The 4 Key Pillars of Strong Content Marketing Strategies for Financial Advisors

Hillary Gale

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Everyday Americans are in desperate need of personalized, high-quality financial advice. The statistics regarding financial literacy and confidence in our citizens reveal a bleak gap in knowledge. 

  • More than half of American households wouldn’t be able to cover a $1,000 emergency expense with savings. 
  • Only half the respondents in a survey of 2,345 workers and retirees have actually tried to calculate how much money they will need in retirement. 
  • A whopping 39.3% of respondents in another survey stated they have no one they can turn to for trusted financial guidance.

This financial knowledge gap spans generations and income levels, creating an exciting and profitable opportunity for financial advisors to show up online. When individuals have questions about their finances, they want a trusted expert—someone with both authority (and personality) to help them navigate the unknown world of personal finance. 

Financial advisors can fill this gap to educate their audiences and build a strong pipeline of warm leads for their business in the process. As Tremaine Willis, Financial Planner of Mind Over Money, notes, “[Content marketing] gives prospective clients a chance to get to know you and learn more about the value you can provide with little commitment.”

What Is Content Marketing for Financial Advisors?

Content marketing is the creation and distribution of consistent, valuable, and relevant content that appeals directly to your target market. Your financial content might include blog posts, social media infographics, podcast episodes, webinars, and more. (It’s important to note, however, that a good content marketing strategy certainly doesn’t need to include all of these things!) 

The goal of content marketing is to develop a relationship with an audience of ideal clients to create a pipeline of warm leads. Through the content you post, you provide value to your target audience, establish yourself as a trusted source of financial information, and make others aware of what you do and how you can help them.

Content marketing bridges the gap between the population’s need for legitimate, personalized financial information and your expertise and experience. The Internet can provide dry, general information, but only you can bring your dynamic creativity and humanness.

3 Content Marketing Mistakes I See Financial Advisors Make

While content marketing is undoubtedly a fantastic and proven strategy for financial advisors to build trust and gain clients, many common mistakes can occur during the creation and execution processes. 

I’ve seen many advisors get stuck on:

  • Only creating one type of content.
  • Creating content for the sake of it or simply because they think they should. 
  • Creating general finance content that doesn’t appeal to a niche audience. 

Unfortunately, these mistakes typically result in content marketing that’s not overly effective in encouraging qualified leads to book discovery calls. Let’s unpack each one in more detail below.

Mistake #1: Only Creating One Type of Content

If you’re only creating one type of content, you’re not allowing yourself the chance to engage with your audience on a deeper level (or vice versa!). 

For example, if you’re only showing up on social media, your audience typically remains a passive follower, only interested in your free, bite-sized tips and insights.

Or maybe you have a value-packed blog full of informative and engaging content, but you’re not driving traffic to it through social media or email newsletters. This leaves your blog posts solely at the mercy of organic search traffic. 

And while search engine optimization (the process of getting your content to show up when certain keywords are searched) is an excellent way to grow your reach organically, it’s a long-term and tricky strategy that’s totally beholden to search engine algorithms.

Mistake #2: Creating Content Just for the Sake of It

Maybe you’ve heard of content marketing before, and you’ve haphazardly committed to providing market updates or crafting occasional blogs for your website. Maybe you secured an Instagram handle a couple of years ago, but there are a few cobwebs hanging around your profile. 

The problem with creating content simply because you feel like you should is that you don’t have any real strategy behind it. A content marketing strategy involves clearly defined goals, a target audience, a consistent, comprehensive content execution plan, ways to measure your success, and more. 

Every piece of content you publish should strategically move your ideal client prospects forward in their journey of getting to know you to booking a discovery call. Various content platforms each play a unique role in helping you accomplish this. 

Executing a content marketing strategy and creating content for the sake of it is the difference between nurturing a relationship and pure search engine luck. 

Mistake #3: Creating General Finance Content

The internet is rife with financial noise. From news headlines to finance media giants like Bankrate, NerdWallet, and Investopedia publishing general financial advice, your content runs the risk of getting lost in the sea of financial information. 

That is, unless you have a specific niche, and you’re speaking directly to them in all of your content. When people come across content in their online spaces that speak directly to them and their specific problems, it’s going to grab their attention, they’re going to listen, and they’re going to want more. 

The Cost of These Mistakes

All these mistakes result in what I like to call content spaghetti. The content creation that’s happening is haphazard. It’s like throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping that something sticks. 

And if you’ve spent any time creating content or outsourcing it, you know that it’s either very time-consuming or very expensive—or both! 

