Secrets of Content Marketing: How Advisors Can Get The Most Mileage Out Of Their Content

If you are constantly looking for new content ideas and blog topics with which to engage your target audience, you could try digging a little closer to home. What many Advisors don’t realize is that they have valuable, ready-to-use content right at their fingertips. We all know that content marketing can take a considerable amount of time.  It isn’t always possible to be pumping out new content on a daily basis. Fortunately, great content can be repurposed into something new and different, and extend your content’s longevity while also maximizing the reach of your content’s idea.

Content repurposing involves taking your work and adapting it to a new content angle or format. Incorporating this approach into content marketing can help to expedite production and increase audience reach and effectiveness. In addition to saving some time on content production, repurposing your content into different formats means being able to focus on different aspects of your content.  For example, a blog post may focus on explaining some concepts of a topic, while an Infographic may focus on a different angle of the topic such as stats or data analysis. Some visitors prefer visual over text, while some would choose eBooks over Webinars. Reformatting your content in different formats means appealing to more audiences and extending your reach.

Content repurposing also gives you a second chance at promoting your content and ensures that visitors who missed your content the first time around have a chance of seeing it in round two, or three.

In part 1 of this series, we will cover off three of the ways in which Advisors can repurpose their content in order to get the most mileage out of their content marketing.

Types of Content Repurposing

e-Newsletters

If you are not feeding your content into an e-newsletter, then you’re missing out on a way to save yourself a lot of work, while also extending your content investment along the way. Pushing out your content to your client and prospect list is a content marketing must.  E-Newsletters are one of the easiest ways that Advisors can repurpose their content in an effective and easy way in order to engage their audience and drive traffic back to their website.

Advisors can actually send out an e-newsletter full of already existing content. Advisors can provide their content in their e-newsletters in its entirety, or offer a quick summary with a link to the original article on your website in order to drive users to read more. E-Newsletters deliver high quality content right to your clients and prospects inboxes, while also driving traffic to your website.

Infographics

Visual content is not only easier and faster for the human brain to process, but it is also a great way to generate more engagement. An Infographic is a great way to present processes, statistics, and other content that lends itself to more visual presentation. If you have existing content that explains a topic in a step-by-step way, shows a process, or has some interesting statistics and analysis, think about how you can present this content as a visual story.

eBooks

Compile your blog content into an eBook – which is generally an in depth look at a topic.  You can create eBooks by compiling all of the blog posts you’ve written about a certain topic and adding additional components such as a cover page, table of contents, images, header and footer. Ebooks are considered to be high-value pieces since they usually include more detail then blog posts. When offering an eBook, you may be able to collect visitor information in exchange for access. Ebooks are a great way for Advisors to collect information from prospects visiting their website.

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For more strategies on how you can repurpose your content, check out part 2 of this series.

 

Guide to Content Marketing

Using Visuals and Storytelling to Communicate Online

This post was authored by Marie Swift and originally appeared here on GuideVine.

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Financial advisors that build successful brands online have incorporated their personalities along with their business perspectives. Increasingly though, the next level of success means going beyond text and links, to using images, infographics, multimedia and videos. People learn in various ways and giving them choices based on their mood and personal preferences creates stronger engagement.

Fee-only financial planner Carolyn McClanahan echoed this sentiment when, during a recent Fidelity Inside Track event, she said: “People want to know you’re human. Don’t be afraid to show a bit of your personal life and what’s important to you when sharing.” She suggested some of the most effective ways to achieve this are focusing on are videos and visuals.

Also, consider these compelling statistics from Hubspot:

  • Photos and images are 2 times more likely to be shared than text updates
  • Videos are 12 times more likely to be shared than text and links alone
  • 100 million users are taking a social action on YouTube each week
  • Over 60 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube each minute

So what does this mean for financial advisors today?

1. Social media is getting more and more visual

Consider the rise of Facebook and Pinterest. Both are highly visual platforms. Photos and memes (quotes and images shown as graphics) are their “currency”. Even Twitter, which focused on text-and-links, has built in ways to add videos, photos and graphics.

