Forms of educational content

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What is educational content marketing? In this post, we will try to present and discuss its various forms. One thing is worth emphasizing: the presented forms should be viewed as overlapping elements that, interconnected, form the whole mechanism and contribute to its effectiveness.

Forms of Educational Content Marketing:

1. Blog.

Blog, blogger, blogging. Probably no one is surprised that this position is at the top in the hierarchy of Educational Content Marketing forms. I think blogs are the first thing you think of when you hear about Content Marketing. A blog is usually the foundation of a CM strategy for several reasons. First of all, because it gives the possibility to aggregate and segment information into categories, tags, comments and publication time. This is a very good way to segment, organize the created content and its targeted promotion.

Advantages of this solution:

  • In my opinion, more and more real specialist blogs emerge, around which communities are built and gain their trust. Of course, this depends on the industry and target audience, but you can see a trend of users looking for information moving towards expert blogs.
  • Importantly, blogs give you the opportunity to interact with readers and comment, whether directly via the blog platform or using Facebook comments.
  • The content created as part of blog entries, supported by a skilful analysis of keywords and their use as part of publishing on Google, creates a very important value in terms of SEO. Thus, the content created as part of the blog, in addition to the content value, is designed to generate traffic for us from the search engine.
  • The combination of blogging with social media optimization, by adding widgets such as like button, like box, share button, gives our readers the opportunity to share content via FB. The measurable value is a potentially wider reach with the created content.
  • It is worth remembering that when talking about blogs, we do not limit ourselves to our own field, i.e. the blog we create, but also take into account the entire blogosphere. If these are the places where our potential readers are, why not comment, comment or publish there?

In conclusion, a blog is the basic form of Content Marketing communication. As part of the CM strategy, however, it should be determined whether we approach it purely in a corporate manner (in this case, we talk about the brand, products, answer questions from our community about quality, service, etc.) or create it as an expert blog (in this case, is to convey knowledge that will broaden the reader’s views and give him value). 

2. Expert article.

If we want to promote a given person as a specialist in a specific field, expert articles are one of the best ways to do this. Articles can be published on your own resources, such as a blog, or on external resources. A good Content Marketing strategy should consist of both of these elements, i.e. combine publications on your own websites with industry media.

Advantages of this solution:

  • If we want to promote a person, build a community and gain the trust of recipients, we should always promote the person – he is the author of the post. A real flesh and blood person and their competences are reflected in the quality of the brand they create.
  • Being an expert in the media that is recognizable, widely read and generally considered credible allows you to create a positive image of us as a person. This is how we transfer the medium’s trust capital to us as individuals.
  • Expert articles are valuable also for SEO. We create unique content on real websites, which remains „forever” on portals, especially when links are included in the article. A good expert article strategy should contain several elements. First of all, as we mentioned before, we create content in two places: for the blog we want to promote, and for industry websites. We can also promote our blog entries as reprint articles, with the source required. On the other hand, articles posted on external websites should contain information about us as the authors of the blog we want to promote.

3. Ebook.

Ebooks, audiobooks, thematic reports or trends summarizing are a proven and popular way of promotion for users who want to deepen the topics. A blog entry or an article, due to its form, has a limited text and substantive volume. Thanks to the creation of an e-book or report, we are able to provide more specialist knowledge. As part of Internet activities, more and more brands put effort into creating publications for their users. It is the most popular trend among internet products and services, but it is well suited for adaptation to other subject niches.

Advantages of this solution:

  • Publication of the report combined with PR activities gives many opportunities for our material to be published and reach completely new recipients who have not had contact with our brand so far.
  • Ebooks are a good way to convert your website visitors into subscribers. The built mailing database of people who are interested in the topics of our publications is a valuable resource. The ebook is a „carrot” that should entice potential users.
  • Publishing an e-book most often combines three forms of educational CM: blog, e-book and e-newsletter, which, when combined, can give tangible results.

4. Case Study.

In other words, case studies. Case studies may be in the form of educational Content Marketing, but also promotional, depending on the content discussed. In the educational context, it is, in my opinion, one of the most interesting forms of presenting knowledge when we show on specific cases how certain terms, methods of building a strategy, promotion or sales work in practice. It is a very reliable form of communicating content, because it shows the effects of the actions taken directly on the tray. Case studies have a long tradition – in the past they were used, among others, in military academies, where descriptions of important battles were presented. Also, future lawyers analyze the ins and outs of lawsuits, and doctors analyze cases of rare diseases. Case studies are a method that implements the old adage, that it’s better to learn from the mistakes of others than from your own. Case studies offer many possibilities, but the analysis should be divided into several stages:

  • The first stage is to read the description of the event and diagnose the problem. Gathering information from various sources, critically analyzing these sources, also in terms of the reliability of information, and selecting them.
  • The second stage is searching for solutions and forecasting their consequences, which include: making decisions, predicting the consequences of proposed solutions and evaluating the consequences (positive and negative), in accordance with the adopted criteria.
  • The third step is to form and articulate your opinion and listen to other people.

Advantages of this solution:

  • Case study is a material very interesting for users because it presents the issues, solutions, implementation and the obtained effect on specific, implemented cases.
  • The credibility of the case studies comes from the fact that the client agrees to write and publish such a case study. Such descriptions arise from successful ventures, ones that have brought clearly positive results.
  • Case study can emphasize the advantages of a product, solution or service, so it also plays a promotional role. However, it should be remembered that the solution to the customer’s problem should always be at the center of the description.

5. Infographics.

It is a relatively young trend of delivering content, which is gaining popularity along with the increasing amount of content that reaches us. We are becoming more and more indifferent to written text, while our attention can still be captured with great success by image and sound. Some people define infographics as the fastest-growing form of Content Marketing in brand activities in the B2B sector. A well-designed infographic aggregates and presents detailed technical information or statistical statements in an attractive and easy-to-understand way. For a well-made infographic, we can find many distribution channels for such content, including social media.

