You probably don’t need reconvincing that your digital footprint matters for the success of your practice. But just in case you could use a refresher, a survey of 2,000 U.S. respondents earlier this year by technology platform Intelliflo found that while 59% of individuals want financial advice, they say they don’t know where to find it. Perhaps more importantly, 41% of respondents indicated that they received advice from online and other digital sources (57% turned to family).
In other words, if you’re wondering where your future clients are going to learn about finance and investing topics, you can be pretty sure that many of them are looking online to inform their decisions.
This points to the importance of maintaining a steady flow of quality content that is interesting, informative and inviting. You can’t afford to be hit-or-miss with your content, and you can’t afford to be inconsistent; both are like trying to operate a store with unpredictable hours and empty shelves.
Before we get into how people find this content, let’s go back to the store analogy. If you have a store that is reliably open and your shelves are stocked, great! But if your shelves are stocked with meats and cheeses and your customers are vegans, who cares? As we preach repeatedly, know your target client and write to what adds the most value to them.
“Without quality content, you can’t have an effective digital marketing strategy. It’s just not possible.”
Let’s say it one more time: Without quality content, you can’t have an effective digital marketing strategy. It’s just not possible.
The right keywords, quality backlinks and high SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) rankings can all drive traffic to your financial advisory firm’s site. (And if you need proof, take a look at the most recent report from Michael Kitces’s research on advisor marketing strategies; quality SEO — search engine optimization — and other digital strategies offer some of the most cost-effective client acquisition practices.) But the only way you will keep visitors on your site and convert them into clients is to give them quality content to consume.
On the other hand, creating quality content is time-consuming. It involves researching, writing, revising, and editing … and all that is before it heads off to your compliance and legal team. That’s why you need to be sure that you’re producing the right content and making the most of what you produce.
One of the most valuable and time-efficient content strategies is likely right in front of your nose: Reusing and recycling the great content you’ve already created. There’s no hard-and-fast rule that says you need to recreate the wheel every time — and really, why would you?
You can probably remember an article that generated tons of feedback from your clients and centers of influence or a video that took weeks to create but garnered hundreds of clicks and “likes.” These are the pieces that you should reuse and recycle time and again. For one thing, you’ve already gotten positive feedback from the focus group that matters the most: your clients!
And after all, as a financial advisor, you want to spend more time helping your clients grow their assets while still enjoying a steady stream of new leads, and less time meeting content deadlines. Here’s how you can effectively reuse your “greatest hits” to streamline the content creation process.
Audit your content
The first step is to audit your current content. This will help you see which types of content are having the most success and where there are gaps that need to be filled.
To get started, gather your content. If you have a lot, you may want to focus on one area at a time. For example, you may want to focus only on blog posts and thought leadership publications versus items that may take longer to update, such as videos.
For a small site, you may be able to create a content backlog file manually in a spreadsheet. To speed up the process or for a larger site, there are online tools you can use to categorize content according to your sitemap.
With your content organized, it’s time to analyze the data. With that information, further categorize your content into these four categories:
- Amazing content that works (i.e., you got great responses from clients or other targeted groups).
- Old content that can be rewritten or updated (that killer “year-end tax tips” article).
- Content that isn’t pulling its weight (the blog about your summer vacation that nobody cared about).
- Gaps in your content (“Why haven’t I ever done anything on Roth conversions?”).
Assign one of these four action items to each piece of content: rewrite, restructure, update, or delete. Think of this information as a roadmap that leads you to a more successful digital marketing strategy.
Content strategies 101: reusing great content
Instead of starting from scratch with a new piece of content, you can repurpose something that you already have. You can do this in several ways.
First, you can update an older piece that may have a good core message but has outdated statistics or was affected by recent regulatory or other changes. Update the necessary parts and republish.
Second, you can rewrite an underperforming piece. Before you begin, analyze why it isn’t getting the response you want. How is it different from your other content that is getting a good response? What information do you want to keep, and what should you cut? Would a better CTA (call-to-action) make it more effective?
Third, you can take the same information and format it in different ways. For example, write an information-rich blog post talking about how to plan a budget. From that information, create an infographic that you can post on social media, linking back to the blog post.
You can also create images, videos, or anything else that will draw the eye of your ideal client. Broadcast these pieces of content across different channels to drive more traffic to that blog post. Don’t forget to include a CTA at the end of the post. This can be a “serving suggestion” for how your firm can help the reader take the next step — with a link to your contact page — or a backlink to a blog or other article on your website about a related topic.
Additional reading: Creating Videos? Don’t Forget Boomers and GenXers
The point is, you want your content to constantly be inviting readers to see you as a reliable, knowledgeable resource for financial planning or investment management assistance.
Revolutionize your digital marketing strategy
Your clients are hungry for compelling and educational content, and if you want to attract more clients to your financial advisory firm, you have to give it to them. However, keeping up with the demand can feel overwhelming. Plus, the more time you spend creating content, the less time you have to help your clients, which has to be your main goal.
That’s why reusing great content and updating old content are great ways to cut down on the time it takes to produce and post, while still reaping the rewards of an effective digital marketing strategy. Like the good ingredients in the spaghetti sauce commercial, the content you need is already “in there.”
Want to create compelling content that you can reuse and recycle to drive results? Here are some tips on how to create a good content marketing strategy.
Gretchen Halpin is co-founder of Beyond AUM, a growth, marketing and technology agency that specializes in serving financial advisory firms. A strategic visionary with over 25 years of leadership and marketing experience, including a history of starting and growing successful companies, Halpin pioneers the strategy and growth initiatives that drive success across every aspect of business while ensuring that decisions are aligned with her clients’ overall mission.