This reinforces the trend that people have become lazy readers, especially online. And for businesses, no matter what social platform, dry, boring commentary and overt self-promotion is frowned on. However, visuals and videos can help create interest, engagement and a more personal connection on websites and social networks. The good news is that visuals are easier to capture and share than ever before, thanks to smart phones and digital cameras.

2. A picture is still worth a thousand words

With the rising use of visuals, the ability for an image to tell an engaging story is more and more important. Perhaps you remember this advertisement in major magazines a few years ago:

A handsome, man sits tall on the back of a white stallion. His long-sleeved designer shirt is wrapped around his neck, revealing strong arms and a flat torso. His white slacks are held snug with a brown belt that matches the brown designer boat shoes balanced lightly in the stirrups. The ocean waves roll up onto the white sandy beach in the background. White billowy clouds look like cotton candy in the azure sky. A look of manly pride exudes from his eyes as a drop of sweat glistens on his brow. Perhaps he’s just rescued a damsel in distress. One hand is resting on his hip, elbow cocked, while in the other hand, raised up and toward the camera, is a bottle of Old Spice cologne. The caption of the ad reads: “Smell like a man, man.”

This well-staged image, with very little text, stirs curiosity and sparks the imagination. It says more than words describing it can ever say – and does so in a fraction of the time it takes to read the description. Advisors who can tell stories visually, and not just verbally, draw people in.

3. Building social capital is important

Social capital is accrued through positive interactions, both online and offline. Negative interactions and snarky attitudes deplete this “goodwill bank.” The best business leaders know that they must build goodwill before asking for anything.

Online, this takes the form of people “up-voting” by either sharing the content they like and/or agree with, or by unfollowing companies and individuals that become pests. Financial advisors that can reliably produce “sharable content” will see a corresponding spike in activity on their social media sites. Being boring can mean being ignored. Being negative can have unpredictable consequences.

This is yet another way that social media has changed the traditional marketing mix: now, in addition to the “earned” category (traditional PR and media placements), the “owned” category (digital assets that one builds, maintains and controls), and the “bought’ category (anything paid for, typically ads and directory listings), we now have the “shared” category (the process of people in a social network helping good content and ideas ripple out to their friends and colleagues).

4. Emotions make people want to share

Why do people share content online? In a nutshell, it is because they either have a relationship with the content’s author (or want to), or they are emotionally connected with the content being shared. So it all boils down to relationship and emotion, which is same as it ever was.

In addition, keep in mind that people are drawn to plain English and simple, compelling stories. More and more, people want not just information and education but to also entertainment as they become enlightened. So think of yourself as an “edu-tainer”.

Click here for more on the psychology of sharing and lessons learned from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

5. Video can enrich the communication process

Remember the Hubspot statistics above? Video is 12 times more likely to be shared than text and links alone. Having videos on your website also improves search engine page rankings. Similar to visuals, these days videos are easy to produce and self-publish. Here are the four basic types, though some industry observers have mentioned that the cartoon and white board animations are overdone.

Financial advisors who want to learn more about visual storytelling and why people share will be interested in watching this 20-minute video conversation between yours truly and Craig Faulkner, CEO of FMG Suite: http://www.fmgsuite.com/market-in-motion/marketing-star-marie-swift

 

Visit GuideVine’s About Us page to learn more, and if you’re interested in joining the advisor network, Click Here.

 

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Financial Advisor Marketing: A Blueprint for Success

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This post was authored by Marie Swift and originally appeared here on GuideVine.

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Many financial advisors become so entrenched in daily routines and heavy workloads that they fail to adequately plan for the ongoing success of their business. As the New Year comes into view, smart financial advisors will take a “planning break”. They step back, get away from the office, turn off email, texts and social media for an hour (or two or three or even a day or a weekend), reflect on where they’ve been and where they’re headed, journal a bit, and create or refine their strategic plan for 2015.

