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Marketing Professional Services

  1. Marketing for Professional Services Building Blocks for Long Term Success The Pyramid Club April 26, 2019 Splat, Inc. A DIGITAL MARKETING AGENCY
  3. What makes your firm unique? • Conduct an informal audit, listing core firm strengths. Why do you get hired? • Reputation & experiences are differentiators in professional service • Ability to work at scale (size of firm) is another Are these core brand differentiators reflected in your marketing materials and business development process? BRAND AUDIT TAKING STOCK
  4. BRAND AUDIT: Identity Design & Assessment Brand Identity • Logo & color scheme • All visual identity elements (website, brochures, social channels, etc.) • Custom photography is very important for professional services • Themeline, mission statement • Does messaging across all channels promote core identity elements & differentiators? • Are we trying to be all things for all people? TAKING STOCK
  6. • • • • • • GOOD UNFORTUNATE PRACTICES • “Borrowed Interest.” Using well-known geography or symbols to promote an unrelated service. Examples include Philly firms using pictures of Center City, the BF bridge, etc. • Relying on visual clichés such as the scales of justice, surveying equipment, etc. • An absence of a positioning statement on the homepage. What do you do and why do you do it so well? • Overstating areas of core competence; trying to be all things to all clients. POSITIONING YOUR VALUE ON THE WEB Tip: As a professional service provider, you’re really selling two things only: proven ability and executional capacity.
  8. A CONTENT CENTERED APPROACH Social Social Amplifiers & Listeners Events PPC Paid Amplifiers Website Videos Blogs Portfolio/ Bios
  9. Audit your existing strategy • List all tools and tactics • What kinds of content are you currently producing? • How are you sharing and amplifying brand messaging? • What do analytics for website and all social platforms tell you? • How is your business development platform supposed to work? To what degree are you relying on traditional vs non- traditional lead generation methods? ASSESSMENT & AUDIENCE RESEARCH: (Who are we currently reaching?) TAKING STOCK
  10. Internal Functionality: Is the back end of your site friend or foe in your marketing efforts? • CMS Design: How easily is new content added? • Are landing pages easy to make? • Are SEO tools implemented? • Meta tags? • Are URLS sensibly created by the CMS and SEO friendly? • Are user profiles prioritized and configurable within the CMS? Can multiple parties add content, with varying levels of access to site? Visitor - facing functionality • Is your site prioritized according to marketing objectives? • Is content easily downloadable and content forms filled out? Conduct a thorough audit, to align with current goals and objectives PERFORM A DIGITAL AUDIT TAKING STOCK
  12. • Where are your clients and where do they congregate on the web? LinkedIn? Twitter? Instagram? Where? • Who are the potential intermediaries to them? • Are there tools you can be using to identify either clients or potential amplifiers of your brand’s messaging? • Don’t forget to use ‘Old School’ research techniques - interviews and verbal out- reach - to find clients IDENTIFY POTENTIAL “TARGETS” FOR MESSAGING CONTENT TAKING STOCK
  13. Small Firm • A modest but well-conceived web- site, with ongoing content creation, if possible • Custom photography, as budget permits • Content creation, as budget and time allow • Paid digital advertising, if appropri- ate • Paid directories, if appropriate • Local offline advertising and mar- keting opportunities (sponsor a little league team, partner with industry allies and give a seminar, etc.) • Target a single social channel that makes sense and commit to regular postings EXECUTE MARKETING PLANS BASED ON CAPABILITY EXECUTION Larger Firm • Everything from the Small Firm list • A larger, well-conceived website with com- plete staff and expertise sections, as well as ongoing areas dedicated to new content • A robust commitment to content creation, with a more tactical, SEO oriented ap- proach • Event/conference attendance • A robust commitment to an array of social media channels. Targeted use of social listening tools and influencer marketing • Targeted sponsorship and pro bono offer- ings • Paid directories (Justia, FindLaw, Super- Lawyers, etc) • Print advertising
  14. CONTENT FOCUSED Content ideas are fueled by PR initiatives & staff members. The firm is selling expertise and seeks to demonstrated their innovation through various types of content. VIDEO ARTICLES/DOWNLOADABLE BROCHURES/OTHER WEB CONTENT PHOTOS/ COPY SNIPPETS (Heavily curated LinkedIn feed; links to video & snippets. Video also used in proposals.) (Video promoted through organic Insta channel; snippets and links) (Concerted Insta effort sees five- fold increase in follower count in 2018) (Corporate LinkedIn account is largest hub of Social. Curated and themed, post frequency is approx. 2/day. Firm staff and principals are encouraged to share; the size of firm makes this form of amplification significant.) (Channel is themed according to posts related to People, Community Involvement, Current Events and Firm Projects== .)
