As a financial advisor you always have your eyes on ROI. Whether it’s acquiring new clients, engaging with existing ones, or just staying top of mind in the market, you’re on the hunt for the best use of your time. But what if there’s a way to benefit you, your clients, your prospects, and your business simultaneously, and affordably? Welcome to the world of content marketing!
In this article we’re going to cover what content marketing looks like for financial advisors, how to get the most out of your efforts, how to overcome obstacles, and what you can do to get the most out of your content.
What does content marketing look like for advisors?
As a financial advisor you don’t tell clients they just need to start “investing.” You take the time to understand their specific situation, their goals, dreams, personality, lifestyle, and risk tolerance before making specific recommendations. That’s because financial advice is an umbrella term that captures the general idea of your service, encompassing a wide range of strategies, many of which may not be relevant to your client.
In the marketing world, “content marketing” serves as a similarly overarching term. But all too often advisors mistakenly think it’s just sharing “stuff” on social media. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Understanding what matters to your highest value client coupled with your business objectives sets the stage for content marketing. Leveraging your existing marketing assets and your brand strategy, you’re then able to create content that can serve your customers and your business.
Many advisors aren’t aware of the full range of options at their disposal. Below is a list of content marketing mediums I use with clients to move their business forward. Effective content marketing for financial advisors and RIAs includes, but isn’t limited to:
- Articles: Personalized long-form content that draws in readership through lists, rankings, hot topics, unique perspectives, etc. Great articles target pain points, educate, and provide clear calls to action.
- Book: Educate in the ultimate authority-establishing tool. Great books tell a story, even as non-fiction, and invite readers to learn more about your service.
- Case Studies: Hypothetical or real-life scenarios showcased on your website. Great case studies accurately capture the situations your audience faces, and demonstrates why your business is the go-to solution.
- Webinars: Host an online event to give your professional and personal take on life events, present trends, and financial philosophy. Great webinars lead to deeper connections and actions from your prospects, clients, and centers of influence.
- Live Events: Host or participate in a live event to truly put a face to your brand. Great live events allow for the most personal form of connectivity and engagement from your target audience.
- Landing Pages: One page of content can be your greatest driver of customer action and new leads. Great landing pages showcase valuable content, drive visitors through sales funnels, and build up your audience for future engagement.
- Ebooks: Lock down your credibility with comprehensive financial guides specific to your customer’s needs. Great ebooks serve as a free value-add full of learning, reinforcement of your expertise, and inspiration for future interaction.
- Email Sequences: Structure campaigns that compel readers to learn more. Great email sequences leverage powerful storytelling, which engages your target audience and keeps them taking action over the course of multiple reach outs.
- Newsletters: Touch base with your audience in down-to-earth, summarized style. Great newsletters keep you in front of your clients creatively and offer calls to action like registering for a webinar, checking out new blog content or scheduling a meeting.
- Videos: Record unique, entertaining content for your brand. Great videos explain your services, educate your viewers, introduce your team or help set prospective clients’ expectations.
Pro tip: Use video as a communication tool with clients. This personalized touch can elevate your interaction (and be done at scale). Services like loom make including short video messages easy.
- Podcast: Take the time to deep dive into financial subjects in episodic format. Great podcasts allow your audience to listen in on your insights, conversations with other pros, and in-depth explorations of situations relevant to them.
How does content marketing help your RIA?
When you create a financial plan for clients, it helps in a variety of ways. It makes it clear where they’re headed, tracks the progress toward their goals, and offers them peace of mind in knowing they’re compounding towards their long-term vision of the future.
A content marketing plan works the same way. You gain direction for your growth efforts, immediate feedback on how it’s going, and comfort in understanding you are building your brand and will reap benefits over time. More specifically, content marketing helps RIAs and financial advisors generate revenue in multiple ways:
- Strengthen Your Authority: Establish yourself (and other advisors in your RIA) as thought leaders in your space. Content allows you to expand on your areas of specialization, share unique approaches, and open your business to new opportunities for engagement.
- Attract New Clients: Most people will discover your business for the first time online. They will read your blog, watch a video or see a post on social media. Augmenting good content with an SEO strategy makes finding your RIA easier. With the right content optimized, new clients will have no trouble finding you as the solution to their problems and taking the first step (i.e. contacting you).
- Stay Top of Mind: Sharing content on a regular basis reminds people on your list that you’re there for them. When you keep yourself front and center, you’ll come to mind first when their “trigger event” occurs.
- Engage with Existing Clients: Consistency is key in keeping the business you have. And if you shift all your attention to acquiring new business, existing clients can feel left behind. Content marketing shows your current clients you’re still focused on service, and offers them a chance to interact with you in between meetings. (Bonus: they may even forward your content to a friend).
- Accelerate the sales process: Content marketing turns the sales process upside down. In the past you had to make cold calls, set appointments, and identify pain points yourself. Now, content does the work for you. When you address your audience’s worries and aspirations through the right channels, you can showcase your solutions, and prompt appointment-booking action.
- Get in front of more of the right people: Content has the ability to reach an unlimited number of people simultaneously. On top of that, it has the ability to be shared by others on your behalf. Capitalize on others’ already loyal audiences that coincide with yours, and your ability to get in front of the right people multiplies exponentially. (For a guide on how to identify and contact content partners, sign up for my Growth Acceleration Toolkit).
What makes content marketing “difficult” for advisors?
