Inbound Marketing For Professional Services

Not quite sure how to “sell” your services? Are you trying to create a strategic marketing plan to differentiate your services from those of your competitors? For most companies – notably smaller, entrepreneurial businesses – this may seem to be a task easier said than done. But fear not! You’ve come to the right place. Let's walk you through the steps to introduce inbound marketing into your professional services needs.

What Does Velocity Media Classify As Professional Services?
What Is Inbound Marketing For Professional Services?

An Inbound Marketing Strategy For Professional Services
Email Marketing For Professional Services
CRM For Professional Services
Mobile Marketing & Chatbots For Professional Services

What Are Professional Services?

Although professional services is a broad term, it encompasses many industries. Think of professional services as anything that a business owner may need to outsource in order to have more time to spend on their priorities. Professional services agencies have specialized knowledge about a particular skill or industry, and their work allows company owners to focus on core business functions. They sell expertise and ideas to help businesses become successful, rather than an actual, tangible product.

Professional services are often offered on a billable-hours basis, but can also be offered at a flat rate or as a subscription to a business that uses their services regularly.

Some examples of professional services Velocity Media caters to:

  • Legal services
  • Logistics
  • Accounting and bookkeeping 
  • Project management
  • Education
  • Event management
  • Client management
  • Planning and construction

What Is Inbound Marketing For Professional Services?

Inbound marketing is a marketing methodology that highlights the importance of content creation to attract customers and move them through your sales funnel. Essentially, it involves building customer relationships through relevant social media posts, email campaigns, or mobile-friendly ads.

The inbound methodology depends on content creation to build meaningful relationships with leads and consumers. Every stage in the sales funnel is resource-heavy. The more high-quality content you have, the more likely you’ll attract visitors, nurture leads, and close deals.

When it comes to inbound marketing for professional services, Velocity Media is all about problem-solving. We care about our clients' wants and needs and work alongside them to accomplish the necessary tasks at hand. Whether it is driving traffic to online portals, growing an audience or loading the sales funnel with qualified leads. 

An Inbound Marketing Strategy For Professional Services

If you ask anyone on the street about their buying activity, you will find a high percentage of people will tell you they do research online before hiring a service professional. Whether this research is reading a blog, looking through reviews, or talking to their friends through social media to find out if the company or person they are considering is a good option, most of the research is done online.

If you aren’t familiar with inbound marketing, when it is simply put, inbound marketing is when a customer finds you. On the other hand, outbound marketing is some of the things that you might have learned about or implemented in the past like networking, direct marketing, cold calling, television or radio ads. While outbound marketing is still a viable way to get people’s attention, it is still invasive and disruptive. In contrast, inbound marketing for professional service firms is an agile and holistic approach to attract the right people that are interested in the service that your professional services company provides.

Businesses are searching for service firms to help them with the important work they need to be done. While they may not wish to hire in-house accountants, lawyers, and other service professionals, they still need these services. Since they need these services, they have to turn somewhere, and your services firm is exactly the place that makes sense to look. They need to know you are there though and that is where inbound marketing comes into play.

Though there are over 75 different inbound marketing tools that can be implemented into a campaign, there are four that form the basis of a strong methodology:

  • Creating A Buyer Persona to define your target audience
  • Creating content to nurture your audience
  • Distributing your content via email, social media and other mediums
  • Capturing leads and nurturing them into prospects.

CTA inbound

Email Marketing For Professional Services

Email is 40 years old – as old as the internet itself – and it shows no signs of slowing down. Even with all the digital communication tools nowadays, like Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat, email is still the primary form of electronic communication for business.

It sounds sneaky, but email is one platform that allows you to truly track and measure your users’ activities. You can see who opens your email and which links they clicked. With A/B testing, you can send multiple versions of your email to see which one your audience preferred.

Professional service firms should deliver content that their audience finds helpful – content that helps them do their jobs better. No one really cares about topics that are self-serving to your firm (besides people in your firm). Your awards are great, but that alone won’t get people to tune in.

The email communication you have with your subscribers is an important opportunity to showcase your firm’s thought leadership and credibility on common client issues.

Send content that speaks to your prospects’ biggest questions and problems. Mix up the format of the content you send to appeal to the different ways people like to learn information. For instance, you can send links to your recent blog posts, newly published guides, or upcoming webinars.

What NOT To Do With Email Marketing For Professional Services: 

  • Buy a purchased list of contacts - it's illegal and made up of an audience that's not target.
  • Bombard a list with too many emails.
  • Forget to send hard offers.
  • Send emails without substance or purpose.
  • Not segment your list

cta email

Hubspot CRM For Professional Services

There are many benefits of using CRM software for a professional services business. Whether you run an accounting practice, law firm, consultancy, valuation company, financial services, HR consultancy, and other business in between, using Hubspot CRM can be a game-changer.

A CRM, also known as a Customer Relationship Management system, is defined as a central repository that stores key information about your customers & leads.

You can use it to:

  • Capture prospect and lead contact information
  • Store the history of interactions with your contacts
  • Create alerts, tasks, and more for marketing and sales teams.

The functionality of CRM has expanded over the years from being an online phone book to now incorporating elements of automation, particularly related to your marketing activities. This is where small businesses can truly take advantage of the power of a CRM to take them to the next level and help them foster positive client relationships.

cta crm

Mobile Marketing & Chatbots For Professional Services

Mobile marketing is any advertising activity that promotes products and services via mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones. It makes use of features of modern mobile technology, including location services, to tailor marketing campaigns based on an individual's location.

Mobile marketing For Professional Services

Mobile marketing may include promotions sent through SMS text messaging, MMS multimedia messaging, through downloaded apps using push notifications, through in-app or in-game marketing, through mobile websites, or by using a mobile device to scan QR codes.

Mobile marketing is an indispensable tool for professional services large and small as mobile devices have become ubiquitous. The key players in the space are the brands (and companies that they represent through advertising), and service providers that enable mobile advertising.

In regards to online-related advertising, mobile marketing is much easier to access. You don't need high-level technology or significant technical experience to get started. It's also easier to measure the success of mobile marketing campaigns.

Chatbots For Professional Services

Chat interfaces are naturally more engaging. Millions of people are familiar with the interface and engage with it daily for personal communications. Recent data shows users engage with chatbots more than emails because they seem more personal and, if implemented correctly, give personalized information to the user when the user needs it. Response times are also reduced through chatbots for simple queries, which is key to creating client stickiness digitally.

Conversions for PSOs may differ per business. They could range from signing up for a newsletter or downloading a whitepaper, to an offline transaction, like contacting a professional directly. Chatbots can drive users to these goals by suggesting them at opportune times.

For example, when a user has read a few articles related to a specific topic, a chatbot can ping them to ask if they would like to subscribe to a newsletter. The combination of understanding the user and suggesting possible actions is a powerful way to show users that you are engaged to their needs.

AI implementations, especially with natural language processing, may seem intimidating, but some big players like Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Hubspot, and Google have implemented platforms that do the heavy lifting for you. in fact, some bots don’t require any coding at all to put into action. Make sure to identify which AI purposes align best with your current digital strategy and work with your digital team to set goals and choose the chat technology to best fit your needs.

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