How Content Marketing Helps Your SEO

If you’ve been paying any attention to the marketing landscape, the words “Content Marketing” have probably caught your eye. Why has such a simple concept—creating timely and informative content to share on your website—come to dominate the marketing world? In addition to being relatively simple and affordable, content marketing has taken center stage for one key reason: It is an excellent way to maximize the impact of your SEO. 

But how specifically does content marketing increase your SEO? Here are some brief explanations of their impact (and some tips to put content marketing to work for you)!

So much space!

Take some time to imagine that you’re The Google Search Engine Algorithm. You can’t see the pictures posted on each website. You can’t watch videos. So how do you determine what each website is about? The written word, of course! 

If you’re not posting regular blogs, Google has limited information it can use to determine what industry you’re in, what clientele you serve, and what search terms are most relevant to you. The algorithms would have to rely on the sparse information on your homepage and interior pages to figure out how to rank you. Posting regular blogs gives Google more information to work with, and the more keywords you integrate into your content, the better it gets to know your business. So help Google out! Post regular blogs to strengthen its algorithm and improve your site ranking. 

You have our attention…

In addition to improving your SEO Keyword Rankings, content marketing performs another essential function for your website: Keeping the attention of your audience. As Google’s algorithm calculates its search rankings, it measures how many visitors frequent your site and how long they stay on each page. 

Posting regular blog posts has a twofold effect on your website: Previous visitors check back in to see if any new blogs have been posted, and new visitors take the time to look at your latest postings to see if your services fit their financial needs. In both cases, the time they take to scroll through your new blog post ranks you higher in Google’s SEO rankings, so keep posting that new content!

Show off your unique point of view!

One of the biggest challenges in developing an SEO keyword strategy is finding a niche that no one else is writing about. As a Financial Advisor, this gives you a wonderful opportunity to show off what sets you apart from other professionals. Is there a service or opportunity that you provide clients that flies under the radar in most firms? Is there a particular question that your prospects would type into Google that could lead them right to your website? Take some time to show off something special, and remember to be more specific than “How to prepare for retirement?” 

As you dive into your marketing strategy, content creation is an effective and inexpensive way to stand out from the crowd. By utilizing a keyword strategy and posting content regularly, you can optimize your SEO and make Google go gaga for your site! 

Creating Marketing Channels for Your Content

So you’ve mastered the first steps of your marketing strategy. You’re posting bi-weekly blogs, drumming up your following on social media, and emailing clients to share your new and exciting insights. You’re ready to expand your marketing efforts even further, and the first step is to find new channels to share your amazing insights. So where do you start?

Recycling is all the rage right now, so why not extend it to your marketing efforts? By giving your existing content a facelift, you can repurpose it to attract a whole new audience. Here are some fun, out-of-the-box ideas to put a more creative spin on your old whitepapers and blog posts:

  • Infographics: These bright animations are a wonderful way to attract an audience that is too busy to read more than a paragraph at a time. Hire a graphic designer, pull out the key talking points of your content, and create a work of art!
  • SlideShare: LinkedIn’s recent acquisition of SlideShare makes it a key component of a LinkedIn Marketing Strategy. Repurpose your content as a PowerPoint, then upload it to SlideShare to send it out into the world! For added impact, send it out to qualified leads and show off your industry knowledge.
  • Videos: Record a 2-3 minute clip explaining the key points of your content and share it across all of your marketing channels. As an added bonus, the camera gives you the opportunity to show off your personality and build rapport with your prospects before you even connect.

Rather than focusing on the constant creation of new content, ensure you are getting complete use out of the whitepapers and blogs you’ve already created. Putting a bright new veneer on your existing content is an excellent way to attract viewers who don’t have the time to read a full page of content, and it allows you to maximize the impact of your hard work.

Rocket Talk: How to Make Videos Your Customers Can’t Resist

 

You have probably heard how much potential there is to connect with your clientele through video. But how do you make your videos really stand out and attract an audience? Raudel Enrique and Kirk Faulkner join us for another episode of Rocket Talk and discuss 10 different things that anyone can do to make their videos irresistible.

3 Tools To Help You Generate Blog Ideas

As a financial advisor, listening to the concerns of your prospects is the very first step to expanding your business. What fears or stressors drive the average person to hire a financial advisor? What topics should you touch on to ensure that you’re delivering content that matters to your target market? 

Here’s a surprising suggestion: Keyword planners! These tools have been an integral part of the marketing landscape for years, but they are often used just to decide what specialized SEO “buzzwords” to plug into your latest blog post. What a waste! Financial advisors should be using these tools to focus on the big picture instead: What are your prospects looking for?

