Did you know that a well-crafted online content marketing strategy will generate three times more leads than traditional advertising at a 62% reduced cost? If you haven’t been harnessing the power of content yet, 2021 is the perfect year for a major shift in your communication efforts.
eLearning companies face specific challenges when it comes to promotion, delivering the right message, and reaching prospects in a convincing way. The LMS market is expanding all the time. It’s anticipated to reach a volume of $22.4 billion by 2024, a massive increase from $9.2 billion in 2018. As competition intensifies, so will marketing challenges for industry representatives.
Reputation establishment is of vital importance, especially if you want to establish a distinct voice people will want to hear. You’ll need to build your brand as the go-to service provider within your field. Embracing the power of content can help you accomplish all of these goals.
Understanding Online Content Marketing Strategy
Many smaller companies commit the grave mistake of equating content with written text and nothing else. That generalization is pretty much the same as assuming eLearning is just about course creation and online presentations. Today, it encompasses a whole lot more to address specific customer needs. The very same applies to the various media types that content marketing can utilize to deliver a message.
While articles, blog posts, whitepapers, and ebooks are all an important part of a content strategy, there are so many additional formats to explore. Digital content can also come in the form of image galleries, diagrams, infographics, slideshows, videos, and audio files, among others.
Are you wondering how to implement a content strategy for digital marketing? If so, the following five tips may come in handy.
Check Out the Competition
One thing you have to understand is that you’re not executing your marketing campaign in a vacuum. The actions your competitors undertake to promote their products and services will directly impact your marketing efforts.
A good online content marketing strategy begins with some scouting work. Visit the websites of your biggest competitors — check out their blogs, social media profiles, and sign up for their email newsletters.
Your content should stand out and be different. Originality and a unique approach toward content creation will help you distinguish yourself and build a very specific voice for your brand. This is an essential goal, as accomplishing distinctiveness will give your brand a personality and tone the audience will always link to you.
Use Your Knowledge (Plus Expert Sources)
Establishing yourself as a thought leader is of paramount importance in the eLearning realm. You see, content marketing isn’t just about describing functionalities or the educational advantages a consumer will get out of the experience. Rather, make your own competitive advantage known. Use your voice and your expertise to differentiate yourself from what everybody else is doing.
Rather than describe the basic functionality of your LMS product, for example, why not advance your philosophy of learner engagement through your content marketing efforts? If you’ve done research on the effectiveness of micro-learning, publish a white paper to support it.
People want to learn from the best, regardless of whether they’re signing up for a language course or they need to attend a virtual B2B training. You have a distinctive view and knowledge of your expertise area. Use that know-how to craft content that’s original and takes an in-depth look at the topic at hand.
Understand this very important fact – people want to get something out of your content. This is a key premise of crafting a content marketing strategy for digital marketing. People could be seeking knowledge, a unique perspective, or a piece of entertainment. You can only deliver if you focus on the topics that you are expert in.
Creating good content isn’t good enough, however. Statistics show that 75 percent of all content published online will never be reshared or linked. Outstanding content pieces, on the other hand, get hundreds of likes and shares (which helps tremendously with marketing and ensuring additional outreach).
Outstanding content has several important characteristics:
- It shares unique perspective (you can still discuss a popular topic, but look at it from your own experience)
- It presents interesting facts to pique readers’ curiosity
- There are clearly stated benefits to engaging with the content
- The language and style are friendly enough (even if a serious topic is being discussed)
- It is concise and informative
On top of doing these things to make your knowledge-based content outstanding, you should also add some expert sources on the topic. Credible content gets shared so supporting your claims with evidence establishes credibility.
Adding statistics and numbers is a fairly easy way to accomplish the goal. For example, did you know that every dollar spent on eLearning gives a company $30 back in productivity gains? If you can use such factual information to support your claims, you can make your message more convincing and persuasive.
Create Content Sequences
People like content sequences. If you tell readers you’ll create a three-part series on a topic they’re interested in, you’ll build anticipation and increase the engagement potential for the upcoming pieces.
A good content series has a few key components. These include:
- A focus on a larger topic that the audience is interested in
- Each piece focuses on a sub-topic within the field, providing a lot of insight
- The pieces work independently and together
A good series could also make use of multiple formats (an article, followed by an informative video, for example). Serial content creation gets the audience invested in your sequence. This is an excellent content marketing strategy to build loyalty and boost the marketability of your content (remember the emphasis on social media shares and likes?).
Popularize Your Content Through Other Forms of Marketing
Outstanding content isn’t going to accomplish a lot if people can’t find it. A good content marketing strategy should thus include ideas for distributing your texts, videos, and images. Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the first techniques to get acquainted with.
Did you know that the popularity of the term “online education” has grown significantly within the past year? And this isn’t the only search term people employ when seeking eLearning options.
SEO will help you position your content strategically within the Google results page. You can generate a lot of traffic this way and the effects of optimization tend to be long-lived.
Other ways to popularize your content include social media marketing through multiple channels, sending out email newsletters that contain links to your latest pieces, and even pay-per-click (PPC) promotion to allow a particularly strong piece of content to stand out.
Experiment with Multiple Formats
As already mentioned, content marketing doesn’t have to be just text-based. In fact, it shouldn’t be. Employing text alone will deprive you of numerous opportunities to reach audiences that are more interested in video or other kinds of multimedia content.
According to forecasts for 2021, people will spend 100 minutes a day watching online video over the course of the year. If you don’t employ the format, you miss out on the chance to connect with a large group of qualified leads that could be turned into clients.
Creating video and image-based content doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t need a large production team to get the job done. An interview-style video that presents the “human” face of your eLearning business could become a major hit. The same applies to a simple explanatory infographic that you create with a free software platform (you’ll find dozens of such products online).
Good content is all about your audience. This is why you should listen and pay attention to feedback. Such responsiveness, combined with the five tips mentioned above, will help you establish a leadership position in the digital realm. And once you accomplish that goal, you’ll see a massive spike in popularity and marketing effectiveness.
Is your content marketing producing results? Contact us now to see how we can help.