The tech industry is overrun with competing brands, and this is the same for EdTech, too. To stand out, it’s important that you understand exactly who you’re targeting and speak to your audience in a way that resonates and builds trust.
But, with so many marketing tactics doing the rounds, how do you know which ones would work best for you?
Here are some of the most effective marketing tactics for EdTech brands.
Search Engine Optimization
Attracting potential customers through search results is a great way to gain a trickle of new users on a regular basis.
When a decision maker from an educational institution needs a solution to a problem they’re facing, they’re likely to turn to Google, or a similar alternative, like the majority of people do. Once there, they’ll want to find out more information about a solution before they make a final decision.
The higher you rank in the search engines, the more chance you have of decision makers in the education industry finding you.
Optimize your website by:
- Using a keyword research tool to find common keywords that education decision makers use when running searches
- Identifying common questions that decision makers have through Google’s “People Also Ask” section
- Implementing your chosen keywords throughout your website and in the meta information
Google’s “People Also Ask” feature shows commonly asked questions that relate to your chosen keywords.
Your most powerful salespeople are your existing customers. They’re able to relate to potential new customers and share their personal experiences to bring on more users.
This increases the level of trust around your brand, and you get direct feedback from someone who is already entrenched in the education industry.
Ambassadors help promote your product to their colleagues and other institutions in exchange for a discount or another benefit.
Nearpod’s PioNears program allows education leaders to speak at conferences and share their experience with others, all while promoting Nearpod.
Leverage ambassador programs by:
- Identifying your best customers
- Launching an ambassador program with discounts or exclusive deals for those who take part
- Allowing educators to test your products in their classes
- Encouraging educators to share their experiences with your product
Email marketing is a great way to connect with educational institutions directly. Landing in their inbox is a sure-fire way to get noticed, but it also offers the perfect opportunity to showcase your expertise and position your product as the ideal solution.
Make sure you tailor your email messages to the recipient’s interests and pain points to spark a connection and encourage them to find out more about your product.
Thinkful creates fun and visual emails for its subscribers.
How to use email marketing successfully:
- Take time to understand the challenges and problems key decision-makers face
- Segment your email list according to these challenges and problems, or by the position the subscriber has in their organization
- Create messages unique to each of these segments that educate them, inspire them or entertain them
- Track open rates and click-throughs to identify your top-performing emails
Create Well-Aligned Content
Those in the education industry don’t have a lot of spare time on their hands. They don’t have the capacity to read through 100-page white papers and other lengthy content, so create shorter pieces they can consume quickly.
Your content forms the backbone of an inbound marketing strategy that will attract decision-makers, engage them and gently nudge them towards purchasing your product.
Content should be aligned to the different stages of the sales cycle to ensure decision makers are getting the right information at the right time.
Part of the content will sit inside the online course platform you selected. The other part needs to be before the login, attracting additional sign ups and traffic to bring in new interested students, trigger the WIIFM aspect of your curriculum and appealing to their educational needs.
The Khan Academy has a range of different content that answers questions at every stage of the sales cycle.
How to create content for different stages of the sales cycle:
- Awareness stage: blog posts and high-level content that point to the major problems your audience are facing
- Consideration stage: videos, downloadable guides, and potential use cases for your products
- Decision stage: customer stories and product demos that show how decision makers can use your product for success
- Purchase stage: user guides and support forums to help educators make the most of your product
Video lends itself well to the education industry. It enables you to show the use cases of your product and connect with decision makers in a visually engaging way – something that’s particularly useful if you’re targeting time-crunched people.
Today, video traffic accounts for 69% of online traffic, making it an integral part of your marketing strategy.
If your product has a visual element to it (which, let’s face it, most EdTech products do), video can be a great way to bring it to life. They also perform particularly well on social media, giving you access to a library of content to share with your followers.
Instructure has a whole host of videos on their resources landing page for potential buyers to browse through.
How to use video:
- Create explainer videos that outline the problem your product solves
- Shoot short, snappy videos showing different use cases of your products
- Record customer stories to add a human element to your marketing
- Film longer videos that show the capabilities of your product to educators in the decision-making stage of the sales funnel
User Generated Content
User generated content (UGC)—like product reviews, customer photos and videos, and star ratings, all form a critical part of the sales cycle. They inform potential buyers and instill confidence in their purchasing decisions.
Education professionals are pros at research, but they also value recommendations from colleagues and fellow educators. This is where reviews and other UGC can come in useful. Not only will it provide you with a backlog of great content to share with future buyers, but it can be the perfect way to introduce your product.
Zen Educate shares a range of success stories from existing customers.
Leverage UGC by:
- Collecting customer reviews and photos via email or on social media
- Sharing reviews in your email marketing campaigns
- Sprinkling reviews on your product pages
- Adding customer photos to your website to build trust and connection
The Foundations of Your Future Lie in Your EdTech Marketing Strategy
Marketing is absolutely necessary for EdTech providers today. The coronavirus pandemic has led to a huge uptick in the number of education companies going online, making it harder than ever to stand out.
The key is to find out the biggest problems your customer base has, and provide them with information and resources about how your products or solutions help them to overcome those problems. In the process, you’ll position your brand as the perfect solution, and build a loyal following that has the potential to become ambassadors and your biggest marketers in the future.
Need help crafting your EdTech marketing strategy? Contact Elevation today!