Creating educational materials for your brand might not be an obvious step, but it can have some real benefits. Certainly, if your target market includes kids, parents, or educators, educational materials will resonate with your prospective customers. However, there are some other potential benefits:
- Get those coveted .edu links — create great educational materials, post them on your website, and contact appropriate schools and colleges to let them know you’re offering valuable resources for their visitors.
- Spread the word through Pinterest, Ning, and education bloggers, including homeschool educators and teacher bloggers. People who are interested in learning are such a diverse group that some of them are very likely to be interested in your product, too.
- Show consumers that your company cares about education. Increasingly, consumers want to shop with companies that support their causes, and education is probably valued by many of your potential customers.
Here are some examples of educational materials providing value.
The simplest approach, seen here in a screenshot from the Puerto Rico Report, is to create posts or pages with questions or information for classroom use. This website has enough resources for high school and colleges that we created an Educators tab. Since this site is not an obvious choice for elementary schools, we supplemented this with a K-12 lesson plans post at FreshPlans with a link to the Report.
A new set of educational materials for Trout Fishing in America will be sent directly to schools. It directs readers back to the website, where there are more lesson plans. This study guide, like most of the educational materials we produce for clients, is a collaboration between Rebecca Haden and Jay Jaro.
An earlier project of mine and Jay’s was a downloadable teaching unit about paper and ecology. This gave e-billing service SmartPay something to offer educators, reinforced their commitment to environmental responsibility, and got them some nice .edu and .gov links.
Our lab site, FreshPlans, has several great e-books intended for elementary and middle school. Items saved as PDFs and downloaded can be as elaborate and appealing as any book, though they require more of an up-front investment.
With WordPress plugins, you’re not limited to posts and PDFs. You can also add quizzes with customized results, or flipbooks like the ones Tom made for Pushcart Players — one is shown below.
Any materials intended for school use should be suitable for printing, for use as a computer center or in computer lab, or for teacher preparation. Both hands-on activities and reproducibles are popular, but you should be familiar with the curriculum standards in your geographic target area. Materials intended for parents and kids have more flexibility — and can be just as valuable.
Chances are you have information that would be useful in an educational context, or there is an appropriate related topic for your brand. Contact us to find out how to use this tactic for your online marketing.