Fundamentally, content marketing is ‘story-telling’ to attract and retain customers. Although social media have given it a renewed energy, content marketing has been around for over a century – think Michelin Guides and Be-Ro home recipe books and you’ll get the picture. Have you tweeted yet today?
What’s the story?
Given the current challenge of demonstrating value to clients, independent financial advisors need a range of tools they can use to communicate that value, and content marketing offers many advantages. Good messages never sell directly. Instead, content marketing is about the creation of a story around your brand and the telling of that story in a range of different ways. For example, you can:
- Publish a regular blog dealing with general topics such as risk and return or with a specific issue, for example a change in legislation
- Open a Twitter account and tweet, for example on Budget Day or following a topical news story
- Send a regular email to clients, with personalised and relevant information
- Create and publish simple videos that explain and engage far better than written documentation.
The advantages of this approach are significant. You can create a platform via which you become an industry ‘voice’, an expert, engaging customers (both existing and potential) in two-way communication via conversation threads. Volunteering useful information adds value to your services.
Don’t teach too much!
However, many of today’s financial products are simpler to understand than they were, and there are vast amounts of information online to enable individuals to manage their own investment portfolios. You need to make sure, therefore, that your content doesn’t simply add to this capability. It must persuade followers that the benefits of advice and guidance outweigh any savings made from DIY investment. Likewise, your online presence can minimise the chances of losing business to the next cheapest offer from another advisor. Customer loyalty results from customer satisfaction. The more the customer feels they are getting for the fee, the more likely they are to buy from you again.
Plan for success
It’s wise to have a content marketing strategy rather than simply to blog or email randomly and there is lots of free help available online for the creation of a plan. There is no doubt, however, that content marketing can help the independent financial advisor to create a seamless and engaging experience that attracts new business and builds a long-term client/advisor relationship, adding further value to a business offer, and easing the way to repeat business.