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Anyone engaging in digital marketing for lead generation is more than likely employing some form of Content Marketing. Regardless of what type of marketing tactics you use, content marketing should be part of your process, not something separate. However, simply creating content is not the solution. To have an effective and successful content marketing strategy and program, you must not only provide valuable content, but also find the right balance of content types.
At Veriday, we offer a Digital Marketing platform for the field teams of organizations in regulated industries called Digital Agent; example: Financial Advisors and Insurance Brokers. This means that our clients have thousands of users, each one of them with their own online presence and marketing capabilities; each one needing to effectively create and share content to attract new prospects and nurture client relationships.
For these financial advisors, they are having to balance their marketing efforts to generate new opportunities while also performing their core responsibilities. This is not a unique problem, everyone from local businesses, entrepreneurs, even corporate marketing teams have to balance content marketing with their other responsibilities.
It is this need that makes a balanced content mix so critical, as finding the right balance in your content mix will allow you to maximize growth without sacrificing resourcing.
This is the most common and widely used type of content. Branded Content is content created by the brand with the objective to attract and convert readers to their product or service offering. Using branded content allows a financial advisor to positive themselves as a thought leader, and a trusted source for their target audience.
However, Branded Content is very resource intensive to ideate, research, draft, and publish content. This resource demand makes it difficult to create content in mass, especially for lifestyle or news content.
With the investment required for Branded Content, these should be focused around your sales funnel that is focused around attracting, engaging, and converting clients.
When businesses are looking to increase their content output, curated content is often the next step. Curated Content is the gathering of content from various sources around a given topic to be shared.
Curated Content can be an effective way for a financial advisor to position themselves as a one-stop shop for all related material. Alternatively, Curated Content can be focused around lifestyle content to be more personable and connect with your audience.
Businesses need to be careful of using Curated Content as it should not be the only type and too much automated publishing can Cannibalize and hide your Branded Content.
Licensed Content, or Third-Party Content, is content that has been created by someone else who maintains legal ownership of it. This is an effective tool to leverage another thought leader content to provide value to your clients and prospects. There are typically fees that come with licensed content. Overinvesting in this type doesn’t help position the brand as a trusted source, only the author. Furthermore, these fees can become a large expense.
For Financial Advisors, this creates the experience that you are looking out for your clients and ensuring their success is your ultimate priority.
Sponsored Content is when material is written by a different source but placed on a business’ website to resemble the other branded content published by the host.
For Financial Advisors, this is very common practice where a financial institution will create content for their financial advisors to leverage on their websites or in their email newsletters. This can help financial advisors to fill out their Content Marketing. However, this is not a substitution for branded content as it provides no personal voice to the financial advisor and is likely being utilised across hundreds of other advisors.
With these different types of content, which ones should businesses use? How can Financial Advisors balance these different types of content to maximize marketing outcomes without requiring more resources?
All content is not created equal. Certain content types are better suited (and sometimes a MUST) for specific moments in the client journey. Every business will have a different balance to meet their needs but here is a rough allocation to achieving a Content Mix:
Branded Content is critical at every step of the client journey, you want to attract them to you as a trusted source, educate them on your offerings, and continue to stay in front of them. However, the level of resources required to create branded content for the top-of-funnel stages of initial engagement and education can be time consuming.
Curated Content fits best at the beginning of the journey to increase touch points and position yourself as a trusted source; as well as after they become a client to keep them up to date with the latest news or delight them with lifestyle content - causing deeper engagement and stimulation to refer or demand additional products.
Licensed Content is an additional opportunity for you to engage and delight your prospects. Due to the financial investment, it is best kept for late-stage opportunities to try to get them over the finish line by reinforcing your perspective in an owned environment.
Sponsored aka Corporate Content is also able to be leveraged at the beginning of the sales cycle and when they become a client. Financial advisors should avoid using this content around the middle and bottom of the funnel as people are looking to do business with an advisor, not a faceless financial institution.
Content Marketing is a critical component of a successful marketing program. However, creating content can be a very resource intensive activity. Financial Advisors should evaluate the different types of content they are, or could be using. Ultimately, Branded Content and Sponsored Content should be viewed as assets. These pieces will be the most important form as it builds the trust and converts for that individual financial advisor. This content can be further supported by Curated and Licensed - which are operating expenditures. Just like food, a balanced diet is important and don’t want too much of one thing.
To Learn More about finding the right Content Mix. Watch On-Demand Veriday’s Keep Up With The Demand For Content: Effective Content Marketing Strategies for Financial Services.
Check out our other blog posts for more on marketing, content curation, user stories, and more.
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