4 Steps That Will Minimize Your Website’s Bounce Rate

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The definition of bounce rate is:

“the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.”

Ideally, your website’s bounce rate should be somewhere between 20% and 35%. However, some businesses can reduce that number below 20% with great difficulty. If your website bounce rate approaches 50%, you are in serious trouble and need to update your site immediately to lower that number.

Does your website have a high bounce rate? You may be attracting plenty of traffic, but does your website convert those visitors into customers? Having high traffic doesn’t mean anything if it is not generating business. What can you do to minimize your bounce rate and win more business from your digital properties?

Step 1: Understand Your Visitors

Why are people visiting your website? To reduce your bounce rate, you will need a solid understanding of what is drawing visitors to your site. Not every visitor will be part of your ideal audience, but uncovering the patterns and details of their journey to your website will provide insights to minimize bounce rate.

So what do you need to understand about your visitors?

Organic Search

Which organic search terms are bringing visitors to your website? You can use Google Analytics to discover your most active keywords. Consider whether you actively try to leverage those keywords, what someone searching for that keyword would be looking for, and whether your website can solve those problems.

Once you understand how (and why) a web searcher might end up on your website, you can optimize your pages and content to increase conversions to minimize bounce rate.

Popular Content

What pages and content drive the most traffic to your website? Once you identify those pages, you can see what pages and topics are drawing people towards your site. Do those pages solve the problems that visitors may be experiencing? Are your most popular pages also your highest converting pages? These questions are important to ask so you can understand which pages of our website are most useful for their intended purpose.

Best Pages

Which pages on your website have the highest conversion rates? Do those pages have a low bounce rate? Are these pages your most popular? Often, your most popular pages will not necessarily be among the highest converting. What type of pages do your customers visit before making a purchase?

Understanding the audience, their interests and how your website caters to those interests, you will know what prospective customers are looking for and how your business can meet their needs. The next step involves using that knowledge to build a relationship with visitors, eventually turning them into customers.

Step 2: Build Email Relationship

The second thing you should do to minimize your bounce rate is getting visitors to sign-up for email newsletters. Most visitors will only come to your website one time, never visiting again. In fact, it takes six to eight touchpoints to convert someone from a passive visitor to a lead. Email newsletters allow brands to remain in contact with visitors to their website, providing more touchpoints in which you can thrill those visitors.

So how can you build an email list to stay in touch with visitors to your site? By placing an eye-popping call-to-action that will motivate a sign-up.To learn more about creating killer CTA’s, check out our article: 6 Tips for Creating Better Calls-to-Action.

Once you have built your email list, you can re-engage with visitors through email, sharing content and information with them, nurturing the relationship until they are ready to convert. By nurturing the customer relationship, you can keep in contact with prospects until they are ready to make a purchase.

Step 3: Re-engage

If people don’t want to sign-up for your email list, and they do not provide any contact information, what can you do?  Well, at this point, you only have two options, both of which involve attempting to re-engage after their visit.

Use Social Media

One way to re-engage with your customers is through social media. Use targeted ads placed on social media to promote your list building efforts. Instead of sending people who click your ad to content, send them to a landing page where they can sign-up for your email. Remarketing using social media ads is an effective tactic because the platforms allow for extensive targeting, based on a number of factors. For more information on remarketing using social media, check out HootSuite’s Social Media Advertising Guide.

Website pop-ups

Website pop-ups can be used to discourage people from leaving your site. Onsite remarketing detects user behavior to determine if a visitor is about to “bounce.” If it seems they will bounce, a popup will appear, either directing them to content they might find interesting or asking if they want to sign-up for your email list. Exit-intent pop-ups have varying ranges of effectiveness, depending on their purpose, but they have proven to lead to an increase in conversions.

Step 4: Convert Subscribers into Customers

The final step is to convert your subscribers into leads, eventually leading to a purchase decision. Conversion is by far the most difficult step in the entire sales process, but there are several activities that can lead to an increased conversion rate.

Segment Leads

Segmentation of leads is an essential activity for any business, but there are many ways you can do it. One can segment their leads based on:

  • Stage of the buyer’s journey
  • Source of the lead
  • Demographics
  • Conversion events
  • Website behavior

All of these methods of segmenting an audience are valid. However, the method you choose should correlate to your business goals. For more information on segmenting leads, check out this Hubspot published informational guide on segmenting leads.

Test and Refine

To boost conversions, you need to keep an eye on your email reports. By measuring the engagement on your email newsletters, you can determine whether changes lead to better conversion rates.

