As a company that focuses on technology for education, you understand that there are no grade levels where a teacher goes in without a plan. Marketing is no different.
In today’s world, the number of marketing tactics is countless and not all these tactics will work for your business, especially in education technology. No matter what type of product you are providing as a service, you will always need a strategy in place. If you were to go into battle without a strategy in place, what do you think will happen? Marketing professionals need to understand their audience before marketing efforts are initiated so that they are successful in achieving their goals in attaining quality leads. You want to be able to make a strategy that caters to your audiences 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 style of marketing 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 basically fishing in a lake of consumers in hopes you will attain a few quality leads. The issue with Outbound is that not everyone is interested in what you have to offer, so that fish in the lake might not be hungry. In reality, this might work for some businesses that stand out from the rest, but in the Education Technology industry, one should consider Outbound marketing continuously while focusing on another marketing approach.
That other marketing approach is called Inbound marketing! Inbound’s approach to marketing is right up any Education Technology’s industry because you are providing, relevant, useful information that your consumer/readers see as a value. 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 are able to 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 just went over, you are addressing the needs of the consumer. You are understanding what your ideal buyers are going through and how you can help them. You want your customers happy, right? By focusing on Inbound efforts, you are literally 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 type of 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 are only hurting yourself in the long run. To assess yourself, let’s take a look at what we need to do:
Phase Result: By working with your team, you are now able to understand your business inside and out. If anyone asks you about your businesses service, you should have a great idea of what to say. Assessing your company will always help you see other objectives that you might not have cause prior, giving you a clear picture on what to pursue for your organizations 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? Well, now its time to map out your ideal buyers journey! This can be a tad time consuming but fun at the same time. By working with your team, you are able to collaborate and find out where your EdTech customer started in your process and where they will end. You are basically mapping out a stripped down strategy for you customer, accounting for almost all variable at play that determine their choice on if they will make a purchase or not. There are basically three stages where your customer will be involved in, 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 is over, you will have such 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 good work. At this stage, you’re creating the juice for your squeeze. This is what is going to get your audience to come to you, and not the other way around. Creating the right campaigns for your ideal Buyer Personas is crucial to a successful campaign. If you mis-step one of these stages, your work will not align with the customers needs. You want to match your campaigns to the stages your buyer will be in. Some are in awareness, others in consideration due to their own knowledge, so you want to account for both. You will also need to utilize SEO (search engine optimization) and understand the impact it has on your Inbound marketing efforts. You’ll be surprised how much play keywords have. Now that you know a little more about this stage, let’s see what you’ll need to do in order to being the setup process.
Phase Result: After this stage has been completed, 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 out 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 tough when you really dive in and get your hands dirty. When marketing your Education Technology service, keep in mind who your ideal customers are, what their needs are, and how you can solve them in a proactive way through content. Inbound marketing along with 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, no matter if you are focusing on B2C or B2B marketplaces, so creating the right strategy is super important.
Never lose sight of exactly what’s important: creating quality content and premium offers that your audience will love. When you are constructing a marketing plan for your education technology company, make an effort 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 businesses have to hire a writer, editor, marketers and web producers, for starters. The other route could be outsourcing your material to be made, but that is costly in itself. One proactive, cost-efficient solution is Responsify. Responsify is an all-in-one cost-affection solution to anyone’s content marketing needs. Helping many businesses attain the quality leads they want in order to convert into a reoccurring sale.
To learn about what’s needed to develop an effective Content and Inbound Strategy, grab our free eBook here!
To take a deeper dive into Inbound Marketing and see where your company stands in your market, reach out to Responsify for a 1-on-1 strategy session today!