All Posts by Crystal Lee Butler

Tips for Creating a Financial Advisor Content Calendar

Consistency is one of the biggest keys to financial advisor content marketing success. Unfortunately, most financial professionals fail to maintain a regular content publishing schedule. It’s common to set out with the best intentions only to find yourself neglecting or abandoning your efforts along the way.

This is why it’s important to establish a schedule and stick to it.

In part seven, How to Optimize Your Financial Advisor Website Content, of The Ultimate Financial Advisor’s Guide to Content Marketing I covered details about the steps you can take to boost the likelihood your content will rank higher in search engines.

Now it is time to dive into why you need a content marketing schedule and how to create one.

Why do you need a content marketing schedule?

When establishing your credibility and building trust, it’s important to show up consistently and regularly with helpful, relevant, and compelling content. The idea is for your audience to be able to rely on getting your tips and insights on a regular basis so they know where to turn when it’s time to hire a financial advisor.

However, if you blog for a few months, skip a few, send out a sporadic newsletter, and only pop up on social media occasionally, it makes you seem undependable or too busy, and there’s a good chance prospects will forget about you.

The same is true for search engines. Google favors websites that get regular updates with high-quality, fresh content. Because the job of the algorithms is to create the best user experience, search engines aim to serve up results from the most relevant and up-to-date websites—not stale sites that haven’t been touched in months.

I mention all of this to help you understand the importance of creating and sticking to a content marketing schedule. However, publishing content regularly doesn’t have to be a burden. Creating a schedule removes uncertainty about how to promote your financial services. You and your team will know what to do and when to do it, making your marketing efforts run like clockwork.

Develop a Financial Content Marketing Calendar

Start by developing an editorial calendar. Think of this as a tool for planning and executing your marketing strategy over a set period of time, such as quarterly or annually. It can include information such as what topics you will be covering, draft due dates, and publishing dates, as well as who is responsible for each task.

An editorial calendar establishes order and sets expectations among your followers. They will return and anticipate new content based on your publishing schedule.

Tips for mapping out your content schedule in advance:

  • Start with your existing content. Determine how and when it can be repurposed to share again. You can always update old blog posts or e-books, break them down into micro-content such as tweets or quote graphics you can share over time. You can also compile existing articles into longer form content such as an e-book you can launch on a set date.

     

  • Identify gaps in your content. What are some frequently asked questions or important topics you haven’t covered yet? Figure out when you want to share that subject matter and plug it into your calendar.

     

  • Consider the timeliness of topics. Think about the relevance of holidays and seasons when planning when you will release content. Seasonal content for financial advisors might include topics related to New Year’s resolutions, tax-paying tips, spring cleaning, summer vacations, back-to-school shopping, or holiday savings.

     

  • Take your schedule into account. Will you be hosting a seminar or speaking at a conference? Do you have a book coming out? Are you participating in any upcoming community events? All of this and more can be incorporated into your content schedule.

There’s always room to be flexible and you don’t have to feel boxed in by your editorial calendar. If an important topic comes up in the news that you want to cover, you can always come back to the pre-scheduled topic at a later date. Also, feel free to mix up your social media feeds with spontaneous posts about your day to add a personal touch.

For more on the timeliness of certain content, see part two of The Ultimate Financial Advisor’s Guide to Content Marketing.

Create a Weekly Editorial Routine

Once you’ve mapped out the content you plan to share, plug it into an actual calendar or spreadsheet that you can view at a glance. Next, break down the tasks that need to be accomplished into a checklist and assign each task to a team member with a due date and time.

For example, routine tasks might include any of the following:

  1. Research a topic.
  2. Write the outline.
  3. Write the draft.
  4. Select keyword phrases.
  5. Write social sharing copy.
  6. Select a featured image.
  7. Create graphics for social media.
  8. Submit the draft for review.
  9. Review draft.
  10. Request revisions.
  11. Revise the draft.
  12. Proofread draft.
  13. Add blog post draft to the website.
  14. Complete SEO checklist.
  15. Publish post.
  16. Format and test newsletter.
  17. Submit newsletter for review.
  18. Review newsletter.
  19. Schedule newsletter.
  20. Share blog post on social media.

Although this list can seem daunting, you can batch tasks and spread the work out as needed. Knowing exactly what needs to be done and setting deadlines for each step will provide peace of mind knowing your content schedule is on track.

Perform Mindful Maintenance

Your financial advisor website content is not set in stone. It requires continuous maintenance to stay fresh and search engine friendly. This should be baked into your schedule as part of your ongoing routine.

Update Existing Content

Your existing content will continue to drive traffic to your website if you keep it updated. Find the time to touch up old articles and seed them with details that are up to date and relevant. You don’t always have to come up with new topics. You can always rewrite what you have from a different angle or perspective drawing from your existing articles.

Give Your Content a Check Up

Inspect your blog and social media postings for broken links. A broken link tarnishes the impression of your site and brand, as well as users’ perceptions of your expertise.

Monitor Your Performance
Google Analytics is a great tool to keep track of how your blog is performing and where the traffic is coming from. It can be easy for these metrics to be forgotten, so set up monthly or even weekly reports from Google Analytics to be delivered directly to your inbox.