Here are a few Keyword Planners that can help you answer that question:

Answer the Public

This innovative, long-tailed research tool shows you what real people have been asking about a certain subject. Unlike other keyword planners, this tool breaks the results down into easily-digestible data and even provides an alphabetized list of supplementary keywords.

To put this into practice, search for “Retirement.” You will see the 198 most commonly asked questions surrounding this keyword, including “Are retirement pensions taxed?” and “Will retirement age increase?” 

These are likely questions plaguing your potential prospects as well, so address their concerns! Write blog posts including these exact questions—and some of the suggested keywords from the “Alphabeticals” section—to answer the public and attract new prospects!

BuzzSumo’s Top 10 

BuzzSumo’s innovative marketing tool scours the internet for the top 10 shared pieces relating to your search, allowing you to evaluate your competition. What are prospects most likely to share with their friends and family? What type of content will drive the most visitors to your site? This tool is a great way to stay on top of what content is trending in the financial services industry (and craft a strategy to catapult one of your pieces into the Top 10)! 

Tried and True: The Actual Conversation

Though keyword planning tools are an excellent way to survey the content landscape, there’s no replacement for the old-fashioned conversation. Ask your ideal clients what their biggest financial anxieties were before they signed up for your services. What fears kept them up at night? What did they Google as they scoured the internet for answers? Go right to the source and ask your clients what drew them to your doorstep. This is the ultimate keyword planner in a financial advisor’s playbook!

Your prospects are leaning on search engines and social media to find answers to their financial questions. In order to draw them to your site, leverage your financial experience by creating content tailored to their queries. Whether you utilize a keyword planner or a good, old-fashioned conversation, you should be answering their main concerns in your latest content. 

Content and the Art of Persuasion

When compared to the marketing strategies of your average industry, financial advisors face a particular challenge. People hire financial advisors to avoid worrying about the very services you are trying to offer. For the average person, finances are confusing. Math is frustrating. Saving for retirement is stressful. Though Benjamin Franklin described Compound Interest as “the eighth wonder of the world,” the average American will yawn (or roll their eyes) if you start explaining it in detail. 

So how do you persuade your prospects that you’re the right person to hire…without diving into those boring and complicated numbers? Here are some other techniques you can use to make your services shine, taken from the true masters of persuasion: famous authors!

  1. A Tale Of Two Clients

Humans are naturally drawn to a compelling narrative. Our ancestors used to bond by sitting around this awesome new thing called “fire” and telling stories about the origins of the earth. Though you’re not working with anything this grandiose, you can still make a compelling argument by contrasting the stories of two very different clients. Client #1 is motivated and starts investing with you right at the start of their career. Client #2 dilly-dallies a little bit, buys a fancy sports car right out of college, and is struggling to catch up. Comparing the financial future of these two characters illustrates how your company can help people in different situations, and, if you tell the story well, prospects will see themselves in one of the characters you create.

  1. The Sound And The Fury

One of the quickest ways to unravel your argument is to use generic language that forces your reader to drift off. In the Financial Industry, there are certain cliches that your prospects have heard a thousand times. “Your dream retirement” and “Planning for your financial future” are some of the worst offenders. Try to think of hip new ways to describe these boring old concepts. After all, William Faulkner didn’t describe life as a “struggle” or a “challenge.” Instead, he rehashed one of Shakespeare’s most famous lines as a metaphor for his tragic novel. 

  1. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Repetition is key for marketers in the modern world, so take a lesson from Dr. Seuss. We are constantly inundated with advertisements on our phones, on TV, and even splayed up on billboards as we drive to work. Most prospects won’t pay attention to your content until they recognize your logo and have a basic understanding of what you do. Sending content out into the world via email, social media, and other forms of advertising builds the first stages of “brand awareness” and primes your prospects for future interactions with your content. 

Using these persuasive techniques allows you to market your business…without falling back on those boring numbers. As you reach out to clients that are less mathematically-inclined, tell a compelling narrative to make your business stand out! 

4 Tips To Utilize Freelancers To Create Great Content

If you’re like most financial advisors, time is one of your most valuable assets. Hiring freelancers to handle your content creation frees up your schedule while bringing another expert set of eyes to your team. However, as with any other job, hiring the right person is the key to success. How do you ensure you’re working with the best possible writer? 

