Many service businesses have yet to hear of content marketing or to take it seriously. That’s a shame.
These days business is harder to come by than it once was.
Quite a few service businesses, including professional practices, have been waiting for the economy to pick up.
They’ve been hoping things will get better.
What they’re noticing is that it takes longer to get new business. The cost of new customer acquisition has gone up. People take longer to make up their minds. The contracts are also smaller when they actually arrive.
Many service-based businesses are starting to look for different ways to bring in new business to help them to deal with this situation.
Today, that’s where content marketing comes in.
Content Marketing Is Great Marketing
Content marketing is modern marketing. If you want to do well online – and it’s online where lots of offline and real world businesses are making most progress these days – then you need to make use of content marketing.
- Content marketers share free content.
- They share free and valuable content.
- They aim to catch, and then to keep, their website visitors’ attention using content marketing.
- They aim to encourage website visitors to take action as a result of reading that valuable, interesting and relevant content.
All of this means that businesses committing to become content marketers commit, too, to updating their website content regularly. (My definition of regularly is daily if you can manage it. Weekly will have to do, if you can’t.)
If you move into content marketing you will need to write about issues that are of interest to your website visitors, too. There’s no point in producing lots of content that no one finds or reads. (It’s not as easy to get noticed and remembered as it once was. There are thousands upon thousands of how to do this and how to do that articles on the web these days.)
Producing good quality content each week will cost you time and lots of effort. It’s not an add-on activity for someone to do in a spare moment.
However, it’s worth the effort.
Successful content marketers know, that they are writing their content to help them to make sales.
Remember that content marketing remains marketing. – Lots of service businesses forget this.
Give Away Even More Content – But Not To Every One
Do you remember those “free” seminars that were once very popular that were nothing but sales pitches? Have you read blogs where you know, you just know, that by the time you reach the penultimate paragraph there’s going to be a sales pitch?
Have you seen those websites that still just say:
- This is who we are.
- This is what we do.
- This is how long we’ve been doing it.
- Here are a few testimonials from happy customers.
- Here are our services.
- Here’s how to get in touch.
(If you still have a website like that we should speak. We really should.)
The good news is that if most of your competitors still have websites like that, then the moment you start to take content marketing seriously, you will find that you have an advantage over them.
When you start to use content marketing to build your business, you’ll want to achieve two things.
- You’ll want to build a list of interested subscribers. (That means you want to build a list of people who could become clients.)
- You’ll want to give your subscribers content that is even more valuable than the material you post on your site for every one to see.
We do this in our business by producing special reports.
These reports are only available to our subscribers.
They demonstrate the real value of working with The Adams Consultancy Ltd.
They give away information and guidance that readers can use to improve their business. In some ways they’re better than testimonials at promoting our business.
The reports you produce must address issues that matter to your clients. It’s no good just writing about what’s interesting to you. Do that, and you’re wasting your time.
Over the last two years I’ve written more than ten reports for The Adams Consultancy Ltd along with quite a few special reports for our clients.
Some of the titles are:
What To Do When You Hate Your Website – a report for exasperated real world business owners keen to make a start on content marketing.
Bridging The Funding Gap – a report to help public sector training providers earn more money from the private sector as government funding has declined.
The Only Guide To Twitter You’ll (Probably) Ever Need – a report for real world businesses keen to use social media to build their businesses not to enhance their social life.
Each special report deals with an issue of interest to our target audience. That’s how we get our subscribers.
Why Service Businesses Need To Take Content Marketing Seriously
At the beginning of this post I talked about the cost of customer acquisition.
Getting new business can also be expensive, especially if, these days, you have to attend more networking meetings and have one-to-one meetings with more people more often before they become clients.
That’s where content marketing comes into its own.
Use content marketing to draw people to you. Make your content interesting and relevant and you’ll draw the people who could become clients. They are “warm prospects” when they choose to sign up to your list. They have already demonstrated an interest in you and what your business does. You must still convert interest into sales but you should be able to shorten the sales cycle as a result of your content marketing efforts.
To put this simply you can cut the cost of customer acquisition if more people seek you out.
That’s the difference content marketing can make to your service business. That’s the real reason why content marketing matters to service businesses.