As a consulting firm, when do you get to ask a prospective client: How may I help you? Social media (SM) can give you the opportunity to ask them what they are interested in talking about.
In our second annual study of consulting firms’ use of SM to create and market thought leadership (conducted with the Bloom Group and AMCF) we found that more consulting firms are experimenting with digital tools and those efforts are bearing fruit as they experience an uptick in web traffic.
Putting their money where their tweets are:
We found that while nearly half (44%) of consulting firms are spending under $100K on developing and marketing thought leadership content, 36% are spending $100K-999K and 18% are spending between $1-10 million.
In 2011 consulting firms are allocating 16% of their budget toward social media marketing, 41% to traditional online marketing and 43% to offline marketing.
Power of many vs. influence of few:
Social Media Tool Usage by Consulting Firms
At this point consulting firms understand that their involvement in social media is table sakes. They know they must be present. However, the long term winners will be those who can ferret out and start conversations in the smaller targeted communities.
Why Go Digital?
How & Why do Consulting Firms Use Digital Platforms
Digital platforms are being used by many consulting firms to market thought leadership, not create it. The starting point for any consulting firm should be figuring out how to leverage the piles of intellectual capital they amass on any given day. Right now many firms are simply treating SM as a byproduct of their marketing plans. By 2013 consulting firms will not have that luxury; content will have to be created specifically for target communities and disseminated to target outposts. Very attractive dividends await those who produce original content for the web.
Stay tuned next week for Part II from our study which will offer information on the effectiveness of consulting firm marketing and who is leading vs lagging behind in thought leadership marketing.
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