In our first article in this series, we introduced you to a fictional financial advisor named Stan. Stan embarked on a digital marketing campaign, but was eventually disappointed with his results. By failing to identify his specific goals, create content to match those goals, and correctly evaluate the impact of his strategy, Stan wasted a lot of time and energy on a marketing campaign that did not meet his expectations.
Now that you’ve learned the importance of developing clear goals and creating the right content, you’re ready to start matching types of content to particular objectives.
Brand awareness. Remember that marketing is about building a relationship with your audience, taking the right steps to gradually deepen that relationship, and eventually converting some of that audience into paying clients. With that image in mind, think of brand awareness as the first step in a marketing campaign.
What type of car do you drive? You probably answered with a brand name, such as Chevrolet, Mercedes, or Toyota. What is your favorite type of athletic shoe? Did you think of Reebok or Nike?
You identify your favorite products by brand name, because those companies have managed to create brand awareness. You’ve chosen your favorite brands based on the image their marketing team managed to create. A brand might be about luxury, comfort, style, quality, old-fashioned values, or just about any other trait you can imagine. The fact that you associate certain characteristics with particular brands means that brand has managed to differentiate itself from the field of competitors.
You want to do the same thing for your practice. When people hear your name, you want them to have a clear picture of the services you provide. You want them to know how you are different from the other financial advisors in your area.
When your goal is to create brand awareness, ask yourself the following questions about your content:
- Will this content appeal to a wide number of people? Will it grab their attention?
- Will my audience feel motivated to like and share this content on social media?
- Does this content accurately reflect the values and mission of my company?
You will the following types of content to create brand awareness:
- An interesting or funny video
- Co-branded content, such as a webinar or e-book, that you create alongside a partnering organization
- Slide-share decks about financial topics or retirement
Keeping in mind that marketing is a process of building relationships, you should also make sure that you are correctly evaluating the success of your content. Stan created some content, distributed it, and then waited for his phone to ring. When his appointments did not immediately increase, Stan assumed that his marketing strategy had failed.
It’s important to measure the correct key performance indicators (KPIs) for each marketing goal. When your goal is to increase brand awareness, your KPIs will be your numbers of likes and shares on social media.
Driving traffic to your website. Hopefully, you have created a website to represent your practice online. But unless you drive traffic to that website, you may have accomplished the online equivalent of placing a billboard on a lonely, forgotten highway. You want people to visit your website and learn about your practice!
Marketing is all about building relationships, and driving traffic to your website will really get the ball rolling. You should be creating content that:
- appeals to your target demographic
- answers questions about financial planning, retirement, and other related topics
- includes a call to action, so that your audience knows what to do next
- is optimized with keywords and social media share buttons
Generally speaking, we accomplish these goals with informative blog posts or videos, and social media posts which include links to your website.
But how do you know your strategy is working? You should be using an analytics program to track activity on your website. Look for statistics on things like:
- overall website visitors
- number of blog viewers
- percentage of viewers who are returning visitors
- average amount of time visitors spend on your website – keeping in mind that many are in search of specific information, and may click through simply to get that information from a blog
- conversion rates on your call-to-action content
As you can see, the type of content you create should be specifically geared toward your particular goals. You’re already a few steps ahead of Stan! But like Stan, you do want to deepen the relationship with your audience and eventually convert them into clients. In our next article in this series, we will discuss lead generation, and the content you should create to address that goal.