How professional service businesses can demonstrate more value
Reports show only 63% of professional service firms engage in content marketing in even a small way. A statistic which is troubling.
Demonstrating knowledge and expertise is the most important part of marketing for businesses that trade on their education and experience. Content marketing is the fuel to help businesses truly connect with their audiences and show how they are best positioned to help, whether that be through events, presentations, newsletters, website content, blogs, newsletters, videos, podcasts or webinars.
Why is content important?
Content has been used for centuries to attract and engage audiences. Media companies have made billions, creating quality content that they can either sell or use to attract advertising revenue. Content for non-media companies, on the other hand, is just as valuable. It is a tool that, put simply, helps you attract and retain customers. Content helps you to:
- Position your firm’s services and differentiate against your competitors.
- Demonstrate your knowledge and expertise.
- Create authority and show yourself as a thought leader in your industry or sector.
- Build trust and reassurance.
- Generate valuable website traffic from people you want to do business with.
- Generate social engagement from clients and prospects.
- Support the sales process with valuable materials.
Developing your content strategy
Just churning out content without thought is a sure-fire way to wasted time and money. Many businesses create dull content about latest hires, company updates or office moves. While there is a place for updates like this, do you think your audience is going to be excited about them, let alone share them or talk about them? Your content strategy needs to be less self-indulgent, less focussed on YOU and more focussed on YOUR AUDIENCE. The only way to do that is through truly understanding what makes them tick, the challenges they face and the pains they are feeling. Here’re a few things to think about:
- Know your niche. Focus on topics you are experts in or work you do exceptionally well, don’t try and cover all bases. There will undoubtedly be bigger firms with more resource that can get away with an expansive content program. For most firms, there will be a handful of areas where they can genuinely position themselves as experts. Use this to your advantage.
- Start small and grow. Pick the content areas you feel you can excel in, distribute the content effectively and measure the results. Then use this reporting information to optimise your strategy and grow your content plan.
- Think beyond the blog. A blog is a great place to start, but think outside the box with your content creation, there are some ideas to get you started below.
- Aim high. A great way to scale your content strategy is to start off with one big piece such as a white paper or detailed guide, (this is often called long form content). This content can then be repurposed into an array of other smaller content pieces such as blogs, social posts, newsletters, and much more. This is a great way of getting more value out of your content marketing buck.
- Know your audience. Who are they? What do they do? Where do they hang out? What are their challenges? Creating a customer avatar is so valuable when developing your content strategy to ensure everything you produce is on point. Using assessment-based marketing helps you continually learn about your audience and gain valuable ideas for new content.
- Have goals and set KPIs. Do you want to generate social shares? Do you want more leads? Do you want more website visitors? By understanding what you want to achieve, and how you are going to measure success, you can ensure your content strategy is focussed and aligned with business objectives.
- Be topical. Even if you have the most detailed content plan, there will always be curveballs such as legislative updates or newsworthy stories. It’s important to make sure you stay relevant and show that your firm is on top of the latest changes in your industry.
- Make sure you have content for each stage of the buying journey to engage your audience and help improve the chance of conversion.
What content should you produce?
Be creative with your content strategy. Think about what you want to achieve and the best way to go about meeting these objectives. Case studies and employee profile pages are a great way to build trust, whereas blog posts, event presentations or white papers are excellent for demonstrating your knowledge and expertise.
To create compelling content it’s vital to truly understand your audience pain points. Supercharge your content marketing today by gaining powerful market intelligence with E5 Evaluate. Book a demo today to learn more about the power of assessment based marketing.