As Jorey Bernstein, CEO of Bernstein Private Wealth Management, puts it: “Creating high-quality content on a consistent basis requires a significant investment of time and effort, which can be a barrier for some businesses.”

He goes on to say, “It’s important to have a clear strategy and goals for content marketing and to measure the effectiveness of your efforts over time.” Ultimately, content marketing is not something you want to leave up to chance. It’s an investment into your business that requires planning and strategy.

How to Go From Content Spaghetti to Content Lasagna

For your content marketing to actually result in nurtured relationships and booked discovery calls, you need to understand the content marketing ecosystem.

Think of your content strategy as assembling a delicious lasagna. Instead of simply throwing content at the wall that is the Internet, a savvy content creator layers their content like lasagna sheets. 

Each layer represents a different point in the customer journey, and just like the varied ingredients in a lasagna, each piece of content contributes to a rich and satisfying experience.

This methodical approach not only ensures a hearty and well-structured content offering but also creates a memorable and substantial experience for the audience that actually results in trust, engagement, and booked discovery calls.

4 Key Pillars of Content Marketing Strategies

If the thought of moving from content spaghetti to content lasagna has you feeling overwhelmed and unsure where to start, that’s okay! Up to this point, we’ve been talking about content marketing strategies for financial advisors in abstract, ideal terms.

Now, we’re going to talk about the concrete pieces—or pillars—that should make up an advisor’s content marketing strategy. 

First, we’ll dive into what each one looks like and how financial advisors can use them to their advantage. Then, we’ll talk about each pillar’s role in the overall strategy to move the audience from passive observer to booked discovery call. 

Below are the four key pillars of a robust content marketing strategy for financial advisors:

  • Social media 
  • Long-form content
  • Lead magnet
  • Email marketing

Let’s dive into more depth for each of these below.

Where Should Financial Advisors Show Up on Social Media?

The first place most new content creators start is on social media—and this is actually a great choice! Social media platforms are filled with potential leads and, depending on the platform you’re engaging on, are easily accessible without having to pay for ads or sponsored content. 

Creating engaging infographics and writing catchy captions are relatively quick and easy ways to get started on social media. Because of these low barriers to entry, social media is usually the place I recommend advisors get started when they’re first stepping into content creation. 

The key to making social media work for you is to show up on the right platform. You want to make sure you’re devoting time and energy (or outsourcing dollars) to the platform where your target audience is hanging out. 

Specialize in serving small business owners? LinkedIn may be the place for you. 

Are you an XY Planner helping high-net-worth Millennials plan for their future? Give Instagram a try. 

Simply finding out where your ideal audience is hanging out is one of the best and easiest ways to increase the likelihood of your content grabbing the right attention.

What Is Long-Form Content?

Long-form content is your main pillar, where you provide the most in-depth information and education. There are really three options to choose from when it comes to long-form content:

  • Blogging (text)
  • Podcasting (audio)
  • Youtube (video)

Choosing the right platform for you is a personal choice—it depends on where and how you’re comfortable showing up, but it also depends on what is most appealing and accessible to your audience. 

Long-form content provides the most value to your audience, and it’s highly shareable. By driving your audience to your long-form content in as many ways as you can (more on that below), you increase the chance that your audience will share the long-form content with members of their own network, thereby growing your audience for you!

What Is a Lead Magnet?

A lead magnet is possibly the most important piece of your content strategy—and it’s one that I don’t see many advisors including in their arsenal.

Essentially, a lead magnet is a gated piece of highly valuable content. It’s free in a monetary sense, but readers can only access it if they trade a very valuable piece of information: their email address.

The value of a lead magnet is twofold:

  1. You’re given insider access to this member of your audience. They’ve invited you into their virtual living room (their inbox) and given you permission to engage with them on a deeper level.
  2. This member of your audience has self-qualified as a warm lead and given you the signal that they’re interested in engaging with you more. 

A lead magnet has to be valuable enough to entice a member of your audience to download it. While good lead magnets range from PDFs to quizzes to 10- or 30-day email challenges—with lots of options in-between—the key is to create something that your audience really wants and will happily exchange their email for. 

What Kind of Emails Should Advisors Send?

Emailing is the final piece of the content marketing strategy puzzle for financial advisors—and sadly, it’s usually the one that gets the least amount of attention after lead magnets.

But emails are the place where a big shift happens for your audience. Before they subscribed to your email list—either through the download of a lead magnet or through a newsletter sign-up form—they were passive observers. They may have engaged in your social media posts or read a few of your blog posts, but you were just another influencer in their feed.

In their inbox, you can engage with them on a much more personal level. You can provide more targeted value to them. And because you’ve built this trust and online relationship with them, you’re in a much better position to encourage them to book a discovery call with you.

