Your website is your most valuable digital tool today. It is no more just a marketing tool, but a platform to grow your business from.
It’s paramount that those responsible for digital programs should ask themselves the fundamental questions about the role the website plays in their overall marketing and business development efforts. You should know-
Your website should not only reflect your strategy, but should also align itself to clients and their most pressing business pain points. The laser-focus of your website should be on your client. Yet, surprisingly,most firms still continue to pump out content that’s all about themselves and amounts to inwardly-focused vanity pieces which don’t help to engage client or advance conversations about how the firm and its consultant/advisor can solve clients’ needs.
When a client visits your site, they have 3 primary questions:
1. Do you know my business?
2. Have you experience in solving the problems that I’m currently facing?
3. Can I trust you enough to join hands with you?
If clients do not find answers to these questions swiftly on your website they are likely to get disengaged. Hence, structuring your website along these key themes and aligning your content to address them will bring focus to your efforts, support the firm’s business goals and yield measurable results.
Key elements your website should focus on:
Position your brand
After your consultants themselves, no other entity embodies your firm’s brand more than its website. It frequently is the first touchpoint that prospective clients, recruits, and media encounter when they come to your firm.
Each interaction with these audiences leaves an impression of your firm’s brand with them. Hence your site should be aligned with your brand positioning. Your clients shall experience the same consistency that they receive in their day-to-day dealings with your firm. The digital experience of your website should be a natural extension of the values, culture, and relationships that occur in off-line channels.
Build and strengthen digital relationships with clients
Building engaging contextual relationships with prospects and clientshave a significant impact on client acquisition and growing client footprint. Your website should convert unknown visitors to known visitors and create digital relationships with firm consultants and the firm itself.
Content marketing offers a highly effective and cost-efficient way to engage your clients whoare looking for services that you offer. This form of marketing is especiallywell-suited to P.S. firms since consultantsare equipped with highly specializedknowledge that potential clients need.
The key is to keep content fresh and relevant, which includes:
Web pages must be continually updated
Blogs must get published frequently
Content must provide value; addressing clients’ business pain points; and be easy to read, digest and share
Enable client acquisition
Client acquisition is very personal and non-transactional. These days clients aren’t buying a service — theyare looking for expertise. With expertise as a fundamental driver, firms must adopt a moretailored approach to marketing to position such expertise.
While the consultants ultimately handles client acquisition, marketing creates the demand generation strategy andhelps to nurture relationships. It positions the firm and its consultantseffectively, engagesprospects and builds relationships — all of which enable the practitioners to prioritize herpotential client list and acquire more clients.
Digital provides a cost efficient approach to lead generation. It has become much easier for P.S.firms to attract prospects that are already looking for information online and to nurture leadsthat in turn generate demand.
The challenge lies in attracting prospects, keeping them engaged and motivating them tocontact the firm. Digital can create new relationships for your firm.
Recruit great talent
Besides this, you may also follow up with an event that we hosted along with Sitecore and two of our clients. The event was called Digital Customer Experience 2016 For Professional Service Firms where fellow PS Firm marketers got an opportunity to walk away taking key insights into improving customer experience and a digital client engagement roadmap for their marketing organization going forward.
In part 2 of the series, I'll explain how to benchmark direct competitors, other near-category organizations and find out what provides best practices for our firm