Education is all about communication. So, it’s no surprise that this sector lends itself to producing copy – and lots of it!
Effective education copywriting isn’t easy. There are often several stakeholders, with multiple people feeding into a large volume of content. This can quickly result in disjointed, inconsistent material which lacks a common strategy or voice.
A typical pitfall with education copywriting is to focus too much on factual information – often expressed in dry, academic language. This tends to be at the expense of promoting other valuable aspects of education organisations, like USPs and specific benefits for the user.
However, it doesn’t need to be this way! There are many examples of innovative, inspiring education copywriting that has a strong identity, voice and purpose.
Great examples of education copywriting
To understand what’s involved in successful education copywriting, let’s take a look at a few examples.
As one of the largest international publishers, Pearson’s Home page has an inclusive feel whilst being inspiring and aspirational at the same time. Its content also emphasises the joy, or magic, of learning and what it can help individuals achieve:
“Whether it’s at home, in the classroom, or in the workplace, learning is a never-ending road of discovery, challenge, inspiration, and wonder. At Pearson, we create tools that provide opportunities for learners at every stage of their journey. Because wherever learning flourishes, so do people.”
2) Westbourne Independent School
This school regularly tops the league tables for performance. Its About page has an aspirational tone, yet rather than focusing exclusively on academic performance it also packs in a range of other benefits of the school:
“Westbourne is an independent, co-educational boarding and day school delivering excellence in education for 2-18 year olds.
Offering academic excellence coupled with strong pastoral care within a smaller school setting, Westbourne is located in the seaside town of Penarth, just minutes from the Welsh capital of Cardiff and voted one of the top ten places to live in the UK by the Sunday Times.”
This site is a fantastic example of benefit-led education copywriting. With a ‘community’ feel and many contributors being former teachers, this organisation’s Home page adopts an inclusive, practical and supportive tone:
“We believe in the power of great teaching. We’re a team of professionals, including many former teachers, who really care about education and for more than 100 years, we’ve supported educators to inspire generations of pupils. Whether you’re newly-qualified, an experienced teacher, support staff or a school leader, you’ll find us by your side at every stage of your teaching journey; providing you with the information, products and training you need to succeed…”
4) LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com)
This site’s Why eLearning for businesses? page neatly spells out the benefits of using its online learning service with a combination of statistics and concise statements:
Develop managers and leaders: Only 13 percent of all companies say they do an excellent job developing leaders at all levels.
Keep employees productive: A significant 67 percent of learners said LinkedIn Learning helped make them more comfortable using digital tools.
Upskill your entire workforce: Roughly 35 percent of core job skills will change by 2020. Competitive organizations must adapt.”
What can you learn from these examples?
The number 1 rule of effective education copywriting is to avoid unnecessary detail and to have the user’s needs at the forefront of your mind.
You should also avoid using academic jargon. Many readers won’t be familiar with academic language, so focus on language your readers will understand. Use clear, unambiguous terms so your reader knows what you’re offering. The LinkedIn Learning example uses concise, no-nonsense statements to communicate its message to readers.
It’s also important to write in a voice that’s inclusive and doesn’t alienate your readers. Avoid overly formal language or content that could be interpreted as patronising by your target audience, for example. TES does a great job of this, creating an inclusive feel that’s aimed just as much at new recruits as old-timers.
Don’t be afraid to emphasise the benefits of your organisation, using emotive language where appropriate to engage the reader. Just because your organisation deals with academia, doesn’t mean there isn’t a human side to things. Show this to your readers and they’re more likely to relate to you and respond. The school example illustrates this nicely, emphasising perks for students of the surrounding local area.
Another vital point is to be consistent – adopt a clear style and tone of voice and ensure all contributors to your content are following it. The use of brand voice guidelines and a house style guide will help ensure staff are clear about key elements of your content.
Follow this advice for effective education copywriting that allows you to communicate in a clear and consistent way with your target audience.