Why promoting professional services content should be a piece of cake

Written by Nicola Risi  |  26, October, 2017  |  2 Comments  Subscribe

Untitled design (33).jpgCake. Yum.

Who doesn't love it? Sponge cake, fruit cake, gluten-free cake, chocolate cake. So many options!

You specialise in each area. And you make damn good cakes. But no one is eating them, because no one knows where you are. And now they’re out of date, and going stale...

What I'm trying to say is, it's all well and good creating remarkable content, but what’s the use if no one is going to see?

That’s exactly why some bloggers recommend spending as much time promoting your content as you do writing it.

You've employed an inbound methodology. You already have an excellent website full of remarkable content offers, including ebooks, blog posts and white papers that you post regularly to your social media channels. But traffic has stagnated, and conversions are dipping.

Your content is only good as your promotion. It’s not enough to simply post to social media and wait for the conversions to happen.

Targeted content promotion is one of the biggest marketing challenges as noted by Hubspot, and it can be especially difficult for professional service firms.

With a niche topic, industry and audience, like professional services marketing, where do you start?

Influencer outreach

Look at your buyer persona(s).

What publications do they read? What do they watch on TV? Who do they follow on social media?

The answers to these questions will help you build a clear picture which will decipher the most powerful influencers in your field.

It’s often overlooked, but influencer outreach goes hand in hand with content marketing.

Why?

Because you want to get your content out to as many potential leads as possible, and influencers already hold power and authority over these networks.

You’ve just created a great blog piece around a topic which was inspired by a well-known, influential thought leader in your field. You reach out to them on Twitter, thanking them for the inspiration and asking them to retweet your post. Imagine the reach and traffic you’ll garner if he/she does?

Okay, so it’s not always easy to get a retweet from users with a huge following. But think about people in your industry who speak at events, write material for highly reputable publications and sites, and have acquired a hefty network of keen prospects, all hungry for solution-based, and educative content. And think about that audience - they're exactly the type of people you want to see your content.

Why not leverage platforms such as Linkedin to reach out directly? You can more often than not, reach people via the private messaging tool. Or, as with the illustration above, create a piece of content around a subject they’ve already written about or shared. This will be more likely to grab the attention of the influencer, since people love praise so much, and you'll increase the shareability factor.

Guest posting

Asking to contribute to a highly trafficked blog platform will do nothing to harm your promotional efforts, unless it is:

  • Full of low quality articles
  • Irrelevant to your field
  • A poor quality domain
  • Has no domain authority

Guest posting has been proven at propelling amateur bloggers to the top of google.

Try googling your targeted keyword with the following search variations to help you filter out those blogs which are accepting guest posts.

For example:

  • *keyword* “submit a guest post”
  • *keyword* “guest post”
  • *keyword* “accepting guest posts”
  • *keyword* “guest post guidelines”

Featuring on a high performing blog can do wonders for your traffic and your SEO, gaining you masses of exposure.

But avoid overselling your own site.

Algorithms are becoming more sophisticated by the day and will recognise unethical attempts to over-plug your site. If they suspect you're using unethical tactics, they'll disregard your content altogether. Link purposefully, and only include backlinks to your site that improve the delivery of your content.

Alternatively, you could reach out to your respected clients and ask them to write a guest post for you. This gives you access to an entirely new their network which could include potential leads, similar to your buyer persona, and this method takes little to no effort. And remember that many buyers are influenced by their peers and colleagues.

Blog nurturing emails

Nurturing and growing your email list should already be a priority, and if isn’t, make it one.

Building a workflow around your visitors' activity gives you the power to tailor and contextualise your content promotion for maximum reach.

By tracking the buyer's journey through your site, you can create nurturing emails that are in alignment with specific questions, pain points and interests of your segmented lists.

You could segment your contacts based on their first interaction with your website, and tweak further content offerings to suit. For example, submissions from one ebook might be interested in other content offers and information surrounding this topic.

You have the power to tweak the subject, content body and value proposition of this email, to concur with the current interests, questions and pain points of these prospects.

Don't forget, an effective workflow tool means you can track your contacts through their journey from the email onwards, and you can use this data to keep on improving and refining your methods.

Strategic timing

It’s all well and good maximising your social media presence with regular posting to your channels, but are you posting at optimal times?

Experiment with posting times to identify when your audiences are most active. Use micro-opportunity windows, which never fall on the hour. You should also take into account that many brands have set up automated sharing tools that post on the hour, so avoid getting lost in these hourly floods of scheduled posts.

It may seem obvious, but knowing when your audiences are actually online is another key factor in successful content promotion.

Are there time zones to consider? Do they work shifts or 9-5? Your buyer personas can inform your posting times, but there's nothing like trial and error to determine the most effective windows of opportunity. Facebook, LinkedIn and even Instagram now offer free analytic tools to help you track the engagement and reach of your posts.

Visual replication

Could your content be repurposed into a visual element such as a video, infographic or Slideshare?

Considering other creative and visual mediums gives viewers a great desire to respond, share and repost your content. And you’re also opening yourself up to a whole new audience.

A younger audience might prefer to watch a video, but what about prospects with English as second language? They might prefer an easy-to-digest infographic.

Visual replications of your top performing content opens the door to a whole new audience, and can be promoted across different channels. And since 90% of the information transmitted by the brain is visual, you start to create a variety of content offerings that are both remarkable and memorable.

Well, I don't know about you but I'm craving a slice of cake now. Time for a coffee break.

If you'd like some more reading material to make your coffee break even more productive, why not download our free ebook on developing inbound marketing for professional services. 

The Inside Track on Inbound Marketing for Professional Services

 

Topics: Professional Services

Nicola Risi

Written by Nicola Risi

Nicola writes content for Equinet as well as our clients. After completing a degree in English Literature and Language, and a CIM Marketing diploma, Nicola has spent the last five years working in creative account management and copywriting. Her wealth of sector experience ranges from charities and healthcare, to corporate and commercial brands.

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