Once you begin measuring your email engagement, A/B testing can begin. A/B is an effective method of determining which strategies yield the greatest results. However, the best part about A/B testing is that even a marketing newbie can use it to determine the efficacy and effectiveness of various strategies.  

Create Effective Copy

Writing copy that converts leads into customers is a difficult undertaking, a blend of art and science that can take years to master. Your copy should be a mix of value adding content that educates the reader and promotional copy. These 7 Simple Tips for Writing Effective Content for Your Website should help you write compelling copy.

There you have it, by following these four steps, you can minimize your bounce rate and increase your customer engagement. Do these steps work for you? Do you have any other strategies for increasing engagement on your website? How does your business turn visitors into customers? Let us know on Twitter @VeridayHQ.

Advisors: Get to Know Evergreen Content

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You’re a Financial Advisor, looking to use content marketing to expand your client base. You’re a busy person, always in a meeting, or at least on your way to one. You are already working more hours per week than you’d like to. You aren’t able to spend hours a day writing or producing new content for your marketing efforts. There simply is not enough time.

Content marketing can be difficult at times. You spend hours creating the perfect piece of content. You’re hoping it will provide value to your target audience; entertaining and educating them using their favorite form of media. The downside of content marketing: you spend hours creating this content and it doesn’t get seen by as many people as you were hoping.

I’ve been there. We’ve all been there. I would spend hours (weeks) writing the perfect essay, crafting the perfect presentation. I would create great work but I always felt somewhat disappointed, knowing that only a few people would ever see my work (and care). The feeling is frustrating. Today, I’m here to tell you that you never need to feel that way as a content marketer. There are methods of creating content that allow you to use and reuse content in order to get the most mileage out of your content efforts.

I’m here to introduce you to the best type of content for reuse and social sharing. It is called “evergreen” content. It will save you time and energy creating content that becomes outdated once the market or trend shifts, or the regulatory landscape changes. Evergreen content has the longest lifespan of content, generating traffic and leads for a very long time after it is published.  This type of content is called “evergreen” because, like a coniferous tree, it is not beholden to the seasons. Evergreen content stays “green” all year round, having nothing to do with current events or current industry landscapes. It will be useful to a reader whenever they come across it, whether tomorrow or a couple of years from now.

Evergreen content can come from any asset you create for any purpose. Creativity is the only hindrance. Do you have a pitch book? Turn it into a series of blog posts. You are an expert. Use your experience and knowledge to benefit the people consuming your content (and in turn, help you become a thought leader). Some examples of evergreen content for financial advisors could be: 

  1. How to Start a Retirement Plan
  2. 10 Ways to Become Financially Independent
  3. Frequently Asked Questions About (Insert product/service/offering here)
  4. Interview with (member of your team, influencer, industry expert, really anyone)
  5. 10 Reasons Why You Need an Advisor to Manage your Retirement Fund

Really any “How-to”, List, FAQ, Interview, or case study that does not revolve around the current industry landscape can be considered evergreen content. It can either be repurposed material or brand new content.

Whether you realize it or not, you already have plenty of starting points for creating evergreen content. Your pitch book, training materials and other existing documents in your business (that does not contain confidential or proprietary information) can be easily transformed into a piece of content to share. You can explain why your mission statement is the way it is, an explanation of various types of investments, advice columns, what you have helped others accomplish, or any other subject in which you have expertise.

You don’t need to stay on top of industry news or events for those type of articles. Simply create a version of your material that visitors to your website can consume in an easy way. The material should help them learn more about you, your business, or a topic that might affect them. Any subject which could establish you as a thought leader and will still be relevant in a few years is fair game. It is commonly considered best practice to update your articles as regulations or industry landscapes change. This will ensure that the information you are providing is always up-to-date and accurate.

Evergreen content remains fresh over time. It can be reused, shared repeatedly on social media and repurposed into another format. It is an extremely valuable tool to grow your reach and influence without spending an unnatural amount of effort.

One important tip to consider when creating and sharing your evergreen content is:

Update the content when new information becomes available!

Keeping your content fresh will ensure that someone viewing the piece will know that your business is up to date. Without a modern website you will appear to be “behind the times”. This will lead to some consumers thinking you are an outdated relic of an older time and taking their business elsewhere.