Some financial advisors will want to include their management team, a partner, or their assistant in these reflection and planning efforts. They may even include a coach such as Ed Jacobson, Ph.D, who has years of experience working with financial planners and coaching advisors in the “appreciative process”, often asking, “What’s good here, and what do we want more of?” Motivational speaker Brian Tracy may have said it best: “Teamwork is so important that it is virtually impossible for you to reach the heights of your capabilities or make the money that you want without becoming very good at it.”

YOUR LASER-FOCUSED MARKETING PLAN FOR 2015

Loring Ward’s William Chettle, who oversees all the firm’s marketing and communications efforts, often quotes Antoine de Saint-Exupery saying, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” In the age of robo-advisors and other competitive threats, financial advisors cannot afford to simply “wing it”. There is too much at stake. They must have a clear vision of what they want to do, why they want to do it, whom they best serve and why they are uniquely qualified to serve those select markets.

The most important element of a marketing plan is defining the specific markets to be served and then developing the messages and methodologies to reach those targeted markets. Steve Wershing, the “referral doctor” and author of the industry-specific book for financial advisors, “Stop Asking for Referrals: A Revolutionary New Strategy for Building a Financial Service Business that Sells Itself”, likes to say, ““the biggest mistake advisors make is not having a clearly defined niche or two. Without a clear and specific target market definition and a compelling value proposition, you’ll be diluting your message and wasting your time.”

To create a laser-focused marketing plan, take out a blank notebook or open a new document on your computer. On page one, the table of contents, write down the five essential steps:

  • Step 1: Target Market Definition
  • Step 2: Message Development
  • Step 3: Marketing Methods
  • Step 4: Time and Money Budget
  • Step 5: Timetable and Steps                                   

Now take one of those “planning breaks” (and not just 20-30 minutes) to flesh out each section of the five steps.

  1. Target Market Definition: Who is your ideal client and why? What unique needs and mindsets do they have that no other group has? Where do they congregate, what do they read, whom do they trust? What are their pain points?
  2. Message Development: To what key words and benefit statements will this group of people best respond? Why should they do business with you right now? Why should they trust you? What are your proof points?
  3. Marketing Methods: How will you reach this group or groups? There are a few methods to choose from. Which one resonates with them? Do you have the knowledge to effectively use that method?
  4. Time and Money Budget: How much time will you spend on “free” activities such as serving on boards, networking in the community, writing articles for your blog and/or the local newspaper, then amplifying any “earned” media occurrences through social media channels (where your content is actually “shared” with relevant others)? How much money will you spend on “paid” activities such as advertising, sponsorships, seminars, directory listings, radio shows, and the like? How much will you invest in “owned” channels such as your own website and blog?
  5. Timetable and Steps: Get out a calendar and pencil in key dates and events. Think about the seasons and recurring mindsets that are likely to occur throughout the year—New Year’s resolutions in January, last-minute tax strategies in March, graduations and weddings in May and June, summer vacations and back-to-school in July and August, year-end tax planning in October and November. Work backwards to ensure that key promotional dates and in place.

PLANNING PAYS OFF

Lewis K. Bendele said, “A man without a plan for the day is lost before he starts.” Creating a detailed marketing plan can provide the roadmap financial advisors need to reach their desired destination by helping them:

  • Understand the types of clients they are best suited to serve
  • Define the unique value they bring to these clients relative to their competitors
  • Identify specific barriers they may be facing
  • Identify the most appropriate tactics for their firms
  • Line up the right resources and execute effectively
  • Stop wasting valuable resources via uncoordinated marketing efforts

Visit GuideVine’s About Us page to learn more, and if you’re interested in joining the advisor network, Click Here.

 

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Use These 3 Buckets of Financial Blog Content to Attract Prospects

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This post was authored by Kristin Harad and originally appeared here on GuideVine.

