Guest writer Jolene Nicotina explores how leading online education brands use simplicity and repetition to build awareness—and drive the bottom line.
Between curtailed commutes and dwindling social calendars, people now have more time than ever for binge-watching—no, not Netflix, but online education content and courses. It’s a valuable use of our new free time, especially in a shaky economy. On top of that, there’s the diminishing stigma around online degrees and certificates.
Together, these factors are creating a boom in the education industry. Take Coursera, for example. The online learning platform added ten million new users from March to May—that’s seven times the rate of new sign-ups they had in 2019.
Education companies have a prime opportunity to stand out right now. Here’s how a few of them are doing just that with relevant, repeatable messaging and content.
Teachable Taps Into the Entrepreneurial Spirit
Teachable’s platform makes it easy for almost anyone to make money from their personal expertise. It handles logistics, videos, payment, and gets your course in front of people who are already looking to learn.
Their goal is to encourage hobbyists and side-hustlers to start building their empire, and they do it with motivating banner ads. Just look at “Take your passion to the next level” or “Goal. Set. Win.” Not that their galvanizing messages stop there.
On their homepage, you’ll find a “quickstart” webinar that breaks down how to create your own online school. In their explainer video, they explain how creating a business with courses can be done quickly, taking months instead of years.
Across every touchpoint, Teachable takes the opportunity to reinforce its core message: building a business with online courses is fast and easy.
Masterclass Masters Simplicity
Marketing your product or service as “the best” may seem like a lazy messaging strategy, unless you do, in fact, sit at the top of the pile. Masterclass is another online learning platform that sells courses taught by iconic figures, including cooking by Gordon Ramsay, writing by Malcolm Gladwell, and tennis by Serena Williams.
Their message is clear, simple and on repeat: learn the skills you want to learn from the best in the world.
Aside from a few customer testimonials and FAQs, there’s very little copy on the website and catchy course titles are conspicuously missing.
The instantly recognizable names and faces do the heavy lifting, while the messaging perfectly balances sounding powerful without overexplaining. Proof it’s paying off? Earlier this year MasterClass raised $100 million in financing.
MarketSmiths Case Study:
One of the largest education companies on earth, Pearson publishes textbooks on virtually every discipline. But without the right marketing output, all that effort risked being for nothing. After tapping MarketSmiths, though, Pearson got on the right track. During busy times, we delivered consistent batches of dazzling copy, all routed through Pearson’s internal team. With over 150 copy sets under our belt, we’re proud to have got into our rhythm—and boost this storied publisher in a crowded market.
MIT Draws in Prospective Students with Content Marketing
MIT OpenCourseWare is considered the pioneer in providing free, openly available education. It gives open access to syllabuses, video lectures, lessons, and exams for almost all Massachusette’s Institute of Technology (MIT) courses.
Introduction to Japanese, and Ethics for Engineers, are examples of what’s on offer. While their site is light on messaging, the very act of providing free education for all softens MIT’s reputation as an elite, competitive institution.
It’s also a classic example of content marketing done right. The courses give self-learners a baseline level of knowledge in a field, but if they want to make a career change, they’ll need to pursue one of MIT’s degree-granting programs.
This tactic draws in a more qualified pool of potential applicants while giving prospective students a taste of MIT’s curriculum and standards.
Repeat Messaging Matters
Repetition is key to learning anything new. Overlearning a concept or skill ensures we never forget it. The same applies to marketing. The more your audience hears your brand name in association with your message, the tighter the bond between them.
Teachable, Masterclass and MIT all hone in on one specific message or strategy and weave it through all their materials, making it hard to ignore and even harder to forget.
Want to identify or refine your brand’s unique message? We know the recipe for potent and powerful words. Let’s talk.