There's been a lot of talk about repurposing lately and how you can turn any piece of content into something else. (I've even talked about it on this blog!) For the most part the notion of repurposing is confined to marketing content; but what about customer education content? Is there a way you can repurpose it so marketing can use it? Put another way, can customer education content help marketing be more effective at generating awareness and well, educating prospects and leads?
Education happens around the clock
When it comes to customer education, it's often thought of to only exist at certain points in the customer journey. Marketing content is used to convert prospects into leads and then customers; while customer education content is used with customers to help them master your software products.
Taken separately, then yes, education is happening only at certain times of the journey, however if marketing and customer education teams work together, they can combine their efforts to make valuable content that's good for anyone. It doesn't matter if they're a prospect or existing customer, as long as they find the content and find it useful, that's all that matters.
As Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute says, "Our content must be based on fulfilling our customers’ needs and interests, so that they come to build a trusted and emotional connection with our brands." Where they are on their customer journey is immaterial. By consuming valuable content you're developing brand awareness with prospects and educating customers in what they want to know about.
3 ways to repurpose courses into marketing assets that drive marketing effectiveness
So, what customer education (CE) content should you repurpose into marketing content that complements your marketing team's efforts? Let's take a look at three different ways to repurpose course content into assets to drive marketing effectiveness.
Repurpose a course into a webinar
Webinars are the perfect way to introduce a new feature or product to the market, as you can speak directly to interested parties. CE pros had detailed knowledge of the new product as they would have already been developing the course work for customers as it was being developed. Marketing can tap into this knowledge and take any course content and use it to create a webinar (or series of webinars). Marketing may wayt to adjust the content to suite the webinar audience, but the core content is already there.
Course assets to repurpose
Use images and screen prints from the course to illustrate product benefits in the webinar.
Use the facilitator notes as a foundation for the webinar script.
Repurpose a course into a conference talk
Conferences are another way to develop brand awareness and demonstrate thought leadership to your market. It puts a human face to your software company, so the world knows there are real people behind it.
But not everyone is a good public speaker or speechwriter. This is where your customer education content comes in. Ease the nervous presenter's mind by pulling thoughtful and valuable content from one of your relevant CE programs. The introductions and conclusions would probably make for good talking points and marketing can add in some customer examples or testimonials to really bring home the value of the information.
Course assets to repurpose
Course introductions and conclusions are a good starting point for the talk's intro and outro.
Use the product demonstrations and/or examples in the course as the jumping off point for any stories the speaker may wish to tell.
Repurpose a course into a marketing workshop
In a similar vein to conference talks, you can also repurpose a course into a marketing workshop/session at a conference. Choose a course that is relevant to the conference's main topic or subject area, then use it to create a workshop that demonstrates how to solve a common obstacle attendees may have. For example, in a HubSpot sponsored workshop, the obstacle may be how to create an "agency positioning and targeting strategy". The workshop doesn't use HubSpot product's per se, but rather, talks about an obstacle that many HubSpot customers and prospects face.
By repurposing this type of CE content and bringing it up a level to be more general and market-specific, you're demonstrating your software company's thought leadership and creating brand awareness. The next time one of the attendees needs help with a similar obstacle, they'll remember you and see if your products can help them.
Course assets to repurpose
The product benefits demonstrated in the course can be used as the "obstacle to overcome" in the workshop.
The number of courses available for a particular product or customer goal/outcome can be used to show how knowledgeable your company is on the market and customer needs.
Real world example: Using education as marketing
Optimizely, the world's leading experimentation platform, does this very well with their Knowledge Base (KB). Adam Avramescu, Head of Customer Education & Optiverse at Optimizely, explained that it's "his #1 most viewed property across Optimizely, outside of our marketing site and the product itself", which is pretty impressive. By making their KB public online, they're increasing their SEO rank with search engines so that it's picked up more often. Plus they link to it EVERYWHERE—in welcome tours, tooltips, and error messages.
They're using their KB, traditionally a customer education tool, with everyone; even people who haven't bought the product yet. Their public KB is a brand awareness tool for prospects who may not know much about Optimizely, since they can browse around the product without spending anything for it. Optimizely has successfully repurposed their customer education content (the KB) into marketing content that does all the marketing work for them.
Put your customer education assets to work
Instead of letting your customer education assets sit there idle in between course dates, why not get them working for you in other ways? Your courses are a good way to generate brand awareness, alleviate the burden on marketing resources who have to create all sorts of assets, and help you get as much value as possible from them.
Have you been repurposing your courses into other marketing assets? What kinds of assets? Let us know in the comments as we're always curious to see how you're doing it.
[ Webinar Recording] Customer Education: A Self-Perpetuating Marketing Strategy for Growth
To dive more deeply into this topic, we hosted a webinar on October 31, 2017 to talk to Adam Avramescu about some of his work on using customer education for non-customers to improving marketing and sales results. We discussed several examples for how you can use your education content to help your marketing team. Customer education as a marketing strategy might just be your way to position your team as a strategic part of growing your company. You can get the webinar recording. Just click the button below.