It is no secret that nowadays most brands don’t only rely on commercials and ads to promote themselves. Welcome to the era where educational content is becoming king! According to content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about three times as many leads.
It is truly the future of marketing in the digital age.
Educational content is nothing like going back to school!
It’s all about sharing information about your industry to the world in an appealing way. The goal is to attract new visitors, as well as maintaining your existing audience interested in listening to you and learning from you.
Marketers pay advertisements for their products but this method is costly and not always the most efficient. On the other hand, if your company offers a solution to someone in need of advice by educating them on a subject, this will be a valuable and memorable experience for them, and they will be more inclined to trust your brand in the future.
For a toothpaste company it could be a blog offering hygiene answers and advice.
For a fashion company it could be an ebook with fashion tips for the summer.
For an inbound travel company it could be a mini video series on things to do and see in their country. Educational content is most effective when it directly answers a visitor's questions, like : what to see in Prague? Or again : At what age should my child start brushing his/her teeth?
Creating educational content should be part of the long-term plan of your company as it sets you in a high standard in your prospects mind. Through trust, strangers to your brand will become visitors, then leads and eventually customers.
In order for this to happen, your content must be relevant, valuable and interesting.
Relevant not only to your business but relevant to your audience. Imagine what your audience wants to know. What questions are they asking themselves about your industry? What would they type into a google search?
In order to initially attract your audience, your content must answer your audience's problems, questions and concerns.
Valuable meaning rich, helpful and professional insights into your industry that can be beneficial to your audience. Your content will define your brand in your audience’s mind so make sure to produce quality content. This will make your brand appear worthy of their time. And will give your brand authority and credibility in your area of expertise.
Interesting by staying interesting and up-to-date, you will ensure your audience sticks with you, and is eager to find out more.
Leroy Merlin is a multinational brand specialising in selling materials for home decoration, self-installations and DIY projects. They sell everything from tools, wallpapers, paints, wood, garden supplies, kitchen renovation materials …
On the internet, they share videos to teach people how to make/build/renovate/create at home, by themselves. Available on their own website, but also on youtube on other channels.
Their idea is simple: if they show their audience how to do it themselves and inspire them to want to do home decoration, then their viewers will gain the confidence to take on these projects and eventually purchase material from their stores.
They have 2 main types of video:” The how to’s” videos and workshops vidoes.
The how to’s range from small simple tasks, creative things like making frames or photo holders or maintaining your house correctly; to more complicated things like putting in floor boards and installing swimming pools. Generally between 2 and 8 minutes.
And the workshop videos tend to be more informative: like showing different results on wood or different treatments and paints. And can last up to an hour.
In all the videos, they show you the tools you’ll need, and every step of the process as well as share security measures and commun mistakes to avoid.
Content comes in many different forms. Content is video, audio, email, social media, and so on. In the case of Leroy Merlin, they use all different mediums to communicate their content. Most people are very attracted to video as it’s easy to watch and memorise. In fact people are twice as likely to share a video's content with their friends than any other piece of content. But they also offer the script to download and print as when you are in the middle of your project, referring to a printed copy is easier than playing the video.
The results these videos bring Leroy Merlin are incredible!
Firstly, since the videos are well made and genuinely useful to anybody undertaking home renovations, they often appear in the first few options of a google search. Therefore putting the brand Leroy Merlin in the spotlight. If you type “how to install a ceiling light” your web search engine will probably offer you a Leroy Merlin video.
Secondly, the educational content positions them as experts in their branch. The experience inspires and educates the viewers and helps them make a more informed, confident decision.
The backbone of educational content is to put a stop to the aggressive and tiresome method of pushing sales and promoting products. Instead, by showing genuine useful help and spreading valuable information to viewers, the company gains their trust.
Viewers may not make a purchasing choice right away as it is probable you’ll need multiple touch points with a prospect before they become a lead or customer, but your brand will already resonate it’s quality and relevance.
Some content marketers publish content with less thought leadership value because they fear the reader will have everything they need and won’t need their business or service. Consider this, what if your competitor created the thought leadership content that you were afraid to put out into the world? Now, you’ve missed the opportunity to be that thought leader and build a relationship with a prospect.
If you are an expert in your field, there is lots of information worth sharing with your prospects. And as content marketers are battling for audience attention you will want to stand out and make a human connection and aim to be remembered for your helpfulness and authority in your field.
Lastly, Leroy Merlin has created so much content and has focused so well their energy on their audience’s needs and problems, that a whole community has been born.
More than just how to videos and advice, through their channels, Leroy Merlin stays tightly connected to their audience. They do this by hosting chat forums on DIY, as well as answering all questions about their topic and hosting physical as well as virtual workshops. This is their way of starting a conversation with their audience and keeping a good relationship going.
Educational content is also the way to get a different message across to your audience, a more human message.
In the case of Leroy Merlin, their message is that their stores are not just selling points for material but that they strive to bring solutions and answers to their customers.
Never hesitate to share your insights with the world, it’s what will give your business authority and make your prospects trust you.
The more quality content you can share, the more positive impact it will have on your industry.
It’s about making the right content to help your target audience. If you need help making this content we are the experts and like Leroy Merlin we have some handy ‘how to advice’ on making content.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you want to discuss making similar content to Leroy Merlin.
Wendy is the project manager at Takeaway Content. Fluent in English, Spanish and French, she is really easy to talk to and she's an expert in content strategy.