Anecdotal evidence suggests that knowledge is more popular among young audiences than it ever has been.
Witness the rise to social media stardom of intellectual powerhouses such as Neil deGrasse Tyson. Or the rise of the do-it-yourself mentality being applied to everything from furniture to food making.
In the workplace especially young people are turning to tutorials, podcasts and non-traditional learning groups not just to advance in their career, but to take pride in their profession and build their personal brand.
Innovative brands are taking notice. From how-to blogs to full online courses, various businesses and organizations are creating and promoting “pop” educational content as a way to connect with audiences, collect targeted leads, drive web traffic and enhance their brand image.
And while these learning options will never replace the breadth of knowledge and experience one gains at a college or university, branded educational content does provide audiences quick intellectual capital that’s immediately shareable. And it’s not only useful, but quite possibly “cool”.
Does your brand have something to teach? If so you could make a big impact through education-based content. Here are a couple of ways to do it.
Media and Content
A number of brands are taking what they know and turning it into content, from blogs to videos to documentaries. Here are a few examples of different executions:
- (Blog series) The professional staffing and recruitment firm Aerotek taps into an internal panel of recruiters and industry experts for their Business Insights blog series, affirming the Aerotek as a true thought leader and driving some serious web traffic.
- (Video series) The Search Engine Optimization software Moz’s Whiteboard Friday series features the brand’s mustached mascot covering an aspect of SEO each week. The simple yet engaging series shows just what you can do if you put someone who’s knowledgeable and passionate in front of a camera.
- (e-book) Distributed through a number of online tactics, Evergreen Health’s The World’s Easiest Health Insurance Guide (Ever) is an e-book that’s not only used to drive web traffic, collect leads and enhance the company’s brand, it actually supports their mission to demystify healthcare and aid individuals and families.
- (Mobile phone app) The University of Michigan College Engineering’s ‘One Cool Thing’ mobilephone app delivers a story each day on innovation, revolution and history in the world engineering.
- (Podcast) Created in partnership with the Umpqua Bank, the Open Account podcast teaches us everything we want to know but are afraid to ask about money.
- (Documentary) In an attempt to promote their brand while promoting the importance of vegetarianism, MorningStar Farms produced the documentary “The Veg Effect.”
As a step up from education-based content, some brands are making full “courses” in various forms and offering them at a price or for free. Here are three top examples:
- (e-course) InVision–a website prototyping app–offers a free 9 part e-course on Principles of UX Design.
- (Webinar) Skift is a travel marketing publication that has started to take their research and content and turn it into a revenue source, creating White Papers, courses, and webinars.
- (Online Course) The design company IDEO has taken its knowledge to the next level by creating an online course for marketers and creators of all kinds. Leading for Creativity is not only a revenue source. It’s a way to define the company as a top-tier expert and drive marketers from other business to them.
If your marketing team has a content marketing plan or is in the midst of implementing one, it would be hard not to ignore the options in this list. You’d even be surprised by how simple it is to create this type of content.