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Develop Financial Planning Content That Converts
• Valerie Rivera • September 22, 2021
Content marketing can play an essential role in any modern financial professional’s marketing strategy. According to the eMoney consumer marketing survey, 63 percent of investors say informative, educational content makes an advisor’s marketing stand out.1
But content for content’s sake isn’t enough to ensure success. An effective content marketing strategy hinges on providing the right content to the right people at the right time.
Of course, that’s also what can make it so challenging.
Whether you’re creating content from scratch or leveraging premade content, knowing what topics will resonate with your audience—and ultimately convert—is essential for building a successful content marketing strategy.
Start with the Right Data
Before creating a content plan, you need a few critical resources on hand.
First, you should have fleshed out buyer personas. This will help you understand exactly which audience you’re trying to speak to.
Once you know who your audience is, you should have a clear understanding of the buyer’s journey. Having a firm grasp on each stage that a prospect goes through before converting will help you define what information they need to advance to the next stage.
Your buyer personas and buyer’s journey are the core building blocks of an effective content program. As you develop content topics or select topics from a premade library, continually reference these two data sets and allow that information to guide your decisions.
Five Questions to Create Content That Converts
For a piece of content to have conversion potential, it must serve a specific purpose. Here are the questions you should ask yourself to define this purpose.
1. Does This Answer the Right Questions?
Prospects have different needs and interests depending on their demographics, as well as their stage in the buyer’s journey. Consider what’s most useful for your personas at each specific point in their journey.
For example, a prospect that’s approaching retirement will probably be more interested in an informative piece about social security benefits than a young professional.
As another example, if the prospect is approaching retirement and sits in the capture stage of the buyer’s journey, they might have interest in an interactive calculator that shows them if their retirement plan holds water. In contrast, the same prospect sitting in the nurture stage may be more interested in receiving an article that details ways to improve their retirement plan.
This is because prospects in the capture stage are typically just starting to understand their problem and look into solutions, while those in the nurture stage are usually further along in the discovery process and want to build relationships with people and resources that can potentially help.
2. Is This Personalized?
Personalizing your content to your target audience is crucial. There are many ways to tailor your content to a specific audience, especially if you’ve collected key data from them during the capture stage of the buyer’s journey.
For example, if you have a prospect who downloaded a case study about how you reduced a small business’s benefit spend, then you can assume that the prospect is probably a small business owner themselves. During the nurture stage, you can then send them content relevant to running a small business.
As another example, if you have a prospect who downloaded the same case study and indicated in their form submittal that they’re located in Texas, you could send them content that’s relevant to the specific small business tax environment in the state.
There are nearly endless ways that you can personalize your content. Leverage the data you have about prospects and get creative with your approach.
3. Does This Strike the Right Tone?
Clients need to be open and honest with their financial planners. Trust is at the heart of this relationship. Your content should reflect this.
Ensure that your content’s tone is in alignment with your firm’s brand. Typically, you want to project professionalism without being impersonal or unapproachable. This is especially important if you’re targeting Millennials, who place a high value on authenticity.2
4. Is This Interesting?
Prospects should engage with your content for as long as possible. You can increase engagement by leveraging content that explains complex topics in simple, interesting ways.
Share your expertise without using jargon. Leverage storytelling elements and relatable examples to hold their attention.
5. Is This the Right Type of Content?
Content comes in many forms: blog posts, case studies, videos, and infographics—just to name a few.
Each type of content has its pros and cons, so experiment. See how they perform. Some types of content may resonate more with some audiences than others. They may also garner more engagement when distributed on certain platforms.
For example, a video might receive more engagement on social media than in an email. Once you know what content performs well and where, use these findings to optimize your strategy.
Remember That Conversion Isn’t Everything
While converting prospects into new clients is essential for business growth, don’t lose sight of the many other benefits that content can have. This includes:
- Brand building: Content is yet another way to tell your firm’s story. It helps explain your mission, your core values, the problems you solve for clients, and the unique ways you’re equipped to solve them. This kind of brand differentiation is important. According to a Cerulli survey, high-net-worth to ultra-high-net-worth individuals identified niche expertise as a key differentiator for financial professionals.3
- Thought leadership: Using content to create a sense of authority can have a big impact. One survey found that 89 percent of respondents believed thought leadership enhanced their perceptions of an organization, with 49 percent saying it influenced their purchasing decisions.4
- Growing your digital presence: A significant digital footprint is essential for reaching prospects. A large body of content raises your search engine rankings, increasing the likelihood that people will find your business online. This corresponds with the way people find financial planners today. According to the eMoney consumer marketing survey, 42 percent start the search for an advisor on search engines like Google.1 Additionally, 44 percent of people said they get or search for financial advice on digital media.1
- Client engagement: Landing new clients is important, but it’s equally beneficial to focus on client engagement. In fact, the eMoney ROI of Digital Marketing survey found that 53 percent of financial professionals identified deepening current client relationships and increasing client satisfaction as their most important digital marketing metrics.5 By continually educating clients on financial topics, you’re keeping the lines of communication open. This encourages clients to be active participants in their financial lives—a factor that’s critical to the success of any financial plan.
Watch an overview of eMoney’s ROI of Digital Marketing Study, which dives into how other financial professionals are measuring their marketing success.
1. 2020 eMoney Consumer Marketing Survey, September 2020, n=2,000.
2. Plepler, Andrew. “Better Money Habits Millennial Report: Winter 2020.” Bank of America, 2020. https://about.bankofamerica.com/assets/pdf/2020-bmh-millennial-report.pdf
3. “U.S. Retail Investor Advice Relationships 2020: Accentuating the Value of Advice.” Cerulli Associates, 2020. October 22.
4. “2020 B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study.” Edelman, 2019. November 14. https://www.edelman.com/research/2020-b2b-thought-leadership-impact-study.
5. 2021 eMoney ROI of Digital Marketing Survey, May 2021, n=188.
DISCLAIMER: The eMoney Advisor Blog is meant as an educational and informative resource for financial professionals and individuals alike. It is not meant to be, and should not be taken as financial, legal, tax or other professional advice. Those seeking professional advice may do so by consulting with a professional advisor. eMoney Advisor will not be liable for any actions you may take based on the content of this blog.
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