One of the first forms of online educational content is the blog, which is still going strong today. Then YouTube became the go-to place to learn anything for free. In the meanwhile, Pinterest jumped in the game, and we started seeing a flurry of makeup tutorials on Instagram.
Businesses realized they could make a direct connection with their audiences on social media platforms and began looking at social media as the core voice for their brand. Soon enough, they started to get creative with their content—repurposing everything on their website and offering tons of extra content not found anywhere else.
In a time of social commerce, you want to be sure you have a content strategy that adds value to followers or potential customers. One of the best ways to secure brand loyalty is with educational content.
What is brand loyalty?
“Brand loyalty is the positive association consumers attach to a particular product or brand.” Furthermore, “Customers who exhibit brand loyalty remain loyal to a brand despite competitors’ efforts to lure them away,” according to Investopedia.
This is why brands continue to market to consumers even after they have achieved brand awareness and conversion (followers, downloads, purchases). The whole idea is to keep those customers and turn them into brand advocates.
This has been true for brands and businesses long before social media and long before the internet. The concept remains the same but the approach to achieving loyalty continues to evolve.
How brand loyalty is formed
Before brand loyalty, comes trust. You need to earn at least a sliver of person’s trust if they are going to shop on your website, download your app, listen to your podcast, read your blog, or even follow you on social media.
Trust can be earned and can be broken. Brand loyalty is established when you add value to someone’s life, creating a positive perception of your brand.
Content that adds value can be:
Consumers are more educated than ever. They know what they want and they seek it out, as opposed to being passively advertised to. And because of the changing landscape, more and more people are shopping and doing research online.
Why educational content is trending
The pandemic left educational institutions and in-person courses scrambling to move their curriculums online. You can now get a Master’s degree without leaving your home. Or take a cooking class over Zoom.
Content has even become gamified—apps like DuoLingo and Babbel make it possible for you to learn a language from your smartphone.
Many people are eager to find ways to evolve and develop new skills for the workforce with or without universities, colleges, or certification courses.
Because human attention is so precious, people want their media consumption to elevate their lives. The old form of advertising was a disruption. But now that consumers are looking for their future-favorite brands, it’s up to you to provide quality content.
What is considered educational content?
Literally, any media increasing a person’s knowledge, understanding, awareness, or skill fits into our definition. A tutorial video, webinar, recipe, blog post, infographic, podcast episode, an ebook, or social media.
Educational content is a surefire way to add value. And you don’t need to think too big. Any brand with a blog, YouTube channel, presence on Instagram, TikTok, or Pinterest can easily develop educational content for their followers. Keep reading for content ideas you can apply today.
13 ways to deliver educational content
There are so many ways to create content that helps your followers to expand their awareness, deepen their knowledge, inspire change, and increase their opportunities.
If your website or social account is the first place for a person to learn about something, you’ve made a strong impression. For an expert such as yourself, it’s easy to underestimate others’ base knowledge, but trust, someone out there needs to hear, it and will reshare. Blogs are a great place to post your 101s or even creative, funny TikTok explainer videos.
If you have a product, show people how to use it! Create videos you can post to your YouTube channel, Instagram Feed or Stories, or Facebook. You can even post tutorials to TikTok if you can make them addictive enough with amplified sound effects or ASMR.
Become a resource in your industry by curating the latest stories in weekly or monthly roundups on your blog. A link to your roundup can be posted on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can even repurpose the same info for a newsletter or break it up into daily push notifications.
Facts and trivia
Create a Did You Know social media asset with eye-catching graphic text that can be posted on every social platform. You may want to educate your audience with facts or trivia from the voice of your brand. It could be historical information, scientific facts, anecdotal research, or fun trivia, depending on your brand’s mission.
Storytelling is a form of education that inspires and creates an emotional connection. Excellent for both small businesses and corporations, spotlights are videos that tell the story of your brand through another person’s perspective.
