Consumers today are savvy when it comes to spending their money. No longer do they fall for traditional marketing tactics. Instead they are researching, getting referrals and vetting businesses before buying goods and services. But marketers can be savvy, too, by shifting their focus on sales and instead building trust and rapport through education-based marketing.
Education-based marketing provides information in lieu of a sales pitch. The prospect gains information that can help him make an informed decision, as well as generate positive feelings about buying or hiring you because you gave them something for free. For example, if you’re a copywriter, you can give a list of copywriting mistakes to avoid. A web designer might provide a tip sheet to understanding fonts.
Here are tips to creating education-based marketing materials:
1. Determine what you want to teach by inventorying the most common questions prospects ask. Go through emails and comments on your blog or social media to find out what people want to know about your product, service or industry.
2. Create materials that deliver your message. This can be long like a report or short such as tips that appear on the back of your business card. You can write articles and conduct seminars. The key to a successful educational message is that you give something of value that doesn’t require a purchase. This isn’t the time to sell your service or wares, so avoid including a pitch.
3. Share your message freely. Post your message on your blog, send to your newsletter, and get it out to where your market can see it.
4. Nurture the relationship. Once you’ve provided some education, you can follow up finding out if the prospect has more questions. Depending on how you’ve set up your message, you can follow up with more educational information. For example, you can use an email autoresponder to deliver more tips.
Consumers prefer to do business with companies they know, trust and feel like cares about them. You can generate that kind of relationship through educational-based marketing.