Tools for Creating a Content Marketing Schedule

You can find a variety of tools available to organize and streamline your editorial calendar and schedule. When working with a team, you will need to use tools that allow for collaboration and tracking progress. Some favorite tools for organizing and managing content publishing schedules include:

Conclusion

Your financial advisor website content will not be successful if it is not updated regularly. By creating a content calendar and sticking to a schedule, you have the opportunity to establish yourself as a reliable and trusted source for both your ideal clients and the search engines. Setting a schedule also removes the guesswork when it comes to when and how to promote your financial services. You and your team will know exactly what to do at a glance.  

Download a free copy of the Financial Advisor Content Marketing & Optimization Guide here.

 Sometimes content marketing can seem like an overwhelming task to undertake on your own. This is exactly what we do for our clients! We help create and select the right content, optimize it so it is reaching the right people, and handle the scheduling to ensure it is as far-reaching as possible. Let us help you get a handle on the whole process by scheduling a discovery meeting today.

1 How to Optimize Your Financial Advisor Website Content

If your financial advisor website content is updated regularly with high-quality articles posted on a regular schedule, you’re already setting yourself apart from most financial professionals. On its own, the content is working to build your credibility and make your website far more attractive to search engines than a static site would.

However, to get the best results for your effort, you need to take additional steps to optimize your content for search engines.

In part six, What is a Featured Image & How to Select One for Your Financial Content, of The Ultimate Financial Advisor’s Guide to Content Marketing I went into detail about one of the essential elements in creating content.

Now it is time to go in-depth into how to optimize your financial advisor content for search engines.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search engine optimization (SEO) encompasses many elements, from site load speed to the way your website is structured, the way you use keywords, the number of links back to your content, and much more. But one of the most important factors in optimizing your financial advisor website content is on-page SEO.

While off-page SEO refers to link building and other external factors, on-page SEO is the practice of optimizing each individual web page on your site to gain more traffic from search engines.

On-page SEO is comprised of both the content and the HTML source code of that page or post. Don’t let the mention of HTML to scare you off; there are tools to make on-page SEO easy for anyone, even if you don’t consider yourself technically savvy.

On-Page SEO Checklist for Financial Advisor Website Content

Include Your Keyword in the Title Tag

A title tag is the HTML element that specifies your blog post or web page’s title and it is the most important factor when optimizing your content.

Always place your keyword at the start or near the beginning of your title. Adding modifiers such as “guide” or “best” or the current year can help you rank better for long tail keyword phrases as well.

Wrap Your Title and Subheadings in Tags

If you’re using WordPress or a similar content management system, this should be done automatically. You’ll need to highlight the appropriate text and select Heading 1, Heading 2, etc. from the dropdown menu in your editor. If you happen to look at the HTML code, you’ll notice heading tags wrapping the text (i.e., <h1> <h2>). This is how Google recognizes which text is your page’s title or section headers, and is a key signal to Google for identifying what your page is actually about.

Include Keyword Phrases

Always ensure your keyword appears in the first 100 words of the article and at least one subheading in your article. Then, sprinkle the keyword sparingly throughout the article without overusing keywords (known as “keyword stuffing”) to the extent that it seems forced and unnatural.

Also, use synonyms and LSI (latent semantic indexing) keywords throughout your article, which are words that are frequently found together in the same context as your keyword. For example, if your keyword is “financial planning” an LSI keyword might be “retirement planning” or if your keyword is “credit score” an LSI keyword might be “credit report.”

Post Longer Content

In the past, you could get away with posting short articles frequently to boost your SEO. Now, search engines favor high-quality longer content of 750-1,000+ words. Even though attention spans are short, well-written, longer, engaging content keeps people reading, increasing your dwell time, which will cause the page to rank significantly higher on search engines.

Make Sure Your Content is Readable

Your content should be scannable and easy to read. Scannable content uses short blocks of text (rather than long paragraphs), bulleted lists, and subheadings throughout. Readers should be able to skip and scan through the text at a glance to decide whether or not it contains the information they’re after or to find exactly what they need fast.

Content should always be written in a clear and straightforward way. Use short sentences and simple wording, keeping it at an 8th-grade reading level or below. Remember, you are not trying to impress your colleagues or English professor; you’re looking to communicate simply with potential clients who are not as familiar with your subject matter.

Add Multimedia Content

Multimedia content helps with SEO because photos, videos, infographics, diagrams, and other visual content helps to keep users on the page longer to reduce bounce rates. Having lower instances of people clicking away quickly after landing on your page signals to search engines that the content deserves a higher rank.

Add Relevant Links

Adding outbound links and internal links will further optimize your on-page SEO.

Outbound links are links within your content that link out to related pages on other websites, such as source material or a helpful product and service. Pages with outbound links tend to outrank pages without outbound links in search engine results.

Internal links are links to other pages in your website. When possible, add 2-3 internal links in every article to help your reader explore your site and help Google crawl the structure of your site, signaling that your financial advisor website is a content-rich resource and therefore boosting its rankings.

Optimize Images

When you add a featured image or other media files throughout your content, be sure to include your target keyword in the file name. For example, the file name should be something like credit_score_chart.jpg. You should also include your keyword in the Alt Text and never leave the Alt Text field blank.

Optimize Your URL for Search Engines

Your URL should be as short as possible and contain your keyword phrase. Rather than website.com/3-28-19/category/blogtitle, it should simply be website.com/blog-title.

Add a Meta Description

Be sure to add a compelling meta description for each page or post. A meta description is a short snippet of information that displays in search results beneath the title and URL.

The purpose of the meta description is to give users a preview of the page, so it should briefly summarize the content and convince readers to click. Don’t overlook the importance of a well-written meta description with a clear call to action.

