Perhaps you’re a financial firm looking to make use of articles, guides and videos for your marketing. Yet how can you put them to best use? Whilst these assets are inherently useful, you will get the most benefit out of them if you can assign them a place within an effective marketing strategy.
Here at Clients Plus, our service does focus on providing off-the-shelf content for financial firms. Yet our past experience is also heavily grounded in helping financial businesses craft a strong marketing strategy which sustains them towards their goals.
Here, we offer some thoughts on how you might develop your own marketing strategy further – so you can more effectively leverage the kinds of content assets which you can find here, or elsewhere.
Step 1: Survey the Situation
The first step in any marketing strategy involves taking an honest look at where you are. This is very similar to how a financial planner starts their own process with a client – i.e. you sit down together to conduct a thorough investigation of the client’s finances, their assets and liabilities.
Only when you have a comprehensive picture of your current marketing situation can your financial firm begin to start plotting its course towards its desired goals. There are many ways to achieve this, but here are two possible approaches which you might use:
- SWOT analysis. Here, you look at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and strengths of your financial firm through a “marketing lens”. For instance, perhaps one of your strengths is that you have a great email list which you could potential market your content to. A weakness, however, might be that your website is out of date and could do with a refresh.
- PESTER analysis. This framework encourages you to analyse your business and its marketing profile by taking into account the wider context of politics, economics, society (e.g. culture), technology, environmental issues and regulatory matters. In 2020, of course, the big change to the macroenvironment which touches many of these areas is the situation with COVID-19. How might the pandemic affect your approach to content marketing in the coming months and years, for instance?
Step 2: Ascertain Your Audience
Once you’ve thoroughly gone through step 1 above, the next crucial aspect of your financial firm to assess is your audience. Who are you looking to reach with your marketing, and does this reflect your current client base? How would you describe their main features?
Often, marketers recommend creating one or more “buyer personas” which encapsulate some of your key target audiences – along with their demographics and psychographics. For instance, perhaps you have a persona called John which is 55 years old, has £200,000 currently built up in his pension pot and who is looking to increase his contributions in an intelligent way as his house is nearly paid down and as his retirement date looms ever closer.
Identifying personas like these can be very useful to help focus your content marketing. After all, certain topics and content angles are likely to be more relevant than others – depending on who you are targeting.
Step 3: Determine Goals & Strategy
At this point, you should have a clearer idea of where your business stands in the marketplace and who you are looking to target with your marketing. Now, it’s time to drill down further and ask yourself where you want your business to be in the marketplace in 1, 2 or more years’ time. Here, there are at least four possible directions (or strategies) which you might adopt:
- Increase market penetration. This strategy involves focusing your efforts on increasing your share of your current target market, relative to competitors. For instance, if you currently hold 30% of your local financial advice/planning market, perhaps you might aim to grow this to 50% over the next 3 years.
- Service/product development. Here, your strategy might focus on selling new products or services to your existing market. As an example, suppose you largely dominate your market for selling pension advice but not for protection. By developing your protection offering, you could hope to increase your sales and revenue without needing to move into a new market.
- Market development. Under this strategy you could sell more of your existing products/services to a new marketplace. If you largely dominate one local financial planning marketplace, for instance, then perhaps you could open another office in a new location and seek to grow your client base there.
- Diversification. This approach involves developing entirely new products and services in order to go after a completely new market.
Once you’ve established the overall direction for your marketing, it’s important to then set some concrete marketing goals for your business to aim towards – to help move you in this direction. A popular and effective framework to draw up these goals is the SMART approach, which refers to goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
This process involves quite a lot of effort – but is well worth the time and investment. It will help to guide which marketing tactics are most suitable for your business, and will play a big role in helping determine which content you might need to facilitate your marketing plan.
Here at Clients Plus, we offer a wide range of financial content marketing assets for financial firms which are pursuing different strategies and which are at various stages in their marketing journey. We encourage you to check out our marketplace of content to see if any of our articles, guides and videos may be useful to your plan. If you’re looking for ongoing content such as a client newsletter, then financial firms can also take a look at our great monthly packages here.