Content, content, content. It’s the “location, location, location” for 2018 and beyond for building a sales pipeline through marketing. Content done well can drive traffic, leads, and prospects along the sales funnel to satisfied, referral-providing clients.
However, only 30% of business-to-business marketers say their company is effective at content marketing, according to the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.
First, the definition of content marketing, from the Content Marketing Institute: “Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
Who should your content be directed to? The answer is: Personas. Personas are representations of your best clients, based on customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. All of this can be culled from in-person or phone interviews with top clients and from data you collect with them. Personas allow you to personalize or target your marketing for different segments of your audience.
What is the content component of “content marketing” and how can asset managers and wealth managers implement a marketing strategy? Here are 18 content ideas in alphabetical order:
1. Capabilities Guide
For relatively unknown boutique asset managers and under the radar wealth managers, a capabilities guide (or investors guide) can answer your prospects’ basic questions—who are you and why should I invest with you?—in one document.
2. Case Studies
82% of marketers to businesses cited case studies as critical to long-term success. (Source: Curata) Case studies help prospects view your thought process, and let them how working with you might work.
Email marketing, whether as a daily, weekly, or monthly distribution, is also a part of content marketing. You can leverage content produced for other means and distribute your thought leadership ideas more broadly via email.
4. Fact Sheets
Don’t forget the basic fact sheet, hedge fund tear sheet, or product profile. For RIAs who also manage funds, each can be among the first point of contact for content delivery.
5. Insights Articles
Of all marketers sampled by Curata, 81% voted blogs (we prefer to call them Insights) as the most important component of compelling content marketing. 91% of the best business bloggers published at least weekly, and 21% sent weekly posts via a newsletter to their subscribers.
The best infographics can pack a visual punch. They are clear, easy to digest, eye-catching, and can be placed on your website, in your pitch book, and/or in blog posts. More than two-thirds of those being marketed to said they have forwarded an infographic. (Source: Marketing Sherpa.)
7. Landing Pages
Landing pages are lead capture forms that within ask prospects for their name, email, and other worthy information. You want these on your website.
8. Motion Graphics
A motion graphic is a cousin to the PowerPoint or SlideShare presentation, with movement, narration, and music, added to the mix.
9. Pitch Books
A pitch book, or presentation material, can provide the backbone for your discussion points in face-to-face meeting, and small or large events.
While not as key to overall marketing efforts as other content items, 26% of B2B marketers examined by Social Media Examiner professed to looking to add more original (as opposed to curated) audio for 2018.
11. Public Relations
Public relations is of course its own discipline, and an effective way to increase your visibility by leveraging your firm’s ideas in print, radio, and television to a broad and targeted audience.
12. Quizzes and other Interactive Content
Quizzes may command attention and engagement. They may be used to attract new people or even to have people qualify themselves for your sales pipeline. HubSpot recently said that interactive content – such as quizzes, list generators, and calculators – drive 2X more conversions than static content.
13. Social Media
Every post you make on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ YouTube, and Instagram is part of your distribution network. According to Curata, 93% of B2B marketers said that social media content was a critical component of content marketing.
What types of content do marketers use in their social media marketing? Original written content comprised 70% of the total, said Social Media Examiner; original visual assets, like infographics, made up 71%; original videos 57%; and original audio 10%.
Linked was the largest social platform used, with 94% B2B participation. Twitter was not far behind, at 87% usage; with Facebook at 84%, YouTube at 74%, Google+ at 62%, and somewhat lower, at least for now, SlideShare at 37%. (Source: Content Marketing Institute, and MarketingProfs.)
In addition, according to Social Media Examiner, nearly two-thirds of marketers expected to increase their time and budget allocated to social media marketing for 2016.
As for time commitment, more than 80% of marketers increased their organic site traffic with a only six hours per week commitment to social media marketing. (Source: Social Media Examiner)
14. Tip Sheets
Not for the horses, but a quick one-page “10 Reasons Why….” page can quickly convey actionable points in a quick, bite-sized format.
Video has become the go-to method for many providers – and consumers – of content. Videos can be hosted on your website or on your firm’s YouTube channel. They can be short “explainer” videos (about one to two minutes long) about who you are, how you work with clients, and how you manage money. From Demand Metric: more than two-thirds of firms planned to increase their video budget for 2016.
For those who prefer to learn visually, and to interact, webinars are an effective way to engage potential investors.
All the words, images, thoughts, ideas, landing pages, and calls to action on your site are “content.” Because your site is often the first thing potential clients see as they discover you, consider the website prime real estate for content consideration.
18. White Papers
What’s a white paper? A whitepaper is not a product pitch. A white paper, or series of papers, should provide informative content in the form of a PDF on your website, or as an attachment in and email to a prospect, or as a handout or leave behind in a meeting. People share papers: 35% of business buyers have shared a white paper with a business colleague or friend. (Source: DemandGen Report). If done right, a white paper is an informative, in-depth report on a specific topic that proffers a problem and provides a potential solution.
To build content with impact, each piece of content should answer help educate and inform prospective clients. According to a study by the LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community, the three factors that make content effective are:
* Relevance (58%)
* Storytelling (57%)
* Call to action (54%)
But what’s the content about? The quick answer is thought leadership. It depends on what your target audiences’ interests and pain points are, and how you have be positioned your firm to help them.
For wealth managers for example, if your firm should has a specific perspective on broad topics like 401(k) Plans, annuities, charitable Giving, Education and 529 Plans, estate planning, insurance, retirement planning, social security, succession Planning, tax Planning, variable Annuities, women and Financial Planning, you should stake out a position and make your points.
SO WHY CONTENT?
The big three goals of content marketing, from a study by the LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community: lead generation (59%); thought leadership/market education (43%); and brand awareness (40%).
How do businesses measure the success of their content marketing? According to the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, the metrics are, by importance:
1. Sales Lead Quality (87%)
2. SEO Ranking (87%)
3. Sales (84%)
4. High Conversion Rates (82%)
5. Sales Lead Quantity (71%)
6. Website Traffic (71%)
7. Brand Visibility (69%)
8. Views (55%)
9. Leads (48%)
10. Likes, +1’s, Tweets, and Shares (45%)
11. Downloads (41%)
12. Conversion Rate (40%)