The biggest mistakes professional services firms make in Content Marketing (and how to avoid them)
It’s no surprise how important content marketing is to professional services firms – it’s one of the best marketing investments a firm can make. It will let you forge a connection with your prospects while showcasing your firm’s brand and it will give your company a human face and demonstrate your expertise.
Yet, content marketing doesn’t come without its challenges. The market is crowded and the web is awash with white papers, videos, blogs and case studies. Planning and strategy is therefore key.
So, in this blog we wanted to share 10 of the most common content marketing mistakes, and what you can do to avoid them.
- Getting caught up in keywords
Although keyword research is a crucial component in any successful marketing strategy, try not to let them dominate your campaign. Shoehorning them in will stand out to your readers, creating a poor user experience. You can also be caught out with an over-optimisation penalty from Google if they deem your content to be stuffed full of too many keywords.
Prioritise writing quality content, the appropriate keywords will find their way in naturally into your writing.
- Not solving specific problems
Some companies will produce blogs or social content that is vaguely related to their industry, but doesn’t actually address a specific problem faced by the prospective client. By getting deep into your research you’ll learn about your customer’s pain points, and once you know these you can produce highly relevant content that speaks to these challenges.
- Not reviewing performance
Without regularly monitoring the traffic for your content and looking at how it’s converting there is no way to tell if your strategy is working.
Tracking this closely gives you the opportunity to improve your poor-performing content, as well as telling you what your top-performing content is – so you can create even more of it.
Engagement metrics such as social media shares, page views, and the time visitors spent looking at your content can help you improve campaigns. Tracking software is affordable and easy to implement, and can help you automate these processes.
- Focusing on sales
When creating content, keep your focus on how it can provide the best possible value for your customer. Every channel has its own type of culture with an unwritten rule of engagement and connection. When creating content think beyond the basic sell and dig deeper to become part of the culture.
Keep this focus and you’ll gain your customer’s trust and respect, which will ultimately lead to more sales down the line.
- Inconsistent publication schedule
To capitalise on your content marketing it’s important to stick to a regular schedule. Consistency is crucial when growing an audience. There are plenty of professional services firms ready to fill the vacuum created when you don’t post, so keep to your schedule and don’t give anyone the chance to take your place.
Planning out content in advance helps you manage this, it also allows you to prepare seasonal content to tie in with holidays and specific campaigns you are running.
- Not keeping relevant
A common mistake in content marketing is writing about topics that are off your audience’s radar. It’s easy to fall into the trap of writing about what you find interesting, rather than the topics that bring you closer to your target market. What matters is relevance to your target buyer. If you’re going to attract and convert prospects, then your content must be of interest to them.
- Creating the same content
Content marketing means more than just writing blogs. Although it’s true that blogging can be incredibly effective in your plan, it shouldn’t be the only element. Consider what formats work best for your content – video or infographics can be visually gripping and very impactful, or try adding podcasts, how-to guides and case studies into the mix.
It’s also worth considering how you’re distributing your content – what about guest blogging for another site, or distributing your content as an e-book? Variety is vital in your strategy.
- Not publishing enough
Regularly posting generates more leads, so keep the content coming! Hubspot’s recent research found a clear correlation between the frequency of publishing and leads generated – they found that brands that published 16+ blog posts per month received about 4.5X more leads than companies that published between 0 – 4 monthly posts. We’re not saying produce 16 because it’s important to keep quality, but you get the point that regular posting is critical.
- Not creating reusable content
According to Sirius Decisions, 60-70% of B2B content goes unused. That’s a lot of wasted time and energy. A quality piece of content requires a lot of time and resources, so it’s crucial that you work hard to maximise the return on your investment by creating content that can be repurposed and posted on different channels later on.
Consider repurposing a blog post into an infographic, or pulling out chapters form an e-book and turning them into blog posts, or vice-versa. All of the research is there so it’s simply a matter of repackaging the content into a different medium. Creating content is time-consuming and expensive, so think creatively about how you can maximise that investment.
- Writing without including CTA’s
Last, but certainly not least, remember to include a call to action at the end of your content. This can be an easy mistake to make if you are following our advice and trying to not sound too ‘salesy’, but trust us! If you’ve published an interesting piece of content and your prospect has got to the end, then they are in a prime position to click a CTA, and then you’ve done what was intended by your content – captured a valuable lead.
The purpose of your strategy is to help you get leads and generate conversions out of it. A great CTA will do that.
There is no doubt that content marketing is the best way of getting inbound traffic into your site and generating more leads. When executed properly it will help you build your online authority and boost your organic traffic. Address the common mistakes above to help your strategy deliver.
If you would like any further advice on your content strategy, please do not hesitate to get in contact.