In the post-pandemic era, edtech has soared to great heights, and for good reason. As an industry, it was worth a staggering $106 billion in 2021 – but that’s only just the beginning! 

Through sound digital marketing strategies and keen visionaries at its helm, growth is set to skyrocket even higher as time goes on. According to estimates, the industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16.5% every year, which means larger profits are heavily anticipated for everyone involved in this exciting sector of education technology.

Being a technology-based learning ecosystem, Edtech has a natural affinity & familiarity with digital marketing.

Since the focus of the industry is to better understand their target demographics to deliver more accessible education, digital marketing strategies for Edtech business are naturally core to increase traffic, target the right audiences with ads, enhance email marketing, analyze audience data among other essential growth tactics.  

Our article takes a closer look at the importance of digital marketing strategies and some of the best marketing strategies for ed tech businesses to grow. 

Importance of Digital Marketing in the Ed Tech Industry

The global ed tech industry currently valued at $254 billion, is predicted to grow to a phenomenal $600 billion by 2027. Constant innovation and technological developments including A.I. solutions have contributed to the growth of educational tech solutions allowing them to access multiple audiences. 

Digital marketing has similarly played a vital role in the growth of education technology services, with social media, organic search, paid search advertising, and content marketing being the driving forces behind this growth. 

Edtech marketing campaigns are also essential to counter the two most popular challenges for the sector, the lack of brand awareness and the lack of leads that businesses generate from online traffic. Digital marketing was also identified as the 4th top area of focus by more than 40 Edtech CMOs and founders in recent research. 

The heavy reliance on organic channels by ed tech businesses (75% organic and 25% paid), makes digital marketing strategies a must to ensure the right audiences are targeted to enter marketing funnels. 

Professionals identify that it’s important to have a dedicated Ed tech digital marketing strategy since it:

  • Enhances cost efficiency and lowers customer acquisition cost 
  • Builds brand awareness 
  • Improves organic search ranking and visibility 
  • Improves conversion rates 
  • Improves digital ad ROI 
  • Provides real-time customer analytics data 

13 Digital  Marketing Strategies for EdTech Businesses to Grow

As we discussed above, digital marketing and educational technology solutions have a built-in synergy. Here are some ideal digital marketing strategies for an ED tech business to grow sustainably:

1. Focus on Organic Traffic – SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

A strategic search engine optimization plan and audit are crucial to determine if your ed tech website is missing important ranking elements for example keywords and content. 

A comprehensive search engine optimization strategy determines the right keywords and searches terms to enhance organic traffic to your web pages. 

Professionals consider SEO to be the most cost-effective, efficient, and fastest way to drive relevant traffic to your education tech website. A great search rank can also be invaluable to developing partnerships and affiliations with educational institutions, enabling rapid awareness and growth for your brand. 

Some of the most important on-page SEO elements include the valuable landing pages, website meta titles, meta tags, meta descriptions, and image meta. Then there are off-page elements like backlinks and 3rd party reviews from trusted influencers & authorities to enhance the credibility of your Edtech brand.

Here is a simplified example of identifying your ideal keywords to target for the language learning platform DuoLingo. Two aspects of DuoLingo’s strategy are quite prominent from the statistics above, they focus on optimizing multiple language keywords and developing engaging content pillars to drive traffic to the website. 

2. Target Specific Audience by Google Ads

Edtech advertising, although limited, has a massive impact on both brand awareness and lead generation for the industry. PPC (Pay-per-Click) is a great way to enhance the reach of edtech digital marketing activities. Paid ads are a great way to appear before organic results, and secure more eyeballs quickly. 

Since edtech marketing is expensive on Google with the basic search terms costing up to $75 per click, targeting the right audience is crucial to maximizing CAC. Edtech marketers must ensure the ad copy, landing page content, and budget are strategically balanced with the potential of different keywords.

