How can financial planning firms boost profits through effective content marketing?
A recent study by content marketing software provider Passle has revealed that the top 50 accountancy firms (many of which offer financial advice) are lagging behind other professional services firms when it comes to content marketing. Their output is a third of that produced by law firms.
Experts believe IFA firms tend to take the same laid-back approach to content marketing as accountants do.
Philip Calvert, marketing consultant and creator of IFA social network Life Talk, said: “My own research suggests that IFAs and accountants haven't really got hold of content marketing at all – with a small handful of exceptions.
"While we've seen a big increase in IFAs using social media in recent times, content marketing barely features.”
Yet content marketing can have a range of benefits for financial planning and advisory firms. Not only does it present your firm as a thought leader and expert in its field, it can generate leads, build trust and strengthen the relationship between you and your clients.
What is content marketing?
Another way of phrasing content marketing is as information or communication marketing. Rather than overtly pushing a product or a service, the idea is to provide information that is of use and interest to prospective and existing clients.
Content marketing can take the form of blogs, email newsletters, downloadable guides, infographics, podcasts, posts on social media, videos, webinars or white papers.
A major benefit of content marketing is that it is a way of starting a conversation between your firm and its existing and potential clients.
Rather than a client coming to you with a query, (such as whether a self invested personal pension is an appropriate way of saving for retirement) you might write a blog on that subject – one that all your existing and prospective clients can access.
According to the Content Marketing Association, more than half of consumers claim useful content increases the chance of them entering into a transaction with the organisation that created it.
Martin Bamford, managing director of Cranleigh-based IFA Informed Choice, and a winner of Best Social Media IFA and Best Blogger of the Year at the Unbiased.co.uk Media Adviser Awards, says: “If someone refers a professional like an IFA or accountant, the first thing that person is going to do is go online and look for them.
“If they are met with a series of articles and profiles and mentions in the press, it is going to give them confidence and they are more likely to get engaged in a trusted relationship with that person because they are active, they are real and they are knowledgeable. All those things that come from content marketing.”