Take a moment to think of the brands that you are most loyal to. What brands do you often recommend to friends and colleagues? What do all of these brands have in common?
… keep thinking…
… still keep thinking…
Okay, have you come up with answers that you are confident with?
Here’s the unarmed truth: What makes you love your favorite brands, is what makes your clients love their favorite brands.
The reason why you and your clients love your favorite brands is because those brands build trust by making you feel capable, informed, and connected.
This leads to a trending topic in marketing: Education as Content Marketing.
Education As Content Marketing
As Joe Pulizzi asserted in his article, Why Education Is A Powerful Content Marketing Strategy,
people don’t care about your brand, they care about themselves. So the more that we can educate them (and entertain them) the more they won’t mind us selling to them.
When you educate and entertain, instead of selling, you build trust with your clients. As a result, they are more likely to come to you when they need to fill the need that you’ve created.
If you are committed to this idea of education as marketing, check out Gary Vaynerchuk’s book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. The premise is to build trust, build trust, build trust, then sell.
Is you interest in this topic piqued? Are you thinking of Google for more? Before you leave this page, let me direct you to a few companies to check out that are shaking up traditional marketing and are great examples of education as content marketing.
A visit to SproutLoud’s website will make you for a linger for a while. You likely got here, because you want to know more about marketing. You stay, because they offer a wealth of free information that you can access from the principle landing page: traditional vs. digital marketing, brand marketing…. Then you notice SproutLoud U and a wealth of blog posts, whitepapers, videos, reports, ebooks, and press releases.
All of this information is available for free, and demonstrates high-quality researched information that takes a vast knowledge base and time to curate. Paired with this trust-building content is a lead generator that will allow you to share your information with SproutLoud, so you can get regular updates. In return, SproutLoud will have a way to directly contact you when they make a stronger push to market their products and services. But, to you, their marketing will look like education that works to build your trust, and empower you.
You likely get to the Art Storefronts site, because you are a visual artist, gallery, or print studio, and you are looking for a smart e-commerce solution. The demos of the software keep you scrolling and exploring, then you find their blog and podcast, because you notice the words “we teach you.”
Now at your fingertips is seemingly endless content on Facebook marketing, SEO, email marketing, site optimization, copywriting, and case studies of all of this.
But wait, aren’t you on a software company’s site?
Yes, you are.
And this is a great example of education as content marketing. Art Storefronts works in the niche market of e-commerce for visual artists. They are committed to educating their target market to be better digital marketers. This, in turn, will make them more successful with the software, and build more trust with the brand.
As you search the Art Storefronts content, you are asked to fill in the email lead generator. You do so willingly, because you love the content. Art Storefronts now has a way to directly contact you for the right hook of a sale after they have been steadily building trust with their jabs of content as education.
SproutLoud and Art Storefronts are two excellent examples of companies that use education as content marketing. But they are only two of the many that exist. Think back to the favorite brands that you thought of at the beginning of this article. Do they use education as content marketing too? Do they build trust, by making you feel capable, informed, and connected?
Do you have any feedback on the ideas discussed here? I’d love to know your thoughts.