Having a content strategy in place is a prerequisite for building a successful online presence for your financial firm. Traditional marketing has evolved into positioning your brand as a thought leader. This means your firm is producing quality blog posts, videos, social media and all kinds of unique content that builds brand equity. Without a proper plan in place, your business will fall behind as competitors gain traction.
Content Strategy, Content Marketing, Content Marketing Strategy – OH MY!
What is the difference?
- Content strategy: Internal guidelines and governance
- Content marketing strategy (overlap area): Vision, goals, audience research, voice and style, ideation, external governance
- Content marketing: Editorial calendar, creation, curation, promotion, iteration
Source – www.moz.com
Is your head spinning with how to start and what to do next? Do not fret – the following 5 steps will get you well on your way to an effective content marketing plan.
- Define your Goal(s)
Create a SMART goal(s) (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Based) for your plan. Answering the following questions may help bring your overall goal into focus and guide your firm’s strategy:
- Are you most concerned in promoting your firm, where more potential customers become familiar with you and the financial services that you offer?
- Do you have a financial product or service that needs a boost in sales?
- Are you trying to generate more qualified leads for your firm?
- Would you like to educate customers and prospects on a financial industry issue or inform them of a new trading product?
- Know your audience
To create content that resonates, you need to know who will be consuming your content. Are you a financial services firm that wants to inform investors of a new product offering? Then your content should focus on the reasoning behind why an investor should choose this product or investment over others in the market place. Try to be relatable and use storytelling to get your point across and make it interesting to read. Hypothetical situations work well as long as you include characteristics of the person you are trying to reach. For example, if a student is looking for a first-time investment, craft your story around a college student and his or her journey into investing.
- Determine the Type of Content
What kinds of content will your clients and prospects have the most interest to read? If your goal is to inform new investors on a product, perhaps create an infographic of possible returns. You may also decide that hosting a FREE webcast is the best way to explain this product or investment. Webcasts are a great platform as they allow for interaction between you and prospective clients and position you as a thought leader in the industry.
- “CONTENT IS KING, BUT CONTEXT IS GOD” – Gary Vaynerchuk
This quote is key to an effective strategy (read the entire post here) and goes hand in hand with knowing your audience. Ensure to consider your audience, the platform you are utilizing and above all, always remember to provide value. Doing this builds your trust with potential clients, consumers or followers and will make them want to revisit for more.
- Create a Plan and Establish a means of Reporting
Due to the regulations, compliance rules and approval process, creating content for a plan can be challenging. Ensure that you build enough time in your plan to include time for oversight or approval. Including items that have been previously reviewed and approved can save some time while also feeding the content marketing plan.Additionally, ensuring that you are reporting and measuring accurately is one of the most important steps. How will you know if your plan is a success unless you are using the right tools? Most CRMs (like Salesforce or Infusionsoft) have a feature where you can set up a campaign in the platform, and create reports based on the various digital channels you used to promote content.
Following these steps can help you create a content marketing strategy for your firm while also maintaining your online presence. Make certain that your plan is in place as soon as possible, so your firm can begin to gain traction. The 3rd quarter/Autumn season is most crucial for financial services firms to build, align, expand, or refresh components of marketing from September (when everyone is returning from vacation) to November (right before the holidays are in full swing).