As a company that focuses on technology for education, you understand there are no grade levels where a teacher goes in without a plan. Marketing is no exception.
In today’s world, the number of marketing tactics is countless, and not all will work for your business, especially in education technology. No matter what type of product you provide as a service, you will always need a strategy. If you were to go into battle without a strategy in place, what do you think would happen?
Marketing professionals need to understand their audience before marketing efforts are initiated so that they are successful in achieving their goals of attaining quality leads. You want to make a strategy that caters to your audience’s wants and needs so that you can secure your customer properly. If your service does not provide a solution for your customers, then it’s time to reassess your company services.
One strategy that has been present throughout the history of marketing is Outbound marketing. This marketing style takes the forms of ads for television, phone calls, print, and radio, as well as other forms for reaching out to your audience. You are fishing in a lake of consumers, hoping you will attain a few quality leads. The issue with Outbound is that not everyone is interested in what you offer, so the fish in the lake might not be hungry. In reality, this might work for some businesses that stand out, but in the Education Technology industry, one should consider Outbound marketing continuously while focusing on another marketing approach.
The other marketing approach is called Inbound marketing. Inbound’s approach to marketing is right up in any Education Technology industry because you provide relevant, useful information that your consumers/readers see as valuable. You are educating your audience on solutions that can help their need or want, outlining how your service comes in to save the day. When utilizing this method, you will help attract website visitors organically. You can convert those visitors into quality leads, followed by closing those leads into paying customers. After they become a paying customer, your final job is to secure your customer retention rates by delighting your customers so they can speak highly of you to their colleagues.
Providing quality content to your audience is the latest and smartest approach to marketing. Why? Aside from what we discussed, you are addressing consumers’ needs. You understand what your ideal buyers are going through and how you can help them. You want your customers to be happy. By focusing on Inbound efforts, you are helping and educating your ideal happy customer.
Below are the 4 critical phases of developing a Content & Inbound Strategy to create customer-centered content.
|Before you jump into any strategy, it’s crucial that you give your business a self-assessment. This is your chance to be brutally honest with your company and the service you provide. If you assess yourself incorrectly, you only hurt yourself in the long run. To evaluate yourself, let’s take a look at what we need to do:
Phase Result: By working with your team, you can understand your business inside and out. If anyone asks you about your business’s service, you should know what to say. Assessing your company will help you see other objectives giving you a clear picture of what to pursue in your organization’s growth.
Buyer Persona Development
|Now that you have given your business an assessment, you are now ready to tackle the next step. In this phase, you will create your ideal Buyer Personas. You want to be able to know who your ideal buyers are for your service and what are their wants and needs. Similar to how you assessed your own wants and needs for your business. This phase also requires you to collaborate with other teams to determine who the correct personas are. Ideally, you want to get feedback from existing or potential customers, but that’s not always available. Let’s dive in and see what we’ll need:
Phase Result: After achieving your three Buyer Personas, you are heading in the right direction! With these Buyer Personas, you are able to understand what goes on in the mind of your ideal consumers. You know their wants, their needs and how you fit in to their solution. It’ll take some time to crash your top three candidates but the time is well worth it. You will be able to use these Buyer Personas for multiple teams within your company, such as Sales or Marketing.
Buyer Journey Mapping
|So now you assessed your company, and you have built your ideal Buyer Personas. What next? It’s time to map out your ideal buyer’s journey. This can be time-consuming but fun at the same time. By working with your team, you can collaborate and find out where your EdTech customer started in your process and where they will end. You are mapping out a stripped-down strategy for your customer, accounting for almost all variables at play that determine their choice on whether they will make a purchase or not. There are three stages in which your customer will be involved, Awareness, Consideration and Decision. You will raise awareness of your customers’ problems/wants/needs, then provide a solution to what they are looking for and help them consider their options, leading into the decision stage. Here is what you need to do:
Phase Result: After this phase, you will have a clear way of looking at your buyer’s journey and what it takes to turn your qualified leads into a sale. This outline will qualify and nurture your leads throughout the buyer persona’s journey.
Inbound Campaign Setup
|You just knocked out 3 stages so far; you’re on a roll. Keep up the excellent work. At this stage, you’re creating the juice for your squeeze. This is will get your audience to come to you, and not the other way around. Creating suitable campaigns for your ideal Buyer Persona is crucial to a successful campaign. If you misstep one of these stages, your work will not meet with the customers’ needs. You want to match your campaigns to your buyer’s stages. Some are in awareness, others in consideration due to their knowledge, so you want to account for both. You will also need to utilize Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and understand its impact on your Inbound marketing efforts. You’ll be surprised how much play keywords have. Now that you know more about this stage let’s see what you’ll need to do to begin the setup process.
Phase Result: After completing this stage, you have developed a detailed content plan to attract your ideal personas by answering common questions through your content article and premium content offers. You have mapped out what platforms you’ll use to send the information and to whom. You have also created multiple email/social headlines for your content piece, setting up your campaigns in the best order possible. When these stages come together, you have a recipe for success.
The Bottom Line
Let’s face it. Marketing can be challenging when you dive in and get your hands dirty. When marketing your Education Technology service, remember who your ideal customers are, their needs, and how you can proactively solve them through content. Inbound and outbound marketing are two styles of marketing that should be utilized to the fullest. The market in education technology is very specialized, so your content needs to be as well. Quality content is king, and it’s what your ideal consumers want. Most people research before making a purchase, whether you are focusing on B2C or B2B marketplaces, so creating the right strategy is super important.
Never lose sight of what’s important: creating quality content and premium offers that your audience will love. When constructing a marketing plan for your education technology company, try to start from the bottom and work your way up to the top of the process. This process can be a lot for a small business. Typically companies hire a writer, editor, marketer, and web producer, for starters. The other route could be outsourcing your material to be created, but that is costly in itself.
One proactive, cost-efficient solution is Responsify. Responsify is an all-in-one, cost-effective solution for anyone’s content marketing needs. Helping many businesses attain the quality leads they want in order to convert into reoccurring sales.
To learn about what’s needed to develop an effective Content and Inbound Strategy, grab our free eBook here!
To dive deeper into Inbound Marketing and see where your company stands in your market, reach out to Responsify for a 1-on-1 strategy session today!