitment issue.
Do you provide teacher CPD? You can write blog posts that help teachers to track their development needs and identify the best training for them. Why not augment this by providing one of the resources from the course as a downloadable PDF or PowerPoint? Teachers will be left in no doubt about the quality of your offer.
If you can solve problems for teachers with your free content, then they will trust the quality of your paid offers.
Promote your content more than your product
Most companies can produce more content than they can products and services. By dedicating time and resources to content creation, you can quickly have a website full of useful resources for teachers.
This content is what you should be promoting through your social media, pay-per-click advertising and email campaigns. Teachers will happily read content that is of use to them. This gives you the opportunity to convert them into leads.
If you only shout about your products, then your Twitter feed quickly becomes a boring 'buy our stuff' zone that teachers ignore and eventually unfollow.
Tweet about new and interesting content and teachers will look forward to your next post. This boosts engagement, improves website traffic, drives leads and, ultimately, leads to more customers for your business.
To put in in educational terms, you should be teaching rather than selling.
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