Marketing for EdTech
Educational Technology (EdTech) as an industry is rapidly growing in response to a modernizing school system. In both higher and lower education systems, classrooms across the nation are more interested than ever in tools that can boost learning opportunities and assist instructors. But before educators can access this tech, they have to know about it—which is why a deliberate EdTech marketing strategy is critical.
Agile Education Marketing has reliable strategies and tips to help your EdTech marketing plan stay competitive and effective. Let’s hop into some of our best practices and advice that marketers can incorporate into their strategies moving forward.
What is Marketing for EdTech?
When crafting a content marketing plan for an EdTech product, the marketing strategy should be specifically tailored to the target audience demographics and location. The education market can be a uniquely fluid space because the market is as variable as the individual schools that operate across the country. Despite this challenge, the EdTech industry is booming. According to a report from GlobalData, the EdTech marketplace is projected to grow from US$183.4 billion in 2021 to US$410.2 billion in 2026.
Eager EdTech brand entrepreneurs are quick to build a business, but longevity requires a full understanding of how to market impacts the decision drivers of the intended buyer. Inbound marketing is extremely important for longevity in the business world.
Inbound marketing can be made up of many digital content strategies, including:
- Blogs and articles: This is where EdTech brands can present proprietary content, data collection, and services. The company can become a part of the bigger conversation.
- Social media marketing: For any company looking to make digital connections, social media is an absolute must. It’s a great way to find the target audience.
- Video marketing: Creating video content as one part of a complete marketing strategy can help build engagement and increase discovery.
- Search engine optimization: SEO can help potential clients and customers find the services and products that the EdTech company offers.
Digital marketing is an important component of any strategy, but it should appeal to your target customer base. It helps to position the company and brand as a trustworthy source of information on the education sector and how its products and services serve existing needs. For example, for an EdTech company specializing in collaborative online learning to gain access to school decision-makers, they must demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the trends and market drivers that shape the current education environment. Being well-informed is critical for brand credibility, which can translate into more sales in the long run by getting you beyond the gatekeepers.
The Modern EdTech Market
Education technology is becoming increasingly important to educators, learners, and the American education system. From K-12 education all the way to the university and college level, technology is a vital tool for learning. According to The Learn Platform, “EdTech usage in schools has increased 99% since 2020.” As an EdTech business that has products, you want to make it easy for administrators and leaders to find your brand, which is where market research comes into play,
A booming business
More businesses are entering the EdTech marketplace because of this increase in demand. McKinsey reports that venture capitalists (VCs) invested $20.8 billion in the EdTech sector globally in 2021, which is more than 40x the amount that was invested 11 years prior. This is an indication that the industry is seeing an upward trend.
The modern classroom has left the chalkboard in the dust in favor of better technology. While every classroom would love to have a smart board, not every school district or junior college has the budget to do so. However, an EdTech solution in one form or another is probably required in most learning environments. Here are some of the most common tech that most educational institutions are investing in:
- Blended learning tools: Hybrid learning is here to stay, and more students are learning at least partially remotely, which requires support tools.
- Video meeting platforms: Education-specific video meeting platforms are important because the educator should be able to provide a learning experience similar to an in-person one.
- Digital devices: From computers to tablets and other digital tools, mobile devices are becoming an integral part of the education process.
- Lesson planning tools: Teachers and professors also use education technology to create lesson plans and prepare as efficiently as possible.
- Learning management systems: With more students using online platforms to review notes, turn in homework, and connect with other learners, LMS is a valuable tool.
- Digital textbooks: Using digital textbooks is easier for both students and teachers because they are less cumbersome,simpler to update, and can include embedded tools to facilitate collaborative learning.
- Social learning tools: This form of EdTech is vital for learners who are practicing critical thinking and promoting collaboration among students.
- Remote proctoring: The technology required for remote proctoring is in more demand than ever for both security and communication reasons.
- Online tutoring services: Because tutoring is so important for students to make up learning time, online tutoring is a more accessible way to combat learning loss.
Because the modern world of education is shifting in a new direction, marketing EdTech needs to follow suit. Achieving marketing success is a goal that every company has in one form or another because it will lead to more sales and an increase in profit. Here are four ways that an EdTech company can achieve marketing success with relatively minimum effort.
- Be direct: Decision-makers in schools are busy, so their time is valuable. Being direct with your messaging is important.
- Use all forms of marketing: From online blogs and social media to email campaigns, use every method possible to connect with your target audience.
- Use automation: In order to scale, using marketing automation can be an effective way to maintain consistency and quality.
- Leverage brand expertise: Companies need to use their company’s specific education technology expertise as a pathway for thought leadership that is relevant to the industry.
One thing that sets the EdTech industry apart from others is the wide variety of requirements in each market segment. This is why it’s so important to do market research, including average budgets, technology gaps, and other more specific pieces of data that can help the marketing team make the right choices.
Managing EdTech Marketing Campaigns
Once an EdTech company has created its marketing campaign, it’s time to manage the direction and gather ongoing results. First, the team needs to nail down a goal, which could be anything from increasing brand awareness to boosting sales and widening market share. This will inform the marketing campaign’s success in the long run and also give insight into what data to collect along the way. For some EdTech companies, this is a lot to manage, which is why they sometimes reach out to external support to launch a successful campaign.
