Guidance for Technical Professionals
When planning a website, you need to make a strategic decision: will your site be a digital brochure or an interactive, lead-generating website? If your firm chose the latter, your assistance as a technical staff member is invaluable in creating quality content that captures potential visitors and turns them into leads.
Professional service websites typically include basic boilerplate information about the company such as a home page, services page, portfolio page, team leaders page, etc. A lead-generating website takes development a step further by attracting targeted visitors with an extensive library of educational content written by technical staff members.
Constantly publishing engaging, educational, and useful content pieces establishes the firm as an industry expert and attracts prospective clients. In addition—and just as important—new content that is published to the site enters the search engine and social media platforms. This increases the chances that a potential client will see your content.
What kind of content can technical staff contribute? Engaging content can be provided in many ways. Professional service firms have a few popular formats that have been successful in providing content that brings clients back again and again.
Engaging Content Avenues
Blog Posts: One of the most popular areas to include content that also provides SEO opportunities is a short blog post (400–800 words). These are popular because they are easy to read, easy to write, and give information in a quick snippet. Firms typically publish posts on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Whatever your team decides for frequency is fine, but it needs to be consistent. This content is helpful in feeding social media posts and ideal for indexing in search engines. Some firms also publish longer-format posts (2,000+ words) on a less frequent basis, as the Goggle algorithm appears to favor longer posts.
Webinars: In this day of virtual everything, it’s becoming easier to record an online presentation or conduct an AEC webinar over the internet. These presentations are perfect for both generating leads and nurturing existing prospects. Webinars or virtual presentations provide a visual connection with clients and potential clients, establishing yourself as an expert. They also present a good opportunity for partnerships if you can find consultants who complement your firm.
Guides/Manuals: Downloadable PDF documents that give instruction or provide information in the form of short ebooks, guides, or manuals are a good way to disseminate your knowledge library. Usually these pieces are professionally designed and focus on an important industry topic.
Research Studies: A research study is meant to establish your firm as an expert. Your research of industry data, market research findings, and insights can be formatted to position your firm as a primary source of expertise and knowledge. Remember that these studies are useful because they can be pulled apart and repurposed for smaller and shorter articles for social media, your blog, or infographics.
Speaking: Another way to establish yourself and your firm as an expert is to organize speaking engagements for client-oriented associations. Consider a topic that would interest your potential clients specific to your discipline. Get a transcript or video of your presentation and post to the website for visitors to watch or read for free.
Books/Ebooks: Whether it’s a physical copy or digital, one of the most effective ways to be established as a thought leader is to write a book. Books are often sold on Amazon (another revenue stream for you), but some firms will give away electronic versions in exchange for an email address on your website. This is a proven lead generation technique.
e-Newsletters: This quick and easy push marketing tactic is a great way to ensure your clients see the content you are producing. Readers will not unsubscribe from your newsletter as long as you are providing them with practical educational information that is of value to them. If you don’t have the time to write a long-format piece, you can simply link to your best blog posts, webinars, or other content pieces on your website. This will assist with analytics as well.
Videos: Videos are how users absorb content today. Online videos for your firm include case studies, company overviews, service descriptions, or weekly blog posts—all of which benefit your inbound marketing strategies. YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world, and it’s owned by Google, the largest search engine. Every target keyword can be an opportunity for video or social media sharing. For your marketing strategy, the best part is that Google displays video in their search results, boosting your chances of being found for certain keywords.
Online marketing is revolutionizing the way AEC firms grow and prosper. As a result, a firm’s website is no longer an informational brochure. With the help of technical staff members, your site can now be a lead-generating machine.