Converting technical expertise into growth engines

By Sylvia Montgomery posted 09-10-2014 14:05

Experts in your firm can leverage their status to drive significant new growth and profits for the firm as a whole. Let's face it, not every technical professional feels comfortable engaging in active business development. However, for the most part they do feel comfortable sharing their knowledge. Content marketing goes hand-in-hand with creating Visible Experts for your firm. What techniques is your firm using to convert expertise into thought leadership? 

In the book, The Visible Expert  - you can learn about the journey. In the meantime, here are five key components I've identified. 

1. Choose your social channels.

With so many social media platforms to choose from (and new ones seemingly popping up all the time), you want to make choices that best reflect the goals of your firm. Ask yourself these three questions to guide your decision:

  • Where can I find my target audience?
  • What type of information am I interested in sharing?
  • What are my networking goals?

Based on your answers to these questions, select social media platforms that meet your needs and allow you to connect with prospects and other industry professionals.

  • LinkedIn is the primary social network of choice for professional service firms. Due to its focus on professionalism, it can be a great platform to showcase your expertise and engage with communities.
  • Twitter offers a great opportunity for niche communities to connect thanks to the use of hashtags and the ease of following a feed.
  • Pinterest is worth considering as a visual branding platform. You can share images of completed projects and designs, create inspiration boards with clients, and connect with other firms.

2. Blogging.

The benefits of keeping a consistently updated blog are twofold: 1) you can establish your authority on the topics and issues your customers care about, and 2) you can improve your search engine rankings by using relevant keywords. This helps prospective clients not only find your website, but gives them informative content to enjoy once they get there.

Honing in on the right keywords for your services is essential to getting the most out of your blog. Track the search terms prospects are using the find you and create content centered on their biggest concerns and problems.

3. Customize your content offer for your target audience.

Just as your target audiences don’t always have the same needs, your content also can’t be one size fits all. The topics that appeal to landowners and developers may not be as compelling to architects and engineers. While there may be overlap, your strategy will see the most success if you segment your marketing and direct your content to the right audiences.

To achieve this, you need to have a strong understanding of your target audiences’ motivations. Creating personas can help you cater content to the needs of each group.

4. Whitepapers.

As part of the larger content marketing strategy, whitepapers can work to entice customers with detailed reports and premium information. Since these documents usually contain content of a higher value, you can require customers to enter contact information in exchange for downloading.

This exchange of information allows your firm to build and nurture leads, as well as keep track of progress. Make sure you:

  1. Monitor the effectiveness of your campaign by keeping track of sign-ups.
  2. Keep track of your new contacts in segmented email lists. Use a CRM to simplify this process.

5. Track everything.

Your content strategy should be flexible based on the results you see. You want your efforts rewarded with the biggest return on investment, so track incoming leads to know what works and what doesn’t. Google Analytics and your CRM system can help you access this valuable information.

There’s never been a better time to embrace B2B content marketing in the A/E/C industry. Including these key components in your strategy will help set your firm up to see the type of results that make a difference.