Our theory

Educating your ideal customers will be the most effective content strategy in this decade. The following trends point in this direction.

People are active learners, now more than ever before.

We live in an abundance of knowledge. All people are expressing our insatiable thirst for learning. Put simply, we want to understand how to do things ourselves:

  • cooking our own meals,
  • building our own bouquets,
  • growing our own companies…

This is not a new behavior, by any means, but it’s real and it’s relevant. We actively seek knowledge for both professional gain and personal fulfillment.

It’s not limited to a particular format or platform, either. We learn with courses, articles, infographics, carousels, videos, and more. We find these resources everywhere—news websites, blogs, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Coursera, Skillshare, reddit, you name it.

Brands that educate their audiences, thrive.

The brands that teach are the brands earning enrollment, building an audience, getting ROI. Take the following examples:

A flower shop in Colorado Springs is running Google Ads, and their best-performing ad group is for their build-your-own-bouquet workshop.

bloom bar & co build your own bouquet educational workshop marketing cover image

This gets flower fans in the door, who purchase not only a ticket to the workshop, but also flowers to make their bouquets. The flower shop provides a memorable experience, and participants will order from the shop someday soon.

Similarly, some of the most famous and fastest-growing direct-to-consumer startups are meal kit companies like Blue Apron and Home Chef.

home chef educational recipe cards

They teach us to cook with cute recipe cards, and build billion-dollar businesses stocking our refrigerators with easy meal kits.

And there’s a very strong chance that you’ve learned something from HubSpot Academy, a completely free resource for business owners and professionals. Since 2015, it’s become a major driver of both new user acquisition and customer success/retention for HubSpot.

Great content is a must-build product for most brands.

In 2020, every company is a media company first—then a SaaS startup, or restaurant, or hardware manufacturer, etc.[1]

People are active learners now more than ever. Whoever your users are, create content that makes them successful. Create educational resources—curriculum—that teaches and guides your ideal customers to success. Do it in ways that relate to your product, and bake it in.

This is where content marketing meets product marketing.

educational marketing is where content marketing and product marketing overlap to create more value for the consumer

Make a great cooking product? Help people learn to cook—both with and without it. Making a job hunt + pitching tool? Create curriculum that teaches them to job hunt successfully—and where your product fits in, don’t hesitate to plug it!

Create remarkable, market-fitting educational content that helps your ideal customers learn and do what they are curious about or need help with!

And so on, so forth. Make it easy for your ideal customers to trust your brand as a source of knowledge, and to say “yes” to what you can offer them beyond learning.

Because, remember…

Convenience is still king.

Like it or not, people want convenience over almost anything else—the market continues to prove this.[2]

We want to learn to make our own bouquets, but we don’t always have time for that. We want to learn how to cook 3-star Michelin meals—but we don’t have time for it every night.

This is our opportunity as brands to introduce our products and services in relevant, unapologetic ways that add value to readers’ learning experience.

We can infuse our products and services into our educational content whenever possible. Don’t sell, per se—just be authentic about when & how a product can help your users win, even if it’s not your own. Just like Kris Kringle understood in Miracle on 34th Street:

In summary

Take advantage of the insatiable enthusiasm people have for learning how to do things ourselves—and the inevitable truth that convenience ultimately reigns unchallenged.

Build a brand that earns enrollment from your ideal customers by producing your content marketing efforts with a curriculum-like approach.

Learn the approach

Sources

  1. ^ Having a media company mentality

  2. ^ Why startups really sell convenience over anything else

PubLoft is pioneering the curriculum marketing approach for startups.

Interesting in joining a pilot program in your industry?