Building Trust: Content Marketing Tips for Financial Advisors
Last year, we put on a webinar that showed financial advisors how to double their book of business in the next twelve months.
In addition to social media, direct mail, email marketing, cold calling, etc…. we talked about content marketing.
Recently, we’ve been getting a lot of comments and questions about content marketing. Because people showed so much interest in content marketing, I decided to put together this post outlining some of my favorite content marketing tips for financial advisors.
1. Content Is NOT Just Blog Posts
Whenever I talk about content marketing, people tend to immediately think about blog posts. I think that the thought of writing blog posts leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths because they think back to high school, where they tried to rush together a term paper before the deadline.
No matter the negative connotation, blog posts are a ridiculously powerful way to build your business. After all, companies that blog get much more traffic than those that don’t. If you get more eyes on you, your services, and your company, you make more money. It’s really that simple.
Alas, content marketing is not just about blogging. It doesn’t even have to be written content at all. It could be videos, podcasts, a direct mail drip, or whatever you’re comfortable with.
What I’m saying here is that if you’re one of those people who hates blogging or writing articles, you don’t have to do them. You can simply produce another form of content.
I’m going to be completely transparent, though – I personally have used blog posts to get in front of millions of people and think that while the written word is awesome, the most important thing is that you do something in the first place.
2. You DO Have Time For Content Marketing.
I got a comment that caught me off guard: it was someone who said that content marketing took too much time.
This is called stepping over dollars to pick up pennies. Let me illustrate, using myself as an example. No “theory” or abstract concepts.
I’m writing this blog post now. I’m probably going to put it on my LinkedIn, where people will see it. If people engage with the post, it could be tens of thousands of people.
Then I’m going to send it out to my email list. Some will ignore my email entirely (their loss), while others will open but not click. Nonetheless, some people WILL click and read the article, because they know the value that I provide the financial advisors.
Then I might boost it on social media for a short period of time. Even then, the article will still be on my website, where it will continue to get traffic.
For the sake of brevity, let’s say that 50,000 people will end up seeing this article over the next few months.
This article will take me MAYBE an hour to write. Then another 30 minutes to share online and put on my site… MAYBE….
From there, I don’t have to do anything. The article will continue to work for me whether I’m sick, sleeping, or on vacation.
Still… 90 minutes of work equates to me reaching 50,000 people.
Yet, content marketing “takes too much time”. Well, what’s the alternative? How many people can you reach on the phone in an hour? How many pieces of direct mail can you send out in an hour? It probably won’t be anywhere near 50K.
I completely acknowledge that it takes a lot of work to build up to the point where this many people will see your content at such a low cost, but I’m telling you that it’s worth it. You know why? Because a week from now I can write another post… reach even more people… and keep the cycle going.
Content marketing allows you the reach and scale that you could only dream about before
3. Your Content Shouldn’t Be About You Or Your Company.
Rather, your content should be about your niche.
If you’re a financial advisor and you’re targeting retirees, every single piece of content that you put out there needs to be relevant to teachers and help them in some way.
You will begin to attract a following. People will come back and check to see if you’ve posted anything else that can help them. And if you’re targeting retirees, guess who they have in their network? Other retirees! The same is true with the vast majority of niches out there. In today’s digital world, you’re just a hop and a skip away from getting shared with others within the same niche.
There are many different ways to skin a cat, but I want to talk about one. Picture this: you have a piece of content on your website about how retirees should be planning for retirement. A retiree in your area searches for this topic online and either through organic rankings or paid ads, you show up on top.
She clicks on your article, and rather than you trying to sell her on how great you and your company are, you actually tell a story or provide valuable insight or help in some way. Of course, you can’t give specific investment advice, and you should always remain compliant, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create content that’s valuable to people.
And I’ve got news for you… if you can’t effectively market yourself online, whether that’s through content marketing or whatever, you are getting left behind. There are some advisors out there whose companies still won’t let them do certain things online and they are getting CRUSHED.
4. You Cannot Hire Someone To Create Your Content For Five Bucks
Okay, the jig is up. Everybody knows that with a few keystrokes, you can hire talent for super-cheap and get them to write content for you.
This is not a big secret anymore. I can literally have someone from India writing a blog post for $10 in less than an hour. I could go to Upwork, Fiverr, or any of the other “hire cheap” websites out there.
We are way past this. The problem with today’s content marketing is that a lot of people and companies out there are putting out content just for content’s sake. They read that they need to be “doing content marketing” and jump on the train as quickly and as poorly as possible.
