As per a report by The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), 49% of parents choose ed-tech platforms based on advertising. This is also true for the B2B market (educational institution leaders as customers). With so many options, “how to stand out in the B2B EdTech marketplace?” should be a big question.
Over the past decade, the education technology industry has grown unexpectedly. It is no surprise that the industry saw a significant increase in growth during 2020, as global lockdowns disrupted traditional face-to-face ways of teaching and learning. For the education sector, it provided an opportunity to modernize and liven up an otherwise conventional and reserved industry. There is plenty of opportunity in this space, but building and growing an edtech business comes with several expected and unexpected challenges.
So, to help you succeed in the edtech market, you need a great marketing strategy, and here are some ideas that can help you stand out in the B2B edtech marketplace.
Focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Most educational institutions and schools actively seek additional support to run efficiently, especially in the non-academic domain. They keep an eye out for online courses, platforms, solutions, and EdTech companies that can help solve their academic, infrastructural, organizational and even admissions-related needs.
Technology has significantly impacted how these decision-makers find responses to their problems. They google, just like everyone else. Showing up in their search results offering solutions to their problems can drive high business volumes.
Though there are various levels of SEO depending on the goals, the core remains the same – “Rank higher than your competition on search engine results pages (SERP) for the desired keywords”.
You achieve the desired SEO results with the right balance of keywords, website optimization, and continuous efforts to generate high-quality content that users love.
A second key strategy is email marketing. It is a tried-and-tested digital marketing strategy. The effectiveness of email marketing in edtech (28.5% open rate) beats the 21.5% open rate benchmark (avg. across all industries) by 7% (as per a 2022 report). It is also found that when emails are customized to address the interests and issues of the target audience, engagement and response rates increase.
As a result, edtech companies need to devote time and effort to identifying their target audience and learning about their challenges.
Sending an email to the right decision maker addressing their pain point(s) can drive high opens and CTR resulting in more leads.
With Email Service Provider (ESP) such as Mailchimp, you can setup up segmentations, personalized emails, automated email flows, retargeting email campaigns and much more. Most ESPs offer features like A/B testing that lets you test which version of your email performs better.
Since setting up and generating a large subscriber base is not always possible, many edtechs take email marketing support from media, publishers and agencies. Choosing the right email marketing partner is essential. It is highly advised to choose a well know media agency in your niche that is actively engaging its subscribers. With access to a ready-to-target audience, you can instantly gather a high volume of relevant eyeballs with the right email messaging.
A survey by HubSpot found that email marketing has an average ROI of 3800%.
Marketing with Video
Video is one of the most versatile and exciting types of content; it catches attention and facilitates sharing across multiple platforms. As a company, you should consider video marketing to elevate your business’s brand awareness and reach. Several surveys indicate that video traffic represents 69% of global Internet traffic.
Depending on your service, e.g., an online teaching and collaboration platform, you can show how students and faculty use your online classroom and meeting platform. A visual demo of your product can instantly appeal to viewers and hook them on your website. Video testimonies can also be promoted and hosted on your website to drive the “user trust” factor and can result in higher signups.
A study by VidYard found that video marketing can increase click-through rates (CTRs) by 96%.
You can also run video ads to promote your products to your niche via a direct media partner like EdTechReview or through ads platforms like Google Ads and take advantage of higher click-through rates compared to static ads.
Leverage Social Media
On average, people spend 2 hrs and 27 mins on social media daily – Broadbandsearch.net
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram can be powerful tools for reaching and engaging with your target audience. Using these platforms to share industry news, product/service updates, launches, offers, initiatives, partnerships, etc., builds trust and reputation. Using the right set of #tags and keywords and being regular on social media can drive high-quality followers that engage with your social posts. With features like “share” and “save post”, your followers tend to store useful information for future use, which can easily translate into valuable traffic and lead source.
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can be a cost-effective way to reach the target audience you haven’t engaged with yet via any other media or people who are actively looking for products/services similar to yours. You can run ads that appear at the top of SERPs when people search for specific keywords or content (on social media, your ads show up in the activity streams and engages the users).
PPC can quickly drive high-quality traffic to your website and can help increase conversions. But there is a catch. It usually requires experience, training, time & continuous monitoring, especially with advertising platforms like Google Ads, where the key is “optimization”, else you end up burning your budget.
Typically, big EdTechs have dedicated PPC teams with experts for each platform (Google Ads, Bing, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Rakuten, etc. and the list goes on). An in-house PPC team is a costly affair.
Further, in the EdTech B2B PPC market, the numbers don’t match with other industry averages or, for that matter, with the education industry itself. This can be misguiding for someone who doesn’t have domain experience.
With the right team, you can optimize your PPC ads to fuel traffic demand and drive leads contiguously. For most EdTech businesses, the best solution is to hire a niche media or marketing agency with experience in the EdTech domain.
A study by Google found that businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on Google Ads.
Continuity and Buyer Journey Mapping
The purchase cycle for the B2B EdTech market is often longer and involves more decision-makers than other industries. The numbers vary over a wide range (4-12 weeks in most cases). Because of this, it is crucial to stay connected with your potential buyer all the time.
To sustain continuous engagement and to get the customers to pay, it is crucial to map buyers in the sales funnel. This mapping involves identifying where the prospect entered your sales funnel, understanding the primary triggers that move them along and identifying any areas where they may drop out of the funnel, keep feeding them information at appropriate intervals to keep them engaged and ultimately get them to pay for your product/service. By mapping out the buyer’s journey and understanding the key steps and decision points, you can develop a more effective lead generation plan for your EdTech business.
In conclusion, the B2B edtech marketplace is getting competitive every day, and to stand out, you need a great marketing strategy. By focusing on SEO, email marketing, customizing your messaging, using video marketing, and pay-per-click advertising, you can reach your target audience, increase engagement and response rates, and ultimately grow your edtech business. It’s also important to remember that the B2B purchase cycle for EdTech is often longer and involves more decision-makers than other industries, so it’s crucial to plan your buyer’s journey and move them along the selling funnel.
To succeed in this competitive market, you should be open to onboarding experts who not just help you lay out and plan your marketing activities but also help you execute and achieve them and help you stay on top of the competition.
As an online EdTech-focused media platform and digital marketing agency, we, EdTechReview, have worked with numerous clients, including brands like AWS, Pearson, LeadSquared, Toppr, TurnItIn, Renaissance, Compro, Searce, Coursera, etc. We specialize in edtech news and content (articles, trends, insights, reviews, case studies, interviews, press releases, etc.) creation and distribution to over 150K+ monthly readers from across the globe. Our customers use our tailored digital marketing services, such as display banner ads, email marketing, lead generation, content marketing, press release distribution, SMS/WhatsApp marketing, event marketing, social media marketing, PPC advertising, and more, to drive and accomplish their marketing goals.