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Matthew Brannelly - The Rise of Digital Marketing for Professional Services

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8 pages
Matthew Brannelly says that there is a lot of trendy mumbo jumbo used in the world of advertising and the latest trend is a black box called “ social media marketing “ or digital marketing is its correct description. Everyone is now an “expert “. As a result a lot of money is being wasted on mis-directed campaigns.
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Matthew Brannelly - The Rise of Digital Marketing for Professional Services
Matthew Brannellysays that there is a lot of trendy mumbo jumbo used in the world of advertising and the latest trend is a black box called “ social media marketing “ or digital marketing is its correct description. Everyone is now an “expert “. As a result a lot of money is being wasted on mis-directed campaigns.
Today, we hope to shed some light and debunk some of the myths. Having done that, the next step is deciding on an implementation strategy to get moving.
The first thing we need to do is define our target market. Remember being specific is vital and no one will hear a “generalist ‘amongst all the noise in the market. Accountants and lawyers targeting SME‘s could define their audience as business owners most likely to be:
Fact based and commercial in approach Accurate and have attention to detail Analytical forward thinkers Practical and logical Disciplined Hard working, honest and have integrity
As a result, a successful marketing approach to this demographic using digital media, needs a core focus on interesting information, relevant education and value add to the busy business owner. The messaging needs to be holistic in scope across potential areas of interest with nil focus on product.
The reason for the increased emphasis on digital marketing as a channel and for a deeper social media engagement is because the marketing landscape is evolving. Professionals are consuming more and more digital content on a daily basis due in large part to the increased use of mobile phones, tablets and other easy to access digital means. With a focus on the professional channel as a way to increase inbound leads, firms need to engage with the proposed channels in a more nuanced and effective way.
Matthew Brannelly- Why the emphasis of digital marketing?
Quickly and effectively spread the message Increase of branding and awareness Stay in front of mind of potential client base Be informative and educational based in approach Keep the potential clients up to date Become the “Trusted Solution”
Research has shown:
86% of businesses stated that social media is important 89% of businesses stated that increase exposure and brand awareness is the number one benefit of social media
The benefits of social media as a part of the digital marketing landscape are:
Increased exposure and improved stronger brand awareness Increased traffic to website Development of fans and advocates Share expertise and knowledge – become the “trusted solution” Generation of leads Growth of meaningful business partnerships Reduction of marketing and advertising expenses Improved levels of sales Tap into wisdom of clients Provision of marketplace insight so as to maintain the relevance of message and brand Build a community network based upon education, information and the “trusted solution” blueprint
An increased emphasis on social media within a digital marketing framework is now essential to growing the brand. A targeted digital media campaign that revolves around the dissemination of information and education compliments the traditional digital and media lead generation strategies. Both traditional and social media should run in parallel and be integrated in delivery across both and driving traffic between mediums.
Digital media also provides analytical feedback, a collection of data that assists in providing lead generation feedback on the messaging of the material so as to massage the communication to improve cut-through and through-put to website. The data is collated in real time, so messaging improvements can be made quickly and effectively and lead generation follow up contact program can occur in a timely manner so that the lead remains “warm”.
Social Media lead generation through referral marketing
A recent survey of professional services firms’ top priorities and initiatives in 2015, found that referral marketing was the top marketing initiative that respondents planned to undertake this year. And there are several good reasons for that. For starters, this priority aligns with respondents’ most commonly cited challenge, generating new business.
Our Brand Drives Referrals
46.4% of brand-based referrals are driven by generalreputation 48.1% of brand-based referrals are driven byexpertise
A small percentage of additional referrals (6%) come from people who have met us but don’t have much detailed information about what we actually do.
There’s a common theme here – sharing our expert knowledge. This knowledge-sharing might come in the form of speaking engagements (30% of respondents), blog posts and articles (20%), books (15%), or social media engagement (17%).
In sum, the sources cited by buyers constitute the major pillars of a successful Social Media content marketing strategy. What’s more, it’s likely that these sources also drive many reputation-based referrals, serving as channels through which recognition of our capabilities and expertise can spread.
How Buyers Check Out Professional Services Providers
When Referral Marketing Succeeds
The fact is most of the reasons behind failed referrals and lead generation can be fixed or avoided. In order to avoid getting ruled out up-front, it’s important to understand our target audience. Demonstrate our expertise through educational and relevant content, showing our audience why our knowledge matters tothem. Build our network and build our visibility through a robust social media content driven strategy.
