The goal of most ads and other marketing content is to sell a product or service. One way to do that is to use emotional appeal, leading with aesthetics and feelings. The other is to focus on how a product or service works, articulating its advantages. That’s informational marketing.
Informational marketing is an effective strategy that educates prospects and customers about your product—and convinces them that it’s something they need and can use.
Essentially, it explains exactly what your product or service is by highlighting its facts, features, and statistics and distills complex information or processes to create a smooth customer journey.
HubSpot sums it up like this. “Informational marketing displays details about a product or service. Simply put, it educates your audience about the basics — including how you stand out from competitors, where your product is sold, and your product’s core features.”
Informational marketing is about educating customers. It helps familiarize people with processes and features they might not otherwise understand. For that reason, it can be especially effective for feature-rich products, such as appliances, tech gadgets, cars, or companies with complex service offerings. But informational marketing offers many benefits to brands in other industries.
Why use informational marketing?
Fact-based advertising is effective. Marketing Schools reports that in a long-term study of how people respond to advertisements, the Journal of Business Research found that informational advertisements were received most positively when the viewer not only viewed the data as rational but also credible.
The benefits of informational marketing.
As marketers, we often lean toward making emotional connections with our prospects by articulating our brand story and engaging customers by telling them how they will feel when they use our product or how our service will solve their problems. But focusing on the facts can be beneficial to brand strategy, too. Informational marketing can help.
Build a strong brand reputation.
We know that today’s consumers have grown suspicious of advertising and value transparency from the brands they support. Using facts and figures in advertising helps promote your product in a reliable, straightforward manner, which builds trust and brand authority.
Educate customers and prospects.
While this ad from the FDA’s “The Real Cost Campaign” does play on human emotion, its power comes from simply outlining the facts about the dangers and consequences of using smokeless tobacco.
Differentiate your product.
Not only can you use informational marketing to provide facts and statistics about your product. You can also use that data to create a compelling side-by-side comparison of your product vs. competitors.
Because informational marketing focuses on the facts and features of your product—not merely promoting your brand or its reputation—this type of advertising can help drive interest in and demand for your product.
This example from Keurig demonstrates that informational marketing can be engaging. By showing how the brand’s signature brew process works in an intriguing and compelling way.
Tips for successful informational marketing.
HubSpot advises that “the point of informational marketing is to help your audience find what they’re looking for through the content you create.” So, give your audience what they want by framing your informational content using these simple guidelines.
- Present accurate facts and figures using the most recent data available.
- Present the information with confidence and authority.
- Finally, make it easy for users to glean information by using infographics, uncluttered graphics, and clear, concise copy.
This example from Instacart’s website shows how combining graphics with text explains the process—and the advantages such as multiple-order locations and no busy fees—all within one simple frame. This piece is effective because it provides the essential details to help customers feel more at ease with making a purchase decision.
In addition to display ads, informational marketing can take many forms. Think e-books, how-to videos (on your website and social channels), and brochures. These tools can present the details about a product or service and explain what sets it apart from other products or services in the industry, reinforcing your brand advantage.
Informational marketing can help simplify and distill complex information about your product or service offerings, making customers feel more familiar with and connected to your brand. And that’s the ultimate goal of brand marketing.