Content marketing for service businesses has to be approached differently than for those selling tangible products with immediately visible features and benefits.
If you’re running an accounting company, providing healthcare services, or practising law, then you’ve noticed that your content can’t be done in the way that so-called glamorous industries do it. However, the fact that you’re not selling flashy sneakers, cool gadgets, or luxurious cars doesn’t mean that your content has to be boring.
It’s your experience and expertise that you need to promote, and that’s something that has to be done very carefully in order to be perceived as authentic and genuine. Otherwise, you might end up blowing your own horn, and that’s not particularly good for your credibility or sales funnel.
Here are some tips to help you create effective content that will highlight your expertise and build trust with your target audience – both of which are essential for the success of your service business.
Use Content to Educate Your Audience or Answer Common Questions
You’re a problem solver and that’s why people turn to you.
For example, doing taxes might not be the sexiest job on the planet, but you know what? People really need your services. More than they need that fancy pair of Nikes.
So, what you have to do is capitalise on this fact in your content marketing.
There’s no reason to be salesy and over-promotional in your blog posts. What you should do is teach your audience something useful. For example, a checklist of things they need to do in order to prepare ahead of filing for their tax returns. Or a piece on how to shed those couple of pounds they gained over the holidays.
Find out what some of the most common pain points of your target customers are and offer them some solutions.
Not only will this subtly build your brand awareness and get your potential clients to visit your website more often, but it will also help you establish yourself as an expert in your field.
And that can do wonders for the reputation of your service business.
Use Search Engine Optimization to Promote Your Content
No matter how well-written and useful your blog posts are, they still need a little push in order to be seen by the right people.
Given that 2.75 million blog posts are published every day on WordPress alone, it’s obvious that you can’t simply publish your content and expect that your readers will simply find it by chance while browsing the internet.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a secret ingredient that will help your content make it to the top of Google’s search results.
By optimizing your content you significantly increase the odds that your blog posts will cut through all the content marketing noise created by your competitors.
When we’re talking about SEO, there are several essential things to bear in mind:
- Your content has to be great. SEO can’t do much if your blog posts are irrelevant to your target audience or poorly written
- Your website has to load within 3 seconds. Otherwise, your visitors and potential customers will grow impatient and leave
- Your visitors mostly come to your website on their mobile devices. Make sure that your content is mobile-friendly
- Add internal links to your blog posts, as these will help your visitors navigate your blog and research the topic they’re interested in
Be a Helpful Business
Running a helpful blog is a must, but you need to spread the word about your business. Provide value, it will come back ten fold.
Q&A websites such as Quora, some specialized industry or niche forums, or social media groups and communities are excellent for showing your expertise. By answering questions and helping others, you’ll draw attention to your business.
The thing is that you don’t even have to invite people to visit your website. It’s enough to optimize your profile and add relevant information, and you can be sure that your traffic will increase.
Create Visual Content
It can’t be denied that people read less these days. The reason for that lies in our hectic schedules as well as the information overload that we’re exposed to on a daily basis.
This doesn’t mean that you should give up on writing useful and relevant blog posts but that it’s important to get a bit creative with your strategy. The written word still matters big time, but in order to jazz things up, add some infographics and videos to your content strategy.
A home-improvement company, for example, can do how-to videos and show their audience some DIY home décor methods.
Infographics with industry stats or simple tips are easy on the eyes and can serve as a blurb of a longer and more in-depth post on a certain topic. Your readers can take a look at it while commuting to work, and if you pique their interest, they will come back when they have more time and focus to read the longer version.
Webinars can be a great vehicle for offering relevant content to your audience. Besides that, they allow you to get in touch with your potential customers directly.
The instantaneous and interactive nature of live webinars makes them great not only for educational purposes but also for obtaining feedback from your target market.
It’s a good idea to repurpose some of your evergreen content pieces and those that generate a lot of traffic, expand them, and do webinars about these topics.
This type of content requires a great deal of preparation because you need to be very confident about the topic that you’re going to talk about. But, all this effort will pay off because you can reach a wide audience – even people who live in different parts of the world.
The same goes for podcasts. As mentioned before, people want content that they can consume while they’re doing something else such as driving to work, jogging, or taking a walk. That’s why podcasts are so popular as they offer your audience the possibility to learn something on the go.
Join Forces With Other Businesses
By teaming up with complementary businesses and doing guest posts will allow you to tap into each others’ audiences and offer a new perspective on things.
Just make sure that these companies are reputable and trustworthy because you don’t want your name to appear next to a shady business.
Apart from that, you’ll also be able to take advantage of link building, which is one of the most important SEO tactics and can boost your online reputation.
Besides exchanging guest posts, you can also co-author an e-book, co-host a webinar or a podcast, and collaborate on an industry report or some other type of content.
With this approach, you’ll expand the relevance of your content and offer your audience a more comprehensive approach to the topic. For example, a legal firm can partner with an accounting company and provide a thorough guide for starting a business, adhering to legal regulations, managing finances, and doing taxes.
Both companies’ audiences, and the companies themselves, could greatly benefit from such an effort.
As you can see, even businesses that aren’t exactly considered Instagrammable or particularly interesting can produce compelling content that will attract potential clients and keep them coming back for more.