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If you want to build your online presence and attract an interested following of prospects (as well as existing clients) you may have launched a financial blog. But after the initial rush and excitement of starting out, are you keeping up with your posting? At a minimum, you should be posting content twice a month, with a more ideal pace of once a week to get the results you desire.

How can you possibly generate that much content and will you run out of things to say? Not if you try filling and using these three buckets with ideas that appeal to your target client.

1. Financial Topics

This may be the easiest of all the buckets since you deal with these topics every day as a part of your practice. Technical and educational, these posts cover the issues and questions your target audience must consider when it comes to their finances: retirement, cashflow planning, risk management, estate planning, taxes, investments and any other financial topic that matters to them. The key to success with this content bucket is to deliver specific information for your audience. So for example, instead of “The 4 Types of Insurance You May Want To Skip”, consider “The 4 Types of Insurance Recent College Graduates May Want to Skip”. Dig into the needs of your audience.

2. Emotional & Lifestyle

Many of us may have to step outside of our comfort zones to create this personal content. One way to start is think about your ideal client. What do you know about this person? What keeps her up at night? What does she enjoy? What does she do day-to-day? What scares her? The answers to these questions will inform your qualitative pieces. Provide your perspective, share your experience, dare to be vulnerable, and open up by discussing the softer side of money. You can also demonstrate how finances fit into your client’s lifestyle choices and values. If your client desires “multiple-week, international escape vacations” then you may want to write a post “What to Consider for Your Next International Adventure” or share a personal experience, “My Tips and What I Learned From 3 Weeks in Italy”.

3. The Planning Process

This catchall category dives into the operational, practical end of planning. You use this content to demystify the planning process and help overcome objections or resistance to engaging a professional. You can shape content from the CFP Board’s Six Steps in the Financial Planning Process, with the specifics of your firm’s way of doing business and the experience your clients can expect.   This type of content may include advice for organizing financial documents or keeping track of savings goals, or you may share tools, websites, or other resources that would be helpful for your audience.

Once you jot down ideas for content to fill each bucket, create titles for your posts, prioritize and organize your content calendar, limber up your fingers and start writing!   You will find yourself filling 52 weeks of content in no time.

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Visit GuideVine’s About Us page to learn more, and if you’re interested in joining the advisor network, Click Here.

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How Advisors Can Market To The Millennial Generation: Part 1

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A Millennial weighing in on how to market to Millennials.

What, exactly, is the Millennial generation?

Millennials (also known as the Millennial Generation or Generation Y) are the demographic cohort of individuals born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s. There are more than 80 million of them in the US alone, making their generation larger than Baby Boomers and 20 percent larger than Generation X. Based on research conducted by Millennial Marketing, we know the following about this generation:

  • Millennials include some of the earliest digital natives.
  • Millennials are interested in participating in your marketing.
  • Millennials are known as content creators and users.
  • Millennials are ‘’hooked’’ on social media.
  • Millennials grew up in a socially networked world.
  • Millennials have an estimated purchasing power of between $125 billion to $890 billion

Millennials As the Young Investor

Young and potentially wealthy millennials can be an extremely profitable segment for Advisors and present an excellent opportunity for Advisors to expand their client base. Ironically, they also seem to be a large segment of the population largely overlooked by financial firms. Many Advisors are business people following the money as they seek higher fees and more commissions. However, any Advisor building a business for the long term should find solid opportunity in the millennial group. Advisors can build a relationship with them as they continue to grow and aspire to be high-net-worth retirees someday.   According to Time, millennials are saving more now than boomers did at their age. They know that they must manage their own financial future and want someone to guide them in a way that makes sense to them.

I am, in fact, a Millennial. I rely on very specific marketing avenues for information in order to make my decisions.  So, how should Advisors market to me? In part 2 of this series, I will look at the most effective ways Advisors can reach millennials in their marketing efforts. Hint: Content is King.

But first, let’s take a look at Millennial’s buying and browsing habits in this Infographic courtesy of AdWeek. One common theme is that Millennial’s expect technology to work and will go elsewhere if it doesn’t (hint: importance of mobile optimized sites, which we will cover in part 2).  So, how can you reach the Millennial generation? In one word……online. 

