Content marketing has been proven to work across diverse industries. From manufacturing to retail, from sales to advertising, content marketing is often extremely effective.
And in this era of mistrust, you’d be missing out if you’re not using some form of content marketing as a consultant.
Sure, tactics often differ between industries, but when done right, they can produce amazingly positive results. Approximately 93 percent of marketers are now creating content weekly.
Many entrepreneurs and businesses are realizing the potential of content marketing and have jumped on the bandwagon. But is it okay for consultants to just follow the crowd? Of course not. If you publish the same types of content that everyone else is publishing, then you’ll just fade into the noise. Instead, you need to make sure that your ideal audience member is at the center of every media asset you create.
Here’s what you can do to stand out and provide memorable value.
1. Use webinars to educate clients and prospects
While the written word remains the predominant form of content used by marketers today, there are hidden opportunities elsewhere. Consultants, coaches, business advisors and others are seeing success with webinars. In fact, 66 percent of marketers polled in one study called it the second most effective type of content, after videos.
Blogging expert Jon Morrow has said that nothing else he does gives him the ROI that webinars do. Apart from the potential financial benefits of using webinars, they usually feel more personal than say, blog posts. What other form of content can prompt audience members to literally mark their calendars, earmarking the better part of an hour to pay attention only to you?
And the better tools of the trade can make this even more effective. For example, webinar platform ClickMeeting offers functionalities that allow presenters to embed webinar experiences on their own hosted web pages, to collect payments from registrants and even to segment participants according to engagement for later nurture messaging.
Using these tools effectively can help consultants to provide major value to potential customers as a lead magnet and to eventually monetize one-on-one coaching calls with clients.
Just like web developers use containers to lower overhead costs, save money, and provide a better environment for their software, investing in the right webinar software can serve consultants and their clients better than other forms of content.
2. Form partnerships with others
Partnerships happen all the time and practically everywhere in content marketing. For example, marketing software vendors partner with marketing bloggers who have sizable audiences to host webinars, or coaches partner with other coaches to create content or products and thus expand the reach of the content and product.
You’ll need to perform some research and find other service providers you can partner with, to help you reach newer qualified audience members. Most of these people may be someone you’re just getting to know online, so spend some time on building a relationship first.
But the process also depends on the type of relationship in question. If you’re trying to land a guest post on authority sites in your niche, you don’t necessarily need to build relationships with the editors first. If you follow their pitching and editorial guidelines in addition to creating great content, you stand a good chance of securing a spot on their editorial calendars.
A good way to show you care about the audience of the host site and by extension your audience is by responding to comments or questions in the comment section.
Other times, if you’re partnering to promote a product for instance, you may include an incentive for the other party, like offering customers a discount. Or you may bundle your products with similar products from your partner if they’re available. This way, customers are happier because they’ll get more value for less money.
When you form the right co-marketing alliances, you can see more returns on your content marketing efforts. More than that, you’ll have happy and satisfied customers.
3. Spend money to promote your content
I know you’ve got your eyes on organic traffic referrals from Google and LinkedIn. Because many marketers are making a fortune selling SEO and social media management services, they’ve probably told you success is difficult or even impossible online without them.
True, they’re key in the long run. But don’t let anyone tell you success is impossible without these channels operating at full power, either.
While SEO can take anywhere from months to years before you see any meaningful results, if you want your message to appear at the top of Google search results, you can do so in minutes by using ads. The same goes for using Facebook, Twitter, or even LinkedIn ads to drive traffic to your site.
Apart from the seemingly quick wins you’ll get from using paid traffic, it’s easier to use more personalized landing pages on visitors to convert them into customers.
You can personalize them based on a customer’s location, time, and even their local weather. This shows them that you’re not just after their money but you’ve done some homework on them and you care. This makes it easier for these potential customers to build trust for your business even if they’ve never heard of you before.
Normally, it’s dangerous to rely only on paid traffic for your site as a consultant or any site for that matter. But if you have the budget, then you can invest in paid promotion, earn some money from it, and invest some of it right back into SEO for long-term benefits.
The point is, don’t use any traffic tactic as the ultimate, especially when you’re starting out. Invest some money into paid traffic channels to promote your content and product or services. And even as you grow, realize that you can never have too much qualified, engaged traffic.
Invest in your business for your customers
When you do content marketing the right way, you’ll benefit in many ways. More website traffic. More credibility. More leads. More satisfied customers. More sales. The list is endless.
If you’re a consultant, what are you waiting for?