Why Uncertainty Creates a Great Environment to Start Content Marketing
• Valerie Rivera • November 10, 2020
Celent’s recent research1 comes to some persuasive conclusions about the effectiveness of content marketing for financial planners. I found one conclusion stands out: Content marketing matters now more than ever.
The Knowledge Gap Presents an Opportunity for Financial Advisors
The pandemic, along with market uncertainty, has created a widening knowledge gap among clients. Growing weary from constant political and economic insecurity, these clients are devoting more time than ever to knowledge consumption.
In a recent Heart of Advice post, Alois Pirker, Director of Research at Aite Group, also expanded upon this idea. He pointed out that an economic crisis accelerates the need to educate prospects and clients. This immediate need for knowledge creates an environment ripe with opportunity for advisors who can engage clients with financial planning content marketing. Moreover, the imminent rise of the new millennial client and their vastly different digital expectations increases this opportunity for financial planners willing to meet their increased content needs.
In fact, research by Fidelity found that 64 percent of advisors have made content marketing an essential element of their digital marketing strategy.2
Realizing a strong association between financial planning content marketing and their key performance indicators, they’re ramping up marketing spend for content creation and distribution.
Increasing Visibility and Building Trust with Content Marketing
Done correctly, content marketing can greatly improve brand visibility, recognition, and loyalty. You can distribute your firm’s content through multiple channels, including social media, where the best content achieves organic reach. When a client or prospect likes or shares your content, it is seen by their immediate network of friends or connections, who may share your content with their networks.
Content marketing is also the best way to improve SEO or your content’s searchability online. Often, after finding content they find beneficial, investors share it with others, increasing your firm’s educational influence. That can lead to greater ROI than traditional advertising. Educational content is more targeted and has more credibility than advertising, so it reaches a more qualified audience.
Content marketing is also a powerful way to build trust by focusing on client needs and experiences, as opposed to blatant promotion. Informative content showcases your commitment to clients’ and prospects’ financial wellness. By educating investors on how to manage their finances in volatile economic times, you establish your expertise, while addressing the knowledge gap that exists in our current environment.
Compliance Is a Key Concern but Not a Constraint for Content Marketing
Financial advisors may resist content marketing because of concerns about compliance. But FINRA, IIROC, SEC and FCA provide solid guidance on meeting financial regulations for the distribution of content across social media and other communication channels.
To remain compliant, wealth management firms must maintain content strategy record-keeping and assign supervisory responsibilities to qualified professionals, especially when using third-party content. It’s essential to ensure content doesn’t include false or misleading information—a strict measure required by all firms.
When the marketing compliance process is established and streamlined, those responsible for compliance can help create a library of pre-approved content for sharing across all channels. This unlocks a firm’s potential to scale its financial planning content marketing efforts in a safe and compliant way.
Content Marketing Is Here to Stay
Pre-pandemic, wealth managers could count on their in-person meetings to compensate for thin content on their digital platforms. That’s no longer the case. Your clients are looking for immediately useable content online, from the safety and comfort of their homes. These clients, especially younger clients, are more likely to build relationships with those who educate them in their preferred modes of engagement.
It’s important to recognize this isn’t a fad that will disappear once investors no longer face lockdown measures. This is a permanent, systemic trend rooted in the rise of “digital first” younger investors.
With boomers rapidly passing on their wealth to Generation X, Millennials are the next generation to inherit significant wealth. Already representing one-third of US investors, and with wealth expected to triple over the next decade, Celent expects Millennials to become a considerable future investor force.
Financial professionals’ opportunity to adjust their client acquisition strategy to this generation’s preferred digital engagement methods narrows daily.
Launching a Content Marketing Initiative at Scale
I agree with Celent’s assessment that having access to premium, licensed content will help firms generate more visibility and more planning engagements, especially with content that’s customized to create the best performing messaging for your clients. Having access to a library of compelling content, and a streamlined process for compliance, is an essential first step in launching a content marketing initiative.
Beyond this, however, it’s critical to have digital marketing platforms in place to distribute this content, track engagement, and nurture prospects into new customers. Firms choose those channels based on where their clients are most likely to look for and engage with content like theirs.
To learn more about launching an inbound, content-led marketing strategy at your firm, watch our on-demand webinar Set Your Marketing Campaigns to Autopilot.
1. Aamir, Awaad. “Digital Content Marketing: Engaging Clients Through Digital Content.” Celent, 2020. July 27.
2. “Diving into Digital Marketing: A Practical Guide to Deepening Connections with Clients and Prospects.” Fidelity Investments https://clearingcustody.fidelity.com/app/proxy/content?literatureURL=/9888573.PDF.
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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