When you’re just getting started, optimizing your content can seem like an overwhelming task. But soon enough, most of what you need to do will become second-nature to the process of creating content. Plus, you can use a variety of free or low-cost tools to make optimizing your content even easier.

Tools for Optimizing Your Financial Advisor Website Content

There are several paid and free tools that you can use to help you perfect your SEO and optimization strategy.

Yoast SEO WordPress Plugins – Yoast SEO is the most complete WordPress SEO plugin. It handles the technical optimization of your site & assists with optimizing your content.

All in One SEO Pack WordPress Plugin – Use All in One SEO Pack to optimize your WordPress site for SEO. It’s easy and works out of the box for beginners, and has advanced features and an API for developers.

Google SERP Snippet Optimization Tool – This tool replicates the appearance of a snippet in Google SERPs, which allows SEOs to optimize a page title and description for maximum click-through rate.

Keyword Density Analysis Tool – Type or paste a full URL in the text box to view the keyword density analysis of that page. The Keyword Density Analysis Tool returns a detailed report on the text content of the page.

Conclusion

If your marketing plan includes content marketing, the most important step is to create good quality content that people want to read. After you’ve accomplished this, get the most out of your marketing investment through optimizing your content for readers and search engines by following this one-page SEO checklist for your financial advisor website content.

Download a free copy of the Financial Advisor Content Marketing & Optimization Guide here.

 Sometimes content marketing can seem like an overwhelming task to undertake on your own. This is exactly what we do for our clients! We help create and select the right content, optimize it so it is reaching the right people, and handle the scheduling to ensure it is as far-reaching as possible. Let us help you get a handle on the whole process by scheduling a discovery meeting today.

1 Tips to Select Featured Images for Your Financial Content

My series The Ultimate Financial Advisor’s Guide to Content Marketing helps financial advisors understand how content marketing all works so they can establish themselves as a financial expert by properly utilizing financial content marketing strategies.

In part five, Keyword Phrase, I went into detail about one of the essential elements in creating content…

Now it’s time to go beyond text and look closely at why you should always add a featured image.

Why Adding a Featured Image Matters

You might be wondering if you need to include images with your content or if text alone will be sufficient. The answer is you should always include at least one featured image with every article for both visual appeal and functional purposes.

Images not only bring your words to life by illustrating meaning, but they also optimize your content for search engines and help it stand out on social media platforms where you share it.

Search engine algorithms – the criteria used to reward or penalize content based on specific characteristics – are constantly changing. But in recent years, it has become clear that Google and other top search engines increasingly favor images, reportedly because they enhance the user experience.

In other words, people like pictures and search engines aim to return the results that people want. As the importance of visual search continues to expand, image inclusion and SEO has become more essential than ever.

What is a Featured Image

A featured image is a photo or graphic that will show up in the preview of your post on social media sites such as Facebook and often as a thumbnail on your blog list. It represents the content of the post at a glance and serves as a preview, providing the audience with a sneak peek to determine whether or not they want to read the content.

The featured image adds visual interest to your article and sets expectations for both content and tone by piquing a reader’s interest. Even more than an article’s subject matter or headline, the featured image persuades or dissuades readers from opening and reading your content.

How to Choose the Best Featured Image for Your Financial Content

Your featured image should always be relevant and never be an image that is irrelevant yet eye-catching just to grab your reader’s attention. If a reader opens an article because of an interesting photo only to find content that has nothing to do with it, they will click away quickly, which will hurt your SEO and your reputation.

Use original images whenever possible. You can certainly take your own photos. Most phones today have a quality camera, and you can easily capture a picture yourself of something associated with your article to use.

If taking your own photos is not a good option for you, use stock photos. Most stock images require a license, and if you use images without a license you are violating copyright laws and could be fined.

Use a stock photo service. For a nominal fee, you will have the rights to a wide variety of images for social media posts and much more. Make sure you understand the terms and restrictions of your license. There are many stock photo options that I have used and would recommend.

Stock Photo Resources for Financial Advisor Website Content:

Because your featured image will show up when you share your content on social media, such as Facebook or LinkedIn,  superimpose or overlay the title and add your logo or brand colors. Putting the title of the post itself on the image is a great strategy because it increases the “clickability” of the image. This can easily be done with a free tool like Canva.

Your featured image could also be a graphic or illustration rather than a photograph. You can hire a designer to create unique and original branded graphics, or for a DIY option, use a tool such as Canva or PicMonkey to create your own designs.

Tips for Optimizing Your Featured Image for Search Engines

Use the right file name

Google should be able to tell what your image is by what you name it, so don’t use the default string of characters or untitled.jpg. Also, include a keyword phrase in your file name. For example, a good file name would be common-credit-score-mistakes.jpg.

Use alt tags

Alt tags are the words that are associated with the image. If the image cannot be displayed, the alt tag provides alternative information for the image when a user cannot view it. It also helps significantly with SEO, so be sure to include at least one of your keywords in the alt tags as well. There are YouTube videos and articles that show you how to do this.

Use the correct resolution and size

Lower-resolution images at 72 DPI (dots per inch) are appropriate for digital mediums such as websites and are usually the cheaper option as well.

Conclusion

Adding a featured image is an essential part of creating an effective financial advisor website content. The right featured image will attract your intended audience’s attention, enhance their reading experience, and boost your SEO. Select an eye-catching image and optimize it for search engines.

