Ready for a change?
You're an expert in your field, and you know everything about the products and services you provide. But competition is fierce, and new clients are elusive. You want to be the go-to business or organization for schools and districts looking for companies who understand their needs and can provide the right products and services. But that’s not happening.
Then it might be time to rethink the way you’ve been planning your marketing strategies. Instead of doing things the way your company always has in the past, gearing your marketing strictly towards sales, are you ready to take the plunge into content marketing? It’s all about the audience. What can you do for them that no one else can?
It takes guts to remake yourself using content marketing strategies. I recently worked with a company that realized, after much reflection on declining sales and a shrinking customer base, that they needed a significant change to turn their business around.
The company decided to it was time to re-invent themselves. Instead of selling merchandise, the entire staff became educators about the products they knew most about. In doing so, employees of the company gradually evolved into the go-to experts in their field. Together they built a loyal following of customers who came to them in search of information and ultimately became clients.
How will prospects know you are the #1 destination for K-12 Education Products and Services?
Because you have a website loaded with useful content that is easy to find. Prospective clients looking for resources will find your content when they search the web for information.
What will they find there?
By sharing information with your audience, you demonstrate your expertise in your field. You create the impression that you can provide something unique and valuable. And you're giving it away.
You might have products and services they could find elsewhere, but because you've proven that you are exceptional, they trust you. Since you are a reliable and authentic resource on topics that matter to customers, they’ll keep coming back. And that’s how relationships start.
Nobody ever said being #1 was easy
You already know there is a difference between marketing your products and services using traditional sales methods and a content marketing approach. Rather than telling potential customers how excellent your products or services are, you are giving away knowledge and information that can help solve their problems.
Whoa! Seems like a lot of work. It is. Is it worth the effort for your business?
Absolutely! Do you want your business to be easy to find online? Of course! Start by answering questions customers are likely to ask. By becoming an educator, you are helping them find the answers. At the same time, they are learning about what you do.
Get started – one step at a time
Just a simple list of FAQ’s on your website can evolve into a series of blog posts. Writing blogs about topics you know a lot about is an easy way to get started.
After posting blogs for a period of time, take the next step and add another form of content. Again, you are an expert in your field so focus on projects that are in your comfort zone.
According to a recent report by the Content Marketing Institute, How Content Influences the Purchasing Process, in person events, case studies and webinars influence purchasing decisions significantly. So pick one and get another project started.
Teachers are notorious for “stealing” ideas – they improve their craft by imitating others who have created successful instructional strategies and materials. Growing businesses are no different. Look at the most successful providers of products and services for the K-12 market for ideas. Frontline Education is a company that has mastered content marketing and may serve as a model for other education organizations. Frontline Education -2017 Content Marketing Award for Best Content Marketing Program.
Your long-term goal will be to build a reputation as an expert in your field. Getting there requires short term quarterly objectives. If you have a marketing team, divide up the tasks, and start with step one. If you don't, pick someone and assign the marketing plan to them.
With today’s tight budgets, not all companies have their own writers. Many are turning to freelancers to help meet their content marketing goals.
If you are like many businesses or non-profits that don’t have the time or the staffing to create a constant flow of content marketing projects, hiring freelance copywriters is a low-cost way to get started. Look for one with experience in your target market and start a conversation.
For a more detailed article on common questions about content marketing take a look at a recent article from the Content Marketing Institute.
Questions? I have answers! Let's talk.
High-quality copywriting for educational marketing.