The relationship between Content Marketing and Business Development

The relationship between Content Marketing and Business Development

Why Content Marketing and Business Development complement each other

The word of the day at my networking meeting this morning was “marriage” and from Pickled-Ginger’s point of view, I wanted to talk about the relationship between content marketing and business development, which is rather a heavenly one for lead generation.

“Content Marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute

Without content marketing your business development will struggle. WITH content marketing you already have effective business development!

When I tell people I’m a copywriter and marketer, they might imagine it’s storytelling without substance, however my content is more of a strategic marriage between business development and marketing.

Content is Key

Content is Key

One of the quickest ways to reach an audience is through words.  What are you trying to achieve with your businesses (apart from profits)?  It’s either to add value to a client’s business or to solve a problem they might have.

Without a marketing strategy involving content then your business development will be asking for a divorce.

When I write copy for websites, newsletters, blogs and social media – I research effective key words for Google algorithms, together with researching the client’s target audience as well as getting the correct feel for my client’s business – no off the shelf wedding here.

So for those of you who’d like more brand awareness and therefore more leads I suggest you and I get engaged leading to an advantageous business marriage and in 9 months we’ll see healthy, bouncing profits.

Contact Elaine for further information and receive a free content marketing audit.

Why content & SEO Marketing with Intent will convert your leads

Why content & SEO Marketing with Intent will convert your leads

The power of marketing with intent  (content + SEO) 

There’s a great quote from Paul Wright of Iotec saying “Good intent marketing provides the mechanism to ensure a message reaches the widest number of individuals for whom it will most likely resonate”.  Marketers are coming up with different types of content to grab their clients’ audiences attention.  Brands and professionals want added value, problem solving and research with intent….content marketing has become the secret advantage in a successful marketing strategy.  By using content and SEO as a marketing collaborative, engagement and conversions are harmonious.

 “User intent is the goal someone has in mind when typing a query into Google.”

Neil Patel, New York Times best selling author

Here are a few of my top tips for intent marketing campaigns:

Research  If you want to reach potential clients/customers – then well researched content is so important.  You could be writing a new website, or sending newsletters out, or writing blogs or using social media – each will require their own research and key words.  Websites will require good SEO content written into the pages whereas newsletters will need to be punchy with headlines as hooks.  It is the intent behind the researched keyword that measures the competition.

Online search for user intent – this helps identify your audience and therefore your content & SEO.  Here are the 3 types:

  • Transactional  wants to buy something
  • Navigational   seeks for a specific resource
  • Informational  wants information on a subject or seeks answers to their questions

Keywords  There is so much data being shared online every minute of every day – these statistics from one of Domo’s reports shows the enormity of it:

  • 684,478 pieces of content are shared on Facebook
  • 2,000,000 search queries are made on Google
  • 48 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube

Google’s Adwords Fourth Edition, reports that “Google gets searched six billion times every day.  That’s 70,000 search every second.

It can be daunting to know where to start with writing engaging and responsive content to reach people who would most appreciate it. Keywords – that’s your answer.  Are you answering a specific question? Are you helping with a query? Be specific – are you selling a product or service? Drill down more – I, for example, come up on the first page (under recruitment boards!) for Content Marketing and Copywriting in Marlow.   Pickled Ginger key word search

Provide content for, and traffic to, your website  Newsletter content can be re-used as content on your website or blog, generating additional traffic from search engines and social media.  Social media is perfect for either re-tweeting a blog several times or used on LinkedIn as a guide for groups within this medium.

Crafted Content There’s no point harvesting content and spewing it out as the reader will switch off if not targeted for their needs. If you don’t know where to start, perhaps use a testimonial and turn it into a story for a blog and use keywords to engage.  You need to understand your audience’s need so that you can craft specific content – this takes a little time, but I personally really enjoy getting to know my clients and their audiences so that my writing forms a background understanding and subliminal relationship.

Elaine Pasini at Pickled Ginger for all your website & newsletter content, design and social media scheduling.  If you’d like to have an informal and free chat about any of the services Pickled Ginger provides, please don’t hesitate to email or call me 07775 438 538.

Why monthly newsletters are an important marketing tool

Why monthly newsletters are an important marketing tool

How to multiply your profits by generating leads through the power of the NEWSLETTER !!!

The 60 second elevator pitch at a recent Hub of Excellence I attended, had the specification of using the word MULTIPLY.  Different themes for different weeks – keeps the pitches more engaging and fun.

The word “multiply” is, of course, from the Latin word multus, meaning “multi” + plex. Plex translates to “plek” in Indo-European which in turns translates to plait.  Yes, I had my hair in a plait at the event, to demonstrate I had taken this spec seriously…..

I’d like to explain how to multiply your number of leads through simple marketing techniques.

