Your Startup's Most Important Investment Is Customer Education

Turn your customers into cheerleaders with these strategies to boost the power of your educational content.

learn more about Laura Casselman

By Laura Casselman

littlehenrab | Getty Images

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You may get a lot of impressions through digital platforms such as Google, Facebook and the like, but research now proves what we already knew: Consumers simply don't trust advertising. Trinity Mirror and Ipsos recently conducted a study that showed 69 percent of consumers distrust advertising. And that number is going up -- the same study showed that 43 percent of consumers trust advertising even less than they used to.

Not all hope is lost, though. The research found that nearly 60 percent of consumers will trust a brand if you can prove you're worth your salt. And that all comes down to educating your customers.

Related: 5 Ways to Create Content That Breaks Down Trust Barriers

We live in the age of information, and your consumers crave it. That's why it's wise to feed the hunger with valuable content -- valuable being the operative word. Your product may create satisfied customers, but educational content creates the kind of cheerleaders who will outsell your sales team by a 10-1 ratio.

Creating addictive content in a noisy world

At JVZoo, we put a lot of focus on creating our own valuable brand of "edu-tainment." We know that not everyone absorbs information in the same way, and we don't want to miss out on creating those awesome brand ambassadors.

We've found that a strong content strategy is both deep and wide. For example, we do all the blogging, social media and knowledge base work you might expect from a digital brand. That's the wide. But we also go deep with JVZoo Academy, a membership site structured like an online college course.

This is the mix we've found success with. But the key is to find your secret sauce -- what will work for your unique brand. Here are some lessons we've learned in creating educational content. They can be applied to any strategy and will greatly increase the power of your content.

1. Pay attention to the man behind the curtain.

Lift the curtain, and let your audience see the real life of your brand and company culture. This looks like goofy social media posts of a fun company outing, but it can also be a powerful educational tool -- namely when you leverage video.

Download some screen capture software, and the next time you do an online task, just hit record. Someone out there is struggling with the exact thing you're doing so effortlessly. Create a video to teach people how. Record, share, attract.

Related: Use Video Education Campaigns to Grow Your Business

According to HighQ, 75 percent of business executives watch online videos every week, and the number is higher for regular consumers. At JVZoo, we've found our YouTube channel to be one of the most valuable assets we have, educating users while driving organic traffic to our site. Facebook Live has also proven to be a powerful way to connect with our audience past the typical Facebook posts.

2. Create content that multitasks.

There are -- quite literally -- millions of blog posts pushed out every day. You can't expect to keep up with fresh, creative content every single minute of the day, though. That's why you need content that can multitask.

For example, if you are teaching a new employee about a certain piece of software, record the lesson and add it to your training website. If you prepare a project for a client, live-stream the process and teach others as you go.

Then, get those videos transcribed. That transcription will up your SEO juice as well as provide written content for blogs, social media posts and talking points. Now, you've taken a task you were already doing -- training or prepping -- and used it to create dozens of content touchpoints. This is dual-purposed content at its finest!

3. Keep them coming back for more.

Companies such as Glossier and Whole Foods have built large followings because they're dedicated to pushing out interesting, educational content that their target audiences are actually interested in. Create a blog or a fan page for your audience members to gather and communicate with you and each other. Poll them, study them and step up to your podium to educate them on the specific topics they've told you they want to know more about. Oh, and tell them to invite their friends to the party, too.

Related: How Glossier Hacked Social Media to Build A Cult-Like Following

Don't just do this once in awhile. Plan it, put it in the calendar and make a habit out of it. That's how you actually develop a tribe -- a real following of people who come to rely on your educational posts and videos.

Staying consistent can sound easy enough in theory, but in reality, you need a solid plan and the bandwidth to make it happen. According to Curata, most companies (69 percent, to be exact) use an editorial calendar for content marketing. This means your team formalizes the process so everyone knows how and when to create great content. You start with your big rocks -- what initiatives are happening that you want people to know about -- and then work backward in your calendar from there.

In a world that disdains advertising, the only way to win is to grow your tribe and build trust. Great content, created regularly, will develop that tribe. And its members will, in turn, become your biggest and loudest fans.

Laura Casselman

CEO of

Laura Casselman is the CEO of, an online software solution that allows sellers to create an instant affiliate program for their products on blogs, websites and online forums. Laura has 16 years of hands-on experience in successfully growing sales and revenue, improving customer service and aggressively controlling expenses in competitive market environments.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

This 61-Year-Old Grandma Who Made $35,000 in the Medical Field Now Earns 7 Figures in Retirement
A 'Quiet Promotion' Will Cost You a Lot — Use This Expert's 4-Step Strategy to Avoid It
3 Red Flags on Your LinkedIn Profile That Scare Clients Away
'Everyone Is Freaking Out.' What's Going On With Silicon Valley Bank? Federal Government Takes Control.

How to Detect a Liar in Seconds Using Nonverbal Communication

There are many ways to understand if someone is not honest with you. The following signs do not even require words and are all nonverbal queues.

Celebrity Entrepreneurs

'I Dreaded Falling in Love.' Rupert Murdoch Is Getting Hitched for the Fifth Time.

The 92-year-old media tycoon announces he will wed former San Francisco police chaplain Ann Lesley Smith.

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas To Start Right Now

To start one of these home-based businesses, you don't need a lot of funding -- just energy, passion and the drive to succeed.


How Great Entrepreneurs Find Ways to Win During Economic Downturns

Recessions are an opportunity to recalibrate and make great strides in your business while others are unprepared to brave the challenges. Here's how great entrepreneurs can set themselves up for success despite economic uncertainty.


Having Trouble Focusing? Here's How to Become Unstoppable in Your Performance

Here are a few tips on how to improve your focus, discipline and ability to complete projects.

Business News

'Invest In That Future Now Before It's Too Late': Bill Gates Calls For Global Pandemic Response Team In Op-Ed

In the same month that the World Health Organization called the coronavirus a pandemic three years ago, billionaire Bill Gates reiterated his call for a "fire department for pandemics."