How To Sell Edtech Products to Parents
Marketing to parents can be challenging. They buy a lot for their kids, but they also have many options and can be easily distracted when making choices. Reaching parents through marketing relies on money, time, and in most cases, a combination of both of those things. So successfully figuring out how to sell edtech products to parents involves research and continual testing and optimizations so you're not wasting time or money.
Here are 9 ideas for how to sell edtech products to parents:
Reach Out to Your Network
The easiest place to start is to ensure your network of parents knows about your product. Give away some free trials to get feedback, users, and testimonials. Post on your social media channels or Facebook groups you're part of. Just get the word out!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If your product is something that people might seek solutions for, then SEO is a worthwhile tactic. For example, there are around 20 Google searches per month for "how to improve my child's reading level." Although the number is small, this indicates that parents go online to search for ways to help their children read. If your edtech product helps with that, then optimizing your website for search (SEO) could be worthwhile. SEO involves:
Creating webpages that are easy to navigate
Having helpful original content on your website
Demonstrating your expertise on a topic
Including keywords people search for on your website, which you can get from a tool like Ubersuggest
Organic Instagram or TikTok
Parents spend a lot of time on social media, increasingly on Instagram and TikTok. They are usually scrolling for entertainment but they also research and find new brands and products. Spending time on Instagram or TikTok will help get the word out about your edtech product, especially if you share short-form videos. Keep in mind that you can't just passively post on social media platforms; you will need to engage. Social media algorithms favor accounts that spend time on the platforms by posting frequently (at least five days a week) and engaging with others by following, liking, and commenting.
User Generated Content (UGC)
Parents value recommendations from their friends, so encouraging people to share and post about your edtech product online will go a long way. After someone becomes a customer, send them an email encouraging them to share photos of their child using your product or screenshots from the product with a tag to your social media account or using a hashtag you provide. Use that as an opportunity to engage back and build a community on social media.
Mentions in press outlets are a beneficial way to get your name out to a large crowd. Consider what you can say related to your company or product that will benefit others. People will be more interested in reading about people than your company. For example:
Share a story about how and why you founded the company
Share stories profiling children and families your product has helped
Release interesting data your edtech product collects
To get your brand in the press, you can join Qwoted and HARO, free services where journalists look for article contributions. You can also find journalists who write about topics related to your product, follow them on social media, and engage with them. Then over time, send them an email and pitch your story. Or, you can hire a PR agency or freelancer to increase your chances of being selected for an article. They will have the expertise, time, and relationships with the media to take this off your hands.
One way to reach new audiences is to partner with a company that sells to parents but with a non-competing product. You can each promote your product to your social media followings or email lists, run an event together, or integrate your products somehow. These take a while to form but can be worthwhile.
Explore local in-person events where you can reach parents. For example, an event at the library, with a PTA, or something that you host on your own to invite parents and kids to try out your edtech product.
Advertise in targeted online newsletters to get your brand in front of parents—for example, a local town newsletter or a parent-oriented digital publication like Macaroni Kid.
Google and Instagram ads
The most expensive way to market to parents is to advertise online. You can advertise on Google if people search for phrases related to what your edtech product does or if they are searching for competitor products. You can advertise to parents more specifically on Instagram, even if they are not searching for you. Advertising on these platforms can be tricky to set up and know if they are working if you are new to digital marketing. We recommend hiring a freelancer or agency to manage online advertising.
Which marketing ideas should your edtech company implement?
The easy part is coming up with ideas for how to sell educational products to parents. The hard part is figuring out which ones will work for your company. There is no one size fits all marketing plan for an edtech company. "Parents" is a broad market, and edtech companies sell to different types of parents. So identify which types of parents are your ideal customer. Who buys from you and recommends you? What do they have in common? Look at the data you collect when they sign up or buy from you. If you don't have enough data, send a survey or include polls in your newsletters to gather more information. Find out how many kids they have, what age they are, what state or zip code they live in, and why they purchased your product.
When you have an idea of your best customers, reach out to some and talk to them! Try to get a hold of 10 of your customers. You may need to offer them a free month of your product or a gift card to incentivize them to talk to you. Ask them questions to help you figure out where to reach other parents like them in your marketing. For example:
How did you find our product?
Where did you look to find a product like ours?
How do you find out about products you buy your kids?
What are some of your favorite newsletters, websites, or social media accounts related to being a parent?
Listen for commonalities in what they say to help you narrow in on where to market. Start with a couple of marketing ideas that you run consistently for three to six months. During that time, evaluate their performance and make slight adjustments to see if you can improve performance. Start small with your marketing and then expand to more ideas.
Determining how to sell edtech products to parents is unique for every company. The fastest way to be successful in your marketing is to identify what type of parent your best customer is and get ideas from them on reaching other similar parents. Then try new marketing ideas a little over time, playing close attention to how they are performing and how you can improve upon them over time.