“Content” marketing — creating media aimed at helping you acquire and retain customers — is an effective way to tell your story and differentiate your practice from others, says Bill McGuire, writing in ByAllAccounts’ blog.
But throwing resources at it, following rote procedures or giving the job to people unsuited to the task won’t do the trick, adds McGuire, who runs W.M. McGuire, a marketing firm for financial advisors.
To provide “authentic, engaging and actionable” material, McGuire says, ask yourself what aspect of your work you’re most passionate about. Is it a niche or a particular client type? Does behavioral finance or educating people about household budgeting get your juices flowing? Whatever the answer, following your bliss will make the work more fun, trigger new ideas — and maybe attract followers and potential new customers who share your passion.
McGuire warns against automatically making a firm’s higher-ups the focus of content marketing. Better a junior with a flair for writing or an engaging way in a video than a stodgy principal whose “content” does more harm than good.
The blogger also suggests every message include a “call to action.” An old and effective advertising standby, the call to action gives the reader or viewer something to do that also benefits you, the content marketer. Desired actions include things like downloading a white paper, signing up for a seminar or scheduling a meeting.
Next, pick the format you like best, says McGuire. “There are so many ways to deliver content these days: newsletters, videos, white papers, e-books, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, Q&A articles, to name a few,” he writes. “Don’t take the ‘let’s do it all’ approach, which often leads to less than desirable results.”
Finally, if you have more than one content-marketing contributor, McGuire says it’s worthwhile to create an editorial calendar to ensure you don’t get repetitious or wander off the message.