Professional Services Organizations: 6 Ways You Could Be Great at Content Marketing

October 03, 2016 George Rafeedie

The mantra at Content Marketing World every year is that organizations, regardless of industry, need to start thinking and acting like publishers in order to succeed in today’s marketing environment.

This year’s conference was no different. Relevant and consistent content that is valuable to your target audience is the way of today’s relationship-building and selling.

This couldn’t be truer for Professional Services Organizations (PSOs). The reasons for this are simple:

  1. You are already respected.
  2. You are already thought leaders.
  3. Most importantly, you are already publishers.

PSO’s naturally nurture relationships and are experts in their skills-based verticals, so thought leadership content should come easily to many firms.

Just like publishers, content development comes relatively easily, but unlike most publishers, you stink at distribution. You stink at amplification. You stink at measuring what you are doing and improving over time.

Think about it. How many newsletters do your practices create a year? How many white papers are painstakingly developed? How many webinars and events do you hold to share your knowledge? How many campus events do you attend to attract the best and brightest?

Now ask yourself, “What do I do with this content? What am I really doing with these pieces of thought leadership, POVs, photos, videos, testimonials?”

Sadly, in many cases, you are doing next to nothing, especially when considering today’s massive digital marketing arena and endless distribution options.

So, to get your strategic wheels turning and hopefully inspire you to take action, here is a list of 6 ways to be great at content marketing using the material you already have:

1.  Think like a publisher.
You are already publishers. You have more content than 99 percent of organizations out there. Be loud, proud and show off your content. In this article by Joe Pulizzi (an oldie but a goodie), Joe talks about how we all need to be publishers. PSOs have big advantages here.

2.  Use your best assets.
Your employees are bright people with insightful things to say.  Be proud of them. Don’t only give them a chance to share their thoughts, but remember to amplify their thoughts for your organization’s brand through platforms like Twitter and email newsletters.

Motivate your team by emphasizing the growth of their personal brand development, too. This Forrester report talks about how thought leadership should be the “tip of your content marketing pyramid.”

3.  Make your content visible.
Your content isn’t getting read. It’s true. There are various statistics out there that say that most content doesn’t get results.

With busy work-life schedules, not to mention short attention spans, people don’t have the time or energy to read everything that is out there. Knowing this, companies need to think critically about not only the accessibility of their content through their websites, but also how to take advantage of social platforms to push content’s reach further. 

4.  Don’t be scared to amplify.
Promoting your content isn’t hard. It’s also low-risk if you do it right. With today’s digital advertising tools and technologies, testing advertising to get more eyeballs on a piece of content you deem valuable to your audience is easy. You can turn it up, turn it down or shut it off as easy as turning a light switch on or off. Experiment with content to find out what works on which platforms and when amplification is most effective.

5.  Know your why.
An incredible presentation by comedian Michael Jr. was the highlight of many people’s experience at Content Marketing World 2016.  He said that once you know your why, the what becomes much easier.

In the world of marketing and content, knowing your company’s purpose (the why) as well as understanding the motivation behind your content creation (the what), will help mold your marketing strategy. Being able to answer why and what is essential to implementing and amplifying successful thought leadership.

6.  Leverage your advocates.
Going back to #2, you need to take advantage of your best assets along with leveraging your advocates. Big PSOs have thousands of employees around the world. Not to mention clients, fans and partners. Even small PSOs have more advocates than they think through team members, close client relationships, trusted partners and other targeted professional circles. Leverage them to spread the word every chance you get.

Through the power of social media, content marketing and tools designed for easy sharing, your advocates can be the fire that burns your content marketing engine to incredible heights. Software platforms like PointBurst and Social Chorus are designed to help you empower your people and fans to share your brand’s content with their own networks. Leverage to the hilt!

Hopefully, this list inspires you to achieve the greatness that you are capable of for your professional services organizations through strategic content curation and marketing. You have the basic foundation in place. You just have to act like it and, more importantly, do something about it.

For more information, and for fun, here is a post from a friend of mine, Sean Callahan of LinkedIn, highlighting 20 great quotes from Content Marketing World 2016 to further inspire your content strategies.

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George Rafeedie Founder, Tell Your Story

George Rafeedie is the founder of story marketing agency Tell Your Story. The purpose of the agency is to tell great stories through Social PR and marketing communications so organizations can be successful and its people happy.

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