Content marketing is a valuable tool for any business, but none more so than those who are trying to sell the intangible qualities of experience and expertise. Professional service firms are faced with the difficult task of not only selling their knowledge, but also creating a differentiation from other established competitor brands who often have extremely similar value propositions to offer. Through content, professional service firms can tell their brand stories and deep-dive into the multitude of ways they can add value to their customers.
Trent Agnew, Managing Director ANZ at Tag, highlights the opportunity for professional service marketers, saying “Professional services firms are effectively swimming in the same pool when it comes to growth opportunities. Those that stay in their lane will lose. The need to create differentiation through the development of cut through content has never been stronger. Those that meet this challenge and deliver effective and consistent cross channel content marketing will ultimately win the race to grow relevance and reach.”
Here, we look at the content marketing statistics affecting professional services businesses in 2020, and how marketers can implement a content marketing strategy to create an effective and powerful content marketing engine.
While blogs are the most-published type of content, video is seen as the best way to share thought leadership content. People tend to form deeper connections and relationships with another person, rather than just words on a page. Using video can place your SMEs front and center, allowing them to share their valuable knowledge and expertise as well as giving your business a more personable side. Video content tends to be highly engaging and shareable, inspiring conversation on social channels. In fact, native videos on LinkedIn are 20x more likely to be reshared and 5x more likely to start conversations than any other forms of content (Hootsuite).
Takeaway for marketers: Video thought leadership content helps put a face to your organization. To maximize success, skip the script to ensure natural delivery, and explore a unique angle that your SME is passionate about – that passion will be infectious!
The most successful content marketers know not to let their ideas end the moment they hit ‘publish’. Content marketing takes significant time and investment – the average blog post now takes almost 4 hours to craft. For each piece of content being published, consider how you can amplify the content further, increasing your marketing ROI and gaining incremental reach without having to generate all-new ideas. Sharing short snippets or key take-outs across multiple channels will ensure you are giving your content the mileage it deserves. This applies to old content, too – if you’ve been in the content marketing game for a number of years, it may be time to revisit your old content and see how you can freshen it up for today’s audiences.
Takeaway for marketers: Effective content marketing is all about efficient allocation of time, knowledge and capability. According to CMI, 82% of B2B marketers outsource their content creation for this very reason. If you’re spending too long translating your knowledge into impactful content, consider whether you need to hire or outsource for this process.
Content marketing is undoubtedly an effective marketing strategy for top-of-funnel prospects. Yet in the professional services industry, marketers are often faced with the challenge of long sales cycles, so it’s vital that they foster the relationship with prospects who have engaged with your content. To do this, marketers must implement a content plan, considering which audience segment they are targeting with each piece of content, and which stage of the sales lifecycle they are at – your content will best resonate if you are targeting consumers at a specific stage of the journey. Once you begin to build and segment your subscriber base, you will have a captive audience of leads and greater chance of using your content to successfully nurture them along the consumer decision-making journey.
Takeaway for marketers: Introducing audience subscription as a key KPI for your content marketing will ensure your brand is kept top-of-mind – both with prospects but also current clients. Having an engaged subscriber base will allow you to deliver targeted content to address their real business problems.
We live in an age of limited attention spans. When it comes to the professional service industry, the target audience of content is often time-poor executive leaders who need to maximize their use of time. Marketers can address this by ensuring all published content is relevant and valuable, but also clear and easily digestible. Ensuring your content is consumer-centric and addressing a specific niche ensures the reader will be interested, while designing your content in a way that draws attention and highlights key points, quotes or statistics will ensure your reader will take away the right information regardless if they read the full article or skim-read for key points. Furthermore, positioning the most important information at the beginning of your content and above the fold will pique your readers’ interest and encourage them to more thoroughly engage with your content.
Takeaway for marketers: The design of your content can be just as important as the substance. Ensuring your readers’ eye is immediately drawn to the key points of your article will ensure that even skim-readers will understand and retain your key messaging.
At Tag, we work with brands and agencies to create marketing campaigns that attract, engage and convert. With extensive experience in the professional services space, we have the knowledge and expertise to achieve your brand goals. Our global team of marketing experts work with your brand to create targeted content at scale to educate, engage and empower your clients.
Get in touch to discuss how Tag can support your changing marketing needs.