Define Your Style

The first step to hiring the right copywriter is to find someone who can match your rhetorical style. Take some time to consider your ideal client and what they will find most compelling. Are you working with an older demographic? Remaining factual may be your best bet. Do you want to attract younger generations? Then you will need to bring a sense of humor to the table in order to hold their interest. Once you have defined your company’s style, look for writers who fit that tone so your branding remains consistent throughout your website. Ask for samples of their work that fit your brand’s style so you can be sure they are up to the challenge!

Test Those Testimonials

When working with a freelance copywriter, you want more than just the end product. A great working relationship is just as important as the writing itself, and testimonials are the best way to judge what your experience will be. Was the writer timely in their communication? Did they deliver drafts right on schedule? Were they open to feedback and willing to make the necessary changes? All of these are questions that you should be asking a writer’s former clients. 

It’s Not Just The Copy

Though a compelling narrative is key, a competent freelancer also has to maximize the impact of your new content by using SEO keywords throughout the copy. Keep an eye out for freelancers who mention “SEO” on their resume, and ask how they have successfully incorporated this into their previous work. 

Quality Over Quantity

Chances are, your clients don’t have the time to read a 5,000-word blog post, so content needs to quickly deliver the info they need to know. In order to confirm that this is a high priority for your freelancer as well, ensure that you are paying by the project. Avoid freelancers that charge per word, as they are incentivized to make your content as wordy as possible. Your content should be clean and quick! 

Hiring a freelancer is a practical step for a busy financial advisor, but you need to ensure that you’re bringing on the right person. These tips will help you narrow your search and pick the best fit for your business! 

 

Rocket Talk: How to Work With a Designer to Get Great Visuals

 

You don’t have to be a graphic designer to get the benefits of great design. You just need to learn how to collaborate with a designer to get the best visuals for your website possible. In this episode of Rocket Talk, Kirk Faulkner and Raudel Enrique sit down and talk about the ways that you can make sure your experience working with a designer is not only fruitful but fun as well!

Influencer Marketing and the Financial Advisor

Influencer marketing is the art of using paid endorsements from people who have attracted sizable and loyal audiences online. In a recent Digiday article about the real cost of influencer marketing, it stated that the going rate for an influencer recommendation was $1000 for every 100,000 Instagram followers they have. YouTube star Pewdie Pie, with his 50 million followers, earns a staggering $15 million dollars a year with endorsements and ad revenue. This is all to prove the point: influencer marketing is a very real thing.

How can a financial advisor use influencer marketing to grow their business?

It might seem like influencer marketing is only for big public-facing brands that want a lot of exposure. The truth is, influencer marketing is a perfect strategy for service professionals with niche markets that are looking to both find new leads and increase their cachet within the types of communities, online and off, that will increase prospect comfort and likelihood to take action.

Financial advisors are often worried that engaging an influencer will violate compliance rules. While you do need to be careful when working with a thought leader or expert, it should not stop you from trying influencer marketing. The key is to create content with the person rather than just have them recommend you. This way it is not a recommendation, it is a collaboration.

With a little bit of time and effort, you can leverage the power of influencer marketing to increase your own brand’s engagement, recognition, and reputation. The first step is finding the right influencer.

How do I find influencers in my market?

When it comes to finding a good influencer to work with you should not be too worried about which platform they are on. While Facebook and LinkedIn will probably be the most common if you find a Twitter profile, Instagram personality or Tumblr page that reaches your audience you should engage with them.

The trick to finding influencers is to search, search, search. Think about your ideal client. What are the types of search requests they would type? Which words would they use? As you begin to search words and phrases on the different platforms, profiles will emerge that have some amount of authority in each arena.

Here are some types of people who might be good influencers for your business:

  • Authors
  • Journalists
  • Thought Leaders
  • Community Leaders
  • Lawyers
  • Bloggers
  • Politicians

Engaging an influencer is simple. Reach out to them and ask them if they would be willing to consider an online recommendation. How much you offer to reimburse them (if anything) is based entirely on what you are asking for. Some influencers may be happy just to interview you in a blog or podcast. Check out the service Help a Reporter Out.

What should I look for in an influencer?

All influencers, whether they be in the world of fashion, food or Futons, have three criteria on which they can be judged: Reach, Resonance, and Relevance.

Reach - How big is their audience? Do they match your ideal client?

Resonance - How good are they at getting that audience to take action? What is their engagement level?

Relevance - How important are they in the market you are trying to influence? How much will it matter they are recommending you?

What should I look for in an influencer’s audience?

The only way to judge audiences is to look at similar influencers and get a sense of where the numbers are. Another aspect to watch is how engaged their audience is. If a Facebook page has 150,000 likes but none of their posts have a single engagement, chances are they paid to pump their numbers and don’t have much relevance to their audience.