Investing in an effective newsletter for your website will automatically multiply your profits as good SEO content reaches new audiences and Google searches will pick up key words. By entrusting me to write targeted, researched and punchy content for your monthly newsletters – which I would design, deliver and analyse – you will be able to generate returns on your investment.

Here are some top tips as to why a monthly newsletter can multiply happiness for your bank balance.  If you don’t already have a monthly newsletter rolling out, here’s why you should….

Brand awareness  Want prospects to know who you are and what you do?  Want existing clients to remember why they use you and why they should carry on using you?  You may well have a website built with SEO in mind (which is great) but you only have a few seconds to capture the attention of a visitor on your landing page before they are gone forever so ensure you keep your name out there!  Brand awareness is a vital part of any business because without business development and marketing you are resting on your laurels.  Newsletters are such a great way to remind people what you do and why they should use you (or as a reminder as to why they are already using you).

Positioning your brand against your competitors  Researching your market and industry to gain a good understanding as to why prospects should use you and then ensure this USP is enhanced with your web presence and within each newsletter.  Newsletters are an extremely effective tool to enable you to stand out from the crowd.

Gain more business from existing clients and cross referrals  Clients want to know about all your services and make informed choices that way – newsletters show them how they can benefit from those services, without being too “salesy”.

Inform & educate prospects  What is it about newsletters you like and read from other companies?  The information on offer?  Valuable insights?  Updates within the industry?  Discounts?  All of these answers allow you to make decisions about either buying from them or using them as a service.  Newsletters are a source of information as well as a way of you demonstrating your expertise – a prospective client or customer will feel more engaged with you and your business, so that when the time comes for them to require you – they feel like they already know and trust you.

To get repeat business from former clients  People who used your services or bought your products once will purchase again–when they’re ready. A newsletter is a great way to stay in touch with them until they are.  This one is back to brand awareness and keeping your name “out there”.

Provide content for, and traffic to, your website  Newsletter content can be re-used as content on your website or blog, generating additional traffic from search engines and social media.  Social media is perfect for either re-tweeting a blog several times or used on LinkedIn as a guide for groups within this medium.

To generate referrals  An informative, strong, punchy and visually aesthetic newsletter will be shared with an average of 3 other people, even more online. If you have a larger business, it may go to just one person and they should ensure everyone in the business is circulated a copy.  If your newsletter is used as a hyperlink on social media – the “reaches” can be exceptional.

To build your CRM database Offer visitors to your website a subscription to your newsletter in return for providing their email (and other contact information).  Just make sure you receive their CONSENT for GDPR.

Establish knowledge and credibility  With well researched and powerful content in your newsletter, this will give prospects, publishers and referral sources a trusted insight into your business and how you can solve their problems or add value to their business.

Add value to your services Some businesses send out 2 newsletters per month –  the first is free but has external agencies paying for space to advertise (a revenue winner) and the second could be subscribed and paid for with more detailed analysis and ebooks – together with discounts and extra services such as an online helpdesk.

Pickled Ginger for all your website & newsletter content, design and social media scheduling.  If you’d like to have an informal and free chat about any of the services Pickled Ginger provides, please don’t hesitate to email or call me 07775 438 538.

Troubleshooting – Legal Business Development and Marketing

Troubleshooting – Legal Business Development and Marketing

QUESTION………Your content is great but your business development isn’t.  Your business development is strong but your conversions are weak.  You and your colleagues are approachable and talented but struggle with understanding how best to gain new leads.

Why?

Sound familiar? Troubleshooting tips for legal marketing and legal business development …..read on…..

CONTENT

Your knowledge should be shared. So what if your competitors see what you are up to? Take it as a compliment.  Write about your insights and offer snippets of advice to entice people to want to read more.  If you don’t have a designated person/s to write engaging content, outsource it.  Monthly newsletters, press releases, blogs on social media.  We all read the news on social media and we all search the internet for advice and help.  If your content presence isn’t “out there” then how will you be found? Email me for more advice or help.

NEWSLETTER

Shout about your content through the medium of monthly online newsletters.  Have you won a case? Are you supporting a local charity? Are you sponsoring an event? Do you have a Q&A session you want to share?  Keep the newsletter brief, engaging and relevant. Email me if you want to understand the best way to crack on with this and to ensure you are GDPR compliant.

SOCIAL MEDIA

If you use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc – are you using it frequently?  Are you using these mediums correctly and analysing the data?  If yes, what are you doing with that analysis….?

CRM

This is your database of existing clients and potential leads.  Client Relationship Management. You may well be using Excel or an integrated software such as Proclaim.  As long as you are using the database, keeping it up to date and in doing so staying in touch with your audience, you are on the right track.  Check you are GDPR compliant and use your CRM to send out informative newsletters and blogs and track along the way.

