3 Reasons to Use Twitter in Your Educational Marketing

twitterMost companies use Twitter the same way they use advertising – as a one-way communication blast. Although it is easy to set up and manage your Twitter account this way, it is limiting and off-putting to your target audience. They quickly see through your self-serving Tweets, and tune you out. Often, for good. If you think of your website as “information central” and your Twitter account as an “outpost,” gathering and sharing intelligence, then you’ve got the right idea.The three best ways to use Twitter in your marketing are:

 

  • Research
  • Building Awareness
  • Establishing Authority

You can think of research in this sense as keeping your ear to the ground. Educators are talking and sharing on Twitter. They share what’s happening in their classrooms and schools, what they think about education issues, and what they need help with. Twitter is a direct channel to the connected educator…the educator who is actively invested in learning how to be more effective by connecting with other educators across the country. Building a community of interest and awareness of your products is the goal on Twitter. It is not a direct sales channel. As you know, educators are particularly sensitive to marketing spiels. Once they determine you are more interested in selling your stuff than in helping them, they’re gone. They’ll pass right over you.

So, how do you build community and awareness without turning off educators?

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The Role of Storytelling in Effective Marketing

Once upon a timeHuman beings have been sharing stories since the dawn of time. It’s the way we connect with each other. Stories that create a heart connection are the most successful – when we can imagine ourselves in someone else’s story.

Good marketing has that same effect. Think of Hallmark commercials, for example. Their sweet and nostalgic vignettes strike an emotional chord. Other common responses to ads and commercials include laughter, irritation, or a sense of disbelief.

But whatever the reaction, the marketing has succeeded to some degree because it evoked a response. We saw ourselves, even for a moment, in that story. The reason videos go viral is because those stories successfully capture a moment and trigger a response.

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The Difference Between Social Media Marketing and Content Marketing

To put these topics in appropriate relationship to each other, it’s best to begin with a definition of content marketing. The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as ‘the creation and distribution of educational or compelling content in multiple formats used to acquire and retain customers.”

What do we mean by “content”? Content can be as short as 140-character tidbits to share on Twitter or it can be long-form white papers, articles, videos, etc. To be valued, the content has to be informational and topic-focused rather than the traditional product focused marketing of the past.

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Authentic Marketing 101 for K-12 Publishers

Teachers have long been savvy consumers of educational products.

They can spot marketing jargon and marketers from 100 feet away, and do what they can to avoid both.

K-12 educators don’t generally have a lot of brand allegiance. Their primary concern is  – does the product work in the classroom?

Given that educators are particularly resistant to marketing, how should educational publishers begin the marketing and sales process?

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