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Content Marketing and the Professional Services Website

Content Marketing and the Professional Services Website

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Published by Rattleback
Provides 3 recommendations for how to apply a content marketing strategy to a professional service firm's website.
Provides 3 recommendations for how to apply a content marketing strategy to a professional service firm's website.

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Published by: Rattleback on Jun 21, 2012
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12/27/2012

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 A change is occurring in how prospective clientsseek, select and hire professional services firms.This change will have meaningful, lasting effectson the very nature and role of marketing andbusiness development within your firm.The change I speak of is content marketingand its increasing importance in a firm’s abilityto build its business development pipeline andsustain client acquisition goals. No place will thischange have more significant effects than on your firm’s website.
THE ROLE OF THE PROFESSIONALSERVICE FIRM’S WEBSITE
I’m willing to bet that your firm has had at leastthree, if not four or five, websites since theInternet first emerged as a commercial medium.That said, I’m also willing to bet that the lasttime anyone in your firm asked why you havea website was when you built that first site almost20 years ago.So, let’s ask ourselves the question — why doesyour firm even have a website? While there areprobably hundreds of possible answers to thisquestion, I tend to think a professional service firm’s website exists for two primary marketing reasons:
#1 — HELP CLOSE BUSINESS WITH PROSPECTSWHO KNOW YOU.
This first role is really to augment the firm’s traditionalmarketing and business development efforts thatoccur primarily offline. These are prospects whohave determined largely through other means thatthey need a firm like yours, know your firm based onyour existing marketing and business developmentefforts, and are visiting your site to gauge howcredible and capable your firm appears to be relative
CONTENT MARKETING ANDTHE PROFESSIONAL SERVICES WEBSITE
by Jason Mlicki | June 2012
 
to the expertise they’re seeking. In this role, thesite is functioning relatively late in the prospect’sbuying process and is a somewhat passiveparticipant in your own business developmentprocess. Your site has likely been filling this rolefor almost 20 years in some way.
#2 – ATTRACT CLIENTS WHO DON’T KNOW YOU.
In this second role, the website is operating ata much earlier stage in the buying process. It’sassisting to generate potential leads for thebusiness development team, it’s helping to buildthe firm’s pipeline, and as a result it is activelycontributing to the firm’s annual bookings andrevenue. It’s attracting potential clients who don’tknow you, engaging them over time throughinformative content, and nurturing them in such a way that we’re able to identify high value (and lowvalue) prospects for the business developmentteam. This second role is a rather new one for your site, and it may not be doing this much or atall right now. In fact, in our experience less than10% of firm’s have built a site capable of doingthis right now.
THREE TYPES OF CONTENT
It actually takes three different types of contentfor your site to successfully accomplish the twoprimary roles outlined above:
#1 – EXPERIENCE-ORIENTED CONTENT
This is the content almost every professionalservice firm’s website already has. It’s content thatoutlines who the firm is, what it does and who it’sdone it for in the past. It includes such things ascorporate history, founding philosophies, serviceofferings, project profiles, firm news, and bios offirm leaders and consultants.If I asked you to draw upa site map, this content would represent 95%of the pages you’d likelysee on it. That said,ideally it should compriseless than 10% of your site’s total content. Thisis the content used toaccomplish the firstrole of your marketing website – helping to close business with prospects who already know you. A prospect with an alreadydetermined need who knows your firm is really justusing your site to gauge your experience and thecontent outlined above is sufficient to move your business development efforts to the next step ofthat process.
#2 EXPERTISE-ORIENTED CONTENT
On our blog, I describe this as content thateducates. This type of content exists in the formof blog posts, articles,branded research studies, white papers, and webinars.While this content wouldcomprise only a handful ofpages on the sitemap ofeven a relatively large firm, itshould represent the bulk ofa site’s content (upwards of 90%). Your firm usesthis educational content to cast a net to attractprospective clients to your site via search. Thiscontent becomes the definitive source and proof ofyour expertise.The amount of high value educational content you’reable to produce over time will be the single mostcritical element in accomplishing the second goalof your marketing website – attracting clients whodon’t already know you to your firm. To accomplishthis task, your firm needs to be prepared to adda minimum of 2,000 words of useful, high valuecontent to your website on a monthly basis, accordingto Mark O’Brien at Newfangled Web Factory. Thatsaid, if you’re just beginning to produce this sort ofcontent, chances are you won’t see many resultsfrom these efforts until this content comprises atleast 90% of your site’s total content. For instance,if you’re just beginning a website redesign and have
Your firm uses thiseducational contentto cast a net to attractprospective clients toyour site via search

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