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How do you market yourself in an industry with a very long sales cycle? Buyers in education typically take nine to 18 months to finalize a sale, and the influencers and decision-makers in the “buyers cloud” require a personalized and nuanced approach to win them over and convert the sale. To generate quality top-of-funnel leads, an education marketing agency must clearly understand what works—and equally important, what doesn’t in this sector.
Traditional Marketing Methods Aren’t Effective
History shows that trade shows and conferences are the best places to develop leads. However, only a small portion of potential buyers in the education space go to such events. Traditional marketing methods such as cold-calling or emailing also yield very low levels of ROI in the space. To improve ROI, the top of the funnel must contain quality leads captured when decision-makers are in the most receptive part of their personal (i.e. organizational) sales cycle.
An utter lack of variety in the mature channels through which education products and services can be sold complicates advertising in the education media market. On a very basic level, there are simply not enough publications (print or digital) through which potential buyers can learn about and purchase products, equipment and technology. Case in point: “Education Week” and “ASCD’s Educational Leader” are two of the largest media destinations, yet they only reach a combined total of approximately 5 percent of the administrators, mid-level administrators and teachers who play an important role in the purchase of goods and services.
Branding, too, is not as powerful in education marketing as it is in many other industries.
Deploying Messaging Effectively is Key
In this crowded market, clearly identifying the problem you are trying to solve and building a solid messaging platform that addresses the solution are critical. Deploying that messaging effectively is what will really move the needle. After all, education is all about measurable results, whether it’s in K-12, Higher Ed or Continuing Ed. Placing the right messaging in the right outlet so it reaches all the personas of the higher education buying cloud is the key to developing a robust sales pipeline.
When combined, higher education content marketing, public relations and social media campaigns are emerging as good lead generators. Just keep in mind that this is a long sales cycle, so two to three blog posts and a few weeks’ worth of Tweets are not sufficient. Every online education marketing tactic and channel must be a part of a well-thought-out marketing strategy.
Elevation Marketing understands the long sales cycle and other nuances of the education sector and offers its clients a robust portfolio of strategies and tactics they can utilize to build and sustain their sales pipeline and ultimately, convert shoppers into lifelong customers. Our marketing agency offers:
- Website Design
- Digital (SEO/PPC/Social Media)
- Product and Services Launches
- Market Research
- Public Relations
- Channel Marketing
- Application Development
- Lead Generation
- Case Studies
Some of our clients within this industry: