As an edtech entrepreneur you’re well aware of the unique challenges of selling to the K12 market. As difficult as it is, building a product that addresses student needs, empowers teachers, and satisfies administrative concerns is only half the battle. Introducing schools and districts to your product and convincing them to adopt and implement your technology solutions can be equally challenging.
Your website is a core component to your overall marketing and sales strategy, and will be the first place teachers and administrators turn to learn more about your product. Given the crucial role marketing plays in your success, and how important your website is to your overall marketing and sales efforts, are you confident your making the most of your site?
Below are ten features top edtech companies include on their websites:
The best edtech companies make it immediately clear what their product does and its primary benefits. With the profusion of new edtech products entering the market every day, educators and administrators are increasingly overwhelmed at the prospect of making decisions regarding what solutions are right for their school. As they conduct their research and land on your site, make it very clear how your product can help. If they’re confused at the outset, they may not have the patience to read through longer product intros, get frustrated, and ultimately move on to competitor sites.
Savvy edtech companies formulate clear, one-sentence product overview statements and post them front and center on their home page.
Videos, more than any other medium, have the unique ability to connect with and inspire viewers. If you have a great product, it won’t be difficult to put together a 1-2 minute video that communicates the challenge that your product addresses, how your product works, and its beneficial outcomes, all in a compelling and visually delightful manner. A well-produced video takes the very best of your marketing messaging and wraps it in an easily-digestible, well-paced package that you present to your viewers. Moreover, when done well, videos are some of the most highly-shareable content across social media platforms.
“If you have a good video that demonstrates the effectiveness of any service we’re considering we’ll watch it.”
Smart edtech companies recognize the value of well-produced video, and gift their users with an engaging product overview video.
This may seem like a no-brainer, and it is. Telling users what your product does, how it works, and what features are included should constitute the core content of any edtech site. But many companies do this poorly. The best sites do a great job of presenting product features clearly, giving users enough information to get a solid understanding, but not so much that it reads like product documentation. When possible, show, don’t tell. Features are laid out in a logical progression, and the design isn’t too cutesy. Here’s where we see a lot of edtech companies tripping up with their marketing site—when they try to get a little too adventurous with their site design. Remember that your purpose is to introduce your product, so don’t let your website get in the way.
The best edtech websites do a great job of present product features in a clean, intelligible manner.
As educators and administrators are evaluating your product, it’s extremely valuable for them to hear from others who have already worked with it. This not only lends credibility, but also helps address the question of how well it works in an actual classroom environment. Is it easy to setup? Are there technical glitches? Is it hard to learn? What kind of data does it return? And perhaps most importantly, what kinds of outcomes have they seen as a result of using the product.
Top edtech companies have a library of positive case studies at their disposal, and include the best on their website.
With limited school budgets, administrators are tasked with making difficult decisions about what edtech they will invest in. One of the most persuasive arguments for any product is to prove its effectiveness by presenting them with solid data. When possible, these are results gathered by third-parties over a large sample size.
The top edtech companies commission studies to measure effectiveness, then post the results so users can’t miss them on their websites.
As with any good marketing website, it’s best practice to include clear calls to action throughout your site. Commonly included at the bottom of most pages, good calls to action include a large, obvious button along with a brief message of encouragement. Give users an idea as to what the next step is in the process if they’re interested in your product. Will someone follow up with them by email? Phone? Will you present a demo? Tell them what to expect.
The best edtech websites always include clear and obvious calls to action.
When new users are introduced to your product, they want to have some reassurance that your company is reputable and trustworthy. One of the best ways to lend credibility is to communicate any association your company has with more recognized brands. Do you have some well-known and highly reputable investors backing you? Do you partner with other companies that are more established in the edtech world? Do have some recognizable users as clients, or a significant volume of users that you can tout?
Top edtech companies have established significant relationships with other reputable brands and leverage those relationships to lend credibility.
Educators want to know that your company has solid, well-founded expertise in educational theory, and that your expertise serves as the basis for your product. One of the best ways to prove your expertise is through thoughtful, timely, and insightful articles posted directly to your site. These can come in the form of blog entries, white papers, webinars, and more. This content not only helps to establish your team’s credibility, but also serves as invaluable lead-generation tools.
Top edtech companies produce quality content and regularly post it to their websites.
Here’s one feature that can have immediate benefits, and that not enough edtech companies are taking advantage of—create downloadable resource guides for your product. By doing so, you make it easy for educators to share your product and its benefits with their peers. Additionally, a quick start guide can be a very effective way to communicate just how easy it is to get up and running with your product. ClassDojo is one company that does an incredibly good job with these printable resources.
The best edtech companies offer downloadable getting started guides that are easy to print and share.
Sometimes users aren’t quite ready to take the next step but want to learn more about your product. In these cases they will be less inclined to follow a “Get Started” call to action link. For these users, it's important to communicate that your team is available and will be as helpful as possible in their decision-making process. Give them a way to reach out without feeling like they’re going to be pressured by sales.
The top edtech companies adopt a helpful tone for users in the decision-making process.
There’s a good chance that you’ve already included many of the features listed here on your website. But consider which of these are absent from your site now, and work them into your next website update. Also consider what features you could execute on much better than you are now.
It’s in your best interest to take full advantage of your website’s marketing potential. Is your site working as hard as it could be for you?
Kevin Barr is the managing partner at Pinkston Digital. He possesses a unique blend of creative, technical, and business insight, which he brings to bear as he guides projects from inception to completion. For more articles from Kevin and the rest of our team, subscribe to our newsletter: