One of the best ways to stand out amongst your competitors—and to earn your customer base’s trust—is to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. People want to learn from experts. When you prove that not only are you knowledgeable about your field, but willing to share information with everyone, consumers are more likely to turn to you as a resource. Consequently, when the need arises to purchase something, your business will be the first place they go.
There are right and wrong ways of educating your audience, though. While you might be tempted to write complex encyclopedias about your industry, such methods are not accessible for most people. You won’t become an industry authority if no one can understand you. So, here are a few tips for teaching your audience things they deserve to know:
Start with the basics
Complicated, in-depth articles might have a place in your field or be necessary for your business. By all means, produce these—but they are for people who already know a bit about your industry, which might be a small fraction of your audience. Such pieces should also be for people who are working their way up the knowledge ladder.
Start small. Cover basic questions that people may have. Anticipate their pain points: from a consumer’s perspective, what problems are they likely to encounter that you can warn them about? If they are looking to buy from you, what is something they should know about how your products work?
You want the information to be accessible, not reserved for select individuals who already have a basic understanding of the topics you cover. The easier you make your content to comprehend, the more people will be able to use it, thus maximizing the number of students that can become customers.
Utilize a range of media
People possess an array of learning styles, and learning via one medium for too long can become dull. Don’t limit yourself to purely textual blog posts all the time, as informative as they might be; instead, utilize a range of different media. Infographic video, pictures, podcasts, and music are all potential ways you can communicate information.
Get creative within these formats. Perhaps you can host an interview with a fellow expert and post the video on Instagram. Visual learners could tremendously benefit from animations. Several industries have also discovered the success of podcasting. Are podcasts good for learning? Absolutely, because many people are aural learners, so they are an excellent way of appealing to people who prefer to absorb information through listening.
Make it fun and engaging
Besides making your content informative, it needs to be compelling. You’ll lose people’s interest if what they are reading or watching is dry. Information is easier to grasp if you are invested in it, so help people become invested by adding a dose of fun into the process. Perhaps you can include a bit of wit into your blog posts and videos, create interactive games on your website, or host a podcast with delightful banter so that people have multiple reasons to tune in.
Anyone can create dull, search-engine-optimized content. When you were in school, weren’t the best teachers the ones who told the best stories, or those who came up with the most creative ways to make learning enjoyable? Crafting a cohesive, entertaining narrative will do wonders for connecting with your audience.
For example, when creating video content you can use some of the top free video editing softwares online to make your videos stand out.
Combine creation with curation
While you should aim to produce original content, you don’t have the be the creator of everything that you share online. Curating content from other sources—such as posting links to educational articles and videos on social media—is an effective way to share information conveyed in different styles that your audience might find valuable. It’s also a way of telling your followers, “This is information worth knowing.”
Curating outside content also helps you participate in industry conversations. When you retweet another thought leader’s article, let them know your thoughts and thank them for posting it. Interacting with other brands is practical for getting noticed. The other account’s followers are more likely to learn about your existence and become curious about what you have to say.
Ask your audience what they want to know
Are you not quite sure what to teach next? Ask your audience. Post online or send your customers an email asking about what information they would find the most valuable. By doing so, you learn their pain points, and they now expect a resource to appear in the near future—and they know that you care about their opinions and keeping them informed.
Establishing yourself as an authority in your industry is not an easy feat. It requires a combination of in-depth knowledge about your subject, effective teaching skills, and imaginative content-creation abilities. If you make learning fun and accessible, though, consumers will begin to see you as a go-to resource for both information and services.