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.

Want some tips for a successful email marketing campaign?..

Want some tips for a successful email marketing campaign?..

If that’s a YES – then go on, grab a cuppa and take 5 to read our top tips for a successful email marketing campaign aimed at lead generation.

Time.  Never enough is there?  Which is why I’ll keep this brief yet succinct!  Are you reading this from a mobile, desktop or tablet?  The UK is full of multiplatform users which is why content requires adapting to ensure each can be read with the same initial format.

I’ve got some interesting statistics to hand if you’d like to know more about which platform we tend to use at specific times of day and how this can help with your social media marketing.  Email or call me 07775 438 538 if you’d like those details – happy to share.

CONTENT

Many of my clients and friends say they have sleepless nights and endless daytime hours worrying about where to start with content for their email marketing campaign.  Sound familiar? Why not outsource? Getting under the skin of the business, its people and its target audience to ensure the content is relevant (along with competitor and SEO research) is what I offer. It might be the best, stress-free investment you’ve ever made and surprisingly affordable. You don’t know if you don’t enquire….!

What information can you offer the recipient? We want to learn something or hear updates on industry news. We want to be engaged!  Use Google (the most used search engine) to search words to aid your SEO and never plagiarize!

LAYOUT

Ah, back to the question of what device are you reading this on?  Keep it….VERTICAL [icon icon=”angle-down”]

Use a simple web-safe standard FONT (such as Arial, Verdana or Times Roman) and try not to use italics in the body as it’s quite tricky to read on small screens.  You want the recipient to be able to read your email easily to keep them engaged.

Headings – use bold and play with colour. It draws the eye and refreshes the brain.  People who skim-read often miss the message.  It can help when having numbers used in content as a figure – it keeps the brain hooked (e.g. 3 instead of “three”).

Too many images can trigger the “spam” filter.  Don’t use an image that makes no sense without text (and vice-versa) – if someone doesn’t download the image, the text might seem absurd!

CALL TO ACTION

Ensure phone numbers, email address, subscription pages and event bookings etc have easy CALL TO ACTION buttons.  Really helps with lead generation.  This is something we would ensure we add to all your newsletters, blogs or content.  CONTACT ELAINE HERE! ….yep, that’s a Call to Action button.

PROOF READING

It can be tricky to pick up on your own mistakes, so ask another colleague or friend, to proof read the content. If outsourcing your content, proof reading will be part of the package and even if you do your own content, we are always at hand to edit and proof read too. Email for more information.

TEST EMAIL

You don’t want any surprises….or indeed, to find out that your emails don’t work at all.  I often use software such as Mailchimp for my clients.  Affordable, easy to use with beneficial analytics to enable understanding as to who opens what and who unsubscribes etc.  Mailchimp prompts you to send a test email first; this is like your first draft, which you can build upon.

GDPR & UNSUBSCRIBING

The Data Protection Rules were put in place to protect our privacy as the consumer.  There is so much hype surrounding the new rules (General Data Protection Regulations) and businesses are making good money out of training surrounding GDPR;  no bad thing if you require evidencing the dos and don’ts, however I would urge you to look at the ICO’s website for updates and free checklists.  You can access the ICO’s website here.

The main thing to understand for your database and CRM when email marketing is that you have the correct information surrounding CONSENT  e.g. make it easy to unsubscribe to a newsletter, use opt in rather than opt out etc.


 

THANKS FOR READING. Feel free to SHARE and/or EMAIL me if you’d like more information on Content Marketing, Copywriting, CRM or Social Media Campaigns.

Pickled Ginger

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.

Solicitors + Business Development = Que?

Solicitors + Business Development = Que?

Business Development and Marketing for Lawyers

Jung, Myers Briggs, Friedman, Rosenman, Rohn, Kretschmer:  do you just love a personality behaviour and trait learning course?  Of course you don’t, because you may well be a lawyer reading this blog and you may have already fallen asleep.  I, on the other hand, love psychology for business.

I am not a practising solicitor, but have worked in law for 20 years and have a wealth of experience of different lawyer types – the first we have of course, is confrontational v non-confrontational.  Then within those categories you have the Personality As and Personality Bs – oh and don’t forget if you’ve done the DISC test then you could be a bright red but vaguely mixed with blue (purple?).

DISC

My point is that it doesn’t really matter what type of solicitor you are – you have been either trained or you are innate (chicken / egg) with a risk averse nature.  In my experience, 90% of solicitors, are risk averse and therefore the drive for change, opportunities and seeking new business doesn’t sit comfortably.  Generational changes play a part – for example, when did the estate agent start earning more than the conveyancer?  Sadly it doesn’t even matter if you qualified in 1965 and you were worked so hard to get those articles when becoming qualified “appears” easier these days.  That’s a WHOLE other article.  Change is like death and taxes – it’s inevitable.

Business development, client relationship management and general networking is surely for the big firms – isn’t it?  What if you’re a sole practitioner? Do you rely on word of mouth or the Pareto Principle? I speak to so many sole practitioners and small legal firms of solicitors that believe they don’t need a good website or digital marketing skill set and wouldn’t know where to start anyway….however – they really do need those basic skills because the client of today is very savvy.  Oh yes, even my 80 year old mother in law uses the “web” (she’s not quite there with a smart phone yet…..) to find good deals/search for places/look up train times/find an excellent Private Client solicitor – you get the gist.

If you belong to a large firm of solicitors and your job is as an associate or partner – then that is your job – to practise the law.  Maybe a bit of networking, but predominantly stick to the law.  You will have a colleague who deals specifically with new business development and have a good marketing department.  Belong to a mid sized firm?  Possibly the Senior Partner will have cottoned on to the fact that the legal marketplace has changed drastically in 10 years and that their firm may have the budget for a marketing and business development head to lead them to the correct audience.  SPs and small firms – mme…no budget for marketing and client relationship management and really hate that side of the job in any event.  What to do?  Carry on chasing your tail and drowning in compliance?  My advice would be to set yourself daily half hour targets.  My next blog will go into more detail on how to love the nitty gritty of law yet embrace the digital world of keeping your business alive without having to step out of your comfort zone.

So – next blog – how to market yourself, bring in new clients and retain them, without losing out on your fee earning day.  If you’d like a FREE audit of how your business development and marketing could improve, please contact Elaine here.