How to improve your ROI on public speaking
Public speaking has always been a very effective way for professionals to market themselves. These days instead of doing a seminar in a room full of people, it’s a webinar or meeting on Zoom or similar platform. But the rules haven’t really changed. If you want to maximize your public speaking and improve your return on investment, the first step is to develop a strategic plan. (more…)
How can you maximize the ROI on your marketing? Think long-term.
If you are a business owner, where do you see your business in 3 years or 5 years? It’s easy to just focus on planning for the current or upcoming year. But if you only look at your revenue and expenses year by year, you are unlikely to make investments in your business that take longer to achieve results. Short-term thinking means losing out on long-term opportunities. (more…)
6 steps to creating a marketing budget to grow your business
One of the biggest reasons marketing fails is because firms don’t set aside appropriate resources to getting it done. Regardless of the size of your budget, if you want to be effective, you need to think carefully about how and where you spend your time and money. How do you do that? (more…)
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…)
How marketing can grow your business
Do you know what it takes to grow your business? At a recent program hosted by The Alternative Board, speaker, Pete Hayes of Chief Outsiders, spoke about how the right “Insight, Strategy and Execution” can drive business growth. (more…)
Get inspired. Invest for success in content marketing.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
The campaign engaged almost 800 contacts with a 70% open rate and 2 engagements worth $250,000 in revenue.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
7 tips for getting more value out of your client newsletter
Client newsletters are ubiquitous among professional services firms. They take a lot of time to produce, yet often, they are only sent to clients by mail or email and then forgotten. So how can you maximize your efforts and get more value out of your newsletter? Of course, having great content comes first. High-quality relevant content gets read and is well worth the investment. Assuming your newsletter is already packed with good content, here are some ideas for getting more out it.
1. Pay attention to design.
Not everyone has a budget for a sophisticated design, but even small changes can make a difference in readability. Lots of dense text will discourage reading. Adding white space, using bullets, changing fonts and including subheadings can help. You can also box off and highlight statistics, interesting quotes and takeaways from the text. You want to make sure readers can quickly scan it if they are in a hurry. It’s especially good to add visual elements to break up the text like charts, graphs, infographics, and photos. Studies show that 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. Remember to think about design in each format that someone will read the newsletter. Firms often create a PDF version of the newsletter for mailing or downloading as well as versions for email and web.
2. Distribute it through multiple channels.
There are lots of options here including regular mail, email, website, blog and social media channels. I know some people don’t want to print and mail copies anymore, but firms still have clients who like print and printed materials may get noticed over emails. Remember to get individual members of the firm involved in helping to distribute the content through their own networks. If you went to the trouble of creating the newsletter, you should be making sure your audience sees it. Different people have different format preferences. As with advertising, it also helps for people to see the same content a few times before they pay attention to it.
3. Include calls-to-action tailored to the distribution channel.
Entice your readers with some additional action. If you’re distributing the content via social media, you want to push readers to sign up for your newsletter so you get their contact information. If you emailed them, encourage them to download a whitepaper or sign up for an event or webinar. The idea is to continue to interact with your audience and build the relationship.
4. Test headlines and subject lines.
It’s hard to get attention when everyone is being bombarded with content. You only have a few seconds to get a reader’s attention. Make headlines and subject lines interesting and keep track of what types of language get better results.
5. Slice it up.
The newsletter can be pushed out in whole, but then repurposed and promoted as individual “chunks” of information for different social media channels. Articles can be shortened or rewritten for a blog or LinkedIn post. Even those charts and infographics can be separately marketed.
6. Reuse and repackage it.
Periodically you should go through your old content to look for opportunities to get extra use out of it. If you have good relevant content, find ways to update and promote it again. You can also pull together a bunch of related articles that were previously published. Revise them where needed with new developments, takeaways, lessons learned, etc. and repackage it as a multi-part series, a whitepaper or ebook. Looking at the content this way also may give you ideas for additional articles you could write in future months to help fill in gaps. It also may be helpful in identifying topics for webinars and live events. Those articles can then be distributed to attendees as supplementary materials.
7. Enhance it.
It’s beneficial for design reasons to add visual elements like charts and infographics, but even more importantly it’s great for content purposes. It grabs attention quickly and gives the reader some useful content at a glance. A great visual also entices people to read the text that explains the picture. Some other ways to enhance the content include adding in checklists, FAQs, case studies, interviews, surveys and video segments. You can also curate content that your audience would be interested in – that is, give them suggestions for other great resources (beside you) they would find helpful on the topic.
Your client newsletter can be an excellent vehicle for content marketing. Start with great content and then make the most of it.