The “synonymous effect of content marketing” is a key reason why lawyers, accountants and other professionals need to embrace it.
Content marketing’s nothing new.
It’s been around for hundreds (if not thousands) of years. It’s something that you’ve probably been doing throughout your career: sharing content that you, or others, have put together with your target audience(s).
The difference now is that online tools make it even easier for you to create an association in your existing clients’ and prospects’ minds between you and the content you share.
In his Slideshare for social selling presentation, Kevin Fisher terms this the “synonymous effect of content marketing” where “the effect of the content becomes synonymous with the sharer.”
Irrespective of whether you’ve created a piece of content, or curated someone else’s, it’s about getting people to associate you with a particular topic.
When doing so it is important to think about your audiences. You will want to share different content with different types of people. After all a CEO’s concerns will be different from those of CFO’s or General Counsel.
When creating your own content consider creating variations of it to appeal to each of them – for example, if some Case law has been set you may have clients likely to benefit, as well as those likely to lose out, as a result. Rather than sending them the same summary, you could change relevant parts to be written from their perspective.
We all know how easy it is to get pigeon-holed by clients...they use you in one area but often have no idea of your skills in another – usually because you’ve never told them.
Or they’ve never had a need in that area.
Content marketing can reverse this effect.
It’s one thing to tell someone something once (they may or may not remember) but quite another to consistently associate yourself with particular topics. For example, if you specialise in equity capital markets and regularly share content about shares, market commentary, trends etc. people are going to start thinking of you as an expert in this space.
If you’re a tax specialist you’ll want to share content relating to tax developments, Inland Revenue (or equivalent) updates etc.
The beauty of it is that you won’t need to create the vast majority of content. You’ll have sourced it and shared it where relevant – positioning yourself as a ‘go-to’ source of great content in your area(s) of expertise by doing people’s reading for them.
The aim is that when people have a need in your area they think of you.
Even if you know someone really well, it can be months between meetings. If they, or a contact of theirs, has a need, you may not be top of mind.
Consistently and frequently sharing relevant content via social networks and email (as well as over the phone and in-person) reinforces your expertise and keeps you front of mind.
Meaning people are more likely to call on you when they need help.
Kevin, in his slideshare presentation, references the Demandgen Report (Feb 12) which found that “more than 90% of business to business purchases start with content engagement.”
Whether or not that’s true for lawyers and accountants, I don’t know. But I do know that often you’re the ones to alert your clients and prospects to a particular issue. You often get work on the back of this, right? Well that client’s purchase started out with content engagement.
If you want to position yourself to get more of your ideal work from more of your ideal clients, then you’re going to want to make content marketing part of your mix.
Tips for getting started:
- Identify the key topics/areas/industries with which you want to be associated.
- Set up a calendar and insert key dates (relevant to your topic/area/indusry) such as when new legislation is due out that may affect your clients, the next Reserve Bank announcement etc.
- Look through your existing content and see if you can re-use or re-purpose any of it. Diarise this in your calendar and look for different angles for different segments of your audience.
- Plan what content you will create and when – fit this around conference talks you’re giving, presentations you’re running etc. so that you’re minimising the amount you need to create from scratch.
- Find some good sources of 3rd party content you can curate – for example, set up Google Alerts for keywords relevant to you, follow relevant people/organisations on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn etc, and subscribe to any relevant national and international broadsheet, trade and competitor publications and blogs. Doing so will help you to keep abreast of the latest developments and to share these with your network.
- Identify how and where you are going to share this content both on and offline. For example, sending articles to individual contacts, incorporating them in your newsletter, sharing via social networks such as LinkedIn status updates and within relevant LinkedIn groups (n.b. don’t just share a link into multiple group as that’s a form of spam. Draft a tailored intro and space out your posts), putting them on your website etc. There are so many ways to share content. Use as many as possible to maximise your reach. Don’t worry that people might have seen it before, they’ll ignore it the second time.
What have I missed?
How could you improve your content marketing?