- Customer profile or success story—this is a double hitter because the subject is demonstrating brand loyalty to viewers, while simultaneously educating them about your brand and product.
- Team members—the customer support staff, the maintenance team, the creatives, volunteers, you name it. This has the added benefit of attracting new talent if you're hiring.
- Vendors—excellent to contribute to your behind-the-scenes footage.
Check out this TikTok video, part of a series that features "unexpected jobs at Microsoft."
Similar to spotlighting, a behind-the-scenes video about a process rather than an individual. What goes into manufacturing your product? Where are the ingredients sourced? How long does it take to create a product from start to finish? For purpose-driven brands, this content is gold because strengthens the brand intent and the customer’s purchase intent.
Tips and advice
Excellent for professionals that want to build a following to attract business to their practice. TikTok is one of the best places to convey your personality and offer advice with quick tips and tricks. Check out this dentist on TikTok who has based the majority of his content on educating the public about dental hygiene:
Show people how to level up. Everyone loves a good hack that saves them time, money, or stress. It doesn’t need to be directly related to your brand or product. Audiences will appreciate the free valuable information with no strings attached, no CTA. That appreciation creates brand affinity; a good impression of your brand.
A step above a hack, anyone can make DIY videos related to their hobbies, expertise, or industry. This is a hit for home furnishings, home improvement, garden, beauty, fashion, culinary, and more. Show someone how to do something in a clear and entertaining way and they will remember you forever.
Teach your customers how to care for their purchases. How to clean, maintain, store, or travel with your product. This is a no-brainer for e-commerce brands. Currently, consumers are concerned about the rise of inflation and the environmental impact of the goods they purchase, and as a result, buyers want to know how to make things last.
Customers always have basic questions, such as How to get started. How to upgrade your account. How to charge your product. How to add a profile. But questions like this, if addressed in a clever or engaging way with quality video, can double as an advertisement for your product.
Typically, FAQs live on your website, so simply repurpose all of your most important FAQs into videos, moving images, or carousel posts. Check out this informative video in an Instagram post from Asana:
Career-building skills (Webinars and Q&As)
This approach is perfect for individual experts or influencers on social media. Use your unique voice to help others learn and grow in your area of expertise. Photographers can offer a lecture or course on the ins and outs of wedding photography. A best-selling author can invite followers to a Q&A webinar about how to get published. Post an invitation to your Instagram Feed or make a short video invite to post as a Story.
Discussions (Podcasts, Instagram Live Collabs)
Important conversations about changes in your industry, diversity equity and inclusion, or current events are an excellent way to create content that adds value. Be the change. If you are an influential voice of reason, you can influence your followers about topics they might not be exposed to or seek out on their own.
Make educational content a part of your social branding
Make your brand known for the specific educational content you provide, so your audiences know they can rely on you to deliver it consistently and at a regular cadence. Experiment with different formats to see which are appropriate for your educational content.
You might decide to reserve your Instagram Feed for only your most beautiful, polished, eye-catching, content, and post your behind-the-scenes spotlights in a series of Instagram Stories. If you have enough of one type of Stories content, archive them under a Highlight, such as FAQs, Customer Spotlights, Our Team, etc.
Be sure to use appropriate hashtags. Finding the right hashtags can be time-consuming so use an AI tool like the UNUM Hashtag Generator.
And consider creating a branded hashtag or even a new account specifically geared toward your new educational content. For instance, the Robinhood app, has an entire Twitter account dedicated to their educational content—a podcast called Robinhood Snacks. They even have a playful branded hashtag #HYHYSD, which stands for “have you had your snacks daily.”
What if all my content is educational?
I’ll leave you with this ironic branding idea: If you happen to be an educational institution or offer a learning-based service, try the exact opposite strategy when it comes to social branding. DuoLingo, the language learning app, has an entire Twitter account dedicated to nothing but its mascot’s shenanigans. You will probably nothing from this content, but it sure is entertaining.
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