This was originally published for Twenty Over Ten.
Writing and content marketing is one of the fastest ways to tell your story and create a genuine connection with your audience. By building trust through carefully crafted copywriting, blogs, social media, and email marketing, you’re able to create multiple touch-points that encourage leads to convert.
Not sold on the value of content marketing? Check out these statistics:
- 47% of internet users read blogs every day
- 9x more leads were reported when long-form blog content was leveraged
- Email marketing was the primary lead generation channel for 89% of marketers
- 91% of consumers want to see authentic content from brands
- 42% of the population uses social media
Want to know another startling statistic?
The average blog post took over 3 hours to write in a study conducted in 2018.
That’s 3 hours you could be spending with clients, meeting with prospects, or working on your business operation. And that’s just time spent writing blog content!
While blog writing can be a great way to produce content and connect with clients and prospects, it’s easier said than done. Many financial planners (and business owners in general!) don’t feel that writing is their forte, making it tricky to launch a blog and stay consistent.
Content Marketing Options That Aren’t a Blog
Luckily, even if the idea of writing a few blogs a month is painful for you, you can still create a stellar content marketing strategy. Let’s explore the different types of content that don’t involve blogging.
Podcasts are one of my favorite ways to consume content, both as a business owner and an individual who’s passionate about personal finance. Setting up your podcast using a hosting tool like Libsyn is relatively straightforward, and once you’re ready to go live you can start recording episodes! A few keys to successful podcasting are:
- Decide on a cadence that works for your schedule and stick with it. Listeners stop tuning in if they’re unsure when the next episode will drop.
- Keep your timing consistent. I recommend going one of two routes – either keep your podcasts short and sweet (20 minutes or less), or go more in-depth (30-60 minutes).
- Decide what your content format is ahead of time. Are you a solo podcaster? Do you feature guests on each episode? Know before you start!
Video is getting increasingly popular in the content marketing world, and it’s easy to see why. Consumers these days are busy. Catching their attention is becoming more of a challenge for marketers. However, playing to the visual nature of your audience can help you win over new prospective clients (and get more “face time” with current clients)!
You can embed videos in newsletters, post them as vlogs on your website, or upload MP4 files directly to social media. Most social media channel algorithms prefer visual elements that will stop people in their scroll, so they’re more likely to feature your video in people’s feeds than a text-only post.
If you’re ready to dive into video marketing, you can either create polished videos with an intro and outro, or you can aim for a more casual approach. This is truly the dealer’s choice. Personally, I like casual videos similar to the style of Gary Vaynerchuk. The video quality isn’t always fantastic, and they’re pretty short. However, they’re off-the-cuff, honest, and incredibly personal. I find that the more personal you can be on camera, the more likely you are to connect with your audience.
Want to get a large amount of information across in a short space? Infographics can be incredibly eye-catching, and communicate complex data in a streamlined way. I find that Ellevest uses infographics particularly well on their blog platform (like this cheat sheet about SEP IRAs). If you want to create an infographic, you can use a free tool like Canva. They have a variety of free templates that make it easy to get started!
Want to leverage your ability to speak in public and grow your email list simultaneously? Webinars or live events may be the content solution you’re looking for. If you’re hosting a webinar, you can use a platform like Zoom or EverWebinar. Hosting a live webinar can be a fun way to get registrants and interact with your audience, or you can decide to pre-record an on-demand webinar and promote it in an ongoing capacity to continually grow your list of leads.
Make sure that, when you put your webinar together, you have a clear call to action at the end. You want to tell people what next-steps you want them to take, whether that’s to schedule a call with you or purchase a one-time financial coaching session.
If you’re not in love with the idea of writing an ongoing blog but aren’t totally uncomfortable knocking out one short piece, you might look at creating a freemium. Your free download can serve several purposes. You can add it to your website to gain new leads, send the PDF out to current clients if it answers their questions, and promote a landing page to sign up for your freemium on social media.
To keep your freemium short and sweet (and to avoid having to write a full white paper or ebook), try one of these ideas:
- A 5-step guide to retirement, paying off student loans, or evaluating employee benefits.
- A checklist to help people get their budget organized.
- An outline of what it means to be a fee-only advisor.
Keep your freemium to no more than 2-5 designed pages if you want to keep the writing to a minimum!
Determining What Content Channel is Right For You
Great content happens at the intersection of what you’re passionate about, and what your audience needs to hear. When determining what content channel to pursue as part of your strategy, it’s important to ask yourself these two questions:
- Will I be able to stay consistent with this type of content because I genuinely enjoy it?
- Will my audience be interested in this type of content?
Some content channels are better suited for niche audiences than others. For example, live webinars may attract people who are comfortable working and learning virtually like small business owners or millennials. On the other hand, podcasts that people can tune into what you have to say on their busy morning commute may be better suited for career professionals or busy families who are on-the-go.
Need help building a content marketing plan that works for you? Schedule a coaching call with me today! I’d love to talk through where your audience’s needs to meet your marketing strengths, and how to create a custom strategy that helps you achieve your goals.
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