Key performance indicators
An educational institution is constantly striving to improve its methodology of teaching students, which means your marketing efforts should target these specific needs. It’s important to collect data and analytics before, during, and after the campaign’s runtime. This information will assist your team in determining how successful the marketing efforts are and what should be improved.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to measure when managing an EdTech marketing campaign include:
- Website traffic: Take note of whether or not more people are visiting your website because of campaign efforts. This can help with brand awareness and engagement in the long run.
- Leads generated: Measure whether there is an increase in administrators, parents, or learners who have connected as potential customers.
- Retention: Measuring this could mean anything from retaining active users to seeing more customers coming back for more.
- Click-through rate: This could be an important metric to measure for email marketing efforts and other online strategies.
- Return on investment: It’s valuable to understand if the investment in marketing efforts has resulted in an increase in revenue. While some businesses have a difficult time concretely tying market spend to closed sales and revenue, there are ways to make it work. It is key to plan ahead so that the salespeople can more tightly correlate market spending with booked revenue.
These KPIs can help an EdTech team produce a strong, data-driven sales funnel and reliable insight into what an effective EdTech marketing strategy could be. Measuring the right metrics are measured can assist in making fact-based decisions.
When managing an EdTech marketing campaign, it’s important to anticipate the problems that may arise in the future. Especially in the education industry, sales are largely impacted by national politics and legislation. It’s valuable to pay close attention to the shifting budgets and requirements implemented by both federal and state education boards.
For example, education budgets were extremely tight in 2020 for K-12 school districts. An EdTech marketing campaign that showcases expensive products and services would likely perform poorly because of the climate of the time. It’s important to take note of these external factors when crafting a marketing campaign and ensure that it targets the right audience and demographic.
The state of education is another example of why timing is everything when it comes to marketing for EdTech. Remember that K-12 schools have to spend their ESSER III (ARP) funds by September 30, 2024. This ticking clock will influence what districts spend the money on and why — which should, in turn, impact EdTech marketing campaigns.
Managing any marketing campaign is no easy task, but even more considerations must be taken when marketing for EdTech. All team members must be on the same page and collectively communicate with other departments, such as sales.
Staying relevant in the EdTech industry
The truth is that staying relevant in any industry is important, but there are specific challenges to staying current in the EdTech industry. Keeping your ear to the ground is valuable when it comes to knowing where the undercurrent of education is going and what technology is trending and required.
This means it’s important to find industry contacts you can rely on for this kind of information. Staying appraised on federal and state education standards at the federal and state level can help EdTech marketers remain in the know.
Note that some tech products aren’t always available to education institutions in the accreditation that they may be expecting. As the marketer, you should expect the buyers will have certain standards in mind when searching for the right EdTech product. According to LearnPlatform, about one-fourth of all tech tools in the classroom meet the standards set by The Every Student Succeeds Act.
Before creating a marketing campaign, it’s important to understand the current expectations set by government organizations. Use up-to-date research standards and be aware of what the landscape looks like.
Staying relevant means being aware of the newest challenges that are pervasive in the country, including:
- Personalized curriculum teaching and attention for students.
- Digital privacy and safety concerns.
- Digital literacy.
- Regulations and research standards.
Once EdTech companies understand opportunity areas of the industry, it’s much easier to supply potential solutions and products to assist in fixing the issues. Here are some of the most common ways that those in the marketplace can stay current and strive for a better education system, according to Entreprenuer.com:
- Imparting data protection literacy
- Empowering teachers and schools
- Ease of use of EdTech
- Industry collaboration
- Focus on the customer
- Create a network of industry experts
- Be agile
- Specialized service
Salespeople and marketers must focus on evolving with the market, keeping up with trends and needs, and fully understanding the shifting external factors. A digital marketing strategy should reflect this sort of EdTech industry insight. Being connected to the world of education is vital when planning a marketing strategy of any kind.
Whether it’s a social media post or any other kind of online digital content, EdTech marketing requires a specificity and attention to detail to execute correctly. In fact, EdWeek reports that “the average number of technology products that school districts access in a given month has almost tripled over the last several years, but oftentimes, the efficacy of those products aren’t clearly shown.”
This is where a company like Agile Education Marketing can come in handy. External support for EdTech companies could be the edge you need to stay ahead of the competition.
Agile Education Marketing is the leading data insight provider focused exclusively on this dynamic market. With so many players in the game, every advantage matters in the marketplace. We strive to provide superior data, flexible solutions, and cost-effective programs so our clients achieve the growth they need, on their terms, with a partner who delivers.
Are you ready to meet with Agile to determine what solutions we have that could help drive your next strategic marketing campaign? Meet with our team to focus on growth strategies and other beneficial tools to help you get started.
Agile has led the market with great customer service and technical innovation allowing automated updating of all leading sales and marketing platforms. Changing the idea of data by changing the way you look at it. We create and innovate solutions made for the education market, to make educators and students better. Reach out to Agile Education today to get started!