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Educational marketing: Using eLearning as a marketing tool

How to stand out from the competition with educational content


Hardly any other company resource is more valuable and easier to access than your own expert knowledge of your industry and your products and services. But have you ever thought about the immense impact your knowledge could have when it comes to building trust and loyalty with potential customers? In this article, we’ll explain the principle behind educational marketing and how you can use online training to set your offerings apart from your competitors’ traditional corporate blogs and video tutorials.


What is educational marketing?

Educational marketing is a form of marketing that, alongside the actual product, primarily provides customers with free educational content related to the products and services your company offers. The aim is to provide potential customers with the valuable knowledge they need to make a purchase decision and/or use the products/services you offer. Clever marketers use educational marketing to subtly influence purchasing decisions in the interests of the company. The more subtle, the more credible. However, the more specialized the knowledge, the more effective the educational marketing can be even without this subtle influence, because subject matter expertise is a selling point in its own right.


A simple example of educational marketing to explain how it works

A beginner photographer wants to edit her pictures with Adobe Lightroom and is therefore looking for Lightroom presets from respected photographers. She is overwhelmed by the thousands of Google results. While browsing and researching, she finds an offer on a website that also gives her a free video seminar explaining how to recognize good Lightroom presets, how to install them, and what to be aware of when using them. She feels well informed and shortlists the provider’s presets. As her customer journey goes on, she comes across the aforementioned website again whenever she has questions, and finds that it also offers informative blog posts and other free and paid video seminars on the subject of image editing with Lightroom. In the end, she feels so confident in the provider’s products due to the wealth of professional information and educational offers that she opts for its product.


Advantages and objectives of educational marketing

Gaining trust through knowledge sharing

Knowledge sharing, especially if it feels neutral, strengthens trust in the company—similarly to honest, analog advice. Potential customers feel informed—provided there is no obvious bias from your side. If this does happen, the reverse could be the case: In the worst case, a biased presentation of facts and contexts can even lead to people feeling that they are being taken for a ride, and suspecting that your company has fraudulent intentions. 

Differentiation from the competition

In many industries, products and services are similar. By providing educational content, you can stand out from your competitors and take a unique position in the market.


Positioning your company as an industry expert

The more knowledge you share, the more you will be perceived as a competent source of information—more so than any other company that may have the same expertise and skills but withholds them from others. The more expert opinions you share, the stronger the effect.

More organic traffic

The more valuable content appears on your website, the greater your SEO authority will be. As a result, you’ll rank significantly higher on Google—and therefore generate more traffic—while at the same time increasing awareness of your brand.

Piquing a genuine desire to buy

As suggested above, neutrality and independence are the currencies of educational marketing. Nevertheless, educational marketing always offers the opportunity to reinforce your customers’ need to buy, and present the benefits of your own product or service much more extensively than other marketing strategies can manage. Once your potential customers have reached the point that they want to acquire knowledge, they are generally going to be more willing to take the time to read content, which may not be the case at earlier points in the customer journey.

Long-term customer loyalty

Customers who feel well informed about every topic relating to your product/service, and have access to valuable knowledge, will develop a sense of loyalty to your company significantly faster. Faster than customers who have to seek out answers and knowledge from independent media or—worse—your competition. 

Adding educational content to your product range

Have you ever considered that your expertise might be so valuable to your buyers that they would pay you for it? If so, what about offering more complex online training courses or online seminars that are related to your products or services at a more advanced level? 

Nadine Pedro
[Translate to English:] Nadine Pedro, chemmedia AG

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Formats of Educational Marketing

1. blog posts and articles

Write regular blog posts and articles to provide your customers with valuable tips and information. This way you can help them make the best use of your products or services.

2. e-books and whitepapers

Create comprehensive e-books and whitepapers that provide in-depth information on specific topics. You can make these resources available as free downloads to share your knowledge.

3. webinars and online seminars

Host exciting webinars and online seminars where your customers can learn live or recorded from experts. Take the opportunity to share your expertise and respond directly to questions.

4. videos and tutorials

Produce easy-to-understand videos and tutorials. These can be published on platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo or directly on your website and provide a visual guide for your customers.

5. podcasts

Launch inspiring podcasts that your customers can listen to on the go. Podcasts give you the opportunity to share valuable insights and information on a wide range of topics.

6. infographics

Create engaging infographics that make complex information easy to understand. Infographics are perfect for engaging visual learners and communicating your knowledge in an engaging way.

7. email campaigns

Use targeted email campaigns to regularly send interesting content directly to your subscribers. From newsletters and course sequences to special information campaigns - keep your customers up to date.

8. online courses and learning platforms

Offer structured online courses consisting of videos, quizzes and interactive modules. Whether on your own platform or on well-known e-learning platforms - help your customers to educate themselves.

9. workshops and training courses

Organize hands-on workshops and training sessions, whether on-site or virtual. These intensive learning environments offer your customers the opportunity to learn directly from you or other experts and improve their skills.

10. websites and microsites

Create dedicated websites or microsites that bundle a variety of educational content on a specific topic. Here your customers can find videos, articles and downloads that provide them with comprehensive knowledge.