Pay careful attention to the follower to following ratio. If the numbers are the same, chances are the influencer spends more time pumping up their followers that creating meaningful content.

With a little effort and ingenuity, you can align yourself with powerful voices online that will increase your exposure to ideal audiences and improve your chances of closing new business.

What Tyra Banks Can Teach Financial Advisors About Branding

Tyra Banks is an international supermodel, a reality tv star, and a successful business owner. Now she is trying her hand at a new profession: Professor of Branding. She is co-teaching a class called The Art of Branding at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. In a recent interview with USA Today, Tyra shared some of the main points she tries to convey to her students; ideas that have helped her shape a successful and unique brand voice.

While the worlds of international modeling and financial advisory are different in many ways, the concepts she outlined as her curriculum are as applicable to advisors as any other profession that relies on cultivating reputation and finding a unique brand voice.

BRAND VOICE IS ALL ABOUT DIFFERENTIATION

I really had a natural way of walking that was a little different, sometimes a little wacky, and I would notice people smiling. I was like ‘Oh wow. They like this. This is my signature walk.’ So that’s when I understood …that differentiation was important.’’

As the world becomes increasingly connected, competition will continue to grow at exponential rates. The way that you set yourself aside from the crowd is perhaps the most important aspect of your financial advisor brand.

One great strategy for winning the game of differentiating yourself is to change the game completely. In their book, Blue Ocean Strategy, W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne outline the process for creating your own blue water. The metaphor comes from the feeding frenzy that happens in the ocean when a bunch of fish and sharks all show up to the same place. A smart fish won’t head towards the red water with all the competition. They will go out to the blue water where they can be away from the crowd.

How does a financial advisor find their own blue water? By taking Tyra’s advice and discovering what it is about your practice that people remember. Talk with your clients and coworkers. It is even okay to talk with prospects who considered you and went with someone else. In all cases, find out what the deciding factor that swayed a decision was for the individual. A pattern should emerge of what special talents and benefits you offer your clientele. Once you’ve identified your special “walk”, recreate your business offering around that. If it is unique, you will find yourself in clear blue water. 

COMMUNICATE BRAND VOICE THROUGH CONTENT

There’s a personal brand that you’re building even if you don’t know that you are. So I think it’s best to be equipped with the tools to make sure that you are shaping something that can serve you in the future.”

One thing we hear over and over from advisors is “I am not a writer. I am not a creative type.” While we understand that the whole reason you got into financial planning was to be an advisor, it is undeniable that good marketing relies on good content. If you want to create a brand voice you will need ammunition with which to do that. Or as Tyra says you need to be “equipped with the tools.”

In her newest book, Everybody Writes, Ann Handley observes that:

If you have a website, you are a publisher. If you are on social media, you are in marketing. And that means that we are all relying on our words to carry our marketing messages. We are all writers.” 

She goes on to describe ways that people who are not writers for a living can nevertheless become competent content creators. 

The simplest way to aid in your writing is to get clear on what you are saying in the first place. Handley recommends understanding three objectives before you even put finger to keyboard:

  1. What are you trying to achieve? 
  2. What information, exactly, are you trying to communicate? 
  3. Why should your audience care?” 

Take time to answer these questions, perhaps with another person. Jot down your ideas and get a solid answer to each question. Make it as clear and easy to understand as possible. Before you know it you have created a piece of ‘quality content’, which Handley defines:

Quality content means content that is packed with clear utility and is brimming with inspiration, and it has relentless empathy for the audience.”

PROTECT YOUR BRAND VOICE FROM COPYCATS

The most important thing is to watch your competition and to see if your brand that is now very successful is being copied, because when people see something that’s good, everybody jumps on that bandwagon. Boo, don’t you know you should just make up your own thing, because we’re about to change this, and you’re going to look obsolete because you’re going to be copying something that I don’t even do anymore?’”

Once you succeed in finding a unique brand voice, it won’t be long before you notice the copycats. Imitation may be the highest form of flattery, but in online branding, it is impossible to tell who did it first, only who did it best.

If you find yourself with pretenders coming after you, what’s the best strategy to retain your unique brand voice? According to Kathy Sierra, author of the Creating Passionate Users Blog, the worst thing you can do is try to outspend them in advertising. 

Instead of out-spending your competitors, out-teach them… Those who teach stand the best chance of getting people to become passionate. And those with the most passionate [clients] don’t need an ad campaign when they’ve got [client] evangelists doing what evangelists do… talking about their passion.”

