Any internet-savvy business owner or marketer knows that taking your advertising campaign online is necessary to be competitive in today’s constantly-connected world. This concept is even more vital for professional services firms, as they face a different challenge when compared to companies that deliver tangible products. A successful content marketing strategy for service businesses must involve getting the attention of prospects so that you can educate them, well before their purchasing decisions will be made.
Content marketing for service companies is the same as with campaigns in any other media. Businesses start by getting the attention of prospects to generate leads, and then managing the buying process through to converting the sale. However, content marketing is more successful than other advertising methods in many key aspects.
• Studies about professional service firms have shown that more businesses are generating new leads online, as opposed to traditional marketing methods like print ads and TV or radio promotions. The trend makes sense when you consider that internet marketing reaches far more people than any of these other outbound marketing tactics. The end result is that a content marketing strategy for service businesses actually improves profitability up to four times that of companies not generating leads online. This is a huge profit boost that firms cannot afford to ignore.
• More than ever before, today’s prospects want to make educated decisions when looking at service businesses. They’re not willing to rely upon reputation, cost or experience alone as they research firms. Therefore, it’s increasingly important to teach them through content marketing that will earn their attention. Post how-to videos and articles on your blog, or enable live chat on your website for visitors who want more information. Provide upfront value to gain their trust and you’ll turn a lead into a sale.
• A content marketing strategy for service businesses is a streamlined approach. Because prospects tend to rely on reputation and expertise, the online world is a perfect place to spread the word about the excellence of your team. In addition, existing clients who are pleased with your services will comment on your blog posts and share information about your company on social media. They’re essentially participating in a case study, without the cost or time investment.
• When done properly, content marketing helps you control the sales process as you generate leads, qualify prospects and convert sales. You earn their attention through premium quality content, such as informative blogs, event announcements on social media, and podcasts, just to name a few. They begin to see your firm as a trusted source of information, long before they intend to hire you. When they are in the position to go forward, they identify with your brand if your message has been consistent.
• No discussion about a content marketing plan for service businesses would be complete without some mention of cost. When compared to other advertising methods, promoting your professional service firm online is much lower. If you’re able to handle some of the tactics yourself, the price tag is essentially free. However, you’ll have to weigh the time investment and potential learning curve against having an outside firm manage your campaign.
Of course, there are many other advantages to incorporating a content marketing strategy for your company. Whether in addition to traditional advertising methods or as a replacement for ineffective campaigns, your firm cannot afford to miss out on the opportunities that content marketing can provide. From the early phases of lead generation to finally bringing new clients on board, this strategy will continue to evolve and you need to be properly positioned to get a leg up on your competitors.