How to Market to Millennials

 

After perusing this Infographic, was there anything that was surprising to you?

 

How to Drive Sales Using the Customer Buyer Journey

6 Facts You Shouldn’t Leave Out of Your Advisor Biography

At Digital Agent, we work with hundreds of Advisors to help them establish an effective and engaging online presence. Describing yourself or your brand in a way that really sells can be a daunting task. It is your ‘’About Us’’ page that introduces yourself to your website visitors, tells them what you do and builds rapport that will hopefully turn them into a client.

You don’t just want to be a name and a job title. Use your biography page to establish your credentials, showcase your expertise, and showcase some of your personality.  You want to give prospects enough information to feel comfortable choosing you as an Advisor. When it comes to composing your Advisor biography, our team suggests including the following 6 points:

  1. Catalogue the number of years you’ve been in the business. Ex. “John Pierre has over XX years of experience in the financial services and insurance industries in the province/state of _____.”
  2. Highlight any clubs or committees you head or are a member of.
  3. List your designations and more importantly, describe what each designation covers and why your clients and prospects should value working with an Advisor that has them.
  4. Talk about any charitable organizations you work with or consult within.
  5. Describe where you grew up and what College you studied at.
  6. Lastly, tell your audience about your family and what you like to do for fun when you’re not in the office.

Your ‘’About Us’’ page makes your online business more human. When you add expertise and capabilities, enter new markets, join a new charity, club or committee; don’t forget to update your About Us page. Make sure your page always matches what you would say if a client were to ask you about your practice today. And remember, do no hesitate to be original and highlight your personality. This page helps to give a face and story to your business, and differentiates you from your competitors.

 

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4 Keys to The Practice of Content Marketing

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In a recent webinar I delivered, I briefly touched on the 4 keys that we use at Digital Agent for content marketing that helps balance time and investments to ensure we create positive marketing results! Here they are again in case you missed our webinar:

Balance Content Creation and Curation

Did you know that original authored content statistically has a HIGHER ROI? According to the Custom Content Council, 2/3 of consumers say that information provided through custom media helps them make better decisions and more than half of consumers are willing to BUY from companies that PROVIDE custom media! Spending too much time curating content and sharing articles with your audience and not enough time generating your own content at a regular tempo is having adverse affects on your marketing. Simply being visible on social media by curating and sharing third party content can impact the results of your efforts. Why? Well, in short, you’re directing your audience’s traffic to other people’s thought leadership content. While you may be demonstrating awareness of your industry, the simple fact remains that you are losing traffic with an audience who may be very engaged with your content. Any content marketing strategy MUST first start with a content creation strategy no matter what the frequency, as long as it’s consistent. As you ramp up your content marketing efforts, consider placing a slightly higher focus on the creation of content. You might be surprised at the results of your own writing.

Created Content is Yours

Ok, I’ve made the case to balance content creation and curation but in case you’re still not convinced, here’s another point to consider. Always remember that created content is Yours and Your voice is unique. No one else has the unique life or work experience that you’ve encountered. No one has the exact same opinions, perspectives or advice as you do. Creating content will differentiate you from your peers (in addition to a good value proposition). And best of all, you can distribute it as many times as you want through as many mediums you desire with as much frequency as your audience will tolerate! Also, it’s completely FREE!

Curating Content with Prejudice and Care

Every content marketing strategy must eventually have a curation component to it. It is obviously impossible to create great content every single day of week especially if you have limited time and resources. Curating content will help support your thought leadership position and it will compliment a creation strategy. Think of it like the accessories you might add to your smartphone (like a case to protect it) or the ottoman that matches your couch. When you share content it helps to show your audience that you have awareness of your industry, as it relates to your practice and business. It also has a branding and positioning effect. Sharing content about retirement planning, savings and strategies would suggest that you have knowledge of this subject and could also suggest that your business specializes in this area. But (there’s always a ‘but’), avoid blindly sharing content. Avoid just pushing content that you haven’t read into your social media accounts and most of all, avoid just sharing a link with no opinion or commentary and be selective with the articles you curate. Sharing badly written content or content that doesn’t reflect the “tone” of your brand will have your audience disengage.

