This two-part article was written for consulting firm leaders to help understand the value of content marketing for your firm. Part 1 will explain how content marketing can benefit consulting firms like yours. We will also discuss a specific content marketing success story. Part 2 will dive into some of the challenges of content marketing and how to overcome them.
Let’s face it: Your consulting firm faces a lot of competition. To acquire new clients and expand your current relationships you must exhibit market leadership. Content marketing for consulting firms is a key area that can be used to differentiate your practice from the competition.
Your target audience is busy.
They are easily distracted.
Chances are they feel overwhelmed on a daily basis.
You need a proven strategy to get them to notice your firm. You need to engage with them. You need to turn a sizable number of them into leads, then prospects, then clients, then repeat clients.
Then you want satisfied clients to become your “brand ambassadors” who tell other professionals about their wonderful experiences with your firm.
Want a proven tool that can help your consulting firm accomplish ALL of these objectives?
Enter content marketing.
Yes, Content Marketing Is For You
You may be thinking that content marketing is only for certain industries, but not yours. Well, think again. It’s for you.
Content marketing is especially important for consulting and professional services firms that don’t have a physical product. When there is nothing tangible about your offering you must use content to describe and market it.
We will cover some important cautions, as well as content marketing best practices that can help you experience more success with your efforts.
Benefits of Content Marketing For Consulting Firms
It’s no secret that the Internet has revolutionized how business is done, including how purchases are made. This holds true for the B2B (Business-To- Business) world.
Online Research Drives Purchasing Decisions
Potential clients don’t pick up the phone right away to call you when they realize they have a problem they need solved. They go online first.
They visit different consulting firms’ websites. They read relevant industry publications. They ask their peers for advice.
Prospective clients conduct a significant amount of research on possible solutions before they ever contact a vendor. Your content could be a deciding factor that persuades them to take a closer look at your services.
Most of the Content They Read is Weak
As potential consulting clients are researching their options, they are busy. Maybe even overwhelmed. They are not suffering from “too little to read” or “not enough to do”.
What happens to most of the content they consume? It gets completely ignored (more in our next article on how to keep this from happening to you). A lot of the content they see is immediately deemed irrelevant, weak and non-compelling.
This is a Prime Opportunity
Do content marketing right, and you can stand out in your potential clients’ minds in a big, bold, positive way. You can grab and keep their attention. You can take them from being casual readers, to interested leads, to highly engaged prospects.
If clients delay their purchase, you can leverage content to build and maintain top of mind awareness. This helps your firm to be the first one they think of when it gets close to decision time.
Know, Like and Trust
It’s a cliché, but it’s true: Clients buy from consulting firms they know, like and trust.
Through your content, prospective clients can get to know you, even before they make the first contact with your company.
What kind of online content creates trust?
“Conversational” content with personality engages readers and gets them thinking. Content that focuses on the client and their problem, rather than features, engages and develops trust. Offering proof (in the form of case studies) of how you have solved similar problems for other clients. These types of content develop “like and trust”.
Content Marketing Generates High Long-Term ROI for Consulting Firms
And here’s another benefit of content marketing for consulting firms like yours: Content marketing can pay substantial long-range dividends.
Solid content engages readers and turns them into leads long after it has been written and published. If your content is “evergreen” it can be relevant to readers well into the future.
Make a commitment to producing high-quality marketing content regularly, and your consulting or professional services firm will develop an impressive, and extremely valuable content library.
The more content you have, the easier future content becomes to produce. You can take your white papers and turn segments of each one into blog articles. You can turn your webinar scripts into white papers. You can turn your emails into landing page copy, and on and on.
If they are written well – persuasive, engaging, reader-centric and easy-to-understand — your marketing assets won’t be mere words, they will be income-producing assets.
Content Marketing For Consulting Firms: A Success Story
This article presents the case study of a leadership, management and corporate training firm that netted 388% more leads from content marketing.
They implemented a comprehensive, four-step content marketing strategy. The firm got a 20% higher click through rate after employing its new content-based email strategy.
Suffice it to say that a well-orchestrated content marketing plan can help you expand your consulting client base, boost your ROI and build your consulting business to new levels.