Firms that are busy doing the day job are the first to admit that marketing takes a back seat when things get hectic yet recognise that they still need to stay 'front of mind' with their target audience.For many businesses, having an in-house marketing team to keep an eye on this is not always a financially viable option. In turn, senior managers or business owners are often the ones trying to manage social media accounts, update the website, blog etc into the wee small hours, making it easy to let this work slip, particularly in busier times.
But where are new enquiries going to come from several months down the line, or next year?If you have a long lead time from enquiries to billing, you should be mindful of what you’ll be working on in 3-6 months’ time, perhaps even longer.
Managing new enquiries is a balancing act.On one hand, you don’t want to take on too much and risk disappointing new and existing clients and, on the other, you don’t want to upset prospects by turning work away.
Without ongoing marketing and continuing to build your brand, you’ll soon see a slump in web traffic, engagement on social media, generally slipping off people’s radar and, over time, the risk of a downturn in work.
Make sure you’re moving with the times
In a fast paced and competitive environment, not only is it important to maintain marketing momentum, but also to keep an eye on the constantly evolving marketing tools, tactics and strategies you can deploy to keep ahead. A real life and practical example of this was when Cal Partners’ Marketing Manager, Rachel returned from maternity leave. After just under a year of being “out of the loop”, following her return she shares, below, her views on what’s changed in terms of marketing trends, developments and what’s not the big fad anymore.
Video is at the heart of everything! It has continued to grow and is increasingly being used on social media. However, as more and more people use video to get their story/message across, it’s important to make sure that your video is different; it’s not just about the views but getting people to watch your video in full, engage with it and gain value from the time invested in watching it. YouTube is increasingly being used by businesses, be it to demonstrate ‘thought leadership’ as well as client testimonials and ‘how to’ videos and animations.
LinkedIn has stepped up to the next level for B2B marketing with targeted advertising, personalised ads and the ability to easily upload video. Although the direct messages can be a little annoying and spammy, we have seen the success of targeted advertising for the benefit of our clients.
With recent algorithm changes, Facebook has continued to be quite ‘tough’ and fiddly to manage. Facebook isn’t going anywhere yet though and remains a dominant platform. Done well, Facebook advertising is still an affordable way of reaching a well targeted B2C audience.
Has twitter lost its mojo? It’s a minefield where you have to make yourself stand out. It’s being used because people feel they must have a presence and although that’s true to a certain level, there’s no point in regurgitating and posting content if it’s not beneficial to your audience and you are not engaging or receiving engagement.
Twitter is still a strong platform for B2B, but it all comes back to producing and posting content that’s engaging and educational…think differently. Instagram is becoming an increasingly popular platform for business and perhaps is starting to fill the gaps left by Twitter.
From the scare tactics last year to still receiving cold call emails, it seems that as long as robust internal policies are in place, with the relevant consents, website privacy notices and cookies policies, GDPR hasn’t really killed marketing.
- Are we human?
It was all about the bots last year and perhaps we’ve taken it too far with the emphasis on marketing in 2019 to be more human. Using bots and automation is still in the mix but using it properly is key. Don’t forget to humanise your brand, give yourself a personality and showcase who you are.
So how does this relate to the professional services sector?
Professional services businesses are waking up to the value of marketing, including social media. As well as helping to raise profile and demonstrate industry expertise and thought leadership, social media reveals what’s “under the skin” of a business, particularly important for example, in recruiting the best candidates – crucial in any service-based industry.
There has been a definite shift with firms ramping up their marketing especially within social media. The main challenge is that it takes time and people away from the day job and the all-important billing! That’s where we can help, devising a pragmatic strategy, generating ideas and putting them in place, allowing our professional services clients to get on with their day job.
In summary, if things didn’t develop and move on, we would all become stale and when it comes to marketing, it’s important to be ahead of the competition and stand out.
Winners of the 2018 North East Marketing Awards Small Agency of the Year category, Cal Partners is a Newcastle-based marketing and digital marketing agency and business development consultancy working exclusively with professional services firms.We work with companies of all sizes, often as an outsourced marketing department to help develop on and offline strategies that deliver results.
Marketing for Professional Services
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