DuoLingo focuses its ads on audiences who take an interest in Video Games Console and Accessories. By identifying the common interests of these audiences, the brand is able to make more targeted ads. 

3. Focus on the Corporate Sector Through Email Marketing Campaigns

Email remains one of the most important digital marketing tools not just for ed tech but in a larger global online economy. Statista previously reported that there are over 4 billion email users, with more than 300 billion emails being sent daily across the world. 

In the B2B sector, email remains the most important collaboration and communication tool, with 81% of marketers claiming it is convenient, preferred by audiences, and secures the best leads. 

By segmenting leads using automation tools like HubSpot, MailChimp, etc. to make emails more effective, ed tech marketers can considerably enhance the conversion rates from corporate email campaigns. It has been previously identified that $1 invested in B2B email campaigns generates almost $40 in revenue. 

Like other marketing funnels, the email marketing campaign must also follow a journey that creates curiosity among corporate audiences, engages them to subscribe to courses, and creates interest in related courses.

4. Increase Visibility and Brand Awareness Through Social Media Campaigns

The abundance of choices in the ed tech industry makes it very difficult for brands to stand out amongst the competition. Social media marketing remains a driving force for prominent ed tech service providers to effectively communicate their messaging to the right audiences.

For an edtech social media marketing plan to be a success, it is important for marketers to identify relevant metrics including target audience demographics and their content preferences. 

Not every social platform is ideal for ed tech marketing. Here is a list of the popular ones the industry prefers:

  • Facebook being the largest and most popular social platform is the preferred channel for ed tech marketers to feature their products & services to vast online audiences. Facebook marketing is employed for 38% of activities by online marketers, the Facebook profile is an excellent source to link back to websites and even online shops. 
  • LinkedIn offers a more defined professional ecosystem that provides access to 722 million profiles. LinkedIn also hosts a 59% audience aged between 25 and 34 years old, establishing a core market for ed tech providers. LinkedIn marketing is also known to offer 15 times higher impressions on content than on job postings. For ed tech providers, it’s an excellent space to create communities, participate in discussions, and attract leads with their content. 
  • Twitter is an excellent social channel for marketers to enhance their brand awareness and engage directly with their target customers. Linking the website in the profile, using hashtags, participating in trends, and creating Spaces all allow ed tech providers to highlight their offering among the 322 million Twitter users. Twitter being the 7th most popular social platform can be used for audience engagement, brand awareness, and providing services to customers through its many interactive features. 
  • Google is probably the most crucial of all digital marketing channels given the relevance of its rankings and the reach of its search engine. The closure of the Google+ service has however lowered the reliance on Google’s services for social networking. 
  • Pinterest with its close to 450 million global users is a great social channel as it hosts a large number of teachers, predominantly females. Edtech marketers actively share events and product visuals on Pinterest feed linking them back to their websites. Pinterest also hosts a 45% US audience with an average income of more than $100, 000, making it the ideal platform to market educational services. 
  • Instagram has quickly grown in prominence among ed tech marketing professionals due to the new video features and stories, now hosting 1 billion monthly users. Marketers have the opportunity to share stories, brand events, and new features through interactive Instagram posts. Edtech providers can acquire more qualified leads, reduce CAC, improve content ROI, and nurture audiences through the platform’s multiple features. It was identified in recent research that 72% of Instagram users make a purchase on the app. In addition, almost 75% of Instagram audiences are young adults between 19 and 29 years of age, making it the perfect platform for educational technology providers. 

5. Data Analysis by Tracking

Professionals believe that tracking analytical data from different sources like social platforms, and email campaigns should be used to create a meaningful picture of your brand awareness and growth. Most marketing professionals discuss using multiple metrics to determine the growth trajectory including those for revenue, customer acquisition, churn, and several others. 

Using the data from ed tech marketing campaigns is a crucial growth strategy for conversion rate optimization. This crucial step allows you to measure the effectiveness and cost efficiency of your marketing investment, in comparison to the leads generated.  

