Edtech is a growing sector with over a thousand companies in England alone supplying edtech products and services.
That number is only set to grow. Edtech is one of the fastest growing sectors in Europe with the industry reporting 72 per cent growth in the UK in 2020.
Not surprisingly, then, the UK is also at the centre of Europe’s edtech investment. Nearly half (41 per cent) of edtech investment has gone to UK start-ups with nearly £92m invested in 2020.
>See also: E-marketing made easy
Importance of marketing in edtech
With such an opportunity for growth in the sector, how do you best market your start-up to maximise growth?
Marketing components for edtech start-ups can include blog posts, videos, email marketing, SEO and social media content. Successful edtech start-ups have also utilised affiliate marketing and referral programmes.
Founded by former prime minister Tony Blair’s son Euan, Multiverse is a provider of apprenticeship programmes at over 200 companies worldwide. The idea is to help apprentices from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds develop skills in areas such as data science and software engineering and match them with employers which offer the opportunity to upskill.
In 2021, the start-up broke the record for edtech funding, raising $220m (£182m).
Rachael Beckett, vice-president of marketing at the unicorn, told Growth Business: “Marketing at Multiverse presents a really exciting challenge. We’re operating both in the UK and US, and we have two very distinct audiences.
“We are talking about apprenticeships to young people, who are deciding where to go after they leave school [and] we see huge success on platforms like Instagram and TikTok. But we’re also speaking to businesses about the case for apprenticeships: the impact it can have on skills and diversity.
“We know that those audiences are aligned with our mission, so in the marketing team we’re always looking at ways to reach a wider audience and scale our operation.
Another successful edtech is similarly named Microverse, which allows anyone to gain software development skills and only once they land a job do they charge a fee for their educational services.
Microverse students span from countries all around the world, allowing companies to hire from a diverse community of skilled coders.
Meesen Brown, head of marketing at Microverse, says: “As Microverse is global, we have always had a digital-first focus, so the way we have marketed Microverse has mostly stayed the same since the pandemic.
“Something that is core to Microverse is our fantastic community of software developers worldwide, and there is a lot of power in the word of mouth that comes from them sharing their stories and Microverse experiences with others. We’ve recently been leaning into this to share and spread our students’ incredible stories.”
3 tips on how to stand out from the crowd
#1 – Hire the right people
“For any marketing team, getting the right people on board with the right skills is absolutely essential,” Beckett says. “We are hiring for many roles in our marketing team right now, and we seek out character, intelligence, coachability and track record. Those are four metrics that make up a great candidate who thrives in any environment.”
#2 – Identify your audience
“Identify your target audience; their demographics, interests, behaviours and goals,” Brown advises. “This will help you better understand their desires and pain points, articulate your value propositions and highlight how you solve them.
“Also, be mindful of the contemplation time for people considering your product/service, so you need to factor that into your strategy and identify critical touchpoints throughout the journey.”
#3 – Harness the power of social media
“We’ve always focused on spreading the word of our mission, helping talented people across the globe connect to international, remote opportunities,” Brown adds. “Since Microverse is available to people from every country around the world, we’ve taken a global approach rather than a local one from the start.
“Given we’re trying to reach our audience across so many countries, digital channels – specifically social channels – have been key growth drivers for us.”