This is a guest post by Samantha Russell of Twenty Over Ten. Samantha Russell is the chief marketing and business development officer at Twenty Over Ten (a digital marketing and website development company for financial advisors). Samantha helps financial advisors create digital marketing strategies that produce explosive growth through website development, content marketing, SEO, social media and video.
The digital age has really shifted how advisors attract and convert leads for their businesses. Recent studies reveal that content marketing alone can generate three times as many leads as traditional marketing and it costs 62 percent less. Yet, lead generation still remains a real challenge for most financial planning practices. It’s 2020 and it’s time to shift our thinking away from using traditional marketing avenues like direct mail, cold calling and wining and dining to a more growth-focused methodology using inbound marketing to grow our lead database. Below we’re sharing five simple steps that will help you build a well-oiled lead generation machine with your content.
Step 1: Know Your Client Avatar
The first rule of thumb when generating leads with your content is knowing who your customer is. If your content does not appeal to your target customer, you won’t generate useful leads. But, who is your target market anyway? Before diving into your content creation, take some time to fully understand who your target customer is. A great strategy to find your ideal customer is creating a client avatar, which is something Zoë Meggert first discussed last year. However, it is an incredibly important stepping stone to start generating more leads with your content.
In case you missed Zoë’s original rundown of client avatar’s here is a quick synopsis – to put it simply, a client avatar is a fictional depiction of your target customer. To create your client avatar, ask yourself questions about your target customer such as their biographical information, lifestyle traits, favorite sources of entertainment, needs and desires, decision-making process, etc. Once you’ve nailed down all this information, you will have a detailed understanding of your ideal target customer.
If you’re struggling to paint a clear picture of your client avatar ask yourself these questions:
- Who are they?
- What is their job title?
- What industry do they work in?
- How old are they?
- What is their education and income level?
- What financial challenges might he/she encounter mostly?
- What financial gaps may be present that my firm can help alleviate?
Step 2: Choose Your Content Types
65% of marketers have a hard time figuring out which content is effective. It is so important that you create content that will best serve your clients and help them to make their financial journey easier, informed and more educated.
With the endless amount of content types out there it can be confusing which mediums are better than others to use for lead generation. In order to get someone to give you their personal information such as their email address, they need to receive content that is highly valuable. This can include things like checklists, ebooks, quizzes, mini-lessons, etc. Ultimately, these are the types of content you should offer on your landing pages because these are truly lead-generating content types as they entice customers enough to give their email addresses in exchange.
On the other hand, let’s not forget about traffic-generating content which generates traffic to your website. The hope is to get more people browsing through your site, who in turn can convert into leads. Traffic generating content includes blogs, webinars, infographics, videos, etc.
Step 3: Create Irresistible Content
By this point, you know who your customer is, and you know what type of content you should create to generate the most amount of leads. Now, you actually need to create that content and cater it to your customer. The goal is to create content that connects. Choose a topic your customer is interested in, use keywords and relevant visuals wherever applicable, be super specific and provide answers. Put yourself in your client’s shoes and ask yourself if you were them what would compel you to learn more or take action after reading or watching the content?
Step 4: Choose Your Channels
Now that you have your content, it’s time to choose your distribution channels. No good comes from great content that doesn’t reach your audience. The most popular channels are YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, social media ads, your website, etc. Research what channels your ideal customers use the most, and focus your strategy on that particular channel. For example, if your advisory business is focused on retirees and pre-retirees (the 55+ crowd), then you need a Facebook strategy as their user demographics tend to skew older.
Step 5: Create an Editorial Calendar and Take Action
Lastly, it’s important to bring all of this together into a comprehensive and cohesive editorial calendar. Content marketing can be time-consuming but only if you let it. Creating an editorial calendar is a really great way to manage and plan your content marketing efforts. With an editorial calendar, you can track your content type, promotion channels, publish dates, authors, etc. It’s great to have everything in one place so that you don’t have to keep shuffling back and forth trying to figure out if something has already been shared, what hasn’t been shared, where something has been shared, etc. Below is an example of a sample editorial calendar that we created. Once your editorial calendar is all ready, simply follow it and see those leads coming in faster than ever before!
If you’re looking for a template to start mapping out your editorial calendar we have free planning calendars for blogging, social media and email marketing that you can download here.
In order to start generating and nurturing leads, you must have content. But not just any content. As an advisor, you need content that is of interest to your leads at the various stages of their journey. At the end of the day, your content should help get your leads one step closer to making the decision to work with you. So, Gaining clarity can help inform your content creation strategy to successfully address your lead’s wants and needs.
At Twenty Over Ten we love helping advisors grow their businesses through inbound marketing. If you are looking for a turnkey solution to create and disseminate all of your content I’d encourage you to check out Lead Pilot. We look forward to seeing what you create!