Many edtech businesses now use performance marketing to develop wider brand reach and drive conversions quicker using user data analytics. Data metrics facilitate the ability of an ed tech business to actively improve its entire supply chain, which is the goal of performance marketing.

6. Create Fact-Based PR 

Pre-releases are a simple digital marketing tool that ed tech businesses commonly use to gain brand awareness and utilize for SEO campaigns. Usually, press releases are used together with email, social media, and SEO to enhance the online visibility of the brand.  

Especially for ed tech marketing, press releases are a popular way providers reach both national and international audiences. Some of the most popular new resources for the ed tech industry include EdSurge, Edtech Digest, Education Week, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Inside Higher Ed.

We revisit the language learning platform DuoLingo for yet another great example of edtech digital marketing. In our example above DuoLingo uses the latest research to create a fact-based PR invaluable for audiences in terms of learning popular languages, trending phrases, and what motivates people to learn a new language. 

7. Content Marketing to Engage, Attract and Retain the User

The real growth of a higher education marketing campaign is tied to the quality content that engages, attracts, and retains audiences. Popular brands including Udemy and Coursera consistently improve their content marketing to encourage repeat visits while looking to continually convert leads over time.  

Many edtech providers outsource content marketing to professionals who are better equipped to create high-quality valuable content. The great thing about ed tech is that all types of content resonate with the audiences including ebooks, blogs, videos, infographics, podcasts, webinars, and white papers. 

Online education platform Newsela (appears again in the next section), is an outstanding example of edtech content marketing. The platform offers educational blogs, training videos, and other resources that enable teachers and administrators to enhance education delivery. 

The brand constantly publishes high-value content retaining its audience while consistently nurturing them to convert. 

8. Attractive Video Marketing

HubSpot identified in recent research that video is the number one form of content that audiences enjoy. Video is by far one of the most powerful tools for ed tech marketing via apps like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, etc. YouTube for instance had a potential reach of almost 3 billion users in October 2022, with a large number of US audiences within the 19-29-year-old age range. 

Short video content is the most compelling form of content that education tech providers can use to attract audiences, resolving their pain points with an audio-visual demonstration of your products. Video marketing can answer complex questions like what the audience’s pain points are, what are the solutions to these pain points, and what the audience can expect from different solutions.

Edtech services can also create video demos solving customer pain points in real-time, demonstrating why customers should choose their services. In addition, videos can also be used as tutorials, and guides, and used to announce new product features.

NewsELA, an online education platform, is a remarkable example of a brilliant video marketing campaign to attract teachers and educational institutions. With a great variety of educational, promotional, and tutorial content, the platform attracts users through its simple animated videos while featuring the brand consistently through its content. 

9. Webinar Marketing Engages Audiences in Real-Time

Webinars are a very engaging and powerful content marketing strategy for ed tech. Webinars allow ed tech providers to create discussions around important trending topics and important developments within the ed tech industry.

Webinars are also an important element of brand awareness and increasing reach to a larger audience connected to speakers, influencers, and prominent academics. Webinars bring prestige, visibility, and credibility to an edtech brand and provide an interactive event to nurture leads while building trust. 

A recent study identified that marketers not only identify webinars as an essential element of their marketing campaign but also as the most cost-effective means of acquiring high-quality leads. Webinars lower cost per lead and have a 73% lead conversion potential, according to Webinar Care.

10. Podcast Marketing

Now boasting almost 385 million podcast listeners across the world and 75% awareness in the US about podcasting, podcast marketing has become a leading source of creating brand awareness and growing conversions. 

One-third of American audiences listen to podcasts regularly, with 22% listening while they drive. A great digital marketing tool for ed tech, podcasts are very popular among the 13 to 24-year-old age group according to Edison Research. 

The same research also indicates that podcast listeners in the US tend to have at least a bachelor’s degree and live in a household with an income of over $75,000. For edtech podcast marketing is a brilliant opportunity to reach one of their ideal audiences.

