What’s on your website? Are there pretty pictures of your products? Info about the person who owns the business and his/her staff? Testimonials from happy customers/clients? State-of-the-art demonstration videos? A link to a lecture you presented last year?

Just a cursory look at a handful of the millions and millions of live sites on the web shows a variety of info, ranging from pure fluff that takes up space to important facts that help customers make decisions as to whether they want to work with that particular company.

Now, take a really close look at your website and think about whether or not you’re giving your customers what they need and desire rather than just trying to sell them your product or service. Are you indeed educating your customers or are you just doing the minimum necessary to keep them on your site, hoping that they eventually take action?

Educating through content

A few weeks ago we talked about content marketing. Creating content is much more than just talking about yourself and your accomplishments. Instead, you should use your content to truly educate your audience and help them learn or grow in some way.

There are a variety of ways to educate through content. You can offer practical knowledge by posting how-to’s or tutorials. You might even take deep dives into specific topics that are related to your business. This might include info about industry trends or something else your customers may not learn by simply browsing your products or services. You can help them solve their problems via your content or even help them learn from your mistakes by talking about past challenges.

Creating educational content like this allows you to obtain a reputation as a helpful resource rather than just a website/business that’s pushing product. Customers respect industry leaders who can speak authoritatively on a variety of issues and who are willing to be a little vulnerable in the process. This allows your audience to forge a connection to you that is unique.

Marketing materials vs educational materials

Customer education is a real issue when it comes to what’s on the internet because it’s often difficult to ascertain what’s true vs what’s there simply to entice you to buy. For example, you can find literally thousands and thousands of pages of content about dietary supplements on the web, ranging from the stone-cold truth to claims that are about as far-fetched as they come. The latter is written with no other intent than to sell these products, which don’t likely do what they claim to do. But, for customers, it’s difficult to sift through all the information and determine what’s real and what’s not.

According to marketing experts Andreas Eisingerich and Simon Bell of Sloan Review, “efforts to enhance customers’ service knowledge and provide them with the skills and abilities to use critical information can help companies differentiate their service offerings and provide a strong foundation on which to build trusting relationships with customers.”

In short, what that means is the best customers are informed and empowered, which allows them to be confident in their decisions. Whereas some companies believe that ignorance on the part of their customers is okay, studies show that to be untrue. The more educated they are – thanks to your efforts – the more satisfied they’ll be with their choices and their relationship with your business.

Take advantage of “thought leaders”

Experts also suggest that you consider tying your educational content to “thought leaders” in your industry. Thought leaders are those whose views on a subject are considered influential or authoritative. They are the go-to people in their field. For example, if your business is electric cars, chances are you would consider Elon Musk to be a thought leader in your industry.

You, certainly, can eventually become a thought leader, but until you are, offer education from more well-known individuals in your industry. These thought leaders already have the attention of the general public and it could benefit you to spread some learning through them.

Consult with website building professionals

The experts at Watershed9 know what it takes to attract individuals to your website and understand the idiosyncrasies of taking lookers and turning them into customers or clients. At Watershed9, we can suggest options for educating your customers and introduce you to content writers that can help your website climb to the top.

For more information on educating your customers through effective website building or to schedule a consultation with one of our professionals, call us at 604-337-1449 or complete the contact form on this site.