Here at Hinge, we’ve studied over 11,000 professional services firms and their clients. Most recently, we published our first annual High Growth Study of 526 professional services firms. A comparison of high-growth firms (at least 20% growth year over year) to other firms highlighted several best practices and techniques your B2B firm may want to adopt.
Among the study’s many interesting insights we found that high-growth firms take a more analytical approach to marketing their services.
Take, for example, how often high-growth firms conduct research on their target market. They are more than twice as likely to conduct frequent research (at least annually) on their target client audience. The relationship is shown in the figure below.
Frequent research is important because today’s marketplace can shift quickly. Keeping up with industry trends and buyer behavior has become a rising challenge for professional services firms.
The link between high growth and frequent research is just the tip of the analytical iceberg. High-growth firms also monitor 33% more marketing metrics than no growth firms, and they are more likely to focus on metrics at all stages of the marketing funnel – not just the bottom line.
To follow in the footsteps of these high-growth professional services firms, your firm should measure these 5 B2B marketing metrics:
1) Brand Awareness
How strong is your brand? How far does your content reach?
Brand awareness is the extent to which your target audience is familiar with your brand. It is a top-of-the-funnel marketing metric and can be measured in many different ways. Here are some common ways B2B firms are measuring brand awareness:
- Brand Strength Index (BSI)
- Branded keyword search impressions
- Branded content impressions
- Total number of social media mentions
- Social media mentions by target media & influencers
Optimizing your firm’s brand awareness will help attract prospective clients.
2) Social Media Engagement
Who is engaging with your brand online? Do they have positive or negative things to say?
Social media engagement is the interaction between people and brands on social networks. Each action (clicks, follows, likes, favorites, shares, re-tweets, etc.) is indicative of engagement, but they also highlight whether your audience is promoting your content or disparaging your brand. Paying close attention to social media engagement metrics and will help strengthen your brand and increase the likelihood of referrals.
Engagement analytics are available directly through each social platform. Below are some useful metrics commonly used to measure engagement on social media:
- Net Promoter Score
- Engagement rates
- Replies & comments
If social media is a priority for your firm, be sure to avoid the 5 social media fails common among professional services firms.
3) Website Traffic
Who is coming to your website? How are they finding your website? What web pages are performing better than others?
Having a high-performance website is the bedrock of any successful online marketing strategy. Depending on the goal of your website, your firm may have specific metrics to focus on. At a high level, the metrics listed below can be useful when assessing your website’s overall performance.
- Pages per session
- Average session duration
- Bounce rate
- All pages
- Landing pages
If you want to dive deeper into these website metrics, check out the top website B2B metrics to monitor.
SEE ALSO: How to Drive Organic Growth: 5 Proven Strategies for Professional Services Firms
4) Lead Generation
Where are your leads coming from? How educated are your leads on the services you offer?
Nearly every firm has a different way of defining a “lead.” But we all know professional services firms can’t exist without them.
If your firm relies on inbound lead generation, it’s important to have a system in place to track where those leads came from. Did they come from an article you wrote? A webinar or speaking engagement you presented? A guide or white paper downloaded?
Turning leads into clients is the goal. Optimize lead generation by focusing on the most fruitful tactics. Below are common lead generation metrics to keep track of:
- Total leads generated
- Leads per marketing technique
- Leads per practice area
- Lead scoring
5) Conversion Rates
How can you deepen the engagement with prospects and turn them into educated and qualified opportunities?
Conversions systematically move users through each stage of the marketing pipeline. They turn web visitors into leads, leads into prospects, prospects into educated and qualified opportunities, and opportunities into clients.
To nurture leads at this level requires a sophisticated email marketing strategy and a focus on four key areas:
- Buyer roles
- Buying stages
- Offers – “soft” offers (content) and “hard” offer (consultation with an in-house expert)
Tying Analytics to Growth
Professional services firms growing at or above 20% are twice as likely to conduct frequent research on their target audience, use 33% more marketing metrics to measure success, and are more likely to measure each stage of the marketing pipeline.
While correlation does not mean causation, it’s clear that a data-driven approach to marketing is a proven strategy for growth when implemented effectively.
- Discover what today’s most successful professional services firms are doing right in the research summary 2016 High Growth Study.
- For more hands-on help on becoming the next Visible Firm®, register for our Visible Firm® course through Hinge University.
- Find out more on becoming a sought-after expert in your industry by downloading a free copy of The Visible Expert℠ book.
How Hinge Can Help
Hinge is a global leader in helping professional services firms grow faster and become more profitable. Our research-based strategies are designed to be implemented. In fact, our groundbreaking Visible Firm® program combines strategy, implementation, training and more.