Top 2016 Tips for Professional Services Firms: Focus on Content & Digital
Marketing a professional services firm often involves B2B communications as much or more than direct to consumer marketing. In that regard, one of the greatest challenges is often a matter of identifying highly targeted marketing communications tools and avoiding the costly error of disseminating your message to too broad of an audience. A few months ago, Advertising Age published a compilation of 2015 spending trends* for B2B marketers. Many of them are certainly enlightening and a few, in my opinion, stand out as worth considering when you are planning strategic B2B activities and evaluating resource allocations for 2016.
48% of B2B marketers plan to increase digital spending.
Current digital opportunities extend far beyond placing an online ad on a particular website, such as those owned by an industry organization or trade media. Not to imply that this cannot be a sound choice in many situations, but there are complementary tactics that can stretch your digital budget. Through various methods, targeted digital display advertising allows you to reach prospects who are searching for what you offer, engaging with relevant online content, visiting topical sites or investigating your firm. Add in the ability to utilize geographic and demographic targeting and you’ve defined a very specific audience whose attention you’ve deemed worthy of the cost of an ad.
Once in front of this targeted audience, digital advertising offers several distinct advantages over traditional communications channels. Metrics are readily available and results are trackable. This is a huge factor and provides valuable tools to help answer those inevitable questions about the ROI of your marketing activities. Similarly, as you monitor real time results, creative options can be optimized based on the performance you’re seeing and ads can be traded out or adjusted on the fly.
Content marketing was ranked as the top digital priority by nearly 70% of B2B marketers.
Establishing yourself and your team as credible thought leaders in your industry can often be a critical differentiator for your company and creating and sharing relevant original content is an important contributor in achieving that status. When advertising or search engine marketing drives traffic to your site, what will visitors find? What do you have to push out on social media or other outbound communication channels? To build their library of meaningful content, many firms are dedicating efforts to blogging or white paper programs. The most challenging factor in making these programs a success is getting firm wide buy-in. While not every member of your team may turn into a regular blogger, the wider the variety of authors and topics, the more robust your content offering.
*Statistics published in B-TO-B Fact Pack from Advertising Age
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