Advantages of this solution:

  • An infographic is a visual explanation that helps you easily understand the topic discussed and read the data.
  • It uses the attractiveness of graphics, attracts attention by integrating words with the image in a fluid and dynamic way.
  • It can function completely independently or was combined with other forms of Content Marketing.
  • It facilitates understanding and assimilation of the content and is universally understandable.

6. E-newsletter.

If we are talking about Content Marketing in the context of e-mail marketing, we are only talking about the „Double Opt-in” method (so-called consent marketing). For example, we run a blog in which we offer an e-book about the History of Content Marketing for subscription. However, an internet user seeing such a form could enter any e-mail address to which we would send unwanted messages, which in fact are spam, in the entry field. That is why it is so important to use the „Dobule Opt-in” method, i.e. the user, after entering his e-mail address, must then confirm it by logging into his e-mail account and clicking the appropriate link. Coming back to the topic of e-newsletters in the context of Content Marketing, it is a very good method to directly reach the user with the created content. Not every person interested in a website will visit it regularly or follow it on social media. Informing users about new articles, content, promotions via email is the best form of direct promotion.

Advantages of this solution:

  • The biggest advantage of using e-newsletters is that we build resources for our brand. In the case of display or SEM ads, we are billed in the CPC model, i.e. each user who visits our website is a cost for us. The use of user aggregation via email creates a base for us, which we can inform by email in the future, e.g. for subsequent blog entries.
  • If we use autoresponder software to aggregate emails, we are able to set up recurring mailings to the building base of recipients. We can conduct e-mail courses fully automatically, setting messages according to the date of enrollment. For example, if one user signed up for our newsletter on October 10 and another on December 23, each of them will receive a welcome message on the first day after signing up, and on the second day after signing up, the first lesson of the course.
  • Email marketing offers opportunities to build relationships and gain trust. Thanks to personalized messages and the possibility of automating their sending, we are able to build a relationship with our community.

7. Educational video.

Video as a form of Educational Content Marketing is an interesting solution. It may constitute an autonomous material that we can promote through websites such as YouTube, Vimeo or Facebook. After uploading the video to YT and vimeo, we can also put the material on our website. Movies can have various forms, we can show ourselves, animations, screenshots in the form of a tutorial, each of these forms has its pros and cons that should be analyzed before a given project. Educational videos are particularly popular in the FMCG, construction and interior design industries – that is, wherever an image can say more than a thousand words. Video material does not absorb our attention so much and is much more digestible than a traditional blog entry.

Advantages of this solution:

  • Thanks to image recording, we are able to discuss issues that would be very difficult to describe. A very good example is the use of screenshots to present the functioning of an application, device, program.
  • Video films are an attractive form of content presentation because they combine image and sound.
  • They make good promotional material that can help you remember us and our brand.

8. Podcast (interviews)

Thanks to the proliferation of smartphones, laptops, and MP3 players, people are more and more willing to listen not only at home, but also while on the move – when driving a car or train, doing tedious everyday duties, such as washing dishes. This is a very good way to give your recipients an opportunity to see our materials in the time they have not used up so far.

Advantages of this solution:

  • In my opinion, podcasts are one of the most interesting forms of content delivery. They do not require so much preparation and are not as time-consuming as video, but they are interactive, based on sound and are a really great idea for creating interesting interactive material.
  • Very often, podcasts are created in the form of episodes and posted on the blog in chronological order.
  • Podcasts are a good method of conducting discussions and interviews, they can also be a way of presenting your own thoughts or telling your own story.

9. Educational webinar.

E-learning is not a new trend, but the use of webinars in the education process is still an increasingly popular solution. For many reasons. First of all, there are no additional costs, both on the part of the organizer and the audience, except for small fees resulting from the purchase of software. In addition, the lack of location restrictions on participants allows people from all over Poland and even the world to participate. It is a combination of digital technology with experiencing emotions and feelings live – direct contact with recipients allows for a lot.

Advantages of this solution:

  • Webinars are a great way to report live with participants via the Internet.
  • They give the opportunity to discuss and respond to participants online.
  • They can be conducted using various forms, e.g. the main element of a webinar may be a presentation, a screenshot image, an image from your camera, a flipchart and many others. Conference rooms and webinars can be tailored to the goals you set for your Content Marketing communications.

10. Presentation.

It is said that on the web, once created content can be used many times and in various ways. Of course, this is true when it comes to creating material such as presentations. The presentation created for the needs of a meeting, conference or promotion can then be used as a great promotional material, e.g. using the SlideShare service .

Advantages of this solution:

  • You can set up a company account as part of SlideShare to which you will upload all your presentations. So, after some time, you will have a compilation that your visitors will be able to browse when moving between publications.
  • You can download the „embed” code from the website, thanks to which you can embed the selected presentation on the website in the form of a nice slide reader.
  • SlideShare is also a community, also in Poland, which can find you and sift your content using the website search engine.

11. Survey and questionnaire.

For the very end, I have left the part that may make our content extremely attractive.

The original data obtained as a result of the research makes our content completely unique. We can present the data obtained in this way in many ways, including in the form of a report, infographics or case study. They can also be more detailed studies, but on a smaller scale, e.g. among the reader or customer base. Publishing data from the conducted research always gives the prestige of our activity and allows us to set trends in the industry. It is worth ensuring that the results are presented in the form of attractive infographics. As an example, I can present the Kolorowa Polska campaignof which I am a project manager, in cooperation with the Dekoral brand. We organize a nationwide research campaign on the color preferences of Poles. As a result of research on the creation of a map of Colorful Poland and data from which the printed publication will be created.