Intangibility, variability, perishability, and inseparability are some of the features of services that complicate marketing for service-based businesses. Demonstrating expertise and knowledge are the two ways service-based firms can overcome these challenges while attracting, converting, and retaining clients.
Using content marketing, you can show your knowledge, expertise, competence, and professionalism in a manner that puts your service firm above competition. According to a study by HubSpot, out of the 5.6 billion searches on Google daily, 60% are questions related to service provision. Law, taxes, medicine, accounting, forex trading, repairs and maintenance, make-up, and fashion account for the 60% of services frequently searched.
As a service firm, you have an opportunity to attract leads to your website or blog by providing answers to these questions. Read on to know how to design a content strategy that can feed your funnels with qualified and fit leads.
1. Establish your goals
Any company needs to orientate their goals into something that is measurable and that consequently can be measured. Understand the concept of goal orientation here. As a service firm, what do you hope to achieve through content strategy?
Unlike a product-based business, service-based firms lack the luxury of marketing by appealing to the five senses of touch, sight, feel, smell, and taste. As a service company, your goals for a content should seek to deliver the following intangible factors:
- Build trust
- Communicate value
- Stay connected
- Communicate differentiation on their service.
When possible, measure these goals. A survey with your readers and subscribers can help you understand if you are achieving these goals so you can trust you are building a strong service brand.
2. Define your niche and focus on it
No one wants to deal with a jack of all trades in a service firm. Remember, unlike products where a company can use technology to produce millions of product units, service firms are limited by the person providing.
Hence, the learning curve concept, which implies you can only improve by doing something several times, is highly applicable to service firms. Niche marketing has many advantages to a service firm, including:
It allows you to have differentiated content marketing, always offering something else to the competition.
Increased revenue: By being an expert in your field, you can charge a premium price.
Reduced marketing costs: Being an expert in your area makes it easier to get referrals from the industry players and the general business community.
Creates trust and credibility: When you focus, people view you as an expert in your field, so they trust your opinion. Enjoy the benefits of economies of scale: When you do
3. Choose content type and develop a content schedule
Your content schedule should answer two questions, what content and how frequent. You can choose articles, blog posts, videos, memes, infographics, influencer marketing, newsletters, TV commercials, radio adverts, or billboards and posters in terms of what content. Remember, content strategy for a service firm goes beyond your website content or blog posts.
Set Up a Solid Content Strategy
Your focus is to design a content strategy that enables you to fulfill the goals outlined above. How do you know which is the correct content type for your service firm? Two words determine your content type: who and where. After understanding who your target audience is, know where they are on digital or offline platforms. Here are some content ideas corresponding to a specific target audience.
Present Case Studies And White Papers
If your target audience is the senior executive of tech companies, presenting a white paper on the future of artificial intelligence might be a great way to captivate while offering value to your target clients.
Interview Industry Expert
To produce great content, you don’t have to be a know-it-all in your field. You can invite a specialist with expertise in digital to interview. Then you can write an article on the interview and post it on your blog.
Explain Technical Jargon
Using an article or a video, provide a beak-down of the technical jargon your company services deals with.
Teach Misunderstood Process And Principles
Give an overview in an area misunderstood or with little information on the process and principles. Run a law firm specializing in divorce. You can create a video, article, or podcast detailing the process of filing for divorce, the cost, the duration, and tips to make the process easier for both parties, for example.
Behind -the- scene content gives your leads a sneak peek into your daily operation. This not only establishes your credibility but can also help take off the pressure of presenting a perfect image of your business. Let your clients see you sweating, tired, frustrated, discouraged, but still trying to satisfy their needs. Whatever content type you choose, ensure it is tied to the goals of your content strategy.
4. Choose your channel and frequency of posting
Which is the best way to share your reports, articles, videos, or case studies? Choosing a content channel is simply understating your audience and where they are. If your target clients are senior executives, the best channels are LinkedIn since most executives are on LinkedIn.
Choose Your Channels
If your target audience is the older generation, like retirees, TV commercials and radio might be a good strategy since most old folks are hardly on social media, but they love watching the news. If your target audience is young people in their twenties and thirties, social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn might be ideal.
In terms of the frequency, this varies depending on your chosen channel. If you select TV commercials, then consider your budgetary allocation since TV commercials tend to be expensive. Social media channels are free to post; hence you can share a video twice per week and two articles per week.
Other content like memes and infographics can be shared numerous times throughout the day, especially if you have a LinkedIn company page and social media posts. In the case of an expert interview, sharing one interview per month or once every two weeks is a great place to start.
Service based businesses need to spend time considering their approach and channels. For a service based business, looking to develop an online marketing approach, look here for some in depth guides on defining your best digital channels.
Case studies and white papers take time to compile. Sharing one every quarter is reasonable, especially when constrained by time, budget, and human capital like most small service firms.
5. Measure Your Return
You must know if your content strategy is giving you value for your time and time. The metrics to be measured or the KPI (Key performance indicators) must be tied to your goal.
Measuring returns on a product firm is easy since the numbers can be quantified, but how do you measure trust, credibility, loyalty, or connectedness? Next you will see the three metrics you can count on to know the return on content marketing in your service firm.
If your existing customers are upgrading to the next higher plan, the content marketing strategy was successful. However, if the customers stay on the same program or down-grading, review your content marketing strategy.
How many customers did you have at the beginning of the content marketing strategy? How many do you have at the time you measure return on marketing?
How many referrals have you received from your existing clients?
Content Marketing is an excellent opportunity to increase your website authority and improve your branding. Using these tips, you can design a content strategy plan that can earn you trust and credibility, which are the major currencies of a service firm.