Here’s what you need to know about learning centres and how they can benefit your business.
A learning centre (or knowledge centre as some call it) is a section on your website where you provide educational content such as articles, eBooks, infographics, videos, etc.
It’s a powerful tool that will educate your prospects about your products and services during the buyers’ journey.
By providing relevant and timely information, you will build trust and credibility with your audience, which can lead to increased sales and loyalty.
Increased trust makes the selling easier.
The goal of a learning centre is to provide valuable information that will help your audience make informed decisions about your products or services.
Do I need a Learning Centre?
In today’s digital world, customers are doing more research than ever, before making a purchase.
In fact, on average, buyers are 80% through their journey before they reach out to you or your sales people. They will research a product or service online and have made a lot of their purchase decision before getting in touch.
Your buyers don’t need you or your sales team until they’re at least 80% of the way through the buying process.
They’ll do their research on the products and services you sell, and look at your reviews and cases studies, and only if they think it’s worth it will they make themselves known.
The buyer now has almost all of the power.
If you’re not talking about it on your website, the buyer goes back to Google, and in a few seconds they end up on your competitor’s website. Because your competitor is answering the buyer’s most important questions in their learning centre.
That’s why it’s so important to have a learning centre on your website, so you can be the number one educator in your space, earning trust like never before.
Learning Centre vs Blog – what’s the difference?
So of course, there are many businesses out there that just have a blog to organise their content.
But, by building a learning centre on your website, you create an area on your website that organises all the content that your target buyers will ever need.
The learning centre stops your buying content being easily diluted by lots of irrelevant content like industry news and other non-buyer questions.
- The Learning Hub on your website is to help buyers find ‘buying content’ quickly and easily – i.e. content to help answer their buying questions.
- The Blog is for everything else, eg content not focused on answering buyers questions, like company news, industry news etc.
Don’t confuse buyers by putting non-buying content in the Learning Centre.
If you’re not answering the real buyer questions on your website, you are making it significantly harder for your target buyers to know, like and trust you, and your leads are more likely to continue to stagnate, or dry up.
I’d strongly recommend you take a closer look at creating a learning centre. If you’re interested in learning more, please take a look at my summary of They Ask, You Answer – a very useful sales and marketing framework that will lay out how you need to educate your target audience.
A learning centre will build trust
A benefit of having a learning centre on your website is that it helps you build trust with your target audience.
When you provide helpful, informative content, it shows that you’re an expert in your industry and that you care about helping your target audience solve their problems.
Over time, this builds trust between you and your audience, which can eventually lead to sales.
A learning centre improves SEO
Another benefit of a learning centre is that it can help improve your website’s SEO – I call it People-first SEO.
This is one of the biggest benefits and side effects of a successful learning centre.
A learning centre provides an opportunity to add fresh, keyword-rich content to your site on a regular basis.
This not only helps Google and other search engines index your site more frequently, but it also provides searchers with more relevant results when they’re looking for information related to your business.
How do we create a Learning Centre?
Creating a learning centre is relatively simple.
But if you don’t have one, don’t let it slow you down.
The most important thing is to start answering the common questions of your customers in enough depth, in a way that is different to most blogs.
The kinds of articles that you’ll be writing for your ideal buyers are much better placed in a learning centre than a blog.
When it comes to creating content, don’t be a perfectionist.
If using your blog means there’s going to be one less hurdle between you and publishing content this week, then start by creating a post on your blog.
Then create your new learning centre once you’ve got consistency and momentum in creating quality content that your buyers crave.
Just start writing helpful content, of it you prefer, do it on video first.
The first steps to writing your content:
- First, you need to identify the topics that you want to create content about. The best way is to brainstorm the questions that your prospects are asking your sales people during the sales process.
- Create high-quality content that will be helpful to your audience. Write a blog post that has the exact same title as the question your prospect is asking. Don’t add in any other headline fluff. Do it in their own words, not yours.
- Create content that will discuss the buyer’s questions in enough depth, in a completely unbiased non-salesy manner. We’re not talking about a couple of paragraphs, unless of course that’s the most you can write. Your learning centre content
- Publish – once you have created your content, all you need to do is add it to your website.
- Transition to Learning Centre – Later when you’ve got good momentum with the content you’re creating, it could be time to transition the content to a Learning Centre. If you don’t have the time or resources to create content your learning centre, there are many companies that offer content marketing services that can help.
Can a learning centre directly generate leads?
A lead is a potential customer who has expressed interest in your product or service.
A lead typically provides their contact information in exchange for receiving valuable content from you.
Once you have their email address information, you can at least try to help them further, often by sending helpful emails full of wonderful advice. Or if you have their phone number they might like to speak to you.
How can a learning centre create leads?
A learning centre is the perfect place to generate leads because it’s full of high-quality content that your target audience will find useful.
Whether they find your content from Google, or from a link on another part of your site, if your content is good enough, you have an opportunity right on that page to offer them something in exchange for a free lead magnet.
Like a buyer’s guide. To download it, visitors would need to provide their name and email address.
In the past, many business did things like “the top 9 ways to do XXX to avoid YYYYY”, but whatever you’re giving away you need to make sure it’s giving a lot of value. Someone’s email address is very valuable to them, so they won’t give it to you lightly.
When I worked with a bifold/sliding door supplier, they had a very successful guide called “7 Secrets Other Bifold Door Suppliers Won’t Tell You”.
I also work with EDEMO Electric Bikes who have a very successful buyer’s guide for the £4k-£10k Riese & Muller electric bikes they provide.
Or, for example, let’s say you run an eCommerce store that sells eco-friendly cleaning products.
You could create an eBook titled “The Ultimate Guide to Green Cleaning” and offer it for free in your learning centre. BUT is that really that valuable? Your guide will be valuable if it can provide direct help in their buying decision. That guide to green cleaning isn’t related closely enough.
Good idea -> “7 Secrets Other Bifold Door Suppliers Won’t Tell You”
Good idea -> “Buyers Guide: Riese & Muller electric bikes”
Not a great idea, not that exciting -> “The Ultimate Guide to Green Cleaning”
Once you have their contact information, you can follow up with them, give them even more valuable content and attempt to build the trust and relationship, and give them plenty of reasons to convert them into a paying customer.
If you offer paid products or services on your website, you can use the content in your learning centre to promote these offerings.
For example, let’s say you sell online courses teaching people how to start their own businesses.
You could create a guide in your learning centre titled “10 Steps to Starting Your Own Business.”
At the end of the guide, you could include a call-to-action (CTA) promoting your course and linking to its sales page.
By including CTAs like this in your learning centre content, you can increase sales and revenue for your business.
If you don’t have a learning centre on your website yet, now is the perfect time to create one.
A learning centre is an online resource where visitors can access educational content—such as blog posts, infographics, guides, eBooks, courses—that has been created by experts in the field.
Not only does a learning centre help establish trust with potential customers, but it can also generate leads and drive sales for your business.
So what are you waiting for?
Start creating useful content for your very own learning centre today.
It’s extremely common for companies who invest in content marketing, to not get momentum and results, and instead get hundreds of unengaging blog posts, and not much else. I’m Mark Reynolds and I help businesses avoid the creation of biased, sales based content that turns people off, and instead help them to create content that truly solves their buyer’s problems, earning more trust, leads, sales and more sustainable growth.