Download a free copy of the Financial Advisor Content Marketing & Optimization Guide here.

 Sometimes content marketing can seem like an overwhelming task to undertake on your own. This is exactly what we do for our clients! We help create and select the right content, optimize it so it is reaching the right people, and handle the scheduling to ensure it is as far-reaching as possible. Let us help you get a handle on the whole process by scheduling a discovery meeting today.

2 How to Choose the Right Keyword Phrase for Your Financial Content

Choosing a keyword phrase for your financial content is one of the most important steps in your content marketing strategy. But it is not as easy as just picking a word. Using the right keyword strategy will not only help you with your search engine optimization (SEO); it will also ensure that the right people are finding your content.

In part four, How to Write Engaging Titles & Headlines for Your Financial Advisory Blog of The Ultimate Financial Advisor’s Guide to Content Marketing I went into detail about selecting titles and headlines that compel readers to click and boost your SEO.

Now it’s time to break out another one of these elements and go into greater detail – keywords.

Selecting a strong keyword phrase is essential to getting your content recognized by search engines. When writing content, it’s critical to remember that not only should it provide useful information that positions you as an expert in the eyes of readers, but it should position your website as a valuable resource in the eyes of Google.

What is a Keyword Phrase?

A keyword phrase is a short set of words people type into search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc.) in order to find an answer to a question, explore an interest, or meet a particular need.

How to Select Keyword Phrases

Before consulting keyword tools, the trick to selecting the right keyword phrase for your financial advisor website content is to anticipate what people might enter into a search engine when seeking expertise like yours.
Take a step back for a moment and consider exactly what your potential clients are searching for online. As a financial advisor, you want to attract an audience that’s curious about financial planning or financial literacy and searching for a financial professional to hire. So, to increase the likelihood that your website will show up high in search engine results, the content you share on your website should provide the information they want in language that closely matches theirs.

Tips for Brainstorming Keyword Phrases

A good way to figure out your keyword phase is to think about what your ideal clients’ questions would be. For example, if you were writing an article about helping millennials with their credit score and you wanted to make sure your article shows up when people search for this topic, you should start by considering what questions they might have about credit scores.

For example, here are some possible questions:

  • How can I improve my credit score?
  • How is my credit score determined?
  • What makes up my credit score?

As you can see, “credit score” is the common term so this would need to be one of your main keyword phrases. However, you don’t want to stop there because you will face stiff competition if trying to rank high in the results for a popular phrase like “credit score” alone. Now, you’ll want to consider more long tail keywords.

Long Tail Keywords

Long tail keyword phrases contain three or more words. They are more specific than shorter keyword phrases so there is less competition and they convert better. So rather than “credit score” you might search for “common credit score mistakes.”

Think about your own search engine behavior. If you wanted to know something about your credit score, would you simply type that two-word phrase into Google? Probably not, because the results would be too broad to meet your needs. That’s why long tail keyword phrases are so effective; there are more opportunities to select a phrase with less competition when you drill down into more exact searches.

Brainstorm more specific challenges someone might be facing when researching about credit scores. What might they type into Google to find the information they want?

  • What credit score do I need to buy a house?
  • Credit score needed to get a mortgage
  • Mortgages for less than perfect credit
  • How to get an 800 credit score
  • Mistakes that can lower my credit score
  • Will student loans ruin my credit score?
  • Will getting a credit card improve my credit score?

Thinking through real-world scenarios will help you generate long tail keyword phrases that will organically optimize your content for search engines. For example, you can use the phrase, “how to get an 800 credit score” several times throughout a single article about credit scores.

So, while you will want to have one main keyword phrase that you use in the title and throughout the article, you’ll also benefit from incorporating relevant long tail keyword phrases.

Tools for Keyword Research

Once you have a good idea of the keyword phrases you might want to use, now it’s time to consult tools to determine how popular and competitive the phrases are.

  • Google Keyword Planner – This free tool will help you find keywords that get a fair volume of searches each month but are not highly competitive.
  • Keywords Everywhere – This convenient browser extension is a free keyword research tool that shows search volume and cost per click data to help you assess the competitiveness of keyword phrases for multiple websites at a glance.
  • Google Trends – This tool will help you identify hot topics related to your keywords that you can incorporate into your keyword phrases.
  • Google’s “searches related to…” – Type your keyword into the Google search engine. Then scroll all the way down to see the “searches related to” section for a list of phrases that will make strong long tail keyword. (Tip: Repeat the process by searching for the longer phrase and scrolling down to “searches related to” again).
  • WonderSearch – This free tool allows you to find terms semantically related to your root keyword.
  • AnswerThePublic – This visual tool has a free version that helps you find the kinds of questions your potential clients might be asking, which as we’ve covered here, can be a great start for selecting keyword phrases for your financial content marketing.

Keyword research tools range from free to pricey professional SEO options. As you are just getting started, the available free tools will provide you with plenty of insight into selecting effective keyword phrases to boost your website traffic.

Conclusion

When optimizing your financial advisor website content for search engines, always start by writing for your audience first. Think of the actual people who will be surfing the web looking for the information you’re sharing. Consider what phrases your potential clients might be typing into search engines. Then use keyword research tools to verify your assumptions and assess the popularity and competitiveness of each phrase.

Download a free copy of the Financial Advisor Content Marketing & Optimization Guide here.

