Over the past few months, there have been several writers, clients and people along the way who just don’t understand the idea of educational, or top-of-the-funnel, content. They just don’t get it, which is understandable: it is somewhat abstract or mind-warpingly strategic (contradictory, but true). So what does educational content really mean? Educational content at the top of the funnel truly needs to inform website visitors without pushing your product or service in their faces. Provide solutions to your audience’s problems that just so happens to include what you are selling. Trust us, it works.
While it works for Kuno Creative (Hey, you are reading this blog, right?), here are a few other big companies who are using this process to their advantage.
- One impressive mecca of informative content is Home Made Simple. This site shares ideas, how-to’s and inspiration for areas such as food and recipes, home organization, crafts, home décor, holiday and party, garden and cleaning. And, oh yeah, it is a registered trademark of the mega company Procter & Gamble—but you would never know it by looking at the website. However, nearly all of the content could easily nudge readers toward one of the products from one of the company's nearly 50 brands. Take the cleaning portal, for example. “Clean Your Electronics” gives readers truly informative, useful information. It isn’t until you get to the bottom of the post that you see a “Quick Tip” about Swiffer Dusters. Yes, this is a product-centric tip, but it absolutely fits in with the content being provided and, frankly, it is a good tip.
- The Adrenalist is filled with blood-pumping, adrenaline-rushing videos—you know, the kind of stunts that make you sweat a little, or a lot depending on your level of fear. Instead of creating videos or content about how awesome deodorant is (because how boring would that be), the folks at Degree Men thought it would be a much better idea to show you all the make-you-scream-like-a-girl adventures you could be enjoying without those embarrassing pit stains. And let’s face it, even if a guy isn’t jumping out of planes or off cliffs, he likes to think he could if he wanted, so he should be wearing Degree Men just in case his buddy dares him to go wingsuiting or something.
- And one for the ladies: Chase Blueprint brings you “Get What U Want,” a collection of tips for saving on your wedding, moving into a new house and having a baby. Each of these articles shows women (or interested men) how to save money by substituting less expensive flowers at the wedding reception, being smart about buying new appliances, or registering for baby gear—things that have nothing to do with your bank. They do, however, have to do with financials, which easily leads consumers to Chase’s Blueprint plan for paying off the expenses that come with these huge steps in life. See the connection?
- And if you have not heard about Coca-Cola’s Content 2020 marketing mission, check it out immediately. Seriously, it is definitely worth your time.
So how do you incorporate this sort of plan into your content marketing? There are a few easy steps: First, determine what makes your product or service stand out. How does it help your customers or solve their problems? What makes your product or service different from your competitors’? Make a list, then write a blog post about each entry on the list. Each of those posts should be purely educational but cleverly lead readers back to your product or service, just as Procter & Gamble, Degree Men and Chase have. Let these examples be your guide.
Have you developed awesome educational content? We would love to see it! Share in the comments below.
photo credit: Walter Benson
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