Firm marketing (Part Three): Crafting actionable marketing content for your firm
Over my last two blogs, I’ve discussed with you how to craft a marketing plan and the questions you need to ask in order to market successfully to your dream clients. Now we get to the meat of the issue: creating the content.
Many clients over the years have contacted me and expressed concern about their advisors creating content. It’s not that they have any issue with knowledge, experience and insight, it’s simply that their writing style is technical, rather than engaging. The good news is that while being a masterful writer is a bonus, you don’t have to be the next bestselling author in order to be a successful content marketer.
Use this to enable your marketing team to success. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when crafting content — you don’t have to be a Literature major to craft good content when you consider the following advice.
Always keep your market in mind
Before a content writer sits down to start writing, they toned to consider WHO they’re writing to. Consider this: would you write an article for a teen news website in the same style as you would your accounting firm’s blog posts? Absolutely not.
That doesn’t mean you should insert overly complicated jargon into your content marketing, but it does mean you need to take certain demographic facts into consideration: professional level, prior subject knowledge, education experience, etc.
What do they want to know?
It’s not enough to simply write content that is industry relevant. The most successful content marketing strategies implement thought leadership articles that answer relevant questions and offer useful information that your market is interested in.
Also, make sure that your firm’s services are tied into this information. It makes no sense to discuss the details of your industry when they relate to services you aren’t currently offering. Answer this question in the content: how can our firm specifically help a client in the context of the content?
Calls to action
Calls to action — or CTAs — are actionable statements that actually drive a client to do something upon reading your content. Many blog posts fall victim to being simple reading fodder. They don’t actually compel a potential client to DO anything but read the article.
Sometimes, your article may be the lead up to something bigger and better. In this circumstance, you want your reader to read you next post. Other times, your article may relate to a commonly experience client problem. In this case, you’d want them to contact you to discuss it. Another article may be about a toolset you are using with some of your clients. Your CTA may ask them to download a free trial.
What do you want a potential client to do after reading your blog or article?
Aesthetically pleasing content
Content marketing is as much about how the piece looks as it is about what a piece actually says. This involves breaking up paragraphs, using an attractive blog layout, picking out a relevant and high quality image for the article, using graphs and diagrams to make your content easily digestible etc. This promotes readership.
Always include facts and opinions
When writing about a topic related to business, you need to have facts prepared. Making a claim like “80% of clients prefer this method to another method of communication,” you have to be able to back up that claim. Where did you find that research? Link to it in the content. Statistics and facts make your content credible.
It’s also fine to include opinions, but understand that an opinion piece and a piece that’s factual need to be written differently. Make sure that an opinion piece is blatantly that — about your opinion. There’s no claim to correctness, just what you think about an issue. An opinion piece is important to position you as a thought leader.
Finally, we need to discuss another aspect of marketing for firms — personal incentives, or how you truly enable the masses to market for your firm. In my final instalment of this blog series, I share with you the secrets to enabling a marketing team, how to improve their marketing abilities and how to refine the plan after it’s been put into action.