The teachers, educators and designers at TED recently launched an educational platform called TED-Ed on a dedicated YouTube channel. Unlike the 15-18 minute inspiring lectures that TED is known for, TED-Ed offers short, animated videos designed with students and teachers in mind. The lessons are more specific in regard to content and could easily be used to supplement classroom curriculum. While exploring TED-Ed I stumbled upon this gem.

I doubt the lesson was written with instructional designers in mind, but anyone who creates educational media should take note. Learning objectives should take priority over demonstrating your own mastery of the material and impressive vocabulary. The goal is to find that sweet spot between interest/engagement and overwhelming your learners.

How do you do this? Know your audience!

Having trouble seeing how this applies to you as a small business owner?

Let's start with a simple question and work back from there:

What do you use your business' web site and other marketing collateral for?

The easy answer is right there in the question... to market your business! But let's dig a little deeper. Web sites, brochures and even advertisements are also educational tools. As a small business owner you use these tools to educate and inform your potential customers about what you do and how you can help them.

Knowing your audience is the same thing as knowing your customers.

So when creating these marketing tools, don't hem and haw, fret and flounder, over the content development process. Ask yourself, what do my customers need to know to do business with me? Start there.

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