The past couple of years have transformed how consulting firms market themselves. Lockdowns, working from home and social distancing have accelerated innovation and the shift to digital, as consultancies like yours look for new ways to engage with clients.

For those who have grasped the opportunity, it’s been a huge success, demonstrating the power of digital marketing to provide a real return on investment. A key element of this is content marketing, which gives your consultancy the chance to connect directly with your target clients, showcasing your expertise and proving you understand their challenges and pain points like no one else.

It’s no surprise content marketing budgets are rising in the consulting industry and according to LinkedIn, 2022 is set to be a huge year for content-led strategies.

So what content marketing trends should you be jumping on in 2022? Here are six to look out for:

1. Put money on rich media

As more and more consultancies turn to digital marketing, the content competition is heating up. Yours needs to stand out – videos and podcast can help you do this and they’re exploding in popularity in the B2B space.

In an era when we’re meeting clients face-to-face much less, they bring a human touch to your marketing. They show some of the people behind the brand and tend to generate more engagement than written content.

Longer form content can also be repurposed into shorter videograms and audiograms, to bring variety to your social media posts and provide ongoing value.

2. Hybrid events are here to stay

When the pandemic struck networking events and conferences quickly shifted online. Since then, webinars and virtual events have provided firms with quality new leads, many of which would have been much harder to reach with traditional methods.

Given their success, online events will continue to boom this year in the world of B2B. This is because of their flexibility and effectiveness, as well as their ability to collect valuable information about those attending. And for many, it is simply far easier to fit an online session into their daily lives.

It’s great to see some physical events returning, but don’t naively think this means a return to the old way of doing things. The consultancies that will thrive in 2022 are the ones who find a way to leverage physical events for online content as well as harnessing digital events alone. There are many practical ways that you can do this. For instance, streaming your event live to LinkedIn and letting people across the world watch. Or, recording the session and uploading it behind a registration wall so that those that couldn’t attend can still watch. What’s more, by digitising your in-person events, you will have content to then repurpose on your social streams. This hybrid combination will be an extremely effective way to boost the ROI of your events.

In short, people don’t want to give up the benefits of digital. Alongside the growth in online-only events, we expect in-person events to harness digital capabilities to connect with people and provide a valuable library of content for everyone.

3. Trust is a must

Modern marketing is much more about building relationships than hard selling. And the most successful relationships are built on trust.

Through marketing channels such as social media and newsletters, your consultancy can be in regular touch with existing clients and prospects. This is your chance to show them you really understand the challenges they’re facing and the opportunities that are emerging in their sector with a constant drumbeat of sharp, opinion-led content.

That means tapping into the specific issues they’re tackling and the conversations they’re having right now, rather than repeating marketing slogans so that when they need support you’re the people they turn to. Writing opinion-led blogs, commenting on industry news stories to give your unique point of view and leading the way for your industry through thought-provoking webinars are just some of the ways you can do this.

In a nutshell, with the competition to stand out increasing, being transparent is going to be key to gaining the trust of your target clients.

4. Get on the case

So, your clients want results and to trust that you can deliver. There’s no getting around it. In fact, they will most likely give you their word if you can prove that you’ve helped other organisations like theirs deliver results. If they can see what you’ve done for others, it will increase their trust in you.

That’s where case studies have a vital role to play. We don’t just mean an anonymous testimonial, we mean detailed and verifiable evidence of success. Case studies give you the chance to layout the challenge a client was up against, how your consultancy addressed it and the positive results of your work. And they don’t just have to be in the form of blogs, we’ve created engaging testimonials in the form of video and eBook too. It’s about what fits your consultancy and who your trying to market to.

In a digital landscape brimming with competitors and their content, it generates credibility that really stands out.  

5. Locked in to LinkedIn

Your potential clients, the senior leaders and decision-makers of every industry, are in one place. It’s not a conference hall, it’s LinkedIn.

The importance of the platform is only going to grow. It is a great place to distribute content, but it’s also where you can build an active community of potential buyers. You can speak to them directly and tailor your content to their needs. It’s also a brilliant way to connect with talent for your own business – a top priority for many in a fiercely competitive talent market. What’s more, we know that resource and capacity is tight, so if you’re only going to focus on one social media channel, it should be LinkedIn.

With numerous social media platforms available, it’s better to focus on mastering the one that is most valuable to your business. And for consultancies, that’s why an active LinkedIn strategy is so important.

6. Developing good influencers

Some of the best advocates for your consultancy are your team. They live and breathe your work and understand it inside out.

Encouraging your people to build their personal brands online, talk about the great work they’re doing and share company posts, is an often underused way to market your services and amplify your content to a wider audience. You may feel uneasy loosening the control you have over messaging, but people respond to people, particularly on social media.

People also buy from people. Your team are all part of the wider picture of your consultancy but are individual specialists. If you show this, and let the individual voices and specialisms shine, you can showcase your team’s unique skill set and in turn, stand you apart from generic consulting teams with no individual voice. It can be as simple as having one of your consultants write an article and then amplifying that on your company page.

Before you know it, you may have an industry influencer in your office. The go-to person for information on your sector and its big issues. There’s no better marketing than that.

Harnessing these trends can help you get ahead of the competition, in a year when digital marketing will have a key role to play in growing your consultancy.

Find out more

If you need support to build a digital marketing strategy that’ll cut through the noise in 2022, we’d love to chat, so please get in touch.