If you don’t believe having a website is critically important please check out the following articles:

7 Things People Hate About Your Website
Advisors: Why just having a Website isn’t enough
How Financial Advisors can use Content Marketing to Boost Website Traffic

Do you create evergreen content for your marketing efforts? Do you find evergreen content generates a high-level of engagement? Is timely information more effective for your blog or website? Let us know over on Twitter @VeridayHQ.

Blogging Like It’s Nobody’s Business

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What is Blogging?

Blogging is the act of adding new material to or the regular updating of a blog. A blog is a collection of articles that provide helpful valuable educational and remarkable content to your target audience.

You might be thinking, “it sounds like a lot of work” but there are many benefits to creating a blogging strategy that will benefit advisors and their business.

What’s the difference between a blog and a website?

As an advisor, if you’re thinking “I have a website, why do I need a blog?” They are often mistaken for the same thing when they are not. Blogs are updated more frequently whereas the rest of your website is static content that is not updated often. This could be basic content about you and your business’s products and services. 

Blogging Benefits

1. More traffic & New Visitors

Blogs that are consistently updated often see up to 55% more website traffic than those that don’t. Blogs that are updated often also help with Google rankings as the crawlings see a new blog post as fresh new content. 

Before/After Blogging

This advisor started blogging on October 1st, 2014. As you can see, after they began blogging, the traffic going to their website increased, both organically and in total. In addition, there were many new users that started visiting their website after they started blogging.

2. Delivering an Experience

Marketing is not what it used to be where it was constant one-way communication. Now, it’s about creating advocates for your product or service. It’s about creating an experience online that will make your audience want to come back. If your audience feels they are getting valuable, relevant content on topics that matter to them they’ll have a great experience with your content and want to read more of your content.

Social media changed that entire game. With social media, your audience can engage and interact with your content. Engaging in blogging is a strategy to extend your experience to a communication medium where your audience lives.

3. Develop Authority and Trust With Your Audience

Being an authority helps to establish trust, develop credibility as a thought leader in your industry. By writing blog content advisors can position themselves as experts in their particular specialty. Your target audience wants to read content that is relevant to them by someone that is reputable and knows what they are talking about.

Components of a Blog Post

1.Page title: Keyword focused page title

2.Page URL: A url that has the important keywords of your blog post will help with SEO

3.Blog titleCaptivating, eye-catching title to make your audience want to click and read your article. There are some free tools you can use to check the quality of your blog title.

Veriday Blog

4. Description: The description is what will be displayed in search results when your blog post comes up.

Veriday Blog

5.Content: Writing content that has keywords is important for getting your blog post to rank on Google. Keyword research can be done using the Keyword Planner tool.

6. Call to Action: Having a call to action at the end of each blog post is crucial in moving prospects through the buyer’s journey. This could be Contact, Download, Sign Up. By completing an action, the prospect is telling you they are interested and want to learn more. 

Common Mistakes and Pitfalls

Pitfall #1 – Expecting Overnight Success

Success in blogging takes time but people who commit to a consistent blogging strategy will see results over time.

Pitfall #2 – Forgetting to tell your audience about your writing

Just because a new blog has written, that doesn’t mean people will automatically read it. It’s up to you to tell your audience about your new blog post. This could be posting it on social media channels and including the blog post in an email newsletter. It’s a good idea to always look for new ways to promote new blog content to get it in front of new people.

Pitfall #3 – Missing Conversion Mechanisms

When it comes to blogging or any marketing activity, your ultimate goal would be to get new clients and new business right? Be sure to include a call to action to convert your blog readers into actual leads. You want to be always trying to move prospects through your sales funnel.

Pitfall#4 – Creating Content that is off topic

It’s important to know your target audience and write content that is relevant and important to them. The blog content should relate to the title of the blog post so people know what to expect when they’re reading.

Pitfall #5- Trying to Create the Perfect Post

If you’re new to blogging, it can be easy to get caught up in making the perfect blog post. There are thousands of blog posts on how to make the perfect blog post but having a completed live blog post is always a better approach.

Our eBook, The Financial & Insurance Advisor’s Guide to Content Marketing, can help financial advisors get discovered online quickly and easily, check it out to take the next steps in your content marketing journey!

Blogging: Content Marketing

4 Tips to Make Your Blog More Socially Shareable

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88% of millennials used Facebook as their main source of news in 2015. As a Financial Advisor, you should be continuously trying to reach a wider audience in order to help build brand awareness and thought leadership. Content marketing helps boost your websites SEO, increasing the overall traffic to your website and ups your position as a thought leader in the financial industry.

Blogs are a great way to attract future clients and keep current clients up-to-date. Here are four tips to help make your blog more socially shareable.

