In today’s world of digital engagement and interaction, content marketing is an effective approach to building awareness and trust in your brand.
What Is Content Marketing and Why Does It Matter?
With content marketing, you demonstrate to your prospects that you have the expertise and experience to help them address their concerns—saving for retirement, funding a college education, or taking the vacation of a lifetime. The aim here isn’t to sell yourself or your service but to build trust by talking about issues that concern your target audience—without expecting them to take action. You approach your audience as a trusted advisor rather than as a salesman.
This is very different from traditional, outbound marketing. With this more sales-focused approach, business owners attracted attention through ads, endorsements, and partnerships with media agencies.
There are a few good reasons to pay attention to content marketing (and maybe even try it for yourself):
Content marketing helps prospective clients find you in a crowded marketplace. How do you look for a service provider today? We no longer flip through the Yellow Pages. We turn to Google—almost half of 18- to 49-year-olds get their news and information online.1 As prospects look for answers to their concerns, search engines return links to relevant content. By creating, publishing, and distributing content online, you can help prospective clients find you in a sea of other advisors.
Content marketing establishes authority and expertise. Once people find you, how do they know you’re the best fit? The content that you author can help make the case for your expertise, knowledge, and ability to serve that prospect better than anyone else. Content marketing has six times the power of traditional marketing for converting people into leads and leads into customers.2
Content marketing helps build trust. Yes, content can solve the trust problem because it allows you to create something of value for consumers without selling them or asking for anything in return. Because you earn people’s attention instead of interrupting and buying it, you get the opportunity to build a connection with people over time so they feel like they know you—and yes, even like and trust you. Small businesses with blogs get 126 percent more lead growth than small businesses without.3
How to Get Started: A Few Simple Steps to Take First
Unlike outbound marketing or advertising, this isn’t a pay-to-play scenario. It’s free to sign up for social media accounts. Adding a blog to your website doesn’t cost anything extra. And many useful content marketing tools, like email management systems, offer free basic plans.
Interested in taking your very first steps into the world of content? Here’s what to do:
- Identify your audience—know their challenges, pains and aspirations. To attract these folks, you’ll want to speak in their language about the topics they’re thinking about.
- Make sure your website is up-to-date and easy to use. Remove any clutter and features that aren’t completely necessary (clean is better than clever!) and make sure your copy communicates the value you want to convey to prospects.
- Then, add a blog page to your website. Since you’re dipping your toes into the waters, start small. Aim for a blog once a month, or try for a post every other week. If you’re unsure of what to write about, make a list of common questions prospects and clients ask you—and then write up the answers in a blog post. Or discuss current events and industry trends that might affect financial decisions, like changes to the tax code. Your expertise adds an important and much-needed context and perspective for your readers.
- Choose one or two social media channels to try. LinkedIn is a good place for most advisors to begin. (You can always branch out and add other networks from here.) The next step: start posting! Share ideas, provide a few tips, link to your blog, or ask questions. Be social. Treat it like a virtual cocktail party and start chatting.
Kick Your Content Marketing Up a Notch
The steps above provide a good start, but the best content marketing requires both quantity and quality.
You need to do a little bit more than just publish a post or two on your firm’s blog every few weeks. Create a publication calendar and start writing meaningful content to attract and retain your target audience. Remember to re-purpose your content: Write a blog, and then turn it into an email, tweet about it, or create a LinkedIn InMail.
And if you’re too busy to write yourself, you can always curate content. With so much online content scattered across the web, collecting and interpreting it for your audience is just as valuable as writing an original piece. Your expertise can add context and nuance to help your prospective clients better understand concepts and ideas.
Don’t forget to leverage as many available, and free, channels as you can, too. Think LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, blogging, third-party blogs, email, etc.
The great news is that you don’t have to re-invent the wheel: eMoney’s Advisor Branded Marketing program can help you get started, or add to your existing content efforts.
Need strategies that generate leads and nurture prospects? Check out the eMoney Digital Marketing Playbook.