B2B and B2C: Sharing your knowledge increases your value
Advertising legend David Ogilvy provided a great example of how generously giving away some of your industry knowledge and expertise can lead to increased sales opportunities. Beginning in the late 1960s, Ogilvy launched a series of “house” ads giving detailed instructions on how to create ads that sell. His critics thought he’d lost his marbles by giving away his intellectual property. But what really happened? He demonstrated to the world that he was the thought leader on how to write high-impact, effective advertising content, and his own business soared. Sharing knowledge and positioning your business as the go-to expert in your industry or product focus still works to foster relationships and support increased sales.
At Gravity Group NE, we’ve used education-based marketing, including in-person events, as a way to reach the B2B audience we seek to connect with. We provide informative programing, as well as an opportunity for attendees to network with like-minded business professionals –and of course, meet our team and get to know Gravity Group NE. Any organization, B2B or B2C, can grow revenue by giving away something of real value that leads to future business.
Sometimes the best “give-away” is specialized knowledge. When a financial services client wanted to increase awareness of their new business offerings, we helped them launch a series of “business connection” events tailored for small to mid-sized businesses in their target area. Each program offers informative speakers that attracts like-minded professionals looking to keep their competitive edge, sharpen their skills and stay on top of the latest industry trends. The topics vary each event to ensure the events draw the right audience and are targeted in their reach. These events build awareness and trust and strongly contribute to their overall marketing efforts, attracting new business and maintaining current relationships.
If your client base is more localized, often these face to face events are best for reinforcing trust and sharing information. With these events you can fill a room with people who are already interested in what you have to say! Events are the most common route, but education-based marketing can take many forms – in-person learning events and presentations, educational webinars, informational or how-to videos, social media engagement and interaction, and so much more. The point is not to make a direct profit on these learning events, but rather to deliver value, engage current customers, and forge future business.
For some of our clients it’s very important to offer the programs for free. However, sometimes people do not value what they do not pay for. We have found that there are more no shows at free events. While you have captured their information, you did not have the opportunity to have a face to face conversation. If there is a small fee, to cover costs, many times there will be less no shows as the participant has invested in your event.
B2C companies are no strangers to education-based marketing, sharing their expertise to build awareness, loyalty, and sell their products. For example, King Arthur Flour expertly uses social media and other channels to share baking tips, recipes, and other information to engage their customers in the art of creating delicious baked goods. These efforts help build trust among their customers and reinforce King Arthur Flour’s reputation for offering the finest baking ingredients and tools.
To start the ball rolling, ask yourself these questions:
- Do your clients have characteristics in common that you could focus on to create a community around your product or service?
- What information or knowledge could you give away to make that community more engaged?
- Does your organization excel at something unique?
- Can your organization offer valuable knowledge that will position you as the go-to person or resource in your field?
- Could your products or services be “demonstrated” in short how-to videos? What about answering FAQs in video form?
Remember the Goal:
- Clients gain something of value
- Relationships are forged
- Your products or services are supported, but not blatantly sold in these forums
You can follow Ogilvy’s lead by sharing your knowledge and increase your value. Find out what connects and interests your customers and support those interests in a way that respects them while positioning your company as a trusted resource. A win-win relationship.
Need help with planning your Education Based Marketing Strategy? Contact Gravity Group NE for more information.