Top 10 Professional Services Marketing Trends for 2018

A new year is upon us, and as you look ahead for marketing planning for 2018, Ingenuity has done the trend research for you! We’ve rounded up our top 10 marketing trends, along with tips on how to address each one.  

1. Paid social advertising – Consumers, both B2B and B2C, are inundated with content on social media, but algorithms determine what users see. Organic reach on social media is actually declining and it is turning into a “pay-to-play” game. 

Bottom line: If you want your page’s posts to be seen by your followers, consider paid social advertising. Even with a small budget, your impressions and reach can improve dramatically. 

2. Recruiting + online presence – Good talent is hard to come by and competition is tough. With unemployment rates at an all-time low, candidates can be picky about applying for jobs. Your online brand on review sites is starting to matter more. 

Bottom line: Make sure every online account (Google Business, Glassdoor, Indeed, etc.) is up-to-date with reviews and content. Consider running a campaign for new reviews from current employees. 

3. Voice search – An increase in voice search will change the way firms optimize their websites. According to ComScore, 50 percent of all searches will be voice searches by 2020. 

Bottom line: The way we speak to our mobile assistants (Siri, Alexa) is much different than the way we query search engines. Use long tail keywords in your content to attract users on desktop and mobile.

4. Google mobile-first index – Google will soon rank search results based on the mobile version of the content, even for desktop users. The roll-out has not officially occurred, but Google has begun testing.

Bottom line: At the very least, your website needs to be mobile-friendly. (You can find out if it’s mobile-friendly here.) After that, check the mobile experience on different devices and use headings, subheadings and mobile-friendly formatting when adding new content to your site so that mobile views look their best.

5. Mobile experience – When updating your web home page, make sure that you consider the user’s preferences. For mobile, you may include a pop-up phone number feature or geolocation feature for office directions.

Bottom line: The game has changed for website design and marketing. Solidify your marketing strategy for mobile experience before redesigning or updating your website.

6. Your own publishing channel – Want more views on your content? Considering using other tools to expand your reach. Purchase a digital marketing presence or add your content to LinkedIn Pulse for free.

Bottom line: Any professional can be a publisher now, and if you use it with integrity by providing valuable content that emphasizes the knowledge of your professionals, you can boost credibility with cold and warm prospects.  

7. Homepage refreshes – Online design circles are emphasizing the importance of simple, frequent updates to the look and feel of your website home page. It can make a big difference when getting visitors to stay longer and look around. This simple change can support positive brand perceptions as well as online leads.

Bottom line: Plan at least a quarterly update to your home page design, and strategize on where you most want visitors to go next.  

8. Proposal software – Tools like Proposify streamline the proposal process, freeing up your department to pursue more dynamic marketing and business development opportunities.   

Bottom line: If your firm does not have the capacity to respond quickly to proposals and properly market your unique approach, people and services, then a tailored proposal template combined with a proposal workflow tool like Proposify may help your firm meet (and exceed) its growth goals.

9. Differentiate with stories – People retain information better through storytelling, and your firm can stand apart by sharing clear examples of how you’ve helped a client or created a great workplace. 

Bottom line: Every opportunity to talk or write about your firm should include a real-life story.

10. Influencer marketing – Who comes to mind when you hear the phrase “influencer marketing?” Reality show stars? YouTube celebrities? Centers of influence exist within every industry and geographic area. It’s time for professional services firms to utilize influencer marketing for their benefit. 

Bottom line: Let your best clients and referral sources sell your firm. Use testimonials and case studies on your website and marketing materials, and find ways to partner with these influencers to host co-branded events.

Learn about Ingenuity’s services for social strategy, websites, content and leads for professionals and service-based companies.