If you’ve been a financial advisor for longer than a day, you know what it’s like to be frustrated by cold feet. You’ll have a great consultation call with a client. You’ll know you can help them. But when it comes time to commit… nothing happens. You end up on the receiving end of a ghosting or, at best, a shaky excuse.
When it comes to implementing a content marketing strategy, you may find you’re the one ghosting or giving excuses. That’s because advisors often feel hesitant about starting content marketing. Or they’ve experienced too many starts and stops with previous efforts that they don’t believe they can actually do it successfully. Sometimes their objections are legitimate. But more often than not, it’s fears, misunderstandings, and rationalizations that get in the way.
Advisors worry they won’t have the bandwidth for consistent content marketing. Afterall, they have their core functions to worry about. And even if they make the time, they’re not sure if it will be worth it. And even if they make the time, and achieve results, they’re worried about being locked into a specific strategy.
See a pattern here? No matter what, there’s going to be room for uncertainty. But when you see your content marketing plan like a comprehensive financial plan, you’ll understand it’s just fear talking.
Like a financial plan, a content marketing plan continuously evolves based on the needs, goals, and time frames applied to it. It takes time to see results, but by investing in the strategy consistently, and over a long enough time frame, the rewards will come. As you probably see with your clients, the hardest part is deciding to act.
What makes content marketing simpler and more effective?
When content marketing is done right, it will create awareness, generate interest, capture leads, nurture them, and prompt them to act (ex: book a consultation). You’ll light a fire under prospects, keep your clients engaged, and give them—and influencers— something to talk about with others.
But, how do you make sure your content marketing is done right? Focus on making it simpler and more effective.
9 tips for making content marketing simpler
- Making content marketing a priority: You get out what you put in. If you approach your marketing as an afterthought, you’re going to get afterthought results. You have to commit to your business’ content marketing. If you’re not willing to make it a priority, then it isn’t worth your valuable time.
- Start Small and Scale: If you want to reach a new peak in your business, you need to walk the path step-by-step. So start with small, easy-to-commit-to steps, (ex: a blog a month) and add to them over time.
- Creating A Home Base: Whether it’s a blog, video channel, podcast, or other regular published medium, your content marketing needs a home base. A place where you can consistently showcase content to appeal to your high-value, high target audience. Home bases allow you to get into a rhythm and establish a go-to place for your content.
- Having a Clear Content Calendar: Deadlines keep us consistent, we can’t wait for inspiration or motivation to strike. Having a clear content calendar lays out what you intend to put out and when. This holds you accountable to your new priority.
- Divvy up the work: Have multiple advisors in your firm? Give airtime to your team members to boost the firm’s value as a whole, spread responsibility, and offer various perspectives to your audience.
- Working With The Right Pro(s): Stop thinking you have to do this all yourself! A major key to growing your business is delegation. Copywriters, editors, graphic designers, marketing consultants, and more are at your disposal. Leverage their skills to save you the time and effort.
- Curate Content: Again… you don’t have to do everything yourself! As long as you give proper credit, you can share the content of others. By doing this you can fill in gaps of your own content quickly, and build a reputation for spotting quality advice.
- Batch your creating time: Set aside monthly or quarterly content creation days. Whether you binge-write, record multiple podcast episodes, or film a video series, you benefit from steeping yourself in content in compact periods. Have more than one creator? Collaboration during these days can have exponential outcomes.
- Repurpose content: Recycling is the simplest way to make content marketing worth your time. Share your best content more than once, in more than one form:
- A blog post from 3 years ago may be evergreen; update and republish. New followers will benefit and existing audience members may now find it relevant.
- An email you sent to a prospect describing a solution to their problem may convert easily into a newsletter blurb.
- Your most popular video series may form the base of a webinar.
4 tips to make content marketing more effective
- Identify Your Target Audience: Knowing what you want to say is half the battle. You’ll also need to make sure it reaches the right people. Retirement solutions aren’t going to be as appealing to 25-year-olds. Focus on identifying your high-value hyper targets, address their worries, fuel their aspirations, and solve their problems!
- Speak to What You Do Best: Not all advisors are the same. Some specialize their service offering and are able to garner a competitive edge by doing so. If an aspect of your services is exclusive (ex: a proprietary model or method), or highly-reviewed, you can incorporate it effectively into your core message.
- Clarify Your Voice(s): Generic content is a waste of time. People have good B.S. detectors, and they pick up on inauthenticity. So speak from the heart! Share your business’s true, unique values through the personality that fits your brand. Doing so will allow you to attract ideal clients, connect deeper with your audience, and add flavor to your core message.
- Consistently Put Value In Front of Your List: Persistence is critical in winning new business. And in marketing, there’s an old rule known as “the rule of 7.” It states people need on average 7 interactions with your brand before they’ll take an action. The point is, consistency is key if you want your efforts to be fruitful.
How can you improve or start your content marketing?
As a marketing consultant who specializes in servicing RIAs and financial advisors, I’ve seen the power of content marketing first hand. But if you’re still feeling unsure of how to get the most out of what you’re producing — or don’t know where to start— you’re not alone.
I’ve worked with hundreds of advisors to overcome these fears and find where content marketing fits in their business. Together we take inventory of where their business is, where it’s looking to go, and the type of authentic messaging that can take us there.
Content marketing can feel overwhelming when you approach it alone. Worse yet, your hard work can feel pointless when it fails to deliver meaningful results. So make it easier on yourself, and bounce your ideas, questions, and concerns off a pro. You can schedule a complimentary consultation call with me here, or email me at [email protected].