Why “Learning Centers,” Not Blogs, are the Next Big Thing for Content Marketing

by Marcus Sheridan

learning_in_the_digital_age

As many of you know, I’ve never liked the word “blog.”

Why? Mainly because the word itself devalues what the action is supposed to be, and the impact it can potentially have for businesses that embrace the practice properly.

I’m not the only one who feels this though, as I’ve talked with many companies over the past few years that not only dislike the phrase, but hate putting it as a main option on their website’s navigation bar.  These feelings make total sense if you think about it, especially for those companies looking for a word that better encapsulates *all* their content, in all its forms.

It is for this reason, more and more businesses are developing “Learning Centers”—a place that not only includes blog articles, but the rest of their content as well. Here is how it works:

The Evolution of Teaching and Communicating (i.e. Marketing) in *Their* Language

Some consumers (you and me) love to read content. Others want to watch videos or listen to podcasts. And then there are folks that utilize all 3 learning methods, depending on the situation.
Great companies and brands understand this reality, and therefore the need to produce content in all of these forms so as to make the greatest connection with their consumer base.

But once a company “gets it,” the different types of content that can produced is profound:

  • Blog articles
  • Videos
  • Webinars
  • Podcasts
  • White Papers
  • eBooks
  • etc.

With so many ways to do this thing we call “content marketing,” a Learning Center on a company’s website becomes a natural means whereby to allow all your content to live in one place so that web visitors can find what they’re looking for and find it quickly.

How to Create a Powerful Learning Center for your Web Visitors: Health Catalyst

To show you a company that is doing this at a very advanced level we’ll look at the example of Health Catalyst (client), a Healthcare Analytics Company out of Utah.

At the top of their Learning Center, Health Catalysts explains to visitors a simple drag and drop method of collecting and sharing the shown content.

At the top of their Learning Center, Health Catalysts explains to visitors a simple drag and drop method of collecting and sharing the shown content.

Despite the fact that Health Catalyst has only been fully engaged in content marketing for about 1 year, their dedication to this side of their business development has been astounding, led by the visionary leadership Senior Vice President, Paul Horstmeier. The image below shows the Learning Center page for Health Catalyst, clearly demonstrating all of the  unique types of content the company has created for their customers, prospects and web visitors.

Content Marketing Learning Center

Whether a visitor wants to read, watch, or listen to their content, Health Catalyst has given them an array of options to learn in *their* preferred learning style

I could go into a long explanation of how producing such incredible content in all of these different areas has impacted Health Catalyst’s bottom line, but suffice to say they’ve had an astounding return on investment and are already viewed as an industry leader in their space, despite some of the Goliaths that they have to compete with on a daily basis.

Going forward, more and more companies are going to have literal “Learning Centers” on their websites as they embrace the power of content and produce it in as many forms as effectively possible. This is what consumers want, and just like everything else in the digital age, industry leaders will be made by those that can do it well, and do it first.




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