Content Marketing Is Your Best Bet for Customer Education

In the manufacturing industry, customers typically spend a lot of time researching before they initiate contact with a business. That research constitutes customer education and occurs through content marketing.

According to the 2022 State of Customer Education Report, companies prioritizing customer education are seeing 10% to 16%  growth in various areas, including demand generation and sales. Without an effective content marketing strategy focused on customer education, your business will likely fall behind the competition.

This guide will explore what customer education and content marketing mean and strategies you can use to reach your customer education goals.

Key Takeaways:

  • Your content marketing strategy should focus on customer education.
  • Produce customer educational content in various formats, including video, blogs, webinars, and FAQ databases.
  • Educational content marketing can help generate leads, improve brand awareness, and increase sales.

What Is Customer Education Content?

Customer education teaches your customers or potential customers about your products and how to use them. The goal of customer educational content is to empower your customers to be successful when using your products.

Customer education uses multiple types of content.

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The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing for Industrial Companies

There are various types of educational content to choose from:

  • Blogs
  • Documentation
  • Tutorials
  • Support content
  • FAQ database
  • Product onboarding materials
  • Webinars
  • Social media
  • Training
  • Certifications
  • In-product help
  • Instructional videos

The type of content your brand offers will depend on your products. Videos are an incredibly effective form of customer education, especially if you are demonstrating products. According to the 2021 Video Viewer Study, 83% of customers prefer watching instructional videos instead of reading text.

Most customers prefer watching instructional videos instead of reading text.

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Customer Education in the B2B Buying Cycle

As a B2B manufacturer, your customers want you to solve specific problems. The businesses you serve need educational content that applies to each phase of the sales pipeline. This should include content on niche topics. This can help attract more of your targeted audience than more general content.

Customers may need more narrowly focused content as they move further down the pipeline. When they are a customer, they may need content that addresses a highly specific problem.

This specific and focused content can help generate more loyal customers who look to you as an industry expert brand.

Benefits of Educational Content Marketing

Educational content marketing should be important to your overall content marketing strategy. It can help you achieve the goal of increasing the number of visitors to your website.

Here are some other benefits of publishing educational content:

  • Brand Introduction: Content marketing can introduce your brand to a new audience. With repeat brand exposure, your brand will become more recognizable. Brand recognition typically leads to more customer trust. That trust makes your educational content even more valuable.
  • Lead Generation: Educational content can potentially pique the interest of the readers and helps your target audience become more familiar with your products and services. They may subscribe to your email list or return to your blog or website to learn more.
  • Increasing Sales: Strong customer education content drives traffic to your site. The more traffic you have, the better the odds that some readers convert into customers. The more valuable and informative your educational content is, the better your chances of increasing your sales.
  • Customer Loyalty: With a strong collection of customer education content, your brand will be a leading expert in your industry. This expertise can lead to increased customer loyalty.

Video Source: Ahrefs on YouTube

3 Considerations for Creating Content for Customer Education

Offering educational content on your website is an important part of your content marketing strategy. However, knowing what kind of content to produce is more challenging. Here are X questions you should ask to help clearly define your customer education goals.

1. What Is the Purpose of the Content?

When creating content for customer education, it needs to have a clear purpose. Instead of thinking, “We need a blog about X,” say, “We need content that shows our customers how to do X.” A clear goal makes it easier to decide what format the content should be. The content should be as short and straightforward as possible so your customers don’t waste time reading or watching unrelated material.

2. What Do Your Customers Expect and Need?

While you might think you know what would drive traffic to your site, that might not be what your customers need from you. For example, a blog that explores the great features of one of your products, but does not talk about how they work, likely won’t satisfy your customers’ needs. It might work well for attracting leads, but once those leads convert into customers, they need to know how your products work.

How do you know what your customers want to see from you? The best way is to ask.

  • Customer Survey: Customer surveys give you a direct line to what your customers think and feel. Use surveys to gauge customer satisfaction and ask where they need the most help.
  • Customer Support Team: Your customer support team is another valuable resource. They handle customers all day long and likely have a list of frequently asked questions or requests that can help guide your customer educational content.
  • Employees: You likely have employees with various strengths. While some are experts in using your products, others will have little to no experience. Give your inexperienced employees some time to work with your products. Afterward, ask them where they needed help. Create content that addresses those areas.

3. What Are Your Customers Doing?

Are there any behaviors that you want to change in your customers or potential customers? When it comes to your prospects, you want to change their behavior by convincing them to become your customers. You can do this with content highlighting your products and how they can solve your prospects’ problems.

If customers use your products incorrectly, you want to address that. Perhaps something isn’t working the way they expected, and they have found a workaround. Use your customer support team or customer surveys to gather this information. Create content that shows your customers specifically how to use your products.

Shanahan Strategy Can Help You Improve Your Customer Education Content Marketing

No matter your business type, you need to have a marketing strategy. While there are countless marketing agencies to choose from, most do not understand how to run a marketing campaign for a manufacturing business.

We only offer our marketing services to manufacturers, distributors, and dealers at Shanahan Strategy. Our single industrial focus gives us an edge over other marketing agencies. We understand the specific needs of businesses like yours. We know how hard you work to get new customers and want to make it easier for you and help your business grow.

Our team of expert marketers knows how to craft customer education content that will meet the specific demands of your business and increase your customers’ satisfaction and loyalty.

Ready to start a content conversation? Contact Shanahan Strategy today.

How About a Conversation?

You know the results you want. We know how to achieve them. Let’s talk to see if we’re a fit. This is what we help industrial marketers navigate every single day. 

The initial consultation is free.  If you’re thinking, “this is exactly what we need,” then let’s talk. We want to hear about your goals and frustrations. If there’s an opportunity to work together, great. If not, we’ll point you in the right direction. Get in touch or request a consultation.

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