Content Marketing Tactics: What Consultants Can Learn from Product Companies

These six examples of content marketing strategies used by product companies will help consultants to define their inbound content marketing tactics.

6 sassy strategies that will boost your content marketing results

The world of content marketing is in a constant state of flux. What works for page ranking one day may not the next, as Google’s algorithms machine-learn and become ever more intelligent. The customer journey is evolving away from linear and toward a discovery model, in which customers ebb and flow.

In such a dynamic online environment, consultants could learn a lot about content marketing tactics from product companies. With content marketing taking over the world, these examples offer some winning tactics that you could use to promote your business online.

1.      Commitment to content production is key

You cannot market content that doesn’t exist. Therefore you must commit to producing content, and the content that you produce must have relevance and value for your target audience.

You’ll need to invest time, effort and money in your content marketing efforts, and understand that success rarely happens overnight. Your audience will grow providing you provide high-quality content that they want. Audience numbers and loyal followers should grow exponentially, as users continue to return and start sharing your content.

Startup Mint knew it needed to crack a crowded niche by attracting a large following. Committing to a content marketing strategy, it developed a systematic approach of producing a range of content – hundreds of pieces from blogs to infographics. Its strategy worked. The business grew rapidly, and was then sold for $170 million.

2.      Get others to write your content for you

One of the biggest mistakes that consultants make is to write their own content. The intent is there, but the flow of content is likely to be interrupted by other needs of the business. When that content stops, your visitor numbers will soon evaporate.

Hiring professional writers (who have a deep understanding of SEO and content marketing) and encouraging others to contribute to your blog will help develop your traffic, providing the content provides value to your audience.

American Express created its Open Forum (now Business Trends and Insights) community to encourage a collaborative approach to content production. It invites industry experts to share their knowledge to online communities as they develop conversations. The outcome is a site that is rich in content and popular with its target audience, without the expense of hiring a hoard of full-time content writers in-house.

3.      Produce enjoyable and entertaining content

Most consultants work in serious spheres, but this doesn’t mean that their content has to be staid, serious and boring. Your content will stand out from the crowd if you lighten it, and ensure that the reader is entertained as well as educated. You don’t want to be the teacher that sends all their pupils to sleep. You want to be the one who others are talking about and referring.

There aren’t many more routines that are as tedious as shaving, but when it decided on a content marketing strategy, Dollar Shave Club decided to turn the humdrum on its head. It produced content with titles like “Is it bad to pluck nose hairs with my fingers?”, and a promotional video telling viewers that its “blades are f***ing great”. The result? Three million subscribers, and, in 2016, the company was bought for a $1 billion by Unilever.

4.      Use related topics to drive interest

A winning content marketing tactic is to find a related topic to your specialization and write about that. For example, if your consulting business specializes in leadership and management, writing about industry leaders and their methods and strategies will interest those seeking to refine their own abilities.

Airbnb has taken the world of travel by storm, and a keystone of its business strategy is its content marketing tactics. It needed to attract both hosts and travelers to its site, so allows users to post their own reviews, videos, and images. It also has posts and articles written that show a new world of opportunity to hosts and travelers, such as how-to articles and city guides.

5.      Don’t sell services, solve problems

For many, the idea of not selling your service is counterintuitive – after all, isn’t this the point of having an online presence? Of course it is, but few people want to engage with a consultant who cannot stop speaking about himself or herself.

Instead of being self-promotional, take a leaf out of HubSpot’s book. Publish interesting, informative content that helps visitors solve their problems. Provide a link to a free-to-download resource (perhaps an eBook or newsletter) that will provide more in-depth information. This soft-sell approach that balances information and education with a dash of self-promotion has helped HubSpot grow to a market value of $375 million since it was founded in 2005.

6.      Spin the news

Here’s a content marketing tactic that is time-sensitive rather than evergreen – consider popular news items or other content out there and jump on the bandwagon by commandeering it. You should benefit from the connection to a popular search, even though it may not be in your niche market.

An example of how this works is the way in which Mastercard engaged millions in its ‘Sound of Priceless’ campaign, run when the Chicago Cubs reached the MLB World Series for the first time in 71 years. Mastercard found a piece of content in which a player from another team said that Cubs fans had no passion. Mastercard taped the noise of the crowd at Wrigley Field and created video content centred on the story. The ‘Sound of Priceless’ campaign went viral – and paid real dividends when the Cubs won.

In summary

Product companies know how to market – it’s how they have always survived. In the online world, they have had to adapt and develop inbound content marketing strategies. For consultants, these successes provide valuable lessons. When creating content to promote your services, remember to:

  • Commit to producing content regularly
  • Ensure that your content solves the problems of your target market
  • Make your content enjoyable and entertaining, as well as informative and educational
  • Balance self-promotion with problem solving
  • Don’t be scared to piggy-back current news or trends for instant wins
  • Make sure your content is written professionally

Is your content strategy working for your business? Let us know your biggest challenge content marketing in the comments below.

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