When you’re trying to attract customers, educating them may be more effective than marketing alone. In fact, people who interact with a business’ educational marketing are 29 times more likely to make a purchase than those who only see media ads. That’s why combining educational opportunities and business marketing giveaways can increase customers’ interest in your organization.
In this Blue Paper, we’ll talk about how your organization can create value and keep customers coming back for more by teaching them practical skills while addressing their pain points.
Education boosts media
While you know that your products or services are necessary and useful, customers aren’t always as easily convinced. That may explain why it takes six to eight interactions to turn a potential customer into a viable sales lead.
Providing educational opportunities can accomplish more when combined with traditional advertising:
- It builds trust. Showing how your product can be used effectively and answering customer questions through content and other educational opportunities instills trust. And the more money they spend on your products, the more they’ll need to trust you.
- It creates deeper levels of engagement. Every time you provide a customer with information, it creates one of those six to eight touchpoints you’ll need to convert them.
- It builds brand authority. Showing your knowledge demonstrates that you’re an expert.
- It fills in knowledge gaps. Educating your potential customers allows you to completely explain how your product addresses their pain points.
What to teach your customers
The best way to educate your customers is to focus on what they want to learn, not what you want to tell them. Providing a variety of information can make your organization invaluable to customers.
Show that you understand their pain points
Customers have all kinds of needs. And the best way to learn about them is to ask. Do so by conducting interviews, sending out surveys and reaching out via email. Use that information to develop your education pieces. Every answer you provide is one more reason to work with you.
Showcase your expertise
The people who work for your company have experiences and knowledge that can’t be found anywhere else. Sharing your expertise allows potential customers to see you as what you are—an expert.
Give them something they can use
While a long piece of content, like a blog, is a great way to demonstrate knowledge, sometimes one useful fact makes a more significant impact. A quick social media post or a helpful infographic can promote more robust content and offer helpful tidbits customers can put to use today.
Share information you wanted to know
Is there something your company needs to know more about? Chances are good that your customers can use that information as well. Conducting a study or survey and sharing your findings can provide value to you and your audience.
How to create educational opportunities
When creating educational opportunities, you’ll want to start small. Once you have mastered one or two, you’re more likely to keep customers coming back. Then you can expand your educational arsenal. As you build your content, create learning opportunities that clients can engage with in-person and online.
If a picture is worth 1,000 words, being able to see (and touch) something in real life is going to be even more valuable. Creating opportunities to see your products and services in action helps customers understand and allows them to ask questions.
It’s also a fantastic opportunity to offer business marketing giveaways, especially if you have a surprising and educational use for them.
Initially, Span Tech used the opener strictly as a promo item to hand out to potential customers. Then one day, a sales representative discovered a way to make it part of the educational process.
Span Tech manufactures plastic modular chain conveyors that are designed to be easily maintained. “You can simply pop the lock tabs in or out on either side of the chain to maintain the conveyor,” Sales and Marketing Project Manager Ann Thornton said. “One of our sales representatives started using the tool to demonstrate to customers how simple it is.
“At first, only one representative was using the letter opener as a demonstration tool,” Thornton said. “But it’s now a part of the new Span Tech University training toolbox, which is given to customers upon completion of their training. They’ll be using them as they learn how to work with our conveyor chain. With the added bonus of letter opening and staple removal.”
Create and share useful content
Your website, blog and social media platforms are the perfect places to offer educational content. Using various types of content makes it possible to reach multiple audiences.
Webinars allow you to connect with customers in almost any geographic location. To make certain your customers get the most out of them, try to:
- Keep it short and sweet: Whenever possible, focus on a single topic and keep your presentation to 15 minutes.
- Keep it interactive: Let people ask questions via online chat.
- Provide value: When the webinar is over, post it online and make your slides or other presentation material available to download.
Tips and educational email courses
Email marketing offers an incredible 4,400% return on investment. Sending a monthly newsletter with helpful tips or creating an educational course that goes out weekly serves as a frequent reminder of your business.
Online crash courses
Share how-to videos on social media and create long-form blogs to explain critical information or answer frequently asked questions. Videos have remained extremely popular. It’s estimated that animated educational videos increase conversions by 20%.
Workshops and seminars allow you to build a one-on-one relationship with your client. For City Chic Real Estate in Washington, D.C., education plays a critical role in attracting potential clients.
“We’ve been doing these seminars for a couple of years,” said Realtor D’Ann Faught. “We work primarily with buyers, and especially first-time buyers, and it’s a good way to introduce yourself and get to know people.”
For City Chic Real Estate, offering seminars in a relaxed atmosphere helps people take in a lot of critical information. “When someone goes through the buying or selling process, it’s a lot of information overload,” Faught said. “If you keep it light and talk over brunch or happy hour, it makes it fun and easier to process.”
It also allows them to share training giveaways. They give attendees a Value Grocery Tote filled with promo pens, a folder of information about the homebuying process, and material from mortgage and title groups.
The seminars and gift tote have put customers more at ease with the process. “At our last two seminars, we had someone buying a home within the next 30-60 days,” Faught said.
Teach them to reach them
Class is in session! Teaching customers what they want to know about the industry and helping them solve their pain points gives them a reason to connect with your company again and again. And with the help of business marketing giveaways, you can turn all those curious connections into customers.
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