Create and Share H.U.G.G.E.R. Content!

Ok, you’re probably wondering what I mean by HUGGER. Yes, it’s an original acronym created by yours truly. It stands for:

  • H: Helpful
  • U: Useful
  • G: Genuine
  • G: Giving
  • E: Educational
  • R: Relevant

Creating and sharing HUGGER content that helps solve your audience’s greatest challenges and helps them achieve their life, career, health, financial (and the list goes on) goals has a positive effect on building credibility, trust and loyalty with clients and prospects. Credibility, trust and loyalty are the obvious essentials to building strong relationships and a growing business.

Are you using content marketing in your marketing strategy? How do you balance creation and curation?

 

Guide to Content Marketing

Infographic: How to Write a Great Value Proposition That Lands Clients

What is one of the best ways to convert your visitors into clients?  If you guessed your value proposition, then you’re right.

Solid value propositions are an essential tool to achieving goals and standing out. Are you successful at creating a distinct, recognizable brand? According to a study by Pershing, 60% of investors found it hard to distinguish among Advisors because of their value propositions.

A unique and effective value proposition is one of the best ways that you can position yourself to get new business.   Your value proposition concisely explains why a prospect needs you as their Advisor, and not your competition. By having a value proposition that helps you stand out from other Advisors, you attract prospects wanting to know more about who you are and how you can help them.

The Infographic below, by QuickSpout, offers some insight into the benefits of creating a value proposition, and the top tactics for creating one for your business.

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The FInancial and Insurance Advisor's Guide to Blogging

How Financial Advisors Can Use Twitter Analytics To Produce Better Content: Part 2

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So, you’ve been publishing content consistently now for a month or more. One technique I’ve used to determine the kind of content our marketing team should be focused on curating is by looking at the engagement of all of our tweets over the course of a 2-3 month time span (honestly, there’s no science behind that number, but after 2 months of data collection, we felt that was a large enough sample size). Here is a step by step guide on how to get the information we use to inform our content strategy. After you log into Twitter Analytics you can choose the time frame for which you would like to view and collect your data.

Twitter analytics - Select time span

  1. Select a 2 or 3 month time range. Be sure to hit the “update” button.
  2. Beside the range “button” there is an “Export Data” button. Click on that button, wait a few seconds, and a spreadsheet will automatically download onto your computer. The name of the file will be tweet_activity_metrics.csv.
  3. Open the spreadsheet with your favourite spreadsheet tool (NOTE: I will be using Microsoft Excel to provide you with the next steps so be sure to use the equivalent features in your spreadsheet tool). There will be a number of different columns preset
  4. Excel Sort Button Sort by Engagements from highest to lowest (if you have no engagements, sort by impressions) and pull out the first 10-15 rows of each.\
    1. Impressions typically indicates the visibility a piece of content receives through a keyword, a hashtag, or perhaps some kind of attribution to another Twitter user.
    2. Engagement indicates to me the content I posted that drove a user to like, share, re-tweet, click, etc. Engagement is a source of truth of the quality of your data. 1000 users can see your tweet, but if no one clicks on it or interacts with it, chances are the content or the words you used were not enough for someone to spend the few seconds to even look at the page.
  5. Examine the Tweets and try to answer the following questions:
    1. Do you notice a trend across the Tweets with respect to a particular topic and subject matter?
      1. Certain subject areas might gain more attention as a result of the audience you have who are following you. Not everything you share is relevant to your audience. Write down the subject areas you feel received the most engagement and ensure you are writing down a single subject area.
      2. Are you listing statistics or quantifiable comparisons or metrics that receive more engagement?
    2. Do you notice certain keywords or brand names across these tweets?
      1. Keywords and brand names peripheral to your practice and business make a lot of sense to share and include in your status updates. Write down those keywords and / or brand names.
    3. Are there certain Twitter user names (e.g. @VeridayHQ) in the tweets?
      1. Writing down the Twitter users who are helping you get engagement is a good way document targets for potential content partnerships and collaboration. This is a well known strategy to help boost your following.
  6. After you’ve completed this exercise, let’s say you have something that looks like this:
    1. Subject matter: Retirement Planning
    2. Subject matter: Tax
    3. Keyword: money
    4. Brand: Google
    5. Twitter user: @VeridayHQ
  7. Now that you have this list, work on sharing a larger portion of your updates (50-60%) focused on this criteria and see it your engagement levels and follower counts increase at a higher rate. Understandably, subject matter may be seasonal depending on the type of industry you’re in, for example, retirement, 401k and RRSPs might be top keywords in and around the January to March time frame so be sure to use your discretion at what keywords are best to use based on the time of year.

