Tap into a content marketing revolution to promote your consultancy business.
If you’re a growing consultancy business, you’ll have probably learned by now that to get prospective clients familiar with your offering that the most effective tool is to create and distribute content.
There comes a time when for a prospective client to move along their buying journey and engage with your company, they need validation that as a business you are trustworthy, knowledgeable and can manage their challenges.
And the quality and relevance of the content that you produce and share will reinforce and verify your authority as a business to provide a suitable solution.
But – you do have to keep in mind that prospective clients today don’t believe everything they read, especially if the only source is directly from you. They are far more likely to trust information shared and endorsed by third parties, as they are continually filtering out all the “advertising” noise that bombards us today as consumers.
The complex nature of the B2B (Business-to-Business) buyers journey, with a growing number of touch points across multiple digital channels and devices adds further complexities to getting your message heard by the right person at the right time.
Often the reaction of prospective clients is to ignore content if it comes too early in their buying journey or is irrelevant to their needs. Which means, don’t give up on producing and sharing your content, you have to be patient and cannot rush a client into buying.
As a business if you are prepared to offer advice and add value regardless of whether a client is ready to buy – it will build credibility and may open up doors at a later date, at the right time for the client.
In the complex sales process for selling consulting services you’ll need to be just as much a consultant and a teacher as you are a salesperson so that you can listen, learn and understand your buyer’s problems.
In a world where “content marketing rules” being able to be found and seen online is key.
Blogging is probably the most effective marketing tool that gets your business that critical online visibility. It is most frequently used to attract visitors to your website, generating awareness in your business.
60% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority. (HubSpot, 2016) (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)
A blogging revolution
There has been a huge increase in the number of businesses blogging over recent years, all competing to cut through the noise and attract visitors and nurture prospective customers.
However, it is not about how much content you produce, but rather, what is the right type that can make your B2B solution stand-out at the expense of your competitors.
To grow awareness and attract visitors in reality takes time, you need to consistently publish content that your audience enjoys reading.
Yet exactly how often to publish and what format or style the content should be varies a lot between industry, business sectors, types of blogs, stage of the buying cycle, buyer persona, etc.
Reasons to start blogging
- Increases the number of qualified website visitors
- It helps convert your website visitors into sales leads
- It helps establish authority and credibility for your company in a particular business sector
- Establishes brand positioning as “thought leader”
- Blogging regularly keeps your brand “front of mind”
- A blog is cost effective
Writing an effective blog
It’s always good to start the process, by asking yourself what is the purpose of your blog and what goals are you setting yourself?
- Will you be able to address a problem the reader is having?
- Will you be able to connect and give reasons for your readers to come back?
- Do you have a clear online value proposition?
- Do you have the expertise and resources available to blog regularly and effectively?
- Have you reviewed goals and objectives of what you want to achieve?
Your objective should be to create an approach to blogging that targets the needs of your customers and prospects. It is crucial then that you have a level of understanding of who your customers are, and what problems they are trying to solve. So that when you are researching which topics to write about you know what their “hot buttons” are that will help you build trust and authority with your audience.
How do you want to talk to your audience? Formal and full of authority? Or friendly and informal? Make sure your blog has a voice – one that fits your company’s tone and character so that there is a connection between everything that you communicate.
Content needs to be relevant, informative, entertaining, likeable and shareable by your target audience. The key here is to get your audience to share your content so that your prospective clients hopefully come across it from third parties – and not just directly from you.
As a business when you are writing your blogs you need to establish your presence on certain channels or networks that you have identified as important to the prospective clients you are trying to reach.
If your blog doesn’t provide the information your buyers are searching for and your competitors do, where do you think they are they going to go to be educated?
Content distribution can be considered as the primary way to extend your reach by making sure the content you create gets found, read and shared by the right audience. A “rule of thumb” is to spend 50% of your efforts on creating the content and the other 50% on distribution and getting others to share it.
The Internet has facilitated a big change in buyer behaviour shifting power away from you the “seller” – which means that we need to focus more on education not just promotion to attract prospective new clients.
Don’t forget to identify and clarify when you start your investment into blogging:
WHO you’re writing the blog for?
WHAT you’re delivering to your audience and how it will benefit them?
WHY you’re creating content in the first place?
Now it’s time to start bringing all the above thoughts together, and working out how you can create and deliver impactful blog content – to answer the questions your prospective clients have to address their challenges.
Below is a checklist of how to approach your first blog:
- Create an article that is greater than 600 words but no more than 2000
- Target a minimum 1x blog per week and work up to at least 4 in a month
- Use headings and paragraphs to break up large chunks of text so it is easier to read or scan
- Use imagery to convey context and brand personality
- Write posts people will want to link to, and improve your search ranking through backlinks
- Don’t be self-promotional – writing always about yourself can be a really boring, apply the 80 / 20 rule where you never write more than 20% of a blog about you or your company
- A good approach to building useful content is to try to teach your audience something, think education rather than selling
Let us know if you have any questions about Brainping, and how we can help and advise you to make the most of your consulting experience.
Why not send us an email, and say hello!
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