If you own a business, we know you are flat out. With so much to do and so little time to do it in, there is not a lot of time left to get your head around digital content marketing, so this blog breaks it down for you. And, when you have read it (and are ready to tackle the world!) we are going to reward you, with a downloadable content marketing plan that you can customise and use.
But before we begin, let’s look at the reasons why firms like yours are using content marketing to grow their bottom line. And the statistics are compelling, here are just three:
- Content marketing is about relationship-building, focusing on the customer versus the brand. For professional services, this means ‘adding value’ as opposed to ‘selling’.
- Content marketing generates over three times as many leads as traditional marketing methods and costs 62% less.
- Content marketing helps with SEO.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing involves sharing valuable content (including blogs, emails, videos, ebooks, white papers, guides etc) to attract new customers, convert them to clients and to nurture them.
Great content is giving first and selling second. While it is not direct sales, it can result in business growth. Your content gives you the opportunity to stay top-of-mind throughout the consideration process for people looking for the services you offer. It also delivers value and establishes yourself as the obvious choice to both new and existing clients.
Why is Content Marketing a valuable tool for your business?
- Your content helps build your reputation in the marketplace and establishes you as the go-to for certain products or services.
- Regular and useful content makes it easier for potential customers to trust you and it creates loyalty in your existing database.
- Great content puts your brand top-of-mind when a prospect is ready to engage your services.
- You can use your content marketing to build awareness of your advisory services amongst your existing clients in order to help them in more areas and to grow your average revenue.
- Shared wisely, great content can also positively impact your website’s SEO ranking in search results. Content brings people to your site, keeps them there longer and gives them something to share. This is critical because user behaviour is a big indicator to Google that your site is worth looking at.
Great content marketing has your target audience at its core
When you understand who you are talking to, you will be more targeted, persuasive and effective in all your communications and marketing. And it doesn’t need to be an imaginary person. Think about an existing ‘best' client and build your persona around them. These are the individuals you should gear your business towards, so you can attract more of the same.
- Needs and goals – what are their key drivers?
- Pain points – how can you provide the solutions to the challenges they face?
- Interests – how can you engage with them on their level to show you ‘get them’?
- Demographics – include their age, socioeconomic level, family, work life and where they live.
What Content should you share?
Use your expertise – Think about core services or your company’s point of difference. It might be your advisory niche as an accountant, the simpler process you follow, or the extra miles you go to understand your client’s unique financial situation and business/life goals. You can go beyond your core business too, like the causes you support, case studies or amusing stories.
Look for inspiration – Your own email inbox can be a great place to start. Chances are the questions you were asked by one client will be of interest to another. Look at social media for trending topics and even your competitors.
News updates – Are there developments in the industry, or general news, that are important to your key audience? Share the news with commentary from your firm and advice on how it affects them.
Useful reminders and guides – Content that addresses the needs and pain points of your clients and prospects will be engaged with and valued, helping to further strengthen your relationships. If you are using BOMA, you can choose an article from the Content Library to kick-start email and social posts.
Use keywords in your content marketing
Keywords are the words and phrases that people type into the search field of a search engine to find a product or service. Search engines like Google are searching for these words in websites in order to deliver relevant results in the search engine results page. Content provides more text about your business which means more keywords and more for Google to look at. Using relevant keywords naturally in the text of your website (such as a blog) helps improve your ranking in results. A tool like Google’s free Adwords Keyword Planner shows you how consumers search for your products or services, so tailor your wording to suit.
Where should you publish your content?
You can publish your content in multiple places – it can add depth to your social media presences, share it with other online publications, post on your website or offer as a guest blog on an authority or partner site. Think about what content you could create – here are some ideas:
Social media ideas
- Tweet pithy commentary or regular industry updates
- Share a behind-the-scenes video on your Facebook page
- Create an infographic using new or aggregated research and share it on LinkedIn
- Post beautiful product or brand story images on Instagram
- Find out more about social media
TIP: Start building your fans and followers on your social platforms so that your posts are seen by more people. You can invite people to follow you, tag others to extend your exposure and post comments on other pages to raise your profile.
- Post weekly blogs on your website that talk directly to your audience's needs or wants
- Create ‘how to’ guides or useful checklists
- Write a useful e-book and publish it on your site and ask users for their emails before allowing downloads, to build your database
- Interview customers and post a real, behind-the-scenes review of a recent project
- Find out more about building an effective website for your firm
- Create a fun series with witty commentary or light ‘how-to’ guides
- Invite your readers to complete a survey
- Invite your database to view a video webinar or online training
- Write a monthly newsletter containing a combination of all your content (news, latest blog, webinars and product or service updates)
- Click here for a guide to creating a newsletter
- Video is a great way to tell people what you do in a really engaging way. Use it on the homepage of your website and share on social.
- Host a webinar on a specialty topic
- Use Facebook live at an event.
- Write controversial industry commentary, a unique insight or perspective on a topical issue and share it with media outlets
- Look for digital platforms with large readerships (e.g. other blogs or social presences) and send them an article or another piece of content to publish to their readership
- Get in front of people to share your message via speaking spots, video blogs, and events
When and how often should you share content?
Posting regularly with blogs, and high-quality video and imagery is great for building and retaining a loyal following and for SEO. But go for quality over quantity, search engine algorithms have a number of ways to gauge the quality of your written content. Engaging blogs and updates will encourage people to visit, read and share, which introduces new audiences to your business. The frequency of your posts will depend on you, your business and your audience.
- Facebook has the biggest number of users and as a general rule, Monday to Friday between 10 and 3 sees the most engagement.
- LinkedIn is the business networker and posts have more engagement during the working week.
- Twitter usage is often higher in the morning midweek. Your tweets have a shorter life than a post on Facebook or Instagram so ideally, you should post on Twitter more frequently. Usage peaks around events and highly topical events. A great way to do this is to repurpose. Take multiple quotes or one-liners from your article and tweet these to drive traffic back to your website.
- Instagram gets more engagement later in the day, from 11 am. Users might be checking their feed at a quieter time in the day or on the commute home.
- Email is often checked first thing in the morning during the week. But with an increasingly mobile reader, emails are opened at other hours and while promotional emails tend to be sent out in the mornings, some research shows that clicks (real engagement) are more likely outside of working hours when people have more time.
Take note: These are suggestions only, sometimes going against the trend places your communication outside the clutter of more popular times. And if your audience is across time-zones, you may want to re-post occasionally. The best time to post, tweet or send an email depends on a number of factors including your business and your audience. Within BOMA you can track email open rates and clicks as well as engagement on your social post (clicks shares, retweets, likes, and comments). Look at what worked well and do more of the same!.
If your campaign ignites engagement, make sure you there ready to respond. Publish at a time that you can be ready to respond to comments, engage and answer questions.
The benefits are two-fold: more engagement on social media platforms amplifies your post to a wider audience and also shows that you care about your clients and prospects
Start by putting a plan together so that it is easier when the time comes to put pen to paper. Use the content library in BOMA to help kick start a campaign.
BOMA allows you to create Email, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter all from one easy-to-use platform. Plus BOMA gives you access to over 600,00 Free Images and a Content Library of articles for Xero Partners to kick-start your campaign.
Find out how BOMA can help with your digital marketing.