Many professional service firms forget to leverage one of their greatest marketing assets: their intellectual property. Your ideas, stories and even methodologies are the single best way to differentiate your firm.
Many firms are willing to invest in thought leadership campaigns. But, in order to maximize that investment, you need to design the right “home base” to show those assets off.
Your website content should be a compelling invitation to clients, alumni and targets. Take a look at your current site with this “thought leadership management” checklist in mind:
- What is the quality of our thought leadership? Have we pushed ourselves to articulate an original, competitively significant idea?
- What is the tone of our IP? Is it too academic in tone? Are we professorial or a thoughtful coach?
- Do we have the right quantity of content? You want the right mix of historical credentials and current insights.
- Have we spent time considering different formats, from videos to eBooks to infographics to widgets? Or we allowing prospects to drown in white papers?
- Have we spent too much time on “About Us” vs. “About Our Industries or Geographies?” Most visitors are eager to see themselves in you, so give them plenty of chances.
- Have we layered in the right competitive keywords for search engines to recognize?
- Did we take full advantage of our rainmaker bios? Each profile is a chance for us to tell the human story of an expert, as opposed to a dry set of credentials.
- Do our stories link together? One piece of content should give the website visitor an immediate chance to visit pieces of IP or an industry page or a practice description.
- Finally, the most important question. Is our content actionable? Are we giving our target an actionable idea that can immediately help frame their own business decisions?
You may not realize it, but your firm is now officially a publisher. Your website and thought leadership are actually your “book” and “magazine” to the outside world. It’s critically important to invest in these “owned” properties.
The bonus? When you spend the time to get your “owned” content right, you also create a valuable asset with the potential to lure “earned” online visitors to the next stage in your the sales funnel.