Are you using Twitter analytics to inform your content marketing strategy? Need help? Let’s chat!

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Financial Advisors: How To Come Up With Blog Topics in 60 Seconds

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Blogging is an extremely useful digital marketing practice that can generate leads by attracting new traffic to your website. If you’re not blogging, it’s time to get started, or get left behind. If you need some inspiration, here are 6 of the most important reasons why your business should be blogging:

  1. Drives traffic to your website
  2. Increases your website’s rank in organic search results (Search Engine Optimization)
  3. Positions yourself as an industry leader
  4. Builds trust and respect with your clients, prospects, peers and competitors
  5. Retains your current clients by providing free online resources
  6. Provides you with content that can be re-purposed many times over

What do I write about? What do I have to say that’s important enough to publish? Okay, I’ve written one post, now what? I can’t come up with anything. I’ll try again tomorrow. Anyone who blogs, or has blogged before, has experienced this.

Blogging can be an intimidating space. Studies have shown that content creation is one of the most difficult parts of starting and maintaining, a successful blog for any business. Nothing is more difficult then coming up with an idea or two to write about. But without topics, you have no articles, no content and therefore no content marketing.

If you are having trouble generating blog ideas, try using the quick tricks below. We have found these steps to be extremely effective for coming up with content ideas of our own.

Step 1:

Grab a notepad and pen, sit for 60 seconds and write down as many questions as you can think of that your clients ask you on a regular basis. Don’t worry about grammar, or being clever, just write every question a prospect or client has ever asked you.

Step 2:

Take a look at your list and answer the easy questions first. What you may not have realized is that each question/answer that you’ve come up with is a potential blog post. Blogging involves writing about single topics as opposed to writing a long articles that covers anything and everything on a subject. The questions that you thought of will probably break into many different shorter blog posts.

What do I mean by breaking up questions and subjects  into multiple blog posts? Well, let’s look at the question, ‘‘when can I retire?’’. Writing a single blog post about this question would result in a post that would lose the readers interest because it is too long, has too much information, and doesn’t focus on a single topic of retirement. To create an effective blog post, break this topic up into a few shorter blog posts covering retirement.  Some good examples of this are: ‘’5 ways to save for retirement’’,  ‘‘How important is it for you to have a written retirement plan?’’, ”10 things you need to know about TFSAs”, or, ‘’what is a tfsa and how does it work?’’.

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If you follow these steps, you will be amazed at just how many questions and ideas come to mind. Following these steps will also help you to start thinking like your prospects and clients, and answering questions with content that provides real value to them. Great content can be one of the best sales tools because it is still working even when you aren’t around, by teaching and moving prospects in the right direction, and positioning yourself as a thought leader. The blogging space is big enough for everyone to be successfully involved, so start blogging today, or get left behind!

What is your greatest challenge when it comes to coming up with topics to write about?  Comment below, we’d love to help!

The FInancial and Insurance Advisor's Guide to Blogging