The aim of professional practice marketing is to drive a steady stream of new clients to the practice. Professional practices, such as architects, accountants and solicitors, may either specialise in business to business (b2b) clients or have partners which focus on b2b separately from the consumer work and different marketing tactics need to be employed.
In marketing to organisations the decision-making process can be more complex than in consumer practices, and the value of each customer is often higher. Personal relationships between the practice partner and their corporate customer are extremely important. Encouraging referrals through word of mouth and personal networking should be a critical part of any b2b marketing strategy.
Given this, why should a b2b practice invest any time or resource in content marketing? In short, because content marketing is about creating information that customers and potential customers are interested in so they pay attention to your practice. Good content can present your practice as an expert and build your brand. It reinforces the personal marketing that the practice partners undertake so that when a contact looks your practice up online they find evidence of a credible and intelligent business.
So if you want great content to market your b2b practice, here are five ideas:
- Stories about your work including your latest contracts and successes should form the heart of your website, social media content and customer communications. Even if your audience is predominantly made of technical buyers, your language should be jargon-free and your content should be succinct.
- Changes in legislation in your industry are the opportunity to share your professional opinion on how the change will impact on your clients, and most importantly, how your practice can help. The budget is an obvious example of financial based practices, but all sectors will have complex legislative changes. Business clients do not have time to wade through the details but they need experts to help them navigate the changes. Your practice response would work as a blog post, short video or e-bulletin.
- Your views about the industry show that you are up to date and informed. You could write a piece detailing what you think will be the trends for the coming year, reviewing a product or service relevant to your audience, or commenting on an issue – for example, architects’ views on buildings or developments they have visited.
- Potential customers will want to know how you solved a particular technical problem – ideally a technical problem similar to the one they have. Any b2b content strategy should feature case studies showcasing your expertise, accompanied by lots of great images.
- User guide to your industry such as advice about how to access your service or what steps you will need to take. Downloadable guides, top tips on social media and videos of the practice partner outlining an issue are all relevant. If you are networking outside your industry, this content is invaluable and will help reassure non-technical buyers that they are in good hands.
If you want help creating and implementing a content marketing plan for your professional practice, contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or @JennyProcter on Twitter.