The world of professional services marketing is not generally known for early adoption of cutting-edge marketing techniques. However, the bottom line is that your ideal clients are using the internet and social media to research their options. They're also talking to their friends and colleagues to get recommendations and suggestions for potential service providers.
You need to embrace the new buying process and meet your prospects on their terms. As you finalise the foundation of your 2015 marketing strategy, here are five marketing trends to give you a jump-start on your competitors:
Micro-targeting: it's time to really get to know your customers
Use your data and dig deeper into customisation and personalisation strategies. If you don’t know who you’re talking to, you won’t know what to say. Creating buyer personas lets you dive deeper into the needs, lifestyle, and motivations of your buyers. This work will help you to construct more relevant content strategies throughout the buying cycle.
Inbound Marketing tools will change the way you play
Over the past few years, there has been a shift away from traditional, interruptive marketing toward inbound techniques. Professional services are finding success publishing original content rather than embedding advertisements within external content. Inbound software systems makes real-time marketing a reality. These systems combine traditional marketing activities like email marketing, content management, search engine optimisation, lead scoring and analytics into holistic tools. The result? An intelligent system to help boost response by delivering relevant and timely messages to prospects.
Always on – monitoring your business reputation
Since the channels of social media are ‘always on’ it is important to vigilantly monitor a variety of social platforms, especially through the brand image. Think of how quickly a video or image can reach millions of viewers. Trying to remove or pull down something that has gone viral, especially something with a negative connotation attached, often just makes matters worse drawing even more attention to the problem. Make sure you and your team know what to do in a crisis – and plan for it.
Mobile will dominate: master it
Business users are consumers outside of work and expect the same types of integrated digital experiences that consumer brands like Coca-Cola and Red Bull offer. Fine-tune your mobile strategy. Don’t assume the same content that did well with your target audience on your blog will have the same impact when viewed on smaller screens that require excessive scrolling. Use dynamic display technology to adjust content offers and image sizes based on users’ screen resolution.
Content distribution: spend your money on the right content and platform
The days of free reach are over. As social networks and large publishers move away from earned media into paid media, you will have to spend more time - and money - investing in paid or sponsored placements in order to be seen. Understand which digital properties are performing best for you. Pair posts with strong calls-to-action (CTAs) which send interested users to a targeted content landing page to extend the conversation. Crunch the data to determine which of your users will watch a video on Facebook but ignore it on LinkedIn, so you can get the right message, in the right place, at the right time – without wasting ad dollars.
If your website is two years old or more, it might be time to consider a redesign project. The world has changed so dramatically in this short time that it’s likely your site needs an upgrade.
imageseven’s Web Excellence Program (WEP) is an eight to twelve week program dedicated to the development and launch of your new website, or improvement to an existing site. You can learn more about the Web Excellence Program by downloading our free ebook “How a web excellence program can build your business”.
Here are some more blogs on online marketing which might be of interest to you.
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This blog was written by Celina Farrell