In business, especially professional services, relationships and referrals are the key to business development. While personal referrals will also continue to play a major role in business development, according to HubSpot, 43% of all marketers have found a customer via LinkedIn in 2013. It took a few years for content marketing to catch on in the realm of professional services, but today a good content marketing strategy involves producing and distributing material that is valuable and interesting to your target audiences. Hopefully you are part of the 23% of marketers that HubSpot stated are investing in blogging and social media in 2013—a 9% increase from 2012.
Benefits of Content Marketing
- Improves your search results and indexing.
- Fosters prospect nurturing.
- Drives content efficiency.
The Content Marketing Model
- Create content that is important to your target audiences (e.g. blog posts, articles, whitepapers, webinars, videos, books, etc.).
- Promote content through social media, presentations, email marketing, etc.
- Convert readers by providing free access to your content, but request at least their email address.
- Engage through phone consultations, meetings, assessments, and demonstrations. Be consistent with your ability to demonstrate your (or your company’s) knowledge and expertise.
The Must-Haves in Content Marketing
- Plan ahead – have a content manager and a calendar.
- Tailor your content marketing strategy to focus on your buyer personas and target market. If it doesn’t interest your clients or prospects then you have missed the point.
- Explore a variety of mediums (e.g. text, images, video, infographics, etc.)
- Be transparent. Channel your enthusiasm and showcase your company’s culture!