Cut the Jargon

As a Financial Advisor, you’re well-versed in your trade. When it comes to making your blog more socially shareable, however, you’ll want to keep specialized financial vocabulary to a minimum. Always keep in mind that your audience, for the most part, is not comprised of other Financial Advisors who have a background in Financial Planning and are familiar with terms like “annuity,” “fiduciary” and “asset class diversification”.

To make your blog more socially shareable, write simply and clearly. Avoid using jargon, but if you have to, make sure that you explain it in a simple and direct way. Always take your audience demographic into consideration.

Be Mindful of Your Audience

Cutting the jargon does not, however, mean dumbing down your language. Instead, write informative and direct posts about a variety of subjects. You can write about general topics like retirement, or much more specific ones like what you need to know about your RRSP as this year’s deadline approaches. Make sure that they are well-researched and well-written, as clients and prospects will continue to visit your blog if they feel that they are receiving unique, valuable and sound financial advice.

Get Connected

A great way to attract more visitors to your blog is to advertise it on social media. Get connected through the use of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. These platforms will allow you to promote your blog regularly in creative and interesting ways. The key word here is regularly. In order to maintain public interest in your blog, you will need to post frequently. People will lose interest very quickly in your blog if you’re only posting once every few months. That doesn’t mean that you have to post three times a day (in fact, that’s probably overdoing it), but rather that you should come up with a reasonable schedule and stick to it. Websites that are updated with fresh content regularly generally receive significantly higher traffic than those that are not.

Keep Your Word Count to a Minimum

This is a crucial tip. When you’re writing blog posts, don’t churn out a Moby Dick length novel of financial advice. Keep your posts short and to-the-point so readers aren’t overwhelmed or bored. It is important to keep in mind that the majority of website visitors scan a new page, rather than read it word for word.  By keeping your blog posts short and concise, or in list form, it will make it easier to engage visitors who prefer to scan a page.

Just as you keep your posts to a reasonable length, make sure that you stick to the point. As a Financial Advisor, people are visiting your blog to read valuable advice and gain unique insight into financial activities so be sure to fulfill that component.

Social media is a great way to build your personal brand. Making your blog shareable across several platforms will help you keep your current clients informed while expanding your reach to new prospects. An increase in traffic for your website, over time will position you as a thought leader in the financial planning industry. So, if you haven’t done so already – set up a Twitter and Facebook account right now and get to work!

 

7 Financial Marketing Trends in the Wealth Management Sector

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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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

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

3 Easy Steps to Start Your Advisor Blog

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Many of the insurance and financial advisors that I speak to on a regular basis find the task of blogging to be a very daunting and time consuming task. Blogging is one of the most effective ways to drive traffic and is also a critical sales and marketing tactic to connect with your audience. One of my favourite questions that I like to answer tends to be “How do I get started?”. It’s a great reflection of an advisor who’s ready to incorporate digital and content marketing into their practice and of someone who’s ready to do something different in an industry where blogging is not yet pervasive.

Here are 3 steps I commonly talk about to get started.

Step 1: Coming up with topics

If I sat you down in front of a typewriter and asked you to write a book and I didn’t give you a topic that would be pretty hard and you could potentially sit for a few hours and come up with nothing (maybe a title and an introduction). If I did the same thing and asked you to write a book about financial planning you might also come up with nothing after a few hours.

This analogy is often how I think advisors look at content writing. One critical success factor of content writing is the plan. Ok, the plan, what do I mean? Well, much like how you might put together a financial plan for your client, you would put together a plan for content writing. A plan helps to regulate the frequency at which you write and produce a tempo. It also helps take a lot of the guess work out of what to write about next. If I planned on saving up $1200 a contribution of $100 a month for the next 12 months, would arguably be easier than me thinking about the amount to save each month to reach my goal.

So, just how do you come up with the topics? Simple. Here are three questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do you meet with clients and prospects?
  2. Do your clients and prospects ask you questions?
  3. Do your clients and prospects ask you the same questions?

You probably answered ‘Yes’ to all three of those questions. Now, take the next 5-10 minutes and write down as many questions as you possibly can on a piece of paper and then move onto step 2. Write down the questions that come to mind first.

