3 Little-Known Ways to Use Content Marketing for Client Education

client-education

By Brooke B. Sellas, {grow} Contributing Columnist

Working in marketing means there are lots of moments for client education.

“What does ‘CPC’ mean? I want 10,000 new followers this month! Why aren’t people seeing or interacting with my Facebook posts? We should delete that negative review!”

Exasperated yet?

I’m here to challenge you to be irked with yourself rather than the client. We get so caught up in using content marketing for educating prospects and leads that we’ve forgotten how powerful it can be for client education. Mark Schaefer recently wrote about leveraging content marketing for leads versus loyalty.

This is about loyalty. Use these three little-known ways to use content marketing for your client education pieces, and focus on the long game.

First, What Is Client Education?

Client education is the process by which professionals (in our case marketing professionals) disseminate information to clients and their team members that will change their marketing behaviors or improve their marketing knowledge.

Your client education pieces should also

  • Be evergreen. Unlike campaign or advertising content, your educational material doesn’t expire. It may need to be updated it from time to time, but once it’s created, it remains in your library.
  • Be prepped for SEO. The more pages of keyword rich and helpful content you have on your website, the more search terms you can rank for. Using your educational content for posts on your blog is a great way to help new customers find you.

And how do you know what types of educational pieces are worth spending time on?

You listen for pain points. You jot down every. single. FAQ (frequently asked questions). You genuinely care about educating your clients and (let’s be honest) saving yourself from repeating long-winded explanations over and over again.

Here are three (plus) ideas for your client education arsenal.

The Pitch Deck

Okay, arguably this isn’t “client” education. Although I will say that once we added a pitch deck to the process in which we close leads, our close ratio went from 50% to closer to 60%.

And truthfully, our pitch deck talks to prospects as though they are going to become our clients … the information we include can truly be considered basic client education.

Here’s what we include

  • About B Squared Media
  • About Us (myself and our team — plus our part-time and project freelancers)
  • Our Services
  • A sampling of clients
  • Case Studies
  • How we work (process for social media clients and process for ad clients)

This piece of client education helps with (besides the obvious) questions qualified leads will inevitably ask about our processes, the clients we work with, and results.

Here are 10 pitch decks to inspire you.

But just in case you don’t count the pitch deck as client education, I’ve got three more below.

Onboarding

Onboarding is probably the best and most transparent place to educate your new client. We like to take this chance to underscore certain finer points (like terms and conditions from their already signed agreement) and add in education that hits those FAQs.

Here’s what we include with onboarding

  • Welcome Packet. Includes more in-depth information on our team, how to get in touch with each of them, how we work (since we work 7 days a week for our social media clients), and sets them up for us to be asking about feedback.
  • What to Expect When You’re Expecting. We have two of these packets — one for social media clients and one for advertising clients. This is where we really cover FAQs and explain that reports take 30 days to fully bake. We also give our expectations for the client, because setting boundaries is never a bad idea!
  • Definitions. Again, we have two of these (SMM or ads) and this is where we cover every possible definition of marketing or advertising terms, including the metrics that are listed in the client reporting. They can always ask us, of course, but this allows for a quick-glance guide when they can’t remember what CPC means for the fifth time.

Sure, some clients may not care to take the time to read your carefully planned client education pieces. But I can tell you from my own experiences the good clients love this stuff and are very involved. They want to learn.

Cheat Sheets

Some of our FAQs aren’t easily answered in a few sentences. Perhaps your clients are unsure of how to create behind-the-scenes content or how to tackle live streaming.

That’s where cheat sheets come in handy.

Our cheat sheets are one-page “how to’s” for doing a specific task. We include step-by-step examples, pro-tips, and tools that may help with the completing their project.

These easy-to-create client education pieces not only save you from repeating yourself over and over, if they offer a smart design and super helpful tips, they help you look like a legit superstar.

Not a savvy designer? Hire one or learn from free sites like Canva to get the job done.

Off-Boarding

This is probably the most-missed place to use content marketing to educate your clients. Yes, they’re leaving you. But if they’re not leaving based on something you did, chances are you can win them back the next time they need help.

Here are some things to include when off-boarding clients

  • Your process for off-boarding client accounts. Take them step-by-step so there are no questions or confusion about how things go down.
  • Privacy and security tips. If you’ve had access to their accounts or login information, remind them to change their passwords and tell them how your team removes sensitive information.
  • Next steps. Give them a boost by telling them what your suggestions are for “flying on their own.” Include a campaign plan or media schedule — go the extra step in wowing your client before they leave the nest.

Other Ideas

Recently, our team got together and thought of ways to pep up our client education material. We’re playing with the idea of doing some of the pieces with humorous videos.

We think this will help clients bond with team members and see us “in real life” since most of our meetings are held by phone or computer.

Educating your customers through content marketing and client education can help you

  • Bolster expectations
  • Position yourself as a leader
  • Retain good clients

And possibly even beckon new clients by using some of your content on your blog or website.

How about you? Are you using content marketing to educate and hold on to clients? I’d love to know how — leave me a comment below.

Brooke Ballard for {grow}Brooke B. Sellas is an in-the-trenches digital marketer & owner at B Squared Media, blossoming blogger, and a purveyor of psychographics. Her mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout on Twitter.

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