I’ve spent the last few weeks travelling around, meeting and speaking with many professional services business owners and their staff all over the country. What is apparent to me is that many are missing out on a couple of enormous opportunities. So today I want to flag three areas of your marketing you should understand better and consider properly leveraging.
Embracing social media as a key tool for marketing and BD.
You might be surprised to hear just how many of our clients come to us after watching us for some time on social media, gradually building trust. Social media is a great way for you and your business to gradually build a relationship with its market… and allow them to choose to do business with you.
A website that talks to your customers properly
Many firms are failing in the implementation of a great, powerful website that talks to their clients and targets properly and regularly. It is frustrating to watch so many companies get burned in the web development process at the moment…
What you must remember when you go to build a website is that web designers and internal marketing teams are not usually experts in business or marketing strategy (trust me!!! And I know and love plenty of people in both types of roles). So if you go to a web designer and part with a lot of money without properly understanding what you and your customer want to get out of it, and I mean really get out of it, you are doing yourself a great disservice. Web developers go through design school!! not business school so they cannot tell you if your business strategy or your website is talking to the right market or not… That coupled with their desire to keep the costs of development down and the profit margin up means they rarely suggest too much innovation once the priced is fixed down.
So if you aren’t careful, you’ll be back there in a year complaining that your site “Isnt good enough” and starting all over again.
Ensure you are harnessing the true power of content
Businesses (and many PR companies too) don’t understand the new way of marketing – inbound marketing or content marketing. And it ain’t that new!!! People outside of Australia have been content marketing for over 5 years. About as long as we have at Stretch. Remember the cries “Content is King”?? Well it wasn’t then, because there was no ways to serve content well, but now CONTENT IS KING.
Content marketing is possibly the most powerful and lowest cost form of marketing available to a professional business. Good content allows you to generously educate and inform your clients without selling anything. Instead, you use it to build a closer relationship with them over time by repeatedly giving value to them. Content can come in many forms, from articles, blogs and whitepapers to videos and infographics. If you think it is just email newsletters, and that they don’t work, it is time to take a more careful look.
But be warned, most PR companies are still approaching content marketing as a broadcast mechanism, writing salesy advertorial. This is NOT content marketing… this is PR and PR as we knew it two years ago is less and less valuable. Why…? Because the media is less powerful and we all have direct reach into our markets.
So, take what you can from my few weeks on planes, in trains and driving round talking to business owners… They are the value I get to share with you as a part of eating my own dog food.
And before I finish up, I just want to remind you to get going on your marketing and BD if you haven’t already… The period from April until November is usually the time when most businesses get to enjoy accelerating, growing and earning. Start now and you’ll reap rewards sooner than you might if you put it off til July.