Earlier this year, I was interviewing a senior executive of an IT company for a thought leadership article. He had just wrapped up a series of virtual webinars and panel discussions about the cloud. Because so many more people have been working remotely since the pandemic, interest in the cloud, especially among small businesses, has gone through the roof.
When he got to the Q&A portions of these events, the questions often caught him off guard.
People weren’t asking about the complexity of integrating and monitoring multiple cloud platforms or how to protect data when employees use different devices from different locations.
The most common questions were…
What is the cloud? How does it work? How do I get to my data and applications if they’re in the cloud?
The next article for this IT company focused on very basic cloud terminology and functionality. Even though most people use the cloud every day without realizing it, basic knowledge of the cloud was lacking.
Sometimes you have to make sure your audience knows their ABCs before you worry about dangling prepositions.
The Business Value of Marketing Content that Educates
One of the most important jobs of your marketing content is to educate prospects, whether we’re talking about a service page on your company website, a blog article that answers to a common client question in detail, or a how-to video.
Rattling off a list of products, services, and benefits isn’t enough. People expect your marketing content to provide information that helps them make good decisions. Then they’ll care about your products and services.
When your content educates, you build confidence in your solutions and your organization as the provider of those solutions. You position yourself as an authority and an expert.
Educating your audience shows you understand their problems, needs, desires, and frustrations. You can empathize. You “get” them. And you’re offering solutions with their specific challenges in mind.
People appreciate your efforts to educate and your ability to relate. This helps you begin to establish an emotional connection between your brand and your audience.
Educational content is a valuable tool at every stage of the customer journey, whether you’re breaking the ice with people who are interacting with your company for the first time or reinforcing what you said during a consultation or demo.
The better job you do educating your audience, the tougher it is for them to say “no.”
Questions to Ask When Developing Content that Educates
1) Start with the very basics of what you do, the value of what you do, and the results you deliver.
Have you explained your value proposition in terms the average person can understand, focusing on the needs of your ideal client?
Instead of assuming a certain level of knowledge, make sure this information is crystal clear.
2) Talk about your process on a high level.
How do you take someone from problem and pain to solution and satisfaction? What steps are involved?
When people have at least a general idea of what to expect, they’ll be less apprehensive about investing in a product or taking on a project. And price will be less of an obstacle when they have a deeper understanding of why something costs what it does.
3) Talk about what makes you unique.
What is it that makes you different from or better than competitors?
Get beyond stale marketing cliches. For example, if you truly offer the “best service,” educate people about how and why your service is best. Share real-world success stories that validate those claims.
4) Answer the questions you hear on a regular basis and address obstacles to the sale.
How can you provide clarity, increase confidence, and reduce confusion? How can you clear up any myths, misconceptions, or preconceived notions that could be keeping someone from doing business with you?
Hint: If you’re not sure, ask your customers. They’re the most valuable yet underutilized source of marketing insights available. And they’re typically more than willing to help.
Say to them, “What information can I provide that would make you feel more comfortable purchasing XYZ from me?”
Wouldn’t you rather provide information than a discount?
An Educated Client Is Still Your Best Client
The people at Syms were onto something back in the day, weren’t they?
When you prioritize and invest in marketing content that educates, and deliver this content to the right people on a regular basis, you’ll have fewer obstacles to overcome. The focus will be on value, not price. You’ll build relationships based on trust, not transactions.
In other words, you’ll appeal to more people who fit the profile of your ideal client. These are the clients who bring the most long-term value to your company with their purchases, loyalty, and referrals.
Given the level of distrust in society in general, being viewed as a trusted source of information is a valuable position to hold in someone’s heart and mind.
Use your marketing content to stake your claim to that position. Educate your prospects. Provide them with the information they need to feel comfortable buying from you.
Need help developing content that educates your audience in a way that’s clear, concise, and compelling? Let’s talk.