Financial planning content can take multiple forms. Each one has its own unique traits, uses and advantages.
In 2022, these content features continue to evolve with digital technologies – particularly as search engines like Google change their systems. Also, consumer behaviour has shifted significantly since COVID-19 in 2020.
Evidence suggests that sales of ebooks and audiobooks has risen sharply since the pandemic. Moreover, in the financial planning space, clients have become more accustomed to online meetings with their adviser rather than expecting face-to-face consultations.
These trends all point in the same direction; digital content is growing in acceptance and popularity. Whilst printed content still can have its place (e.g. a hard copy client newsletter), internet-based content is the future.
Below, we outline 4 great digital content types that financial planners might use in their marketing strategy. We also share how they can be used and specific advantages unique to each one.
#1 Articles / blogs
A financial planning article could be somewhat short (e.g. 300 words) or longer – perhaps 1,000 words or more.
At Clients+, we like 1,000 words as this allows for a topic to be covered in depth without requiring too much commitment from the reader.
Financial planning articles can be used on many marketing channels. You can post them on your website, allowing you to demonstrate thought leadership to your clients and prospects. Social media channels like LinkedIn can also be a good place to publish.
They also have strong uses. Firstly of all, they show that your business has good knowledge about its subject area. This shows competence and builds trust with the audience. Secondly, bespoke articles can help your website ranking better in search engines like Google.
Bear in mind, however, that off-the-shelf articles do not generally boost your SEO (since Google likes to rank original content).
#2 PDF guides
It is possible to go into great depth with a blog post – e.g. 3,000 words, or perhaps more. However, this can be quite draining to read without the correct format, styling and layout.
Here, longer-form content cis often much better-placed within a PDF guide. This allows a designer to build strong imagery, infographics and iconography around the text so that it is more aesthetically pleasing. This helps motivate the reader to read more.
PDF guides also have the advantage of being downloadable. With a blog post, the reader can certainly bookmark the page if they do not have time to finish reading at that moment. However, they are much more likely to pick a PDF back up again, than re-visit a bookmark.
You can also brand a PDF guide with your logo, contact details and compliance information – making it your own. It can also be distributed in many ways including on your website (e.g. on a “Resources” page) or as a link/attachment within your client newsletter.
Have you ever used an email marketing platform like MailChimp?
These allow you to create an email list, build a campaign and even automate a series of messages to go out to subscribers – based on past behaviour, or subscriber traits.
Designing a good e-newsletter is not always easy to do yourself. Moreover, you need good content (e.g. articles) to populate it. However, with a strong e-newsletter you suddenly have access to a lot of advantages.
First of all, its a great way to re-purpose your articles on your website. Visitors – i.e. prospects – on your website can benefit from the articles by arriving on your page from an outside source. Clients, however, can also benefit from them within your newsletter.
Secondly, it is easy to measure engagement within an e-newsletter. After you send out an email campaign, you can track key metrics such as bounce rates, open rates and click-through rates (CTRs). This data allows you to make improvements based on real data.
An e-newsletter is also significantly cheaper than a printed newsletter. It is also usually far less work to organise.
#4 Animated videos
YouTube is currently the second most popular search engine in the world. People love to watch videos on the platform!
Moreover, internet content is increasingly taking video form. This is partly because video is so easy to consume compared to other content forms. With a text-based content piece, you need to concentrate and take in the information. With a video, you can just sit back.
Financial planners are starting to recognise the power of video marketing. However, many are still reluctant to invest in it due to the perceived cost and effort involved. Yet, there are ways to make great financial planning videos without these drawbacks.
Here at Clients+, for instance, we offer a content library of ready-made animated videos for financial planners. These are typically about 1 minute in length, focus on a specific topic (e.g. pension planning) and can be branded up with your logo and compliance statement.
These are significantly cheaper than an “on-site” video, where you need to hire a crew to come into your offices, conduct interviews and then edit the footage afterwards. With an animated video, you can be up and running in a short time with very few logistics involved.
Once you have your video, you have a wide range of marketing options open to you.
Perhaps you could post your animated video on your social channels. Or, you could embed it within a blog post on your website. You might also share it in your newsletter, or other emails to clients. It may even be appropriate to show a client in a meeting.