Content Marketing: The Most Powerful Tool for Financial Agents?

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In today’s day and age, selling financial products and advice is as difficult as ever before. Banks, financial advisors, wealth managers and brokers of financial products face stiff competition, both from traditional competitors and technology-enabled challengers. What is the best Tactic for Financial Agents to separate themselves from the pack?

Why is the competition so stiff in this era of financial services?

A few factors are influencing the increased competition, including automated technology solutions such as robo-advisors and online brokers, as well as increasing global competition, made possible by communicating information through digital channels. These new possibilities may be confusing customers, making it difficult for them to make a decision or even fully understand what options they have.

So, how can financial brands win customers in this environment?

The answer that many financial institutions are turning to, whether they focus on serving businesses or individuals, is content marketing. In a world where 60% of the sales cycle is over before a prospect talks to a salesperson, it’s important for brands to get as much information to their prospective customers as possible. By offering information and provocative insights into potential customer problems and how they can be solved, content marketing can be a major part of a solution selling strategy.

A Powerful Tactic for Financial Agents

60% of Buyer's Cycle

What is “solution selling”?

Solution selling is based on the premise of working with the customer to define their problem. Define their problems based on the symptoms they are experiencing. This is followed up with a solution that helps them solve their problem.

The process involves asking questions about your customer’s needs, problems, and issues and look for the “hook” for your solution. Instead of solely pushing your product, service, or solution, solution selling positions a salesperson to be the ultimate problem solver. Allowing them to earn trust and ultimately putting your business in place to gain a new customer.

This process is how a salesperson can add value on a one-to-one basis through content marketing and solution selling.

Will this strategy actually work for my business?

While there are no guarantees of success through content marketing and solution selling, plenty of brands are adopting these practices and finding great success. 93% of B2B marketers use content marketing, but it is not being used to its full potential. Just 42% of B2B marketers say they use content marketing effectively. Those numbers are even lower in financial services. This can be an opportunity for your brand to jump ahead of your competitors. Take your chance to implement a successful strategy and make your brand more discoverable to your target market.

In fact, content can motivate action, regardless of how ready-to-buy your target customers are. The image below shows what forms of content are effective at nurturing your prospect at every stage of the journey. By providing relevant, useful, original content, your content marketing strategy will nurture customers. When they are ready to contact a salesperson, your brand will be at the top of their mind. Original content should be a cornerstone of your sales and marketing strategy, while fueling your content marketing efforts.

What is the best Tactic for Financial Agents to separate themselves from the pack?

Create Exceptional Cultures Through Education and Awareness

Our Content Marketing Mission is to become the online destination for Advisors looking for useful information, advice, insights, and resources for growing their online presence. If you want to get your content marketing strategy off the ground, or are looking to reinvent how your network of financial agents uses content marketing and solution selling, get in touch with me! We can discuss how your brand can use Digital Agent to maintain a compliant, centrally-controlled content marketing platform for your network of agents.

 

Powering Up Your LinkedIn Presence For Success

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Your LinkedIn profile has so much potential to be your strongest marketing tool if leveraged correctly. By having a professional completed profile with unique content written, advisors can differentiate themselves.

1. Where does LinkedIn Fit In?

  1. Priority 1: Point A to B: Your LinkedIn profile is your website. It is functional and mandatory. Without it, your business does not exist, even with a LinkedIn profile.
  2. Priority 2: Your LinkedIn profile is your personal and owned platform for publishing original content. You can fill your profile with content
  3. Priority 3: Start to optimize your profile using keywords, meta description, and page titles. These will increase organic and paid keyword traffic improving marketing results
  4. Priority 4: Create a good first impression with your profile picture, achievements, content. Prospects and leads are checking you out in the decision-making process

2. Your LinkedIn Profile Needs a Makeover

Your LinkedIn Profile is not your resume. Resumes are a thing of the past. They are boring and flat and only useful when someone is looking for a new opportunity. LinkedIn is a multidimensional tool, it’s a marketing platform. Companies and brands are leveraging other social channels to grow a following and produce content. LinkedIn can be exactly that for an individual to grow their own personal brand.

Core Profile Components. The Peep Hole.

The Basics are name, location, industry, profile URL, summaryAndrew Chung LinkedIn

Profile Image – Your profile image should be current, clear, up close and eye-catching

Professional Headline – Consider if your audience would continue reading your profile if they only read your headline. What do you specialize in? What is your expertise? Do you have any designations, certifications or brand name associations? Have you been published anywhere online that is recognizable? These are all factors that would make your audience want to learn more about you. When writing your headline try to be bold, catchy and confident so people want to contact you.

Contact Information – Never stop branding yourself. It’s a good idea to use a work email and avoid emails from gmail, hotmail, msn, yahoo, etc. When you post on LinkedIn, it can also be sent to twitter to be published as a Tweet. It is more professional to change your LinkedIn URL to something personalized

Experience – This is where you tell your story. Visitors have scrolled down to learn more about you. Use this area to build your credibility and show. Consider including what results did you achieve in your time at this company or business? Why do these results matter? What impact did they have on your clients/customers? Do the results matter to your audience?

Published Content – LinkedIn allows individuals to write and publish content. There is a huge opportunity here to position yourself as an expert in your field. Instead of always posting and linking to industry reports why not write something yourself. Your digital footprint is very important for prospects.

3. Validating Your Profile

To validate that your profile will work for what you’re trying to accomplish it might be a good idea to consider LinkedIn Premium. Focus the quality of your profile instead of the quantity that you are writing. By leveraging the LinkedIn insights, you can ask yourself what is the right audience for your content? What are the key industries or companies you want to target? What does the distribution look like?

Is your profile coming up when people search on LinkedIn? How many of my viewers are finding me via keywords and search vs other mediums?

LinkedIn Marketing

 

4. Generating Leads

Remember Content Marketing. Start with a clearly defined audience and brainstorm and create content specifically for your defined audience. Next, distribute that content to your LinkedIn profile so that your audience and followers can read it. Drive profitable customer action by encouraging call to actions in your content. Lastly, measure it! Any marketing efforts should always be measured.Andrew Chung LinkedIn Profile

Share Curated Content to

  1. Drive engagement
  2. Drive your brand
  3. Share helpful content while being helpful
  4. Ask questions to encourage engagement

Best Practices

To summarize, focus the fundamentals first. Ask yourself, is this an accurate illustration of how you would greet and introduce yourself in person. Stage your company or personal brand in your summary. Tell a story with your experience. Use LinkedIn analytics to determine if the correct audience is connecting to you. Share content that is owned and curated but try to share more of your own content first. Create profitable action by providing conversion points. Lastly, apply networking techniques to grow your audience. Once you have your LinkedIn profile updated, leverage some of that content on your own website.