The Social King: Content

content

Last month, John Anderson wrote Show Don’t Tell. Use Content to Distinguish Yourself from the Crowd. In it he explained that creating and distributing marketing content could be the missing link when it comes to getting prospects in the door and differentiating yourself from other advisors.  “Create the content; spread it around and your target clients will find you,” John suggested.

I decided to use this post – and the next one – to detail how to create the content, and how to distribute it via social. I’m sure you’ve heard it before “Content is king… but distribution is queen,” and we all know that the queens really rule the roost, so to speak.

The King: Content

All social content should fall into one of the 4 Es

  • Educational: things like saving for college, elder care, retirement planning
  • Emotional: consider client case studies, philanthropic initiatives, personal milestones
  • Empowering: for instance life lessons, helping divorcees become financially stable, saving for a first home purchase, community outreach
  • Entertaining: topics like holidays, personnel spotlights, industry related memes or GIFs, current events

Note, “sales pitch” is not listed. By focusing on the 4 Es and not on selling, you are building your reputation and establishing yourself up as a resource for your clients, and in turn, prospective clients. “E-type” content is sharable content, and sharable content expands your social reach. No one is going to share a sales pitch, but an educational article about reducing student loan debt – totally sharable!

And what types of content get shared the most? Content that is easily digestible and quick to consume (around 1,000 words). Third party content like top 10 lists, videos, polls and quizzes are great for quick shares, but why not consider writing you own content?

Blogging is something that can not only set you apart from your competitors, but can also help you build and promote your own personal brand. By doing your own writing, you are advertising (and hopefully confirming to your clients) that you are a subject matter expert. Need more convincing? Read How Advisors Can Use Blogs to Boost their AUM.

Write about what you know and for your intended audience. Just because it makes sense to you, doesn’t necessarily mean it makes sense to your client. This is a great opportunity to take a complicated topic and really break it down into a simple, easy to understand format (remember educational is one of those 4 “Es”).

Struggling for ideas?

  • Talk to your clients. What are they interested in knowing more about?  What keeps them up at night? What difficult concept can you simplify and educate them on?
  • Client case studies.  Have you helped a special needs family prepare for the future? Is there a niche that you specialize in that you could expand upon? Did you work with a millennial client to help reduce student loan debt and prepare for buying a first house?  Think emotional for this type of content. What will really connect with your readers?
  • Read other industry blogs, and piggyback off of a topic. Do you disagree with a blogger?  Write a rebuttal, or expand on the topic. The best part about this is you can increase your reach by linking to the original post and encourage discussions.
  • Industry conferences or webinars. These events are great for content brainstorming. What did you learn that was new? Can you make a top 10 list of trends that you learned about? Or maybe a top 5 list of things you disagree with?

Get Writing

Put pen to paper (or hand to keyboard) and get your thoughts down. I find it best to work off of a simple outline:

  1. Working title/topic
  2. Intro
  3. Key points
  4. Closing/call to action.

It should go without saying, but always edit and proofread your blog. If possible, have another set of eyes review your post for typos and editorial suggestions. When you can, link to supporting content from third parties to help with search engine optimization (SEO) and reach. Use visuals when it makes sense (charts, graphs, etc.), and source accordingly. Hubspot’s blog writing formula also has some great tips for new bloggers.

Finally, work with your compliance department to ensure your post follows any social media guidelines and regulations that your firm, and/or Broker Dealer may have in place. While you are at it, now is a great time to also start thinking about any social messaging you might want to use for promoting your blog.  These messages should also be reviewed by compliance.

Next month I’ll discuss the queen of the equation: distribution; where to publish your blog, how to promote it, who to share it with, how to use social media effectively to get the most bang for your buck. Until then… get writing!

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Heather Wilson

Heather Wilson

Heather Wilson is the social media contributor for Practically Speaking and social media manager within the SEI Advisor Network.

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