Want to dramatically improve visibility and engagement – and even increase your ability to generate leads? Here’s an approach I like that works very well if used correctly…
Before you starting writing your blog post or article, consider who you are trying to engage with the content. Answer the question “who is our content for”? If you’re like most professional services firms, your primary audiences will be decision makers (and maybe evangelists), including: CEOs and CFOs, VPs and Directors, Line Managers – and potentially anyone else in charge of gathering information, evangelizing for change, or making buying decisions related to your services and solutions. Secondary audiences can include employees, candidates, networked individuals, advisors and board members, and external media.
Here are some of the questions you should keep top of mind as you develop blog content:
- What problems are prospective clients trying to solve?
- What are their biggest pain points?
- What are they looking to get out of interacting with us (and our content)?
- Which type of content are they looking for at each stage of the process?
- What is their level of expertise in their industry and in your industry?
- How do they make purchase decisions in your industry?
- What are the driving factors when it comes to making purchasing decisions?
- What is their role in the decision making process?
- How quickly do they make decisions?
- How much research do they do (if any) before making a decision or recommendation?
It’s critical that you know the answers the questions above. Ask your current client base. Ask your prospects. Send out a survey or questionnaire. Do something. Anything. Just make sure that you get unbiased insights. (If you don’t do this you will regret it later).
Research shows that our audiences are complex and are often at different stages of the decision making process as they engage with your content. Some will find you while researching the topic or industry. Others find you while gathering information or comparing options. A few will find you right at the time they are ready to commit or make a buying decision. We need to keep this in mind as we build up our different types of content. How well we understand this will impact our ability to connect and build relationships, establish credibility in the market, and influence decision makers as they compare options and make choice decisions. Different types of content for different kinds of folks.
If you are a professional services firm, you’re building out blog content to (1) improve visibility and credibility in the market and (2) improve engagement and (3) our ability to generate leads from our efforts. Consider the following AIDA model as you build up content strategy and next blog post.
Four Types of Content (AIDA) and how to use them
Awareness Content (A)
Use awareness-building content to generate more traffic to the website, to get followed and get new subscribers to our newsletter. This type of content will be for people who don’t know your firm exists (yet). Awareness content can include: Blog Articles, Encourage Followers, YouTube Videos, Interviews, Resources, Social Media, Newsletter Subscription, Press Releases, Guest Posts, etc.
(Measurements include: Impressions, Followers, Subscribers and Reach)
Information Content (I)
Use information-gathering content to generate new leads and new subscribers. This type of content will be for people looking for useful information as they gather and organize their thoughts. Information content can include: Social Media, Blog, Testimonials, FAQs, Endorsements, White Papers, Videos, Guides, Templates, On-Newsletter Publications, etc.
(Measurements include: Engagement, Subscribers and Clicks, Email Opens)
Decision Content (D)
Use decision-making content to help convert prospects. This type of content will be for people comparing options or evaluating alternatives. Decision content can include: ROI Data, Case Studies, Features Lists, Consultation, Downloads, Presentations, etc.
(Measurements include: Number of Leads and Quality of Lead)
Action Content (A)
Use action-motivation content to acquire clients and recommit or up-sell existing ones. This type of content will be for people who are currently reviewing purchase decisions, and you’ll use it to get people to take action. Action content can include: Demo, Needs Analysis, Free Trial, Easy to Contact Us, Clear CTAs, etc.
(Measurements include: Demo Conversions and Closes)
CHRISTOPHER MENGEL brings over 20 years of insights to business owners and talent leaders inside emerging technology and professional services firms to implement new initiatives, develop new strategies for growth, carry out organizational and cultural change, manage complex projects, and fill business-critical roles. Have a challenge you want to solve? Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter and subscribe to his posts or contact him.
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