This strategy inspired the SaaS success story 37signals, creator of the popular Basecamp, to focus all of its marketing around “upgrading their customers.” By providing their readers, prospects, and clients with the best, most insightful information, the company was able to build up a loyal following. Co-founder David Hansson put it this way in his book Rework:

We’re trying to build an audience; we’re not just trying to have [clients]. Buying people’s attention with a magazine or online banner ad is one thing. Earning their loyalty by teaching them forms a whole different connection. They’ll trust you more. They’ll respect you more.”

GET STARTED TODAY

Once you have established your brand voice, practice making content and focus your efforts on teaching your clients and prospects valuable information, you will have successfully created an online presence that is not only unique but effective in growing your business.

If you would like to learn more about creating your online brand we invite you to watch this archived version of a live video broadcast called The 3 Keys to Branding For Financial Advisors. It is a complete interactive course and workbook that will help you develop your online brand voice.

3 Signs You Need A Copywriter

mobile apps concept

Why do Presidents hire speech writers? So they can deliver a comprehensive vision that appeals to individuals across the political spectrum. By consulting an expert with a different point of view, they can broaden their perspective and reach the hearts and minds of the people.

Financial advisors often find themselves in a similar position. While nurturing your current relationships, you seek new opportunities to expand your network and grow your business. As you lay the groundwork for your new website, you may have considered consulting a copywriter. There are the standard advantages of working with an experienced writer: it saves you valuable time, provides the assurance of having grammatically-sound content, and removes the school-like stress of writing.

However important those elements may be, a copywriter’s value extends well beyond the surface level.

Here are 3 Reasons You Need a Copywriter:

1. You Want A Broader Perspective

Great copywriters provide far more than verbiage alone. They give advisors perspective on their services, their principles, and the qualities that separate them from the competition. The copywriter’s primary job is to step back from the proverbial painting so they can see the full picture of the advisor’s business. Not unlike a prospective client, they are essentially an outsider who comes to your website free of preconceptions. While guided by the advisor’s industry expertise and vision for their new site, the writer can bring an objectivity to the content that individuals in your own firm might not be able to match.

By asking advisors how they work with investors, what services they provide, and why people should seek their guidance, advisors are compelled to think critically about their business. This process not only inspires the creation of compelling copy, but it helps advisors be reminded about the strengths and uniqueness of their firms.

For professional copywriters and amateur authors alike, great content depends on first building a broad perspective and then taking a specific approach to writing. At Advisor Launchpad, we start with phone calls and questionnaires geared to better understand who you are, what your firm provides, and how we can help define your business in the marketplace.

By adhering to this approach, we often find that many advisors bring exciting and unique ideas to the conversation. While we endeavor to create impactful and original messaging on your behalf, we often times simply draw out your own vision and find the best ways to apply it to your website. Through this discovery process, we can guide your biggest advantages into truly original copy.

2. You Need a Content Game Plan

In the landscape of website content, there are slogans and summaries, home pages, mission statements, services sections and more. If you’re starting from scratch, envisioning the scope of your website can seem daunting. How do you fill out all those individual pages while keeping the copy fresh?

Before writing the content, we work with financial advisors to understand the major pieces of information they want to convey. Given modern readers are more distracted than ever, there is a limited window of time to deliver your message. This demands a content game plan to help guide readers through your website. From identifying the heart of your home page message to constructing the truest mission statement, you need a map to get customers to the center of the maze: your contact information and the opportunity to get in touch.

A copywriter can help you organize your library of content in the most potent way possible.

3. You Want Better Biographies

Most people dislike writing about themselves, especially when trying to convert their job experience into a reasonably interesting biography.

This is where copywriters provide their greatest value. Whether you’re a team of two or ten, your firm needs strong biographies that not only speak well of each member, but that contrast with one another to enhance the team dynamic. By focusing on the working process of each advisor and the values they employ on their job, biographies begin to take shape.

Because copywriters come to your business with an unassuming perspective, they can help select the bits of information that are most pertinent to your bio. By striking the balance between your professional accomplishments and your personal interests, they can strengthen your appeal in the eyes of prospective clients.

About Advisor Launchpad

We specialize in helping financial advisors craft unique copy that speaks to the value of their firm. Our team focuses on understanding you and your company, and we work closely with advisors to match our messaging with the brand you hope to build.

Wherever you are in your website journey, we can help you create content to capture your readers’ attention and grow your business.

Reach out to Advisor Launchpad to get started on building a website, optimizing your existing content, or ensuring your digital marketing plan is effective.