One important thing to recognize: Not all of your emails should ask subscribers to book a discovery call. The role of many of your emails should be to provide more value to them. In essence, your emails should continue building that positive relationship and trust.

Strategic email marketing execution can also move prospects further along the journey into making real contact with you.

How the 4 Content Pillars Work Together

As I mentioned before, content marketing is time-consuming and energy-intensive—or expensive if you choose to outsource it! So it’s important that the content you’re creating is operating at maximum efficiency. 

To help you visualize the role each pillar plays in your marketing ecosystem—or content marketing funnel—take a look at the graphic below. 

As you’ll notice, the movement between pillars isn’t completely linear: This helps you make the most of your content and provide the most value for your audience.

Pillar 1: Social Media

Social media is at the top because it’s the pillar that’s most likely to provide your audience with brand awareness. Social media may be the first place your audience encounters you, and it’s where you’ll connect with your audience at the earliest point in their journey.

Understand that your audience might not be ready to book a discovery call with you when they’ve only encountered you on social media. They might enjoy your posts, but they haven’t had time or space to really get to know you.

While you absolutely can include calls-to-action (CTAs) on your social media posts that invite followers to book a discovery call with you, I recommend against doing this too often.

Instead, use your social media posts to encourage further engagement with you. Drive your social media followers to your long-form content, where they’ll encounter more in-depth value and get to know you and your perspectives on a deeper level. You can also encourage your social media followers to download your lead magnet whenever appropriate.

Pillar 2: Long-Form Content

Once your audience is reading, listening, or watching your long-form content, you can encourage them to take the next step, which is to download your lead magnet. Your goal at the end of your long-form content is to make an even deeper connection with them. They’ve seen how much education you’re willing to give away for free—how valuable might your gated content be?

In addition to driving your audience to download your lead magnet, your long-form content should also link back to your social media profile. These links are helpful for anyone who has found your long-form content in the wild through SEO or other search methods. Funneling them back to your social profile gives you a direct line to their newsfeeds, ensuring they’ll encounter you consistently.

Pillar 3: Lead Magnet

Promote your lead magnet whenever and wherever you can—like candy tossed out at a parade, it’s free, highly satisfying, and deeply enticing. 

Don’t be shy about driving your audience to your lead magnet through both your social posts and your long-form content.

Once your audience downloads the lead magnet, congratulations! You’re in their inbox, which is where the real selling can happen. 

Pillar 4: Emails

Once you’re in the inbox, there are two things you want to do: Nurture your audience and sell to them (i.e., get them to book a discovery call).

As you nurture your audience in their inboxes, this is where your long-form content comes back into play. By writing emails that channel into your highly valuable long-form content, you’re ensuring that your long-form content is garnering the most attention. In other words, you’re not simply creating it and then leaving it to the mercy of search engine algorithms.

Plus, this is the best way to make your emails valuable. Linking to in-depth information in your emails provides your readers with more opportunities to read and benefit from your knowledge. Do this well enough, and your audience will actually be excited to open your emails when they arrive. 

Emails are also the pillar in which you’ll sell your audience hard on booking a discovery call with you. The prospects who have invited you into their inbox are much more likely to be familiar with you and to trust you than prospects who are simply followers on your social media accounts. You need to extend lots of invitations and opportunities to book that discovery call.

Content Marketing Is Only as Powerful as the Strategy Behind It

Ultimately, content marketing is a great opportunity for financial advisors to book more discovery calls with qualified leads and establish themselves as thought leaders in the industry. But to be effective, content marketing needs to be supported by a robust strategy that informs the goal and purpose for each piece of content that is created.

Understanding each of the 4 pillars in your marketing ecosystem—and using them to effectively move qualified prospects through the customer journey—is the best way to optimize your content so that your efforts actually result in booked discovery calls.

For more free information, ideas, and tips about the power of content marketing for financial advisors, join the Words Into Wealth newsletter by Gale Creative Agency.

Interested in getting a strategy in place for your content marketing? Book a free 20-minute discovery call here.

This article reflects the insights and opinions of its author and is not a recommendation or endorsement of their views or services.

About the Author

Hillary Gale

Hillary Gale is a personal finance writer who focuses on financial planning, investing, and money mindsets. She is the CEO and founder of Gale Creative Agency, a boutique digital marketing firm that develops marketing strategies and content for financial services brands.

To make Wealthtender free for readers, we earn money from advertisers, including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured. This creates a conflict of interest when we favor their promotion over others. Learn more. Wealthtender is not a client of these financial services providers.
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