I like to think of marketing and content creation as “dating.” When dating, you don’t go into the first date planning to put a ring on it, but rather, you go with an open mind and a willingness to get to know each other.
This is why marketing and content need to work closely together. A solid marketing strategy requires content that speaks to your ideal audience needs. The content must be in a tone that’s easy to understand while building trust between your brand and audience. When marketing meets good content — well, they live happily ever after.
Here are five tips for building content that matters:
1. Who’s your target audience and finding common ground
First things first, who’s your audience, and why are you eager to connect with them? Before you jump in to create content, you must determine who it serves and your objectives. Once you have a clear understanding of who you want to reach and the goals behind it, decide what you have in common with them.
The best way to think about this is to see yourself and your audience on opposite sides of an equation — they need answers, and you have them. So the in-between is your sweet spot to build and nurture a connection, helping them navigate through their financial obstacles.
Take the opportunity to illustrate their situation. Explain — in language they understand — what might be standing in the way of them achieving their financial goals. The goal here is to let your audience know that you see them and truly understand their financial journey. Maybe they just want to expand their knowledge about money, or perhaps they’re in a much more complicated situation and need help. Whatever the case is, let them know you have their back and that you’re here to help them — not just to sell them! Remember the dating analogy; you don’t dive in with a ring. You’ve got to take your time and build trust.
In other words, you don’t want to hit your audience with a sales pitch right off the bat. You’ll lose their attention before you even have the chance to explain your services. Marketing is a long-game strategy, put in the effort now to nurture the relationship and reap the rewards later.
In the beginning, showcase your expertise by giving away free information that your audience will find valuable. As your audience starts to become more familiar with you and your brand, you will have more opportunities to offer your services along the way organically. It’s also possible that due to your stellar content nurturing, they may reach out to you before you even push the hard sell.
Always keep in mind that you’re the expert, and you know how to help them get from point A to point B, which is your main priority.
2. Activate your story
Now that you have a sense of who you’re talking to and what you’re talking about, the next step is to determine why it’s essential for YOU to share it. If you don’t care about it, chances are neither will your audience. You have to love it as much as your audience does, so if you’re excited about financial advice and helping people live their best financial life, let that shine through your messaging.
Your content must be consistent across all channels. A discombobulated content strategy is a surefire way to sabotage your chances with any prospect, so it’s of absolute importance that you have a strong brand story.
Once you get the above in order and feel confident about your story, now comes the fun part — activating your voice. Incorporating your personality into your content can make it genuine, honest, and more attractive. People don’t want to feel like they are being talked at or talked down to. They want to feel respected, and they take comfort knowing that there’s a human on the other side who cares. By humanizing your content, you make your brand more relatable and unique.
Take, for example, our brand here at Altruist. We must reflect altruism in everything we do from our product to our content, and not because we have to, but because we want to. Our core is to help inform, motivate, and inspire advisors to serve their clients better. And our desire to help is reflected in what we put out.
We launched The Human Advisor podcast last year, giving advisors the stage to be themselves and share their stories, but it’s so much more than that. It also offers valuable information to others on how to build better and grow their practices. And, prospective financial clients can tune into these episodes and connect with advisors that resonate with them–and there’s no hard sell. It’s just authentic brand storytelling done right.
Finally, your story is unique to you, so don’t be afraid to weave yourself into the narrative. The more authentic and personable you can be, the more likely your content will stand out from the competition — resulting in clients you want to serve.
3. Use platforms that are comfortable for you
Now that you have killer content with a cohesive brand story, where should you promote it? Before you hit full throttle on all available platforms, take a step back and consider the following:
- Where do you have the most substantial following?
- Where do you have the most significant engagement?
- What platforms do you spend the most time in and feel most comfortable?
Those are the places you should start first and start small by putting your best foot forward. From there, see what engagement you get and where you might need to optimize based on the key metrics you’re monitoring.
Remember that content takes time to grow, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see significant results right from the start. The more you produce and share, the more engagement and followers you will start to see. Consistency and quality are key.
And, don’t be afraid to ask people you trust to share it. Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to get your message across to potential clients.
As you feel more confident and the platforms you’re already on are performing well, you can start to build out onto other platforms if it aligns with your business goals. Don’t be tempted to duplicate someone else’s efforts based on their success because it may not be best for your brand. Stick to what feels authentic and right for you. Trust yourself.
4. Ask for feedback and be proactive
Once you get a few pieces up and running, ask for feedback from your audience. You can send out a survey, reach out directly, etc. Feedback is a valuable way to know if you’re on the right track, and it also gives you a chance to ask your audience about what interests them and what topics they want to learn. That information is invaluable to your content strategy because then you start producing what they want.
Additionally, keep an eye on what’s happening in the industry. It’s important to know what conversations are taking place and what hot topics are trending. If you can thoughtfully and authentically add to the conversation, or shed some light on what’s taking place, do it.
Engaging with hot topics can help you gain more visibility and strengthen your voice in the industry.
5. Have fun and don’t overthink it
Creating content shouldn’t be overly complicated. It should flow smoothly, and if you’re enjoying the creative process, then your creations will be that much better. Don’t be afraid to personalize it. Give it your essence because it’s ultimately you that your audience will want to connect.
At the end of the day, content is your connection to your audience. By following these five tips, you will set yourself up for success and create content that is meaningful and informative. To learn more about content creation and marketing, check out our Advisor Marketing Playbook.