Content marketing as a household concept is still relatively new, even if it’s been around as an actual tactic for a long time. But educational content marketing in particular has gotten a big boost in recent years, thanks to the proliferation of educational video content.
This is largely due to the steady growth in popularity of video content online, and the proliferation of affordable, easy to use, high definition video camera recording equipment, making it easier and more lucrative than ever to create video content, whether you’re a large media company or a small mom and pop business owner.
How did we get to the point where we are now, where educational video content dominates the internet, with more videos seeking to inform us on more topics than we could ever hope to finish watching in ten lifetimes, let alone one?
Today, we’re going to review the history of educational video content, as well as the types of educational videos and industries that businesses can benefit most from using. Let’s dive in.
The rise of the educational video.
At the same time that content marketing as a whole has changed the digital marketing landscape, the video format has specifically transformed the educational content landscape, primarily in the types of content that gets created most often. To understand this shift, let’s take it back… waaaay back, to the dawn of the internet…
In the beginning, the internet was originally created as a way to share information over a series of computers under a single network. In many ways, the concept of sharing information is almost identical to that of learning in general – you are exchanging ideas and concepts with the intent of knowing something you didn’t know before.
In that way, education and educating oneself was always one of the most important tenets of why we use the internet, and as the internet became more widely used, the search engine Google began to dominate the internet as the number one most visited website. It was becoming apparent that people most wanted to use the internet to learn all kinds of things they didn’t know before.
Then came YouTube, beginning in early 2005, and the need to learn began to seep over into the online video world as well. YouTube wasn’t just for funny viral videos, but quickly became a good resource for learning things, whether it was videotaped lectures being uploaded by teachers or videos recorded to help teach a young cousin math. Even videos on simple things, like how to change a flat tire, became a vital part of the YouTube video ecosystem. With attention spans shortening, people become more likely to watch how to videos than read how to articles, finding how to videos more informative and easier to comprehend anyway.
It should be no surprise then, that Google eventually bought YouTube, and YouTube is now the second most popular search engine in the world. Billions of people around the globe use YouTube to look up and learn all kinds of things, and this thirst for information has dominated some of the site’s most popular videos and creators.
Popular YouTubers like young-adult author John Green and science channels like Veritasium likely initiated the trend by spreading educational-adjacent content across the internet, with viral “Did you know?” and “8 Crazy Facts From History” style educational videos that doubled as entertainment.
At the same time, remote SaaS sales reps created hundreds of product demo videos to share with clients all over the world. Add that to the digitizing of company training videos, the rise of video webinars, and the transferring of written case study and testimonials into video content, and you start to get a picture of how educational video content has become so popular and widespread today in 2019.
Why use educational video content today?
The best summary I’ve ever read of the value of educational content came from a blog from the creator of Hubspot Academy, Mark Kilens, on how he got the idea and subsequently created the Hubspot Academy.
In essence, it all began because he was a Hubspot customer first, fell in love with the company’s mission and service, and realized after joining the company that something needed to be created to better educate customers to help them better utilize Hubspot to success like he did back when he was a customer.
Mark says, “Not enough companies today offer education that makes their product or service more valuable to their customers. Education is a massive opportunity that almost any company can use to generate more leads, retain more customers, and help more people.”
Starting as blogs and webinars, Mark eventually turned Hubspot Academy into a massive resource of educational video training courses that educates thousands of certificate-recipients every month, with the help of dozens of new videos they produce every month. Mark and his team realized early on that video was one of the best tools available to educate an audience, and their team is no stranger to use video to promote their own success with case studies, like this impressive example:
Mark’s journey from impressed customer to Hubspot Academy founder is impressive, and is a great example of how a company can capitalize and optimize their successes by using educational video content to help increase positive customer results.
If you have a product or service that helps a customer solve an important issue in their life or business, then doing whatever you can to help them achieve that positive resolution will benefit you in the long run by increasing overall customer satisfaction and increase repeat business from lifelong loyal customers.
What industries benefit the most from educational videos?
All industries and companies can benefit from educating their audiences, which primarily consist of potential customers. By educating your audience, you establish yourself as an expert in your field, as a trusted source of value, and as a potential resource for them in the future should they need your services.
Plus, educational content is great for nurturing prospects into becoming customers, and every company in every industry can benefit from adding value to their marketing funnels to convert leads at higher volumes.
Getting more specific, however, there are some industries in particular that can benefit from educational content more so than others.
Marketing agencies benefit greatly from educating their clients and audiences with case study videos and video webinars on subjects impacting their industry, as establishing themselves as experts is vital to win business.
Non-profit companies benefit greatly from educating audiences with PSA videos and industry videos educating viewers on the problems their organization was created to combat. Without educating on the issues, it’s hard to get people to hand over their hard earned money, even if it’s for a good cause.
Tech companies need educational video content like virtual product demos (for SaaS companies especially) and explainer videos to break down complicated technologies into terms a layman can understand. If you’re looking to win over big time enterprise accounts, this is even more true.
Even the more highly technical fabricating and engineering firms can use educational content to break down or even show-off their technology’s key value propositions over the competition.
For example, if you are developing and marketing some highly proprietary machine learning tech that is hard to explain without giving away trade secrets, using educational video content like case study videos can explain how your service provides meaningful results for clients.
What type of educational videos should you create?
Everything and anything that helps a customer better understand your product or service while also nurturing them with valuable information that establishes you as a trustworthy source of information is going to benefit your company and increase the number of leads you convert into sales.
Breaking it down by the stage of the buyer’s journey your customer is in, here are a few of the top videos you should create depending on what goal you are trying to achieve and what result you are trying to optimize.
Attract more customers and build better brand awareness and brand recall by:
- Creating educational and industry videos that inform viewers on specific, industry-wide topics that affect them, while introducing them to your brand as an entity who cares about this issue and is fighting for change.
- Creating before and after videos and product videos to educate viewers on your company and your product’s specific solution to an issue that affects them.
- Creating how to videos featuring your product or service to solve an issue to increase SEO and soft sell audiences looking for answers on how to solve their problems on Youtube in a (mostly) brand agnostic way.
Engage with viewers interested in learning more about your product or service by:
- Creating day in the life videos to educate viewers on your company or team, while simultaneously establishing yourself as authentic and trustworthy by being open.
- Creating and providing explainer videos on your website and landing pages to provide additional value and information about your core product or service.
- Creating case study and testimonial videos are great for including on your website for inquiring minds to consider how your product or service has benefited others in the past.
Nurture and encourage prospects to make an affirmative purchasing decision by:
- Hosting and sharing webinars to educate viewers on adjacent topics that affect them or your industry and provide value to leads for free.
- Creating and sharing product demos and tutorial videos that provide in-depth analysis and transparent walkthroughs of what it’s like to use your product or service.
- Creating and providing FAQ videos to answer lingering questions, while facilitating the creation of third party product review videos to provide social proof and outside validation of your product or service to dismiss doubts and fears.
There is also a wealth of value in creating and distributing educational video content after a purchasing decision has been made, like creating and sharing welcome series, tips and tricks videos, and other educational video resources, which help to increase customer retention and customer satisfaction rates, leading to repeat business, positive reviews, and even brand evangelism in the form of referrals.