It’s probably best to begin at the beginning—and by stating the obvious: no 2 Fee-Only Financial Advisor businesses are the same. Some are startups, while others have been around for decades. Some struggle to generate a sufficient volume of quality leads, while others with plenty of leads can’t seem to move them effectively through the sales funnel. Here are the top content marketing trends you should be using for 2018.
But most of these businesses have 2 traits in common. First, they to a greater or lesser extent, have embraced content marketing to help them achieve their primary marketing goals.
Second, they’re less than satisfied with the effectiveness of the content marketing they do. Consider for example these stats from HubSpot:
So, why would so many financial advisor businesses continue to spend almost one of every three dollars in marketing strategies which, in their own estimation, are failing? The reason is simple: when content marketing works, it pays huge dividends. According to Content Marketing Institute, for example, content marketing done right yields three times as many leads as both paid search and traditional, outbound strategies, and for about 60% less money.
There are many reasons content marketing goes off the rails. For some businesses, it’s isolating content marketing from the rest of the organization. For others, it is not effectively defining buyer personas, or not aligning content with progressive stages of the buyer’s journey—and for many, it’s not understanding that content marketing is constantly changing.
You don’t create content in a vacuum. It’s inextricably linked to consumer expectations, and those are forever changing. It’s also tied to who your customers are—if your business is growing, you have many new customers who might not have the same needs as those who came before them. Finally, new technologies and platforms are continually emerging, changing the ways you can reach and influence your audience.
It’s important for these reasons to stay on top of what’s working for Fee-Only Financial Advisors in content marketing (and what isn’t). That said, here are 5 content marketing trends that are taking the lead in 2018:
A good blog will help your business grow, but it’s not nearly as effective as embracing the full diversity of content formats available to you. Increasingly, the most successful content marketers are embracing multiple formats, everything from eBooks to video, infographics to webinars, podcasts to email newsletters. That also means, of course, that having talented writers is no longer sufficient—you also need graphic designers, social media strategists, branding experts, and video producers and editors.
A few years ago, you could assume that people would be consuming your content off a screen—then came the Internet of Things (IoT). Now, people can get content from just about anywhere—their wearables, Alexa and Siri, for example. If you ask Alexa about pet food, there’s a good change what you hear was written by Purina. If you suddenly need advice about doing CPR, odds are that content is coming from the American Heart Association
The consumer rebellion which spawned an inbound marketing revolution, and the increasing need for financial advisors to establish trust before talking sales—just keeps growing. Consumers’ ability to spot even the most judiciously disguised sales pitch now operates like a finely-tuned machine. That means content marketers will need to do a better job with transparency and disclosure. Look for an increase in influencer marketing (like peer reviews and customer recommendations), and less emphasis on brand sponsorships, social media ads and social responsibility claims.
The content that works to generate a lead doesn’t necessarily help with nurturing one. In the past, the lion’s share of content has been aimed at the top of the sales funnel, but that’s changing. Increasingly, successful marketers are creating discrete content for each stage of the buyer’s journey. That means, for example, educational and expert content to create awareness, video and live interactions for the consideration stage, and product comparisons and live demos to inspire purchases.
There’s a reason HubSpot asked marketers not only if they had a content strategy, but also whether that strategy was “documented.” Writing down what you do, it turns out, is important. According to a study from the Dominican University of California, for example, content marketers who committed their goals to writing and provided weekly updates were substantially more likely to be successful than those who didn’t. Look for more financial advisors to write down their strategy and reports, and more content marketers to clarify their thinking by documenting it.
If there’s one constant in marketing, it’s changing. The most successful Fee-Only Financial Advisors are adjusting their content marketing tactics not because they’re tired of doing things the same old way—rather, they understand that their audience is changing, as are the ways they can distribute and amplify what the create.
Content marketing, when you effectively leverage it, can pay off handsomely in more and better leads, higher conversions and increased profits—but it can also be challenging. To learn more about the ways our inbound marketing, website design, lead nurturing and demand generation services can help your financial advisor business build trust to grow, request a free consultation today.
Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash