Monday, June 8, 2015

GOT Content?

Content marketing1 is any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers.”  For financial advisors, it can be a one of the most effective way to differentiate your firm and tell your story.
Here are 3 fundamental tips to keep in mind as you plan your content marketing strategy:

Tip # 1: Make sure that your content is Authentic, Engaging, and Actionable

First, you need to decide what you want to talk about, starting with:
  • What are you most passionate about and what makes you firm different from others?
  • Is there a particular niche or a unique client type that you best serve?
  • Who within the firm is best to tell your story? P.S. It doesn’t have to be the firm’s principal but should be someone who will be fully committed to the role.
​Once you’ve answered these questions, I suggest to keep 3 things top of mind when crafting your message:
  • Be Authentic – make sure you speak about what you know. Don’t try to compete with or copy anyone else.
  • Be Engaging –Be sure your communication is clear and easy to understand for the reader. Keep it short-and-sweet; it shouldn’t be an effort on their part to get the point of your story.
  • Always have a call-to-action – there should always be at least one takeaway item for the reader to walk away with, usually whatever the next logical step in the process:
    • Download a whitepaper for more information…
    • Attend a seminar to learn more… 
    • Schedule an office visit to meet the team…

Tip # 2: Pick the format that you’re most comfortable with and matches your firm’s culture

There are so many ways to deliver content these days; newsletters, video, white papers, e-books, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, Q&A articles,to name a few. Don’t take the “let’s do it all” approach, which often leads to a less than desirable results. Pick the formats that make the most sense for you. Then, do your research on best practices, plan your work in advance, and do it right.  If you have multiple contributors who will be delivering content, consider an editorial calendar, so the messaging is varied and balanced. Also, be mindful that the cadence you use is consistent. You can have different people telling different stories, but they should all still have a united voice regardless of the audience; clients, prospects, COI, etc.

Tip # 3: Do your homework on the technologies and platforms available

So now that you have a foolproof content management strategy, how and who will get it done? Whether you manage it in-house or outsourcing with a consultant, there are many content management tools and service providers that are readily available, affordable, and customizable for your specific needs. Make sure to clearly understand the features and limitations of the products before you pick one and then make sure to leverage to its full capability.
A few of the service provider platforms to be aware of are:
HootSuite and TweetDeck – to help manage your social media<
Wordpress and Blogger – to produce website and blogs
Vertical Response and Constant Contact – to create newsletter and email campaigns
I think content marketing expert, Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute said it best “Content marketing is all about telling a compelling story”. I hope these tips have helped you in thinking about how best to tell your story.

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