2012 gold 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 year, broken down into bite-size pieces for your convenience.

What are your 2013 Marketing Resolutions?
This article from AccountingTomorrow posted in November outlines the content marketing trends of 2012, and explores the trends that will remain present into 2013. Professional services marketers are thoroughly enjoying content marketing as it “enables firms ‘to communicate with their customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing.’” It seems professional services marketers will only continue to develop their strategy, focusing on video as well as client satisfaction surveys in order to ensure the content being put out meets the interests of key audiences. The content marketing agenda for 2013 will be more focused and targeted; professional services marketers will make use of all the data available to them in order to provide information that directly benefits clients. Read the article.

Marketing and Accounting: Better Together
This article published in October from the Daily Journal of Commerce explains how critical it is for accountants, executives, and every employee involved in a professional services firm to communicate with their marketing team on a regular basis in order to have an edge over the competition, and help all employees understand the important role marketing plays in obtaining new business. The author writes, “When it comes to those somewhat unpredictable future sales, no one can help forecast with more truth than marketers…Just share a bit of knowledge between the teams and the difference in both business development and operational reporting will be noticed.” In 2013, professional services firms should take note: constant communication with the marketing team is vital to obtaining new clients and keeping up with the competition. This article provides an outline of key questions professional services firms may want to discuss with their marketing team. Read the article.

 Do Not Tempt Fate. Innovate
This article from March 2012 focuses on the importance of innovation in business-a practice that will remain critical to a firm’s prosperity through 2013 and beyond. Published by Consulting Nagazine, the article notes, “regardless of the economic and market environment, innovation much like change, should stay a constant.” We couldn’t agree more. This article highlights the importance of engaging employees in the process of idea generation and selection. Firms can do this through strategic incentives and  an effective execution strategy. Emphasis should be upon ideas being heard and evaluated rather than being kept a secret. Read the article.

Content Marketing for Professional Services: Does it Cannibalize Your Business?
There’s no doubt about it—content marketing is here to stay and it’s a marketing strategy that has flourished during 2012, and will continue to evolve into the new year. This article from Content Marketing Institute is tailor-made for the professional services industry, stressing the fact that we are all part of the media in today’s world of sharers, and professional services firms are no exception. Professional services marketers are urged to develop a content strategy before a social media strategy in order to interact directly with customers, attract the right talent, and utilize available technologies.  Professional services firms must not only acknowledge the competition, but also tell “remarkable stories.” Quality content takes time and effort. When its consistent and compelling, it can be appealing regardless of the forum or channel. This article from the Content Marketing Institute outlines the do’s and don’t’s of content marketing, starting with knowing your niche and your audience. Read the article.

Study Finds Consumers’ Appetite for Online Content Growing; How Attorneys Can Feed It to Generate Leads
When it comes to content marketing, there’s always more to learn. This whitepaper published in May from JDSupra.com focuses on the need for law firms to provide online content to attract and influence potential clients. People are constantly looking for original and engaging content to consume, so the key concern for professional services firms is how can they utilize content production as a way of gaining clients and leads? With so many potential avenues to spread content, this whitepaper provides helpful tips for marketing-savvy attorneys to make the most of their content development, both for potential clients, and for search engine optimization. Read the whitepaper.

Drowning in Data: Uncovering the Analytics Advantage
We’ve established that content marketing is not going anywhere in 2013, but a more important question that this webinar raises is what do professional services marketers make of the endless analytics and data that comes as a result of sharing content? “Big Data” is on every marketer’s mind these days, and using it to positively influence content marketing strategies going forward is a key concern for marketers as a whole. This webinar from July presented by ConsultingMag.com includes interviews with experts, such as the Content Management Leader from IBM Global Business Services, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Consulting Magazine, among others to help marketers understand the current and future state of big data and analytics. Listen to the webinar.

How Law Firms Will Use Video in the Coming Year
2012 was a big year for online video. The popularity of this medium will only increase in 2013, especially for professional services firms looking to differentiate themselves in a crowded market. JDSupra.com published this post in September 2012, and features a video interview from LXBN TV with Bloomberg Law Multimedia Editor, Edward Adams. Adams says of the growing trend, “Law firm videos should focus on results above all else…showing clients describing the challenges they faced and how their lawyers helped them overcome those challenges will demonstrate that like nothing else can.” Video can be used as a powerful marketing tool in 2013, allowing professional services firms to present their employees, their offerings, and their brand in an authentic way that clients and prospects can connect with on a visual level.

The Impact of Social Media on the Consulting Profession
This webinar from April 2012 presented by ConsultingMag.com asks the question, “How can consultants create a thriving social media practice that generates significant revenue for clients?” 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.” With statistics like this, 2013 is sure to be a big year in social media for professional services firms. 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 firm increase their business through social media. Listen to the webinar.