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Business Development can often be the problematic part of a business plan.  Who develops your business and how?  If you have a BDM (business development manager) do you rely on them to hunt the business, gather and close the sale?  Services can often take between 12 to 18 months to gain the trust of a new client and in this time, you still have to keep them engaged.  How are you doing this?  Patience, a budget and tenacity is key here.

CONVERSIONS

I have often come across great business development and marketing only to see the relationship slip away because delivery of the service let them down.

All employees should have informal training of how to talk with people.  Sounds simple doesn’t it? Legal services are client facing and can no longer hide behind references books and a secretary.  Common courtesy and excellent customer service from everyone of your colleagues and employees will be as important as the work itself.  Communication is key in converting work.

WE’RE A GREAT FIRM OF SOLICITORS WITH EXCEPTIONAL TALENT – WHY DON’T WE HAVE MORE CLIENTS?

Simple answer is we live in a DIGITAL era.  The days when the solicitor was the local hero are now in the past. Everyone can access legal help and make comparisons online.  Understanding your competitors is not only great for referrals, but it can help you understand what makes you different.  Why would someone (be it B2B or B2C) come to you?

TARGET AUDIENCE

Example, you are a firm of conveyancers.  Have you found what works best for you? Local referrals? What makes clients come back and recommend you?  Sponsoring local events? Collaborate with local estate agents? Network in the community?  Facebook is often good for conveyancers as is private client work.

Example, you are a firm of specialist employment lawyers – dealing with large corporates.  Your budget for marketing will be larger than the previous example but how are you building your brand? Do you talk at industry seminars? Do you sponsor specialist awards where your audience will be? Do you have the correct social media presence? Are you part of a LinkedIn group?

There are many different examples but if you are not sure of your audience then you will be giving out confusing messages.  Focus.

MARKETING BUDGETS

What does the budget cover?  Do you have a business strategy?  A good way to decide what your marketing budget should be is to establish your total revenue.  A suggested percentage for a newer company trying to focus on brand awareness (up to 5 years of trading) should have a budget of 12 – 20% whilst an established company (5 years +) doesn’t need such a big budget as their services will be known – that said, if they are flagging, new branding might be useful.  It is then that you can sit down with your teams to decide how much you would be prepared to budget for getting this equation result in again.

CONCLUSION

Coming into a firm to “troubleshoot” can only been seen as a positive because it means change is ok and that you are open to suggestions going forward.  What are your needs?  Do you need more leads? More sales? More brand awareness?  More conversions?  More content using key SEO words? Knowing your goals will help determine where you want your budget to go.  Having a strategy and sticking to it will focus you and your team to build a stronger and more financially viable business.

Any questions or would like a chat? Email me or call me 07775 438 538.  Thanks for reading! Elaine.

All lawyers out there – are you risk averse or a risk taker? Are you a SOLICITOR of the future? Business Development and Client Relationship Management for Solicitors….

All lawyers out there – are you risk averse or a risk taker? Are you a SOLICITOR of the future? Business Development and Client Relationship Management for Solicitors….

FUTURE

Are you a lawyer who is always thinking analytically and jumping to what might lie ahead = therefore restrained when developing your business? You can be a great lawyer (sorry, solicitor…before an old friend tells me off), if you take risks too (in business of course – not within the boundaries of law – that’s a whole other article).

As a legal futurologist (yes, you heard correctly) told me a year or so ago, innovative risk takers in technology will be the future of the law profession. This is a man who’s job it is to study and read what’s going on globally within law and its profession. Australia are way ahead of Britain in this field. SMEs & SPs don’t be angry or scared – everyone has a place in this future. Ok there is a BUT – assuming you take a look at your budget for technology. Technology can encompass anything from a good website (to ensure the public can find you) to top end CMS programmes (see Law Gazette article link below).  CRM (Client / Consumer Relationship Management) software is a highly recommended tool. This enables firms to keep up-to-date with current clients, as well as engage with past clients and gain new clients.  As a matter of fact, client retention is a bigger headache than new business development (in line with compliance headaches of course).

TECHNOLOGY

If you work in Litigation and Dispute Resolution for example, what are you views on new software for online private dispute resolution providers? Yes, it will require quality control and regulating but it’s about being aware the technology is out there and to remind yourselves how fast new intelligence is happening. Innovation is a huge part of the legal profession – just take a look at the future of cars and insurance in this Telegraph article:  It shows how the insurance world will no doubt be rocked by this advanced state of driverless motoring, but it doesn’t have to be if it knows that change is definitely coming.  Be prepared.