Sometimes content marketing can seem like an overwhelming task to undertake on your own. This is exactly what we do for our clients! We help create and select the right content, optimize it so it is reaching the right people, and handle the scheduling to ensure it is as far-reaching as possible. Let us help you get a handle on the whole process by scheduling a discovery meeting today.

2 How to Write Engaging Titles for Your Financial Advisory Blog

Your blog’s title is the first thing readers see and will be the deciding factor as to whether they continue reading. Your post’s title and headlines help your website get found in search engines. They are a critical part of your copy and shouldn’t be an afterthought.

In part three, How Financial Advisors Can Create Quality Content, of The Ultimate Financial Advisor’s Guide to Content Marketing I went into detail about how to format your content and discussed the key elements that you need to include.

Now it’s time to break out one of those elements and go into greater detail – titles and subheaders.

There is a strategy for creating titles. Used properly, it cuts through the noise and gets your content noticed. Once someone reads your content, strategically chosen subheaders within the body of your post can keep them reading, so I will talk about both here.

Use “the Four U’s” to Write Titles

American Writers & Artists teach the four U’s approach to write titles, and it has become an industry standard. Your titles should be:

  • Urgent: Provide a sense of urgency so they want to read on.
  • Unique: State benefits in a way that shows how the content is unique to the reader.
  • Useful: Be useful to your reader and seek to add value.
  • Ultra-Specific: When you’re specific, your content is seen as more compelling.


Cover each of these. Use at least three of the U’s – in many cases, it’s unlikely you’ll hit all four, so don’t stress too much about it.

Include Your Post’s Keyword Phrase in Your Title & Subheaders

Search engines like Google use the words in your titles and subheaders to figure out what your article is about and to determine when to show your article in a user’s search results. Include your keyword phrase in your title and in a few of your subheaders so that when prospects go searching for information contained in your article, the search engine will include your article in the search results.

More Tips to Boost Your Subheaders’s Appeal

There are other ways you can ensure that your titles are grabbing the reader’s attention and will help increase your chances of having them actually open and read your content.

Stay Focused

Create your title and/or subheaders to focus on one single benefit that the text provides to the reader.  This will help keep their interest and get them to keep reading because they know what to expect and can understand what you are talking about.  

Speak TO Your Audience

Write as though you are having a conversation with your specific reader. Use “you” and “your” to make a connection with your reader and draw them into what you have to say.

Use Numbers in Your Title

Studies show that using numbers in your titles is a highly effective way to create specificity.  Numbers imply a value and therefore it is thought that higher numbers are likely to capture more interest. Also, odd numbers are more likely to gain attention than even numbers.

Ask a Question

You want your reader to have a reaction to what you have to say.  If you ask them a question they are more likely to keep reading to learn more and find out the answer.

Use “Why” and “How” Titles and Subheaders

Both of these words are very powerful words that make your reader feel they are gaining something by reading your content. When you use the word “how” it implies that you are going to teach them something.  “Why” is also a very persuasive word for similar reasons.

The Creative Process

Think of writing your titles and subheaders as part of your creative process.  Here are a few tips to help you get started.

  • Don’t be afraid to change it up and use a thesaurus to get some new ideas.
  • When you’re writing subheaders don’t get tripped up by trying to follow all the rules. Treat them as guidelines instead.
  • When you’re writing a subheaders, write for your readers first, Google second.
  • Pay attention to what works best for you. Some writers prefer writing the headers first to help shape the content. Others wait after the base content is written and then develop the subheaders.
  • You can always write out three or four options and narrow them down as you develop your content.

Things to Remember When Writing Titles& Subheaders for Your Financial Blog

There are some good rules to follow when creating your titles and subheaders, not only for proper structure and grammar but also to get them noticed.

  • Capitalize Each Word of Your Title and Subheaders.
  • Short title are more effective than long titles.
    • Aim for 65 characters and use between five and nine words.
    • For longer titles and subheaders, break them up with dashes or a semicolon
  • Use subheads to break up longer body text.
  • Don’t use a period at the end of subheaders.
  • Use a bold, dark font.

Putting time and effort into creating attention-grabbing subheaders and titles is time well spent.  Good titles and subheaders draw in your reader, help the search engines find your content, and make your posts easier to read.

 

Crystal Lee Butler, MBA is a creative marketer and results-oriented business consultant with over a decade of experience collaborating with independent advisers. At Crystal Marketing Solutions, she delivers exceptional insights for financial professionals enabling them to create a consistent marketing presence so they can focus on the things that matter most to them.

Download a free copy of the Financial Advisor Content Marketing & Optimization Guide here.

Sometimes content marketing can seem like an overwhelming task to undertake on your own. This is exactly what we do for our clients! We help create and select the right content, optimize it so it is reaching the right people, and handle the scheduling to ensure it is as far-reaching as possible. Let us help you get a handle on the whole process by scheduling a discovery meeting today.

1 How Financial Advisors Can Create Quality Content

Whether you’re a big company or an independent financial advisor working to grow your personal brand, creating useful and engaging blog posts on your financial planning website is a crucial part of your content marketing strategy. Such posts increase your brand visibility and transform loyal readers into loyal clients.

In part two, Four Types of Financial Content Marketing and Why They Matter, of The Ultimate Financial Advisor’s Guide to Content Marketing, I went into detail about different types of content and gave a few examples of each type.

Now it’s time to talk about the specifics of creating your content and what elements you need to include.

If you stick to these basic elements when creating your content, you’re covered.

