"Content Marketing is not relevant for me I built my business without it - it's all about relationships"
Emily Morris at Acanthus Consulting asked me for a good rebuttal to the above statement over on the B2B Content Marketing Hub. Originally, I started answering her in a comment, but quickly realized that the things I wanted to say didn't fit into LinkedIn's character restrictions!
The topic's been on my mind anyway after chatting with several marketers in recruitment last week, whose managers persist in using tactics that worked for them 10-20 years ago. Unfortunately, what worked then can not only be less effective today, but also impact negatively your business. I'm thinking particularly of approaches at the spammier end of the spectrum (i.e what gives recruiters a bad name), but also approaches that ignore internet almost entirely, making your business look either defunct or out-of-touch.
Firstly, I should add that I think that 'traditional' forms of marketing have their place in the mix - I am not advocating that they be ditched in favour of Social-Media-All-The-Time. In professional services in particular, many of your audiences will respond better to physical marketing, whether it be a letter sent in the post, or a conference talk. Both of these are also to some extent (depending on the letter) forms of content marketing, so if they're the main part of your strategy and you're reaching the right people through it, thumbs up! That's really great, but if you could make it even greater without too much hassle, why wouldn't you?
Digital content marketing
If you're ignoring digital content marketing, whether that be blogging, or maintaining a social media presence, you are making it harder for yourself to a) attract new clients b) maintain existing ones.
It's such a shame not to make the most of it, when doing both doesn't need to take much time away from your day-to-day or cost much money either. Indeed, "content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads".
Today, "85% of B2B buyers use social media as a part of the purchasing process". If you're not partaking in it, you're not even in the running - just think of all the business opportunities you are missing out on by not updating a Twitter account a couple of times a week.
All good content marketing starts with the audience in mind and works backwards.
You might already be maintaining a good relationship with existing clients by emailing and calling them regularly, but what if you shared with them content that is useful and interesting to them? What if you could email them a link to a post that solves a problem they've had for a while with xyz? Think about how much more enriching that relationship becomes straight away. As a client, you feel less like you're being checked up upon for more sales, and might start looking forward to more contact as a result.
If you're thinking about making the leap to content marketing and want some guidance, I'd be more than happy to help, so do drop me a line at claire [at] passle.net