“How We Grew 2 Times Thanks to Free Content Marketing”: TutorOnline Online School Experience
Diana Avsyukevich shares her experience promoting the TutorOnline online school through content marketing, a corporate blog with useful knowledge and her own YouTube channel, describes not only successful strategies, but also negative onesThe TutorOnline online school was launched in 2011, over the 8 years it has grown from a service that works on the basis of quick consultations to a full-fledged educational project. The number of students is increasing from year to year, the school’s turnover is growing, and all this despite the fact that we almost never used paid tools to advertise the project.
The principle of promotion, which in our case shows excellent efficiency, is контент “content marketing without a budget”. Once we decided to completely abandon commercial placement on third-party sites. We have a valuable intellectual resource ㅡ these are our talented teachers who possess not only impeccable knowledge in their field, but also a cultural background. Tutors from different countries of the world work for us, and we really have something to tell potential students about, and thereby convince them to start studying in our school.
Why we decided to advance only with free content
Despite the fact that anyone can do it, the main target audience of the site is schoolchildren, as well as their parents, who pay for classes and usually decide where their pupils will improve their knowledge. The next category is students and people who have already graduated, but who wish, for example, to learn a foreign language or to learn programming languages.
In order for us to study, both students and parents must trust us. Over 8 years of work, we were convinced that it is customer confidence that is the main resource of a company that seeks to bring real benefits to people and at the same time remain profitable.
So, when a client constantly stumbles upon our content and sees that we are giving knowledge, giving experience and valuable advice, and not telling us what we are “good and wonderful”, he comes to us and is not afraid to share his problem or entrust the child to our tutor .
By trial and error, after the “drain” of budgets, we finally realized: for such a difficult segment as educational services (and even completely online), the best way to promote is long-playing content marketing. But this is a time bomb: you should not expect from this advancement of quick profit and instant result. So now, first of all, we are working to maintain our reputation and maintain a good attitude towards the company, which is shown by our students and parents. It is this position that allows us to actively develop.
The main tools that help us attract new users through content:
Channel on Youtube: video is the favorite format of the younger generation, which modern schoolchildren and students perceive such content best of all. On the channel, we post short lessons on various subjects, as well as regularly conduct free webinars;
Blog on the site: a lot of useful content ㅡ from tips on preparing for the exam, to recommendations for parents from psychologists;
Media publications: articles of our teachers and leaders for external sites on the topics of education, specific subjects and so on. A couple of years ago, this was the main channel for promotion, but now we have shifted our focus to the blog and Youtube, although we continue to release materials (only for free).
2016-2018: formed trust in online education through media publications
We began working with journalists to publish articles with the participation of TutorOnline experts in various media outlets in 2014, but in 2016-2018 this became a key task in the framework of promoting the school.
We wanted to tell people as much as possible and as accessible as possible about what online education is and why you should not be afraid of it. At that time, there was still a rather strong distrust of parents in teaching children with a tutor via the Internet. We constantly heard from mothers: “Your tutor is wonderful, but we will still look for a” living “teacher in our city … we’re more familiar with this.” This was a problem that hampered the development of an online school. We had to prove to people that the remote tutor is no different from the usual one, and most often this training format is much more convenient and profitable.
So we began to write full texts and give comments on the topics of secondary and higher education, child psychology. For example, they gave advice to parents on how to help their child cope with a particular problem at school, or explained how best to prepare for exams.
The priority was publications for parents and platforms, in general, devoted to education. To get to the pages of resources interesting to us (interesting from the point of view of the target audience), we visited them at once from two sides.