Top 10 marketing dos and don’ts

Many professionals aren’t comfortable with marketing. Good marketing isn’t a mystery, but it does take time to figure out. A good way to get started is to consider some marketing dos and don’ts to guide your efforts so they will be more effective in attracting business. (more…)

Get inspired. Invest for success in content marketing.

Get inspired. Content marketing success stories.

With 86% of B2B marketers using content marketing, you would think making a business case for investing in it would be easy. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

Content marketing is a long-term strategy and successful professional services firms realize that returns are measured in more than just dollars. What are some of the benefits these firms are realizing? Here are 5 success stories to inspire your own investment in content marketing.

1.  InsideOut – 388% more leads

The global provider of leadership, management and corporate training began focusing on content marketing last year. The company developed visually appealing “bite-sized” chunks of information, including slide decks, articles and videos. It put special emphasis on featuring material from the company’s thought leaders to give its content a unique perspective. Content was pushed out via email, social media, website and third party publications and press releases.

Results:

Email distribution of the content showed the most significant results. Compared to its sales-based emails, content-based emails had a 20% higher click-through rate, 87% lower opt-out rate and generated 388% more leads.

Takeaways:

  • Your content has to be compelling and unique to stand-out from the crush of information your readers receive.
  • Make the information clear and simple to digest. Focus on giving the reader the most critical points.
  • Even if you’re getting solid results with your current approach, content marketing can bring better results.

2.  Fisher & Phillips – 51K page views

The law firm was part of a 2 month pilot project with LinkedIn’s publishing platform. Before being selected for the pilot, the firm was already actively creating and pushing out content and had embraced online content as a core part of its marketing strategies. The firm promoted the posts via its social media channels and encouraged attorneys to do the same through their individual accounts.

Results:

During the pilot, its 25 posts generated 51K page views, 5.5K interactions (likes, shares, etc.) and 380 followers. LinkedIn pulse channels picked up nearly half the posts. It was well received by potential clients. Within the firm, more attorneys are now publishing and sharing content.

Takeaways:

  • Use LinkedIn as a platform for thought leadership and to build your network and credibility. It provides a great way to share knowledge and reach others who are interested in or need your expertise.
  • Be consistent to build readership. You’re more likely to be noticed if you’re regularly putting out informative content.
  • Introduce new hires to the publishing platform and encourage them to write and share content.

3.  Medix Dental – 37% open rates

The IT company, which provides technology solutions for dental offices, wanted to maintain a close relationship with clients as the company grew. It decided to commit to creating a monthly newsletter that would improve client retention and brand awareness. The goal was to make the newsletter friendly, personable and interesting and get clients reading it.  An important element of the newsletter was sharing relevant industry news and knowledge. Distribution was to clients and subscribers who signed up for it.

Results:

The company doubled its recipient list by promoting sign-ups via social media. The open rate for emails was 36.9%, which is 10% higher than the professional services industry average and got click-through rates of 10% compared to the industry average of 3.21%. Client feedback was also positive.

Takeaways:

  • Clients appreciate a more personable conversational tone. Don’t sound like you’re announcing or selling them something.
  • Focus on getting subscribers to read the content and on staying top of mind. You don’t want to get too focused on high click-through rates.
  • Offering your industry knowledge for free shows you’re knowledgeable and helpful and when clients need someone, they will think of you.

4.  Crowe Horwath – $250K in revenue

The public accounting and consulting firm won the 2013 Killer Content Marketing Lead Nurturing Award for its content program targeting C-suite leaders at financial institutions over $1 billion in assets. The company developed 48 pieces of content in four different topic areas, including executive briefs, case studies, infographics, checklists, Q&As, and a video. The focus was on helping marketers to identify key prospects and track and nurture them until they were ready to make a purchase.

Results:

The campaign engaged almost 800 contacts with a 70% open rate and 2 engagements worth $250,000 in revenue.

Takeaways:

  • Understand why your clients need your services, who makes the buying decisions and when, and what your competition is offering. You want to target the right audience with the right content at the right time.
  • Start by looking at all the data you already have on what people are interested in reading and when, where and how they read.
  • Use a variety of content formats. Different formats appeal to different readers.

5.  Heron Financial Group – 40% growth rate

Over the last few years, the RIA firm has been expanding its social media presence and making it an integral part of its marketing strategy. Social media drives traffic to its website and amplifies its content marketing efforts. Each piece of content is leveraged to reach a broader audience. For example, a 15 minute appearance on Bloomberg was shared via social media to thousands of followers resulting in 50 customer leads.

Results:

Heron has doubled its assets under management and has been growing in the 40% range since adding social media to its marketing strategy. Prior to its efforts, the firm’s growth was in single digits. The firm attributes its growth to multiple factors, but credits social media with being “a force multiplier” for a good marketing plan.

Takeaways:

  • Dedicate at least 30-60 minutes a week posting content on social media platforms and use the top 4 social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
  • Ask yourself if you would want to see your content on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. If not, don’t post it.
  • Social media makes a good marketing plan better, but it won’t fix a bad marketing plan.

Hopefully these case studies will inspire you to look at the short and long-term benefits of content marketing to support your own investment. For more examples of metrics to help measure the success of your own initiatives, see Understanding ROI. Want more case studies? Here’s a good compilation from B2B Marketing Experiences blog.