Step 2: Mine for Blogging Gold

Now that you have a list of questions we’re going to do a quick scan of each of your questions. The reason for this is that blogging effectively, involves writing about single topics as opposed to writing an essay. There will be a subset of the questions that you wrote down that might simply result in too large of a blog post. This is where we can dig for blogging gold because the questions you’ve already thought of, might themselves, break into other blog posts. So what do I mean by single topics? Well, it’s kind of analogous to how you might look at a book. An effective blog post would be equivalent to a single chapter while a not-so-effective blog post would be an entire book. Writing too many concepts into a single blog post can cause you to lose reader interest and also make it more difficult for you to complete a post. Here are some good and bad examples of titles that might lead you to write about more than one topic:

Good

  • What is a TFSA?
  • 3 keys to saving effectively for retirement
  • How to save for your next big vacation

Bad

  • Financial Planning 101
  • The INs and OUTs of an RRSP
  • How to choose a financial advisor

Now, take 10 minutes and look at your list of questions and for each topic, determine whether you can break the topic down into more than 1 mutually exclusive topic. For example, “What is a TFSA?” cannot instinctively be broken down into more than 1 mutually exclusive topic as everything points to the topic of a TFSA. “Financial Planning 101”, however, can be broken down into Tax, Retirement, Investments, etc., all of which are mutually exclusive topics. No need to think too long on each question as it should be instinctive and easy to identify the questions that can be broken out. Then move onto Step 3.

Step 3: Plan your Tempo and Topics

By now, you should have a pretty healthy list of questions to answer. The next step is to set up your tempo. How often will you decide to blog. There are definitely rules of thumb when it comes to blogging and in general, the more often you blog, the better your results. That being said, if you’re just getting started, setting up the frequency of your blogging is more important than setting up how much you will blog. Blogging once a week is arguably better than blogging once a month which would arguably be better than blogging once a quarter and so on. Choose the frequency that you feel you can handle. If the frequency you set becomes very manageable, increase that frequency. Remember to start small and then move up from there. Choose the easiest questions to answer first.

Take the next 5 minutes, look across your questions, and line your topics up to your frequency. For example, if you have 12 topics and have chosen to write monthly, that’s one blog post per month. Also, decide whether you will release your blog at the beginning or at the end of the month.

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At this stage you’ve completed a very critical step and are well on your way to becoming perceived as an expert in your area of expertise! With all of your single topics and questions set up, it should be a relatively straight forward exercise to answer the questions you’ve documented! A few key things to remember when you write is that blogging is not about perfection. You’re not designing a rocket to the moon. Obviously spelling mistakes and grammatical errors are unacceptable but outside of that, the world’s your oyster. Write in the way that you would have a conversation with a client or a prospect. Make your readers feel like you’re speaking directly to them.

Remember, your voice is unique. No other person in the world communicates like you. No other person has been exposed to the same experiences that you have.

What’s your greatest barrier to getting started with blogging?

 

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10 Revealing Website and Social Media Statistics for Financial Advisors

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Are you still convinced that having a website or social media presence isn’t worth your time? Are you wondering whether your prospects interact with advisors, like yourself, on social sites?

Consumers are looking to make informed decisions, which means they are tapping into all resources available to them, most of which are online. Let’s face it. If you don’t have a website or social media, you’re losing business to someone that does. And here is the evidence. Below is a list of 10 revealing statistics that reiterate the importance of having an online presence.  These stats speak loudly to financial advisors and what their prospects are doing online:

  • Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second. Each day, there are over 3.5 billion searches which translates to 1.2 trillion searches per year. (Internet Live Stats, 2014)
  • 89% of consumers conduct their product research using search engines. (PR Newsire, 2014)
  • 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. (Search Engine Journal, 2014)
  • Nearly two in three of mass affluent consumers take action after using social media to discover and consider financial products and services. (The DigitalFA, 2014)
  • Two-thirds of millionaires surveyed said they would like to use electronic media with their advisors.  (The DigitalFA, 2014)
  • About 90 percent of mass affluent consumers use social media. Of that 90 percent, 44% engage with financial institutions on social media. (LinkedIn, 2013)
  • Companies that increase blogging from 3-5 times a month to 6-8 times a month almost double their leads. Companies that blog only 1-2 times a month generate 70% more leads than those that don’t blog at all. (Hubspot, 2012)
  • Inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional outbound marketing. (Groove Digital Marketing, 2013)
  • Google says there are more searches on mobile than on desktop (Google, 2015)
  • Customer testimonials have the highest effectiveness rating for content marketing at 89%. (Social Times, 2013)

It is important that Advisors continue to adapt to the needs of their prospects.  Don’t get left behind in the digital world. Get started on building an effective online presence today.

GET STARTED!