 

Choose Your Post’s Keyword Phrase

For SEO purposes, you need to put in the research to come up with an effective keyword phrase for your post. This is the phrase that you want to use to help your post get found in the search engines. Use it throughout your article to increase the likelihood that the search engines will match your article to searchers looking for information on that topic. One caveat: You don’t want to overuse your keyword phrase because search engines will penalize you for “keyword stuffing.” Use it no more than once or maybe twice per paragraph and sprinkle it in your subheadings where appropriate.

Remember:

  • Use terms and/or phrases your audience will use when searching.
  • Use throughout the article.
  • Include in the title.
  • Use a tool like Keywords Everywhere.
  • Don’t overuse your keyword phrase.

To learn more, read my posts on optimizing your content and keywords.

 

Title/Headline

The title is what grabs your reader’s attention and gets them to click on your article. You need to make sure that it is clear and concise, conveys your message, and is enticing enough to get them to actually open it. You want to include your keyword phrase in the title, as this is a big signal to search engines that THIS is what your blog post is about.

Remember:

  • Keep it short and sweet. Google displays around 65 characters.
  • Be as efficient and relevant as possible.
  • Make it compelling.
  • Include the keyword phrase in the title.

Learn more about creating successful titles in my article about titles and headlines.

 

Introduction

Getting a reader to open your article is half of the battle, but you want them to read it – in its entirety. A well written and well thought out introduction will encourage more of your visitors to keep reading. Ideally, you should work your keyword phrase into the first sentence of your introduction, but if that’s not possible, at least include it somewhere in that first paragraph.

Remember:

  • In the first one or two sentences introduce the problem that you’re going to solve.
  • The next sentence should state what you’re going to cover.
  • These sentences can also be used in your title.
  • Be sure to include your keyword phrase in this section as well.

 

Body

This is where the main point and the details of your article will be conveyed. Try to stay on topic and make it interesting and easy to read. One way to make this process easier is to create a simple outline first. This can help you stay on track and help keep your article to a reasonable length. Include your keyword phrase at various points throughout the body of your blog post without overdoing it.

Remember:

  • Break the body of text into sections separated by headlines.
  • Avoid “industry speak”, use terms your readers will understand.
  • It is a good idea to link to other articles you have written.
  • Link to outside sources that are relevant and help you convey your message.

 

Conclusion

Your conclusion ties the post together. The old rule of “tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them again, and then tell them what you told them,” is not just true for writing papers for school, it applies in all types of informational writing. It helps to bring closure to your article rather than just stopping after your last point.

Remember:

  • Review/recap/highlight what was said.
  • Make suggestions on the next steps your readers should take.
  • Invite them to look for upcoming articles.
  • Include your keyword phrase.

 

Call to Action

A call to action is just what it sounds like — a prompt to the reader to do something specific. You want your readers to engage and interact with you and your content as much as possible. Take this opportunity to get these now highly engaged prospects into your marketing funnel, but just be sure to avoid sounding too “salesy.” Depending on your business goals, your call to action might ask readers to sign up for your newsletter, request more information on a topic, or even set up an appointment with you.

Examples:

  • Questions? Contact us to set up a free consultation call/free discovery meeting.
  • Click here to read another article on this subject.
  • Sign-up for our monthly newsletter here.
  • Check out this link to our website to see what we have been up to.
  • Download this free resource/checklist/etc.

 

Biography

The biography is where you provide background information about you, your firm, an “about me” section of sorts. It should include your current position, company, email address, and may include previous experience, publications, designations, college and postgraduate degrees, and location. This will help prove your experience and expertise – why you are a qualified person to be writing about this topic. Remember to hyperlink to your business homepage to drive traffic and provide more information.

Remember:

  • It should be short and to the point – around 50 words.
  • Include it at the bottom of every article after the final paragraph.
  • The language used here can be duplicated, so be sure to save it for future use.
  • Good keywords to use here if applicable are terms like fiduciary, fee-only, etc.

 

Tips for Overall Format

There are always things that people don’t think about when they are creating content that can make or break a good article. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you write and format:

  • Always check for grammatical errors, misspellings, and typos, and then check again.
  • Use nontechnical language — keep it simple.
  • Limit your use of industry-specific jargon.
  • Proofread for tone — communicating over the Internet requires extra care.
  • Have someone to review or edit the article for you.
  • Use images.

 

Closing

Creating content for your website is a great way to establish yourself as an expert, drive traffic to your website, and attract new clients to your financial advisory firm. Although it may seem like a daunting task, using these guidelines and steps will help you simplify the process. Give it a try and you’ll soon be well on your way to producing quality content for your business.

Download a free copy of the Financial Advisor Content Marketing & Optimization Guide here.

Sometimes content marketing can seem like an overwhelming task to undertake on your own. This is exactly what we do for our clients! We help create and select the right content, optimize it so it is reaching the right people, and handle the scheduling to ensure it is as far-reaching as possible. Let us help you get a handle on the whole process by scheduling a discovery meeting today.

2 Four Types of Financial Content Marketing & Why They Matter

Creating and sharing quality content is an essential element in successfully marketing your financial advisory business. My series The Ultimate Financial Advisor’s Guide to Content Marketing helps financial advisors understand how it all works so they can establish themselves as a financial expert by properly utilizing financial content marketing strategies.

Now it is time to dig deep into the various aspects of content and figure out why it is essential.

