Q2 2012 trophy

The “Best Content” series brings you a handful of the most thought-provoking and informative articles and webinars related to professional services branding and marketing published over the last quarter, broken down into bite-size pieces for your convenience.

Study Finds Consumers’ Appetite for Online Content Growing; How Attorneys Can Feed It to Generate Leads
This whitepaper published by JDSupra.com explores the growing need for law firms to provide online content to attract and influence potential clients. People are constantly looking to consume content, so the key concern for professional services firms is how can they utilize content production as a way of gaining clients and leads? Content production has become an increasingly effective marketing tactic for many firms. With so many potential avenues to spread content, this whitepaper provides helpful tips for “marketing-savvy” attorneys to make the most of their content production, both for potential clients, and for search engine optimization.

2. Case Studies: CRM
This article begins by stating of CRM, “In 2011, our survey of the Top 100 Firms found that CRM was the most popular technology plan among those that were planning on implementing anything new that year.” Customer Relationship Management while somewhat mystifying, is a valuable management practice, and can help professional services firms establish better and more consistent communications with their existing clients. In addition, effective CRM tools and practices can help to enhance marketing services and contribute to a firm’s overall growth. This five-page article published by AccountingToday.com provides a comprehensive case study of the different CRM tools used by top accounting firms today. Insights include each firm’s experience with CRM, lessons learned as a result of the CRM practice, and plans for the future in relation to the widespread technology.

3. Does Quality Marketing Content Still Matter?
With great success and popularity, comes many skeptics. The same can be said of our tried and true marketing tactic; high quality, long-form content production. This article from ConsultingMag.com explores the growing uncertainty among consulting firms, who are beginning to question whether or not they need to be producing more substantive research studies and whitepapers. The article explains, “Some firms have gone beyond the questioning and actually de-emphasized content development in favor of shorter, more superficial communiqués…such thinking is not only misguided and inaccurate, but also dangerous to a firm’s brand and ability to generate revenue.” This article provides a 10-point countdown explaining why the production of substantive, high quality content is more important for successful marketing now than ever before.

4. 10 Years of the Top 100 Firms
Through a series of interesting charts, this article from AccountingToday.com explores how the accounting profession has evolved over the past decade. Each of the graphs tracks trends from the top 100 accounting firms in the United States over the last 10 years. The graphs track number of employees and staff growth, annual revenue, number of partners, etc. while also highlighting recurring trends. This is the first time such data has been compiled, and it provides interesting insights into how the profession has developed over the last decade.

5. The Impact of Social Media on the Consulting Profession
Social media platforms are more than just forums for people to exchange and share ideas—when utilized correctly, they are valuable business tools to reach targeted clients and customers. According to a survey by the International Data Corporation, “The enterprise social platforms market, which represents one of many components of corporate social media spending, is expected to top $2 billion by 2014.” This webinar from ConsultingMag.com begs the question, “How can consultants create a thriving social media practice that generates significant revenue for clients?” Internal changes to existing social media strategies and organizational management are just a few of the tactics noted in this webinar that can help any professional services firms increase their business through social media.