11. case studies and success stories

Share inspiring case studies and success stories that show how others have successfully used your products or services. Let your customers benefit from these experiences and be inspired.

12. interactive tools and calculators

Develop interactive tools, calculators and simulations. These allow your customers to explore information for themselves and obtain individual results - ideal for planning and decision-making.

13. social media content

Publish short, informative posts on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Share valuable content and stimulate discussions - this way you stay in the conversation and continuously offer your customers added value.

Through these versatile educational marketing formats, you can not only inform your customers, but also retain them in the long term and be perceived as an expert in your field. Use these opportunities to share your knowledge and strengthen your brand!


Online training as the heart of educational marketing

Blog posts, white papers, video tutorials and seminars, informative social media posts, interactive graphics… There is a wealth of educational marketing formats to choose from. But what format could be better suited to imparting knowledge than one created specifically for this purpose? We’re talking about online training courses, which can be as complex, simple, or demanding as you like, but are regardless likely to boast the highest authority and value among the formats mentioned. 


Advantages of online training in educational marketing


Online training courses look much more professional—and therefore more credible—than other formats, which are known to be quicker to create. Online training courses are therefore the next level of educational marketing, and one that can immediately set your website apart from your competitors’ corporate blogs.

Media diversity

Images, videos, texts, interactive infographics, audio files, tests, quizzes, accordions to click on—all in your own corporate design. With professional eLearning software (also known as learning content management systems and authoring tools), your design and didactic creativity will know no bounds. So you can always convey your knowledge in the most appropriate format.


While all the other formats above place potential buyers in a passive media consumer role, online training actively involves them. Clicking, browsing infographics for interesting facts, answering quizzes… Professional eLearning tools offer plenty of opportunities for active participation. They also give you access to anonymous learning analytics, including a heat map that shows what prior knowledge users may have and what knowledge they are most interested in acquiring. These are valuable insights that you can, in turn, use in other areas of your marketing to adapt the customer journey to better suit the needs of your potential buyers. 


Professional authoring tools enable you to brand your online training courses and embed them into your website so you don’t lose traffic or brand awareness.


Creating online courses: 3 important considerations

What information does your target group need?

The most important question to answer before creating your online training courses is what knowledge will help your potential customers make a purchase decision. In the case of software providers, this could be a neutral comparison of the largest providers on the market. In the case of our example at the beginning, it is knowing how to install the presets and use them later. Bear in mind that you may have several target groups. Existing customers will want different knowledge than new prospects. If in doubt, start a survey for your newsletter subscribers and ask them whether they would like to receive more information and, if so, what kind.


What knowledge sets you apart from your competitors?

Nothing is easier than analyzing what potential customers are actually looking for. Google and helpful tools such as Sistrix tell you exactly what is being searched for and what questions exist. Also take a look at the competition. What knowledge do other providers in your sector offer and - more importantly - what don't they offer? What content is used by interested parties? Of course, in the case of missing, provided knowledge, it is important to analyze why it was not offered: Is it possibly not relevant to the target audience? Is it so unique that it is better not to make it publicly available? Or have you perhaps discovered a fortunate gap that you can exploit by being the first to make the knowledge available?


How important is neutral knowledge sharing?

As we’ve mentioned several times above, educational marketing hinges on having the right degree of neutrality. However, neutrality also means that you cannot present your product/service in as positive a light as you might want to. Always decide what level of neutrality is needed in each case so that you do not lose your credibility and, conversely, what level of neutrality would be good for your offer. There are many ways to enact influence subtly. For example, when comparing products, you could choose competitor products that are only marginally inferior to yours, or perhaps are even superior in aspects that do not play a role in the overall assessment. In this way, you enact a more subtle influence without having to falsify facts (something that no potential customer would ever forgive you for). If there are only two competing products, it would be very noticeable if one were missing from your comparison. So decide on a case-by-case basis.


Educational marketing: A practical example

The goal "Finding an authoring tool for creating online courses"

We know that interested parties often find it difficult to identify the authoring tool that best meets their requirements from the large selection available. Although there are many materials on this topic on the Internet, they are all very text-heavy and require a high level of commitment from the reader. Of course, we also offer comparisons, overviews, instructions and checklists in the classic written format. But we also offer something much simpler.

Our solution: an interactive scenario in which the top 3 authoring tools on the market are compared interactively. Interested parties answer 18 questions and receive a customized needs analysis and recommendation at the end. Perhaps the right one for you is included? Try it out here.

Mockup Authoring tool consultation

No long, drawn-out searches, no uncertainty. Conduct a free virtual needs analysis yourself. You’ll answer 18 pivotal questions and get a visual comparison of how the top three authoring tools - Lectora, Articulate, and Knowledgeworker Create - meet your needs.


The bottom line.

The principle of educational marketing is certainly not new—at least not since the advent of corporate blogs. What is new, however, is how you can now professionalize knowledge transfer as a marketing tool to the extent that you differentiate your company’s offerings from your competitors’ traditional content, blogs, and video tutorials. No other format exudes more authority than online training, while at the same time offering you a whole playground of (interactive) media elements with which you can position yourself as an industry expert. 

Magda Lehnert | Blogger
Magda Lehnert

Cover image: fizkes/shutterstock.com