Education can be a powerful marketing tool for brands. Knowledge is power, after all.

Interestingly, research has shown two thirds of consumers prefer content marketing that educates and informs them about a subject or product, meaning it could be even more effective than pure entertainment.

With this is mind, here’s a few examples of brands using educational content to target and engage consumers, as well as the reasons why it works.

Colgate

If you think brushing and flossing is all there is to oral hygiene, Colgate’s content hub suggests otherwise.

From information on anaesthesia and fillings to advice about changes during pregnancy – the Oral Care Center is packed full of information about all things teeth, conveniently pointing users towards the brand’s range of products.

Prompting users with three core topics - oral care conditions, cosmetic dentistry and preventative advice – the site is easy to navigate as well as informative.

By raising awareness of the pitfalls of poor oral care, the site effectively drives consumers towards products they might not have considered buying before.

Barclays

It's normal to feel overwhelmed about topics like tax, mortgages and cyber security. Consequently, educational content can help to calm people's fears and ultimately help turn them into loyal consumers. It can also break down barriers, lessening the 'big bad' stereotype of a corporate bank, and reminding them of the brand's values.

Barclays' Code Playground, a site dedicated to teaching kids how to code, does exactly that. With its cute graphics, it’s designed to engage and entertain little ones while teaching them something truly valuable. Conveniently, it also instils trust in parents, with the knowledge that the brand cares about more than its immediate gain.

The brand’s Digital Wings hub is similarly helpful, tapping into the digital skills gap to teach people about technology. By recognising the need for this type of information, Barclays demonstrates an understanding of its core consumer.

Casper

A mattress brand might not sound like the most obvious source of educational content, but Casper cleverly uses the subject of sleep to target and engage consumers who might be searching for its product.

Van Winkle’s is a blog dedicated to the scientific and cultural foundations of sleep, with articles on everything from how to prevent snoring to the sleeping patterns of famous writers. 

What is particularly interesting is that Casper’s has created Van Winkle’s as a separate and unbranded hub. There’s no real promotion of the product within the articles, apart from citing Casper as the publisher at the bottom of the site. While this approach could potentially lead consumers to feel duped or secretly marketed to, it is part of Van Winkle’s aim to become the number one authority voice on the subject. 

Patagonia

A lot of brands use storytelling or emotion-based content to engage consumers, but Patagonia combines the two in its educational series, ‘Vote our Planet’.

While the campaign is designed to raise awareness about the environment, it also has a much more direct aim - to prompt the election of officials that will defend the planet’s air, water and soil, and protect the health and well-being of Americans.

As well as creating its own videos, the Vote our Planet hub also collates relevant content and helpful resources, ranging from regional voter guides to environmental news. Not only is Patagonia a good example of how to use education to engage, but it shows how to empower consumers as well as help drive social change. 

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Nikki Gilliland

Published 12 April, 2017 by Nikki Gilliland @ Econsultancy

Nikki is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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Comments (1)

Brooke Harper

Brooke Harper, Marketing at Tenfold

This is just brilliant marketing especially looking at how Colgate managed their content. It's knowing what your consumers would need and want to know and hand it to them. Also, this is a good way to establish your expertise about the industry. This is one great way to gain their loyalty and trust.

4 months ago

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