Most companies that provide professional services typically do one of two things — They think that social media or any form of digital marketing offers no results and therefore do not embrace it or attempt to, but are extremely inconsistent and in turn see less than optimal results.
In my experience running a digital marketing agency, this happens for a few reasons:
- Seasoned professionals usually get their clients via existing relationships or referrals that flow from those existing relationships.
- Secondly, there doesn’t appear to be much a need for an updated website with high SEO, an excellent user experience, or social media when they’re already managing things nicely through relationship management and a few sporadic direct marketing efforts.
But here’s the thing!
Companies that embrace inbound marketing today are head and shoulders ahead of nearly all of their competitors. The rewards include greater credibility, as well as high website traffic and engagement compared to their competitors. In any industry, you can still be the early adopter.
Here are a few tips to help you along as you navigate the somewhat murky waters less travelled by many:
1. You Need A Strategy
Don’t be alarmed! It doesn’t have to be a twenty page document — it’s simply an exercise. Put aside some planning and thinking time to answer a few critical questions. The answers will give you purpose and focus for your digital marketing efforts. It will provide guidance when you’re struggling to create content, or finding something relevant to converse with your audience.
A strategy can be as simple as answering these core questions;
- Who is my audience?
This may be different for each channel. Go where your target audience is most comfortable.
- What is my message?
What themes, topics or narrative will I create content around?
- What channels can I realistically commit to?
Don’t try and do them all. Optimise
- What am I trying to achieve on each of these channels?
What will look like a win for you?
- How will I measure my success?
Evaluation is critical.
It’s quite obvious at this point that your social media strategy has to be part of a greater digital marketing strategy.
2. Ready, Set, Target!
It’s a fact that one of the greatest differences between traditional and digital marketing is the ability to target more effectively and efficiently.
Each time you take out an advert out in a newspaper or any other print publication, you are paying for their entire distribution/reach — but the thing is that your message is really only relevant to 1% of the audience who constitute your ideal target market.
Digital is different. You can decide that you only want your message to reach the 1% and be relevant to them. There is no need to waste time, content or money reaching out to anyone else.
For example, on Facebook, it is now possible to target your audience organically by location, gender, relationship status, education, interest and age. Organically means social media attention you earn based on the quality of your content, without having to pay to promote that content.
Essentially, the more narrow and targeted your message is, the more relevant it is to your audience and the better engagement you will get.
3. Don’t Be a Stereotype
Are you a lawyer? Put all your lawyer jokes away!
Are you a doctor? Put all your doctor jokes away!
Are you a tax consultant? Put all your tax jokes away!
You are smart, enlightened and well-informed people, why do you always sound like your job every time you ‘do’ social? When you communicate on social, post about subjects that your clients will find interesting using a tone that isn’t overly official or downright boring. Show your clients that you are regular people. This allows your clients -and those they refer to you- to relate to your content, thereby evoking an emotional connection. The goal is to have your client think “ah, he understands me.”
For many professionals, this means going outside of your comfort zone by showing your personality. Discuss topics that interest your clients (like ‘The Best Vacations for Families with Young Kids’ if you are targeting young married professionals or ‘Lean Business Model Tips’ if you work with startups). Those professionals that commit to being approachable and consistent do very well on social media.
Important to note is that social is a two way channel. Being social means that you won’t just be focused on continually pushing out content, but you will be actively listening, responding and engaging with your audience.
If you want to understand digital marketing better and be able to run your own successful inbound marketing campaigns, follow us on social media and sign up for our next inbound marketing training for CEOs and business owners. You’ll learn the exact steps you need to take to keep your existing clients, and attract more of your ideal ones.
You can also register your interest by sending an email on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you all the details.