The last paragraph of an article by, Marialuisa Taddia, in the Law Gazette, reads

Finally, there are challenges to the traditional business model to contend with. ‘Technology has led to the emergence of alternative service providers, including accounting firms and start-ups, which are becoming meaningful competitors to the traditional legal profession,’ ….. ‘Certainly it’s true in the UK, and that’s starting to take hold in Canada as well’

Marialuisa shows how the effect of technology is now making the change in Canada too.  Full article 

COMPETITION

Larger firms are gathering business and consumer intelligence by investing their own money to commission bespoke research  – this is marketing and business development at its best. What better use of technology than to ask your audience what they want and get that edge over its competitors.  That said, SMEs can take advantage of equally ambitious online surveys to use via eshots – it’s just being prepared and embracing the answers out there. CRM is so important – possibly more so at present, than NBD. The marketing rule (basically the Pareto Rule) – 80/20 is still true.  Keep your existing clients happy and make them feel respected and enable them to have an up-t0-date understanding of their matter. Large firms could use software built into its CMS to offer this as a retention solution, but if you are a smaller firm – technology could be as simple as a quick email update of their matter.

There is so much competition out there – we know that becoming niche is the way forward but it’s also about looking to the future (and I’m not talking succession!).  There’s a great quote from a Legal Futures’ article:

The legal market has changed, there’s no doubt about that, and even the traditionalists who may have stuck by their mantra of law being different to other industries are having to realise and accept change.

Goodbye to Neo-Luddism – if my late father, at the young age of 85, could embrace technology, believe me – anyone can. Give yourself and your company the go ahead to move forward and be ahead of your competitors.

What can you do to get yourself noticed – research content for websites, newsletters and social media, together with a well planned CRM strategy.  Get in touch for a free 30 minute consultation.

Lawyers + Business Development = Pt 2…

Lawyers + Business Development = Pt 2…

Lawyers Calling Prospects

So following on from my recent blog on the same subject, ie don’t the majority of solicitors just HATE business development, marketing and anything that isn’t related to the specifics of the law they are practising?  Btw (sorry, Twitter speak), someone just walked behind my screen and witnessed the word “majority”, in case one of you feels the urge to come back with the contrary.

Bad Business Development… : Please don’t force me to call a potential new client! Nooooo…..

Business Development & Client Relationship Management =

relationship building/maintaining existing relationships

To  develop your business there is a requirement to reach out to your audience.  This will be the marketing arm.  Do you know who your target audience is?  That’s half the battle.  Are you confident enough in your own offering of legal services?  What is your USP (Unique Selling Point) that puts you ahead of your competitors?  Once you are aware of your audience, it’s up to you to call them.  Uh oh – how does this make you feel?  Like procrastinating?  Do those SPAM emails suddenly seem like they require urgent attention?

Research for Business Development

Research the person or company you would like to do business with.   Who is the decision maker at the larger companies? If you are B2B (business to business), have you linked in with anyone on LinkedIn?  If you have no idea what and how to make the most of LinkedIn there are excellent training facilities out there (Pickled Ginger can help set you up, write your profile and help you with your blog writing and scheduling, or I’d recommend Rachel Tombs from Links2Leads, who is one of the best trainers in the legal field.  If your legal services are aimed more at “people” (B2C) – are you on Facebook?   Elderly clients, although becoming more and more social media aware, still often prefer a telephone call – remember, it’s just an introductory call.

The Call…

In my experience, there is a general fear of picking up the phone if it doesn’t relate to a legal matter if you are a solicitor.  Why?  Every individual has their own reason for disliking calling a prospect if going in cold: fear of rejection; becoming flustered at behaviour of recipient; feeling their role is to practice law and not sell themselves or their business; shyness – the list is an endless one.  Calling after marketing your services isn’t about selling them over the phone – it’s about introducing yourself to a business or person.  You will have done your research to know that your expertise could offer mutual benefit and something you could add value to or solve a problem they might have.  Your call is about building the trust and relationship between you both. It’s about you offering them something they need (either now or in the future). Sole Practitioners and SMEs rarely have a budget to pay for external resources to do this side of the business, so to ensure your hard work pays off by enjoying the independence of going solo or working in a small partnership, understanding that the legal market place is not what it used to be and that clients are extremely savvy. You have to be prepared to at least try marketing yourself and networking in a relevant sector.

Each call will be unique for each prospect. Ask open questions and listen well. Make notes and email or write to thank them for their time. Invite them for an informal coffee to meet you or ask them to drop by your office whenever they are near. If nothing comes of it, you will have made a new connection.

Pick up the phone!

Pick up the phone!

Finally – what do you want for your own business? Know this and you will have the confidence in your business skills to develop your practice.

Get in touch if you’d like to advice on how to manage your business development or marketing to stay ahead of the crowd.  Pickled Ginger offers a free audit of your current strategy, please contact Elaine for an informal chat.