I would much rather have ten high-quality blog posts that actually provide value to people than a hundred meaningless pieces of content because some guru told me content marketing was “in” this year.
5. You Still Have To Promote Your Content.
The old “if you build it, they will come” idiom doesn’t apply here.
Just because you spent an hour or two writing a piece of content doesn’t mean that anybody cares about you, your company or what you offer. They don’t even care about your content.
The only way they will care is if they see it. And the only way they will see it is if you promote. Even high-quality content won’t share itself. It may need a little boost in the beginning to start gaining momentum.
How do you give your content a boost? You share it on social media, send it to your email list, or put a little budget behind it. You can write a piece of content for retirees, then go right over to Twitter and create an ad targeting people who follow retiree-related accounts. If you’re only allowed to work in certain states (as most of you reading this probably are) then you can just filter down to whatever state or location you want.
You can spend a hundred bucks, get 100-200 clicks and generate your own leads that way. The best part is that they will be location-specific and within your niche – with whom you’ve already demonstrated tremendous value. See how awesome this is?
6. Learn How to Repurpose Content.
This is an especially valuable tip for financial advisors because you can create niche-specific content one time and have it continue to work for you again and again.
If things change, you update your content and re-publish. If things haven’t changed, you can take similar content and put it in a different format. Or, if you’re constantly growing your social media accounts, you can publish the repurposed content so new people (who haven’t seen it before) can see it.
Plus, different people prefer different formats. Some people might come back to your site or social media accounts to see if you’ve written anything new, while others will be on the lookout for video/audio updates. If you aren’t repurposing your content, it isn’t going as far as it should.
7. Understand The Lifecycle Of Getting A Client.
Getting a client from content marketing isn’t always as simple as writing something, putting it online, and getting a phone call from someone. In my experience, content marketing works amazingly well in tandem with your other marketing efforts.
For example, if you send out a postcard or direct mail piece to someone, he might go to your website, where he’ll see content that you’ve written specifically for people with his unique challenges and situation. This makes an incredible impact.
There are lots of different “client-getting lifecycles” but one might look like this:
- You create some content related to a niche.
- You’re asked to speak somewhere after someone sees that you’re an expert on your topic.
- You get some press coverage after speaking at the event.
- Prospect sees your press coverage and/or is at the event itself.
- Prospect sets an appointment with you.
8. Don’t Forget About SEO.
This article is not about SEO, so I’m not going to dwell on it too much. However, SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) is basically about showing up at the top of the search results when people search for a given term.
For example, if someone searches “Financial Advisor Beverly Hills” and you happen to be a financial advisor in Beverly Hills, you want to be sure that you show up when someone searches for that particular term. (That’s one reason why you want to invest in awesome SEO services.)
From the outside looking in, SEO can be pretty complicated, so I’m going to make it easy for you – two things that matter the most when it comes to SEO are content and links.
The content part is pretty much a given. If someone is searching for “ways to become more flexible”, you can bet your bottom dollar that they want to see a piece of content teaching them about flexibility. So naturally, search engines want to show high-quality content that is related to the search query.
The second part, the backlinks, is the part that gives your site “SEO juice”. A backlink is an incoming link to a webpage. So if another site “links” to your site, they are giving you a backlink. In a nutshell, the more high-quality backlinks you have (meaning they’re from trustworthy sites), the better off you will be in search engines.
So now the question becomes…. “How do I get these backlinks?”
It’s simple, but it’s not easy. It’s all part of the “content promotion” process. Once you’ve created an awesome piece of content, you want to reach out to different sites that could benefit from that content. If you wrote a post about helping teachers plan for retirement, you could reach out to various teacher blogs and websites and ask for them to share and/or link to your site.
A lot of people are reluctant to spend their time doing things like this, but that’s also why nobody knows them. If 1,000 people are searching for a term every single month and you show up at the top of the results, that’s 1,000 more potential prospects right at your fingertips.
9. Be Consistent And Track ROI Over Long Periods Of Time.
Content marketing should be part of your overall marketing strategy, not the entire marketing strategy. Unlike direct mail, where you can send something out, wait two weeks, and see the ROI, content marketing takes a little longer.
That’s not to say that you can’t get some clues along the way, because you can literally see how much traffic and activity a particular post is getting. If you’re seeing certain types of content do well again and again, do more of them! For example, I’ve noticed that my list-type posts do extremely well when compared to other posts I’ve done. So guess what? This is another list post!
It’s hard to put tangible dollar figures on content marketing (because every piece of content is different and can perform differently). However, if you’re increasing your exposure and your traffic month after month, your income should eventually go up as well.