Personalize Your Financial Planning Business Brand

Financial advisors take pride in building, cultivating, and nurturing the relationships they have with clients. But, how do you form this type of connection with a person who is more than likely just researching you or your services online?

Creating content is a great way to put a face and name to your business and a personal touch to who you are and what you do. If you think strategically about the type of financial advisor website content you are producing, you will show people not only what services you can provide, but also a bit about your personality, expertise, and values.

Establish Yourself as an Expert Financial Advisor

This is such an important point that I have written an entire article about it, How to Brand Yourself as an Expert. By creating and sharing valuable and credible content on topics you know, you establish yourself as an expert in your field. When you write original content on a difficult subject that helps someone solve a problem, it builds the know, like, and trust factor.

People are looking to you to manage one of their most valuable assets – their money. They need to trust that you know what you are talking about, stay current on industry issues, and have dealt with situations similar to theirs. What better way to do this than to write about it?

Engage Your Customers and Prospects

Creating content is a way to engage an audience that may not be otherwise engaged. By speaking to your clients and prospects in a way that is less formal, you may make a connection with them to a greater degree than you can do from your website alone.

Ninety-five percent of website visitors are just researching and are not ready to be contacted. Good content lets them learn and engage in a low-pressure way. They don’t need to request a meeting or buy anything right away, but reading your content adds value to their relationship with you. If you do it correctly, prospects will be motivated to provide you with their contact information so you can keep engaging with them in the future.

Stay In Front of Clients

Content is the foundation that online marketing is based upon. It drives readers to your website and connects them to the information they need in order to make informed decisions about the financial advisory products and services you offer.

Adding content to your blog on a regular basis creates the opportunity for it to be shared on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, which in turn, drives more readers to your website. By blogging you keep your social media presence active without having to create a lot of other new content on a regular basis.

Improve Search Engine Optimization for Your Financial Advisor Website

Have you ever wondered how the pages that show up at the top of your online searches are selected? It boils down to search engine optimization (SEO). By making sure that each page you add to your website has the right keywords, you improve your chances of having your business show up at that top of that search list and increase the traffic to your website.

There is a direct correlation between blog posts and web traffic with abrupt growth at 300 to 500 pages, and a huge jump at 1,000 pages per month. Every time you write a blog post, it’s one more indexed page on your website, which is one more opportunity for you to show up in a search engine and drive traffic to your site.

Content posted to your blog a month, a year, or three years ago, it is not out of date. Quite often website traffic is driven by people finding older posts in their search engine request. The content you post today will continue to work for you long after you have forgotten about it.

Make Your Firm More Visible

You are not the only financial advisory firm in your area. So how do you make yourself stand out from the competition and make important connections? In person, the answer is easy – you network and get involved in your community. But, how do you accomplish this online? Utilizing social media networks and social media content for financial advisors, you can share high-quality content as part of your strategy for staying visible.

When you post links to your original content or are share links to other relevant articles you are getting in front of people and letting them know about you. As long as you keep the quality high and the topics relevant you are continuously adding value to the people that see your posts. Hopefully, they will see this value and share it with their friends and family too.

Closing

Regularly publishing relevant and helpful content to your financial planner website and social media pages should be an essential component of your marketing plan. Good content establishes you as an expert in your field, engages and encourages your prospects to opt-in to receive future communication from you, and helps new prospects find you by keeping your website front and center on social media and in search engines.

To find out how to leverage your content and how to build the know, like, and trust factor you can read my series on Marketing Funnels for Financial Advisors.

Download a free copy of the Financial Advisor Content Marketing & Optimization Guide here. Sometimes content marketing can seem like an overwhelming task to undertake on your own. This is exactly what we do for our clients! We help create and select the right content, optimize it so it is reaching the right people, and handle the scheduling to ensure it is as far-reaching as possible. Let us help you get a handle on the whole process by scheduling a discovery meeting today.

Six Reasons Why Financial Content Marketing Matters

If you are looking for help to take your marketing efforts to the next level, I have created a series that aims to serve as a one-stop guide to content marketing for financial advisors, The Ultimate Financial Advisor’s Guide to Content Marketing.

In this series, I will answer questions such as:

  • What is content?
  • Why use content marketing?
  • What types of content should advisors create?
  • What strategy should be using?
  • How do I optimize my content so I know the right people are finding it?
  • Do images matter?
  • Do I need to follow a schedule?
  • How do I reach my readers?
  • How do I reach prospects?

Over the next 10 weeks, you will find the answers to those questions and more to ensure you are getting the most out of all the content you are creating for your prospects and clients.

Now, let’s begin by diving into what The Ultimate Financial Advisor’s Guide to Content Marketing is all about.

What is content?

Content is a term that’s challenging to define because we engage with it every day in various forms without necessarily thinking about what it is or how it’s affecting us. Put simply, content is information that’s directed towards an audience. Because that audience chooses to read, watch, or listen to it, content is valuable – it captures and holds attention and delivers messages when people are most open to receiving them.

The jokes in a television sitcom, the lessons delivered in a live workshop, or a chapter in a book are all considered content.

But when it comes to content marketing, the definition of content is more specific.

Content, in a marketing context, refers to blog posts, articles, social media posts, videos, infographics, podcasts, e-books, white papers, special reports, books, and other forms of valuable information that a professional or company uses to showcase what they want to be known for and to promote their brand.

Content differs from advertising in that people want to consume it rather than avoid it.