Social Media client education and engagement
As referenced above, the key to building networks, brand and generating engaged leads is through an effective content driven strategy based upon education and information. This cements the client engagement and we become the “trusted adviser. The keys to building education based engagement are as follows:
Be interactive through questionnaires and quizzes Provide a wide variety of content that will interest the target market
Leveraging existing content using different marketing channels and integrate with traditional marketing channels Use links in social media to drive traffic to website Communicate effectively – stay on message and understand your target markets Diversify content but still link back to website and core offering Clients love interaction to increase knowledge base Subscription model to drive client engagement and build email database Keep content fresh, up to date, accurate and relevant Subtle promotion of product (as a benefit) through educational means Be entertaining and light-hearted so as to surprise clients Call to action as part of driving traffic to website Have COI’s send TF digital content out to their clients creating a network Send communications regularly through social media and replicated online Long term strategy with lead times as engagement process is solidified and trust is established
Planned Social Media Strategy: LinkedIn
Research shows that six in ten now turn to social media to check out firms before they purchase. Amazingly, it also reveals that social media presence is now even more critical than client references. If we want to grow our business, it’s time to get serious about social media marketing. It’s best to begin with a solid foundation on the one social media platform that matters most for professional service firms—LinkedIn. That’s because it’s populated by educated professionals sharing the latest ideas.
The key statistics of LinkedIn as a means to leverage a planned corporate social media campaign are:
Social media (such as LinkedIn) is now the top internet activity LinkedIn has 283+ million users 27% of LinkedIn users access through mobile 50% of users have a degree (perfect social media channel for our target markets) 42% update profiles regularly (they are engaged)
There are several ways that LinkedIn can also drive traffic to a site without any marketing spend. Experience tells us that more traffic leads to more conversions (driving traffic to a website and clients subscribing to downloading premium content) which results in more new business opportunities.
People who come to your website from LinkedIn do so with some familiarity with your business and product offering. Thus, when they arrive, they’re more likely to convert into a qualified lead.
Using LinkedIn as the major focus to a social media campaign can be powerful. You can build relationships that are not limited by geography, become known as the “trusted adviser” and increase web traffic and conversions.
LinkedIn is the primary social network for professional services firms – it’s where your future clients are sharing relevant information and discussing industry trends. By participating in groups, sharing content in our LinkedIn’s news feed, and connecting directly with those who match your client profile, you can reach our target market easily, efficiently and cost effectively.
Planned Corporate Social Media campaign
Businesses that use social media as part of a planned corporate approach are 2 times more likely to anticipate revenue growth through leads and referrals than adhoc social media use.
What does a planned corporate approach look like?
The most important aspect of a planned social media strategy is content. Planning the approach using social media which will underpin LinkedIn as the distribution model will be multi-layered and include:
Post Blogs through LinkedIn (replicate through website) Relevant news articles and releases Expert articles (subscribe with email) Photo galleries Events (register to attend: in-house information sessions with guest speakers) Video feeds Webinars/Podcasts (subscribe with email) Premium content (subscribe with email) Case studies
Research has found that over 60% of buyers check out new service providers on social media, making it a more commonly used source of information than formal referrals and recommendations. Even the nature of referrals has changed in the wake of social media. A recent study on referral marketing has found that 17% of expertise-based referrals are made on the basis of interactions on social media. Put simply, social media is an accelerator for the reach of your reputation, expertise, and content. It allows you to network and connect with valuable contacts and influencers, as well as monitor your brand by social listening.
And as new visitors reach your site, robust educational content and carefully targeted offers can drive leads to closer and closer engagements, eventually bringing qualified leads straight to you.
Scope of social media strategy:
A typical digital media strategy could include:
Publish 2 blog posts per month (use of existing newsletter material to supplement content) YouTube video content once per month In-house information events with invited guest speakers once per quarter Hosting Webinars /Podcasts once per quarter Expert articles and premium content once per month
Outcome
If the strategy is implemented appropriately and the frequency of content is followed, the expected outcomes could include :
Building the brand awareness Start own LinkedIn group and become the “trusted adviser” Trust to follow through the uploading of relevant and interesting content and using this to drive traffic to the firm’s website Conversion to follow once awareness and trust has been achieved
What’s holding you back?
If you are not sure where to start, or how to focus this campaign, we are happy to help via a complementary one hour consultation. Drop me a line at Matthew Brannelly -https://www.facebook.com/public/Matthew-Brannelly
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