No matter whether you are a lawyer, or an accountant, or an insurance broker, you have a lot in common with other professional service providers – clients that don’t quite understand what you do and need to be educated about how you can help them. Enter “content marketing.”
From the Content Marketing Institute: “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
You can spend a lot of time and money on other forms of advertising. However you can also reach your ideal clients without having to “sell” to them at all by publishing and delivering helpful information that educates prospects and presents you as an expert in your field. That content can convert leads into trusting and loyal customers.
Wherever you would reach your potential clients – social media, emails, your website blog, pay-per-click ads – you have a chance to deliver quality content that answers their questions, and makes them more confident in their selection process.
Here are some popular forms that your content can take:
This visual form can illustrate market trends, data and statistics, “jazzing up” dry numbers. No worries if you don’t have graphics skills – you can share and post infographics from your industry leaders that your clients might find interesting.
Think of the questions you get asked most frequently and record a short video with the answers. Or, was there a long article or a confusing topic that is better boiled down to a conversation? Then film it. Nothing fancy is needed, and stay away from video editing treatments that are cliché. You can use your phone (horizontally, please) to record your personality, and help prospects connect with you as an expert that makes it all understandable, all less than two to three minutes.
You have bookmarked the 23 links on your industry’s popular sites that you constantly refer your clients to -- for downloading forms, stating a law, submitting paperwork, etc. Why not gather all those links and resources into one web page or blog post? Your day will become more efficient by referring people to that one resource page, not to mention you’re now a super helpful expert in your client’s eyes.
Reviews of Products
Share your experienced review and recommendation of products and services that have come into the market for your industry. If you are an accountant, and some new do-it-yourself software was launched, share your experience with the program, and the “good and bad” that clients should consider.
Blogs don’t have to be long dissertations. Sharing simple lists can be engaging for leads and clients. Think about adding a number into your title, like: “5 Reasons You Shouldn’t File an Insurance Claim on Your Own.” Keep your points succinct, add a conclusion and you’re done.
When you have a lot of info on one subject, package it into longer form content such as an eBook or guide that can be downloaded in a pdf. These are usually broken down in sections or chapters, have a smart design (think headings, colors, images, and a catchy title). You will most likely need to employ the help of a graphic designer, but the leads that come to your resource will be well worth it.
Case Studies/Success Stories
If you’re good at what you do, you have countless client success stories stored away in your brain. Maybe you helped a business owner save thousands on his taxes by finding previously missed deductions. Put it on paper (or screen) to help you connect with other business owners in their same shoes. Case studies show leads and customers what you do, how you do it well and how you can help them.
You don’t have to employ all of these content forms – find the one or three that you are most comfortable with, or work best for your industry, and then make it happen! And remember: no matter the form, the more your content answers a question or need of a prospect, the more successful that piece of content will be in pulling leads to your services.