5 Keys to Content Marketing for Professional Service Firms
Content marketing can have massive impact, especially for professional services firms. However, as with any marketing initiative, you must have a strategy before you take the leap.
Few buzzwords are “buzzier” in marketing circles these days than content marketing. But there’s a reason for all the attention. Many companies are seeing content marketing initiatives have great success. Here are five keys that should be a part of any content marketing strategy:
Educate Before Selling - You’ll notice that this sub header does not say “never sell.” That’s because, for content marketing to be successful, you must drive sales. The catch is, you don’t drive sales by talking about sales. First, seek to understand what problems your target audience is facing. Then craft content that will educate them on how to solve those problems. Your audience will see you as an expert and will be much more willing to buy from you.
What’s Your Niche? - It’s not enough to call yourself a professional services firm. You need to find a niche that you can own…an area where you can be a thought leader or a problem solver. In his book Content, Inc., content marketing expert Joe Pulizzi gives an example of Sun Life Financial, who developed a microsite where they target “a family audience who has questions about money, healthcare, and other family financial issues." Their niche was defined, which helped them build out their strategy.
Have a Person in Mind - Really try to drill down to a target audience you’re trying to reach. If possible try to envision the type of person who would most likely interact with your content. What is their position in the company? What are their pain points? What questions do they have? If you have a specific person in mind, it will help you create content that will solve problems for your audience. This process is often referred to as creating “buyer personas.”
Communicate with Your Team - Content marketing is predicated on a smooth-running team. There must be open lines of communication across the different functions of your marketing department. The content creators have to know what the web analytics are saying. Your team has to be aware of the content schedule. Your email marketing must be in sync with the rest of your content strategy. There are many moving parts in content marketing, so cross-functional communication is imperative.
Follow the Right Metrics - In my last post, I discussed the most important metrics to follow on social media. In the same way, you must have the right metrics targeted to accurately gauge the success of your content marketing efforts. What are those metrics? Well, it all starts with one word – sales. Yes, as I said earlier, you must connect your content efforts to quantifiable sales goals for true success. Now there are other metrics like web traffic, social data and email subscriptions that can help you get there, but at the end of the day you must be driving sales with your content marketing efforts.
I’m a strong believer in the power of content marketing. In today’s world, you must prove to your customer that you know what you’re talking about before they are willing to buy from you. Is it something that will produce results overnight? No! But if you build a strategy and stay consistent, you will see a big payoff from your content marketing efforts.
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