It’s not an accounting firm, but the strategies the show employed to become so successful translate directly to good marketing advice for your firm.
As an award-winning comedy/news program, The Daily Show created an unusual niche. It’s been incredibly successful there too, on the air for well over a decade with millions of devoted followers. What could Jon Stewart and company possibly have to do with accounting or content marketing? Lots, according to Suzanne Doughty. She lays out some very insightful comparisons for small businesses in this blog post. Jon Stewart is an amazing talent, but the show’s success is based on more than a star:
- Establish your own niche and voice. After an inconsistent start with a less-than-stellar host, the program found the right people in Jon Stewart and some writers from the Onion and began a consistently funny approach to the news. While a new business may feel the need to take any work it can find, you’ll ultimately become stronger by focusing on a particular niche and defined services that you can perform well. That approach lets you establish yourself as the expert of choice for a limited scope rather than just one of many in a crowd of general service providers. Really honing in on a smaller industry niche allows your firm to define and dominate your corner, as well as tailor your marketing efforts to this segment. If you’re good at it, word will spread within the niche and you’ll find plenty of work even from this smaller pool of potential clients.
- Provide a constant supply of fresh, high-quality content. As Stewart and the new writers found their stride, the show began a consistent focus on current issues and news. By offering meaningful content that is of real value to professionals in your chosen niche, you’ll establish yourself as a thought leader and earn trust. Readers and users will naturally want to utilize your services based on the expertise you’ve shown through your content. For the most part, the people who find you through a topical search are those who stand to benefit from your particular set of services, so you’ll be speaking to a self-selected pool of potential clients. If your content is good, they’ll return over and over to see what you’re sharing today. The more often they read your content, the more established you become as the expert in the field. Who else would they turn to when they need financial services?
- Co-opt the clout of recognized industry leaders. Bob Dole was the first big-name political figure to appear on the show, and he’s been followed by an illustrious list of the most famous leaders in politics and journalism. Their presence brought more credibility to the show as a viable source for news and opinion. While your accounting firm may not stand much of a chance of landing an interview with President Obama, it doesn’t need him. It needs someone that the users of your services will recognize and respect as a financial services expert. Why not ask one of them? Creating relationships with these leaders is entirely possible through Twitter and other social media platforms. When you and your firm associate in conversation or more with recognized experts, you reap the rewards of their respected identity. After establishing yourself as a wise and trusted industry peer you can certainly float the idea of an interview or guest post. Make sure there’s a beneficial angle for the expert, such as a chance to reach a new audience or promote a new project. Treat these relationships with the respect they deserve, and let their names help your brand earn the same kind of status and recognition in its own right.
You may never be an internationally recognized star with hordes of middle-aged women lusting after your screen persona, but you can definitely help your firm grow and thrive by applying the same strategies to your content marketing that worked for The Daily Show. That’s probably a more useful outcome anyway.