When you think of information that puts you to sleep, what comes to mind? Weather statistics, C-SPAN, the encyclopedic history of real estate? Financial information, despite its centrality in our lives, is often relegated to the “snore list.” Spreadsheets and data tables don’t usually come to mind for leisure reading, which is what makes content marketing for financial advisors such a sticky wicket.
But here’s the secret of marketing for advisors: don’t be boring. That’s it.
This stuff isn’t dull to you. You wouldn’t be still doing this — with all the stress and complication that comes with it — if it put you to sleep. You know how important finance is to the world as a whole and how it can change the tide in an individual’s life.
How can you convey that passion to your clients without turning them off? How can you tell them how exciting and important healthy financial management really is?
Let’s look at a few tools of content marketing for financial advisors and how to create engaging content that gets your prospects’ attention and keeps it.
Most advisors are solid storytellers. It’s a fundamental skill in the business. You compare other stories to a situation (“A family came to me once …”), you connect with the client’s larger story (“It seems like this plan reflects your values of …”), and you cast the future in terms of story (“OK, if we make that decision, we could have two different outcomes …”). Much of the energy in a sales and service relationship is generated in exchanging stories.
Metaphors are central to any story, especially when conveying something as complex as financial advice. If you want to tell a story, you need to parallel it with something that relates directly to your audience. This means you need to know your topic (which you do) and you need to know your crowd and be sensitive to them.
If your firm is in North Dakota, you might want to pull back on the beach and ocean metaphors. If you’re in Florida, paralleling surviving a market downturn to a blizzard probably won’t land as well with your target audience. Carefully crafted metaphors give your content texture and punch and draw people into the story — just know your audience.
Think about a solid title, for example: “The Fundamental Rule of Content Marketing that Most Advisors Overlook.” A title like this sends a spark of intrigue — what’s this about? It gets your readers’ attention and entices them to engage with the article.
Mystery gives us something to look forward to, even if the “adventure” is something as short and everyday as reading a blog on our commute. Often, this mystery is looking at something differently – a common problem we all deal with in life or in our niche.
A list article like Household Stuff You’ve Been Doing Wrong promises you tips on everything from peeling potatoes to your choice of plunger. Or take a high-level professional piece like Why Evolutionary Psychology May Be Better Than Behavioral Finance Research To Understand Financial Behaviors from Michael Kitces.
Titles like this make a deal with your reader (reading X will teach you Y) and then exceed their expectations.
Keep It Practical
Finally, make sure you’re giving your readers something practical in your content. Don’t just draw them in with buzz words and make a pitch — that will turn them off and cost you in the long run. Giving concrete content builds trust between you and your reader, which is one step closer to making them a client.
The temptation is to get too far into the weeds, either out of force of habit or maybe our own ego need to feel like the insider. A blog called “5 Insights for Roth IRA Conversions to Minimize Tax-Impact in a Post-Secure Act World” could probably be rendered “5 Tips on Preserving Your Retirement Income” and get you more reads and attention.
You can get very concrete with this. Along with three tips on preparing for retirement, you could offer a downloadable checklist for people to use as a tool. Then they have a takeaway with your logo on it, and you have their lead information for future campaigns. The more hands-on, the better.
It Starts With a Story
It’s repeated to the point of cliche that financial planning is a “relationship business.” Marketing is the same. As you tell great stories, keep your readers’ attention and make good on their time with practical takeaways, you add real value to their lives.
In the end, you build a brand — people know you can be trusted with their time and attention, and eventually will trust you with their finances as well. It starts with a story, grows with trust and ends with a relationship.
Jud Mackrill is the chief marketing officer of Carson Group. He is passionate about building digital strategies and powerful tools to enhance the lives of advisors to effectively grow their firms.
Jud was introduced to financial services when he began working at Orion in 2004, where he served in a number of roles, including heading up technology implementation. In 2015, Jud co-founded Mineral Interactive with his wife, Kim. The Mineral team was honored to be named Winner, Best Advisor Innovation, Fuse 2017 and XYPN Fintech Champion 2018.