The EduTechGuys channel is a shining example of an entertaining yet highly informative edtech podcast. Hosts David Henderson and Jeff Madlock identify trending edtech solutions and interview popular academics and US education administrators for their audiences.  

11. Adapting to Technological Trends

Adapting to technological trends is a cornerstone of success. It ensures relevance, efficiency, and innovation. To thrive, EdTech businesses must leverage the power of emerging technologies to reach and engage their target audience.

Establishing a user-friendly website and optimizing it for search engines enhances visibility. Leverage social media platforms and digital marketing strategy for edtech to connect with educators, students, and parents, fostering a community around your brand.

EdTech companies can personalize their offerings by understanding user behavior and providing tailored solutions. Implementing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning can enhance the learning experience, offering adaptive content and personalized recommendations.

12. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Integration

Artificial intelligence (AI) integration with Edtech is an unseen potential yet to be discovered entirely. AI offers personalized learning experiences, adapting content based on user behavior and preferences.

AI can also provide educators with recommendations to meet student needs and help teachers reflect, plan, and improve their practice.

By analyzing vast datasets, AI enables precise audience targeting and optimizes advertising efforts. AI-powered chatbots enhance customer support, providing instant assistance and improving user engagement.

AI-driven analytics provide valuable insights into student performance, helping develop tailored educational solutions. Implementing AI not only enhances the efficiency of content delivery but also positions an EdTech business as innovative and tech-forward.

AI integration becomes a strategic advantage, enhancing Edtech business growth by meeting the evolving needs of educators and learners alike.

13. Measuring and Adjusting Strategies

Measuring and adjusting digital marketing strategies are integral steps for the growth of an EdTech business. Utilizing key performance indicators (KPIs) such as website traffic, conversion rates, and user engagement allows for assessing campaign effectiveness.

Analyzing these metrics provides insights into what works and what needs improvement. Regularly monitoring social media analytics and user interactions helps refine content strategies to align with audience preferences.

Moreover, feedback loops, surveys, and user reviews contribute valuable qualitative data for adjustment. A/B testing can optimize various elements, from ad creatives to landing pages, ensuring the most impactful approach. 

Flexibility is crucial; adapting strategies based on real-time data ensures that marketing efforts remain aligned with evolving trends and user behaviors.

How Does a Digital Marketing Agency Help Ed Tech Companies to Generate Leads?

Digital marketing agencies bring the essential knowledge and expertise to create highly efficient lead-generation models for edtech businesses. 

Using multiple digital marketing tactics across different channels including social media, email, PPC, SEO, and content marketing, a digital marketing agency attracts the right audience to your marketing funnel. 

Digital marketing agencies can offer tested brand awareness strategies that ed tech businesses require to enhance recognition across new markets. For ed tech businesses, engaging the services of a digital marketing agency can be highly cost-effective since they can save on marketing budgets and automation tools.

ThinkOrion offers edtech providers a centralized, cost-efficient digital marketing solution to feature their brand across the online landscape. Our experienced team of digital professionals creates unique digital marketing strategies for your edtech business to grow sustainably. 

Our team’s professional expertise covers multiple areas of edtech marketing campaigns, including paid advertising, SEO, LinkedIn marketing, influencer marketing, and more. We develop your specialized edtech marketing campaigns through in-depth industry research for     

Final Thoughts

Digital marketing remains one of the core aspects of the ed tech sectors. Developing an effective digital marketing strategy is necessary for an Edtech business to grow, given the competition & clustered nature of the industry. 

Attracting, engaging, and retaining customers in a highly competitive sector also requires the essential framework and tools to induce consistent growth in an Edtech business. 

A wide array of strategies, including SEO paid marketing, podcasting, webinars, content marketing, etc., are already being leveraged by ed tech businesses to enhance their brand reach while increasing conversions over time.