Many professional services businesses are turning to content marketing to build trust with their audiences. Personal relationships are key in this kind of business, and educational, informative content is a valuable way to forge and grow those relationships.
In fact, according to research, trust has never been more important in securing client contracts.
So how can you use content marketing to build trust?
Know Your Audience
The first step involves getting to know your audience and who you want to serve. Once you have a deep understanding of who they are and what they want from you, you’re able to provide them with hugely insightful content that sparks and nurtures a relationship.
There are several ways you can get to know your audience.
Try some of these tactics:
- Running surveys on your social channels
- Reaching out to past customers to ask them why they chose your business over others
- Digging into your analytics to find commonalities between your best clients
You can use the information gathered through this research to create customer personas.
Personas are essentially profiles that capture and outline different segments of your audience. They dig deeper than customer’s ages, job roles, and locations, and instead delve into the challenges, worries, successes and pain points of potential buyers.
Create Content Based on Customer Needs
Once you’ve mapped out your customer personas, you’re better positioned to create highly valuable content that’s geared towards key individuals you’re hoping to target and individuals who will be readily able to gain from a relationship with you. .
Through the challenges and pain points your customers face, you can learn what content they need to get past those hurdles. For example, if you run an accountancy firm for small businesses and you learn that one of their biggest challenges is getting their accounts organized, you can create content around that.
PWC, for example, has an active blog full of content geared towards its primary customers.
Show Your Expertise
Just because you’re marketing online doesn’t mean you don’t have to work on building a relationship with potential buyers.
In fact, you have to work harder to create connections with prospects because they probably have far more options thanks to the global spread of the internet.
Look at it this way: content marketing funnels prospects into customers.
At each step of the journey, prospects want proof that you’re the business they should choose. As a result, you must convince them that you’re the best option for the job through your expertise and knowledge, as well as build a relationship with them so they trust you enough to invest.
This means creating content for prospects that are at different stages of the funnel and providing them with the information they need, when they need it.
Let’s look at what this might look like in action:
- When a prospect first finds you, they want to know more about you and how you can help them
- When a prospect has decided they might need your services but are still weighing up their options, they want to know why you are the best fit for them
- When a prospect is ready to sign up with you, they want reassurance that you can do what you say you can
Content is the perfect way to “prove” yourself at each of these steps.
Here’s a sample of the kind of content you might create for each step:
- When a prospect first finds you, you can create how-to guides and blog posts that validate the pain point they’re feeling – this shows you understand them and know what problems they need solving
- When a prospect is weighing up their options, you can serve them comparisons between similar brands, information about your unique process, and testimonials from past clients
- When a prospect is ready to sign up with you, you can share use cases with them and stories from previous happy clients
The Types of Content That Build Trust in the Professional Services Industry
Content is key to building trust in the professional services industry – but it has to be the right kind of content. Simply throwing up a couple of short blog posts void of personality every month isn’t going to get you the results you want.
Instead, use the above funnel template to create content that prospects actually want and need.
This can include things like:
- Case studies, customer stories, and testimonials that instill buyer confidence
- How-to guides and long-form blog posts that dig into their biggest pain point
- Short pieces of content that provide readers with a quick win
- eBooks that show off your expertise
- Webinars or videos to nurture a personal connection
If you’re not already using content marketing to grow your audience and attract the right type of professional services clients, now’s the time to start. Not only is it a powerful way to stand out amongst competitors by establishing thought leadership, but it creates deeper relationships with your clients which means they’ll keep coming back for more advice. Your efforts will make them better educated customers, and that means they will provide greater revenue-generating opportunities for your firm.
At Elevation Marketing, we have deep knowledge of how to create research-driven content strategies that build trust in the professional services industry. Contact us today to find out how we can help!