The e-learning industry has been on a rapid upward trajectory as more and more training and education has pivoted to a digital approach. In fact, the e-learning industry is expected to climb to $325 billion by 2025.
With this level of demand, there will undoubtedly be increasing competition in the e-learning space. More platforms are available today than ever before, and that number will only grow in the coming years. That's why it's imperative that e-learning companies differentiate themselves from the pack. One of the best ways to do that? Content marketing.
Companies can harness content in their e-learning marketing strategy to reach new people, engage their target audience, explain how their offerings differ from the rest, generate leads, and engage those leads to the point of a sale.
That all sounds great, but you might be wondering how to get started or how to do content marketing well. That's why I've outlined five content marketing tips to help you start your content marketing journey on the right foot.
This step is crucial for any company that's getting started with content marketing. You have to know who your ideal customers are. And if you're targeting other companies, you need to understand who the ideal people are within those companies for you to reach.
For example, if you're an e-learning company that provides an e-learning platform for businesses to train their employees, the target audience for your content probably won't be the end user (the employees themselves). Your target audience will likely consist of people who make decisions around what platforms the company uses for training, such as human resources directors, professional development coordinators, or maybe even chief operating officers.
Once you've identified your target audience, the next step involves figuring out what that target audience searches for online so you can meet them there and provide relevant content.
What questions are your target audience researching? What pain points is this audience looking for resources on?
To determine the answers to these questions, you'll have to perform keyword research. Use a platform like Moz, SEMrush, or BuzzSumo to find out what keywords related to your space are trending. Follow the advice in this blog post to do keyword research well.
Once you've done your research, create a list of target keywords that you'd like to create content around. This list will help you with the next step.
Now it's time to come up with content topics. To develop topics for your pillar posts, blog posts, guest posts, whitepapers, and other types of content, start by reviewing the list of target keywords you made in the previous step.
Based on those keywords, what are some unique, engaging, relevant content topics you could write about to engage your target audience?
As you're developing your content plan, it can help to use a campaign approach:
• Come up with a pillar blog post that's longer and covers a topic fully but at a high level.
• Generate a few blog post topics related to that larger pillar, but dive into more specific details.
• Develop a couple of guest post topics related to the blog post topics so you can naturally link back to those educational blog posts within your guest-contributed articles.
• Determine whether there's a related gated asset, such as a checklist or guide, that you could create to use as a call to action within your blog posts and capture leads.
To visualize this campaign, you can create a content map.
If you're having trouble deciding whether to publish a certain topic on your blog, in an external publication, or another avenue, you can use this infographic as a guide.
During the writing and editing process, you'll need to reference that handy-dandy keyword list you created earlier. Look for opportunities to naturally include those keywords within your content. This will help your content rank in search results for your target audience's queries.
But don't go overboard! Keyword stuffing can actually hinder your SEO visibility.
As a general practice, include a target keyword naturally a few times within the body copy, and include one in the page title and meta description. The imperative word here is naturally. Prioritizing keyword inclusion over readability can actually damage your rankings because you're providing a poor user experience and, therefore, less time will be spent on your page.
Remember that gated content I mentioned in the content map step? Those resources will help you capture leads' contact information because they're gated behind a form. When your audience members fill out that form, they're exchanging their contact information for that valuable content. But what do you do with that information? Nurture your leads.
With the help of marketing automation, you can automatically send a related series of emails to people who download your gated content. These emails should be educational and should provide additional value to recipients, gradually leading them to the point of a sales call. Check out this blog post to learn more about how to use email drip campaigns to your advantage in your e-learning marketing strategy.
The idea of building a content marketing strategy that actually delivers tangible results can seem like a daunting and sometimes insurmountable task. But I hope these few content marketing tips can help you feel confident as you embark on your e-learning content marketing journey.
I'm a VP at Influence & Co. I love the St. Louis Cardinals, Mr. Pibb, and Reese's. My favorite things to do are spend time with my family, play outside, and wrestle with my Great Dane.