  15. CONTENT & PAID ‘Content,’ consists of static content on website; paid advertising and limited social presence on Insta and Houzz. PAID WEB CONTENT PROJECTS/ COPY SNIPPETS (Channel is themed according to posts related to People, Projects, Observations and Events. They use branded post typologies.) (The website itself hosts most visual content) (Pay-per-click is managed professionally and leverages the reasonably inexpensive cost of PPC, do to limited competition. PPC has proven fruitful; generating 2 - 5 projects/year at a $1300 monthly budget.) (The lack of organic keyword competition is driving the creation of sequenced blog posts, intended to widen gographic scope and highly keyword researched.) (A curated, premium Houzz account raises firm awareness and generates occasional leads.)
  16. PPC TRENDS: GOOGLE AD REMARKETING WHAT IS REMARKETING? Think of Remarketing as a way to both amplify and recycle your PPC advertising on the web. Basically, after a Google ad drives traffic to your website, the source of that traffic is then noted. As the user peruses the web, your ad is served to them, repeatedly, as they visit other sites running Google Ads. HOW TO ACTIVATE GOOGLE AD REMARKETING? (Easy to add) After already advertising on google then add a piece of google remarketing code to your website so visitors can get added to your remarketing audiences
  17. Remarketing keeps your brand front-and-center for an extended duration, even when the custom- er is not thinking of making a purchase. This subtle increase in brand awareness ensures your potential clients ‘don’t forget...’ • It allows you to stay connected with your target audience, even after they leave your site • You are gaining brand exposure and becoming more recognizable to your target audi- ence, raising trust and making them more likely to purchase from you • Remarketing ads have much higher click through rates than typical display ads • You will see better conversion rates when you start to combine remarketing cam- paigns with additional targeting methods, such as targeting by demographics WHY IS REMARKETING SO IMPORTANT? (How it will increase your revenue)
  18. SEO TRENDS: WHAT ABOUT ORGANIC SEO? WHERE HATH THOU GONE, EASY BUTTON? Although the days of writing keyword-stuffed copy and watching the traffic roll in are long gone, professional services marketing was never really ‘about that’ anyway. These days, the fundamentals of SEO are still VERY important. Quick questions to ask are: SEO 2.0? In many ways, organic SEO has evolved into content-based marketing. Remember, con- tent marketing came along as a trend when easier means of getting traffic (like key- word stuffing) ceased working. Although content marketing has additional advantages - the ability to demonstrate thought leadership, for example - it is still used for traffic generation. Link building is one part of traditional organic SEO which is still exceedingly beneficial within a conent marketing workflow. Combined sometimes with PR efforts, link building can be the SEO tactic that makes your content initiatives especially successful. • Is your website responsive and fully-mobile compli- ant? Should you consider AMP? • Do pages load quickly? Are images properly com- pressed? • Have all basic organic keyword-related needs been addressed? All Meta tags correctly written, from the standpoint of research and attention-grabbing ‘calls to action?’
  19. • To bolster brand awareness • To fuel qualified lead generation • To foster sign-ups/build database • To recruit talent • To offer a glimpse at company cul- ture via storytelling • To demonstrate expertise • Target a single social channel that makes sense and commit to regular postings WHY USE SOCIAL MEDIA?
  20. LinkedIn is where B2B firms are seeing the most results. Currently, LinkedIn has more than 250 million ACTIVE members worldwide. It’s rated by B2B content marketers as the most effective social media and research has found that 80% of B2B social media leads come from LinkedIn. Senior-level clients that claim “don’t use social media” can most definitely be found on LinkedIn. The business nature of the platform and the ability to reach your target audience means LinkedIn should be a cornerstone of your firm’s social media efforts. LinkedIn provides huge possibilities for engagement, including company page updates, personal publishing and groups. Pro tip: Leverage this platform to promote thought leadership and content marketing, NOT just as a megaphone for firm awards and other accolades. LINKEDIN TOP 3 PLATFORMS OVER 4,500 FOLLOWERS
  21. Consider Twitter the virtual newsroom of social media platforms. It’s real-time, news-oriented and second only to LinkedIn in terms of effectiveness as rated by B2B marketers. Twitter currently has 305 million active users and is a helpful channel for connecting with industry influencers, reporters, publications, associations, teaming partners, prospective employees, as well as clients and prospects. Due to the real-time nature of the platform, frequency of use should be higher than other platforms. With Twitter, its best to follow the 4-1-1 rule of social media: • One self-serving, news-oriented tweet • One thought leadership-oriented tweet • Four tweets that point to other industry influencer content, both from experts and periodicals alike. Additionally, research from Buffer found that tweets that include an image receive 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites and 150% more retweets. TWITTER OVER 31,2K FOLLOWERS
  22. Instagram is a growing platform for B2B social media marketing, with 60% of marketers planning to increase usage in 2019. Firms who substantially invest time and resources in photography to tell their client’s stories and showcase the interesting work they’re doing might find Instagram to be a great platform. Similar to Twitter, Instagram is real-time (for now), leverages hashtags and relies on quick hitting messages to accompany photos or videos. Forget about pretty pictures...disrupt Instagram with a new idea. Solicit the help of influencers (including staff). Think about themes January: Wood February: Outside In March: Green Building Materials. INSTAGRAM OVER 68,1K FOLLOWERS
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