Think about searching for how to do something on YouTube. You find a video claiming to show you “How to Promote Financial Services” and when you click to open the video, you have to watch the latest Lincoln Navigator automobile commercial first. The content is the “How to Promote Financial Services” video, and the person sharing it is a content marketer who provides a product or service that will help you promote your financial services firm.

Now that you know what I mean by content, let’s talk more about content marketing.

What is content marketing?

As you can see from the above example, content marketing is a strategic marketing approach based on creating and distributing content that a target audience would find valuable and relevant.

For content marketing to be effective, it needs to have a strategy and a clearly defined audience.

As a financial advisor, it isn’t enough to say you want to be known as a financial advisor and simply start blogging about financial planning topics. That would work to a certain extent, but it would be more effective if you’re strategic. Think about exactly who you want to consume your content — the people who will hire you or refer you to others – and consider how to serve them what they want.

Your content marketing strategy also needs to be consistent, because it is a long-term strategy that works by showing up on a regular basis again and again and building trust over time.

Ultimately, your goal is to move the prospective client through your sales funnel from the awareness stage (that they need some help with their finances), to the attract stage (researching possible solutions for financial guidance), to the build stage (considering hiring you as their financial advisor), and finally to the convert stage (signing on the dotted line as a client). Each stage requires a different content marketing approach, but it all begins with top-level content that gains their initial interest and attention.

Why use content marketing to promote financial services?

Content marketing is a powerful way to tap into the first stage of the prospect’s journey. It raises awareness and educates potential clients about things they may not have considered.

When you use content to market your financial services, you’re letting prospective clients know you understand their financial challenges and you’re an expert financial professional who can guide them in areas such as retirement planning and wealth building.

Content marketing showcases your personality and firm’s brand. It illustrates to people who have never met you that not only are you knowledgeable, but you’re also relatable and approachable.

Plus, when you show up consistently, sharing valuable content, it gives prospects a chance to get to know you and see that you are a reliable, dependable, and trustworthy source who is committed to your profession and your clients for the long haul.

Content also boosts your search engine optimization (SEO). Publishing high-quality relevant content to your website consistently and distributing it through social media and other channels is the best way to attract organic (i.e., free) traffic and grow your brand online.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve had a peek into The Ultimate Financial Advisor’s Guide to Content Marketing, you know what to expect in this series. I will be taking a deep dive into each topic I noted at the beginning of this article. By the end of the series, you will have everything you need to get started or take your financial advisor content marketing to the next level. At the end of the series, I will provide a recap of exactly what to do, how to streamline your efforts, and how to get the best possible results from your financial content marketing strategy.

Download a free copy of the Financial Advisor Content Marketing & Optimization Guide here. Sometimes content marketing can seem like an overwhelming task to undertake on your own. This is exactly what we do for our clients! We help create and select the right content, optimize it so it is reaching the right people, and handle the scheduling to ensure it is as far-reaching as possible. Let us help you get a handle on the whole process by scheduling a discovery meeting today.

8 Introduction to Content Marketing for Financial Advisors

With the growth of platforms like YouTube and content sharing on social media sites such as Facebook, video is a great way to convey information to your audience and make a more personal connection.

Indeed, it’s the perfect way to talk to clients and prospects and move beyond sharing text-based information. While those types of marketing materials still have a place in your business, they don’t come close to meeting the potential of connecting with people on a more personal basis.

If you aren’t sure where or how to start with video marketing, here are a few tips to get you moving in the right direction:

Your Appearance

Most people won’t consider doing videos for their business because, let’s be honest, they are worried about what they will look like on camera. The truth is, you look about the same on camera as you do in person. There are a few things you can do ahead of time to ensure that you will present the best you possible and be confident on recording day:

  • Test out your wardrobe.
  • Use a camera to see how your clothes look. Don’t rely on the mirror.
  • Be aware that the appearance of your clothes, colors, and necklines can all look a little different on camera.
  • Wear something that is comfortable but professional and makes you feel confident.

Mindset

Another struggle of getting in front of a camera is putting yourself in the right mindset. You have to put your nerves aside and take the leap. Having the right mindset does wonders for your confidence.

  • Know your why! Why are you doing this, what benefit will your clients get from it, what do you want to accomplish? This “why” needs to be bigger than your fear of being on camera.
  • Warm up – sing, dance, be silly while you’re setting up and getting ready. This will help you loosen up and bring a smile to your face.
  • Set an active intention before you press record. This needs to be focused on your audience and how you want them to feel:
    • examples: inspire, empower, entertain, connect, ignite, invite, inform

What are you talking about?

You’re creating this video for a reason and you want to make sure that reason is clearly communicated. Plan your talking points and have a general outline. Read your scripts out loud to someone in advance and tweak it so that it sounds like you and flows naturally.

If you don’t think that you can make it through your points without completely forgetting what you’re saying, you can use a teleprompter. However, there are a few things you need to realize about using a teleprompter:

  • Look straight into the camera lens. You don’t want to look like you are staring off into space rather than looking at the camera.
  • Keep it conversational and don’t make it feel read or too rehearsed, this can be hard and will take practice.
  • There are teleprompter apps from the App Store and Play Store, and a free teleprompter website that you can use right from your browser.

If you are not sure what to talk about, here is a quick list of ideas for financial advisors:

  • Share a big announcement
  • Provide a behind-the-scenes look
  • Draw on a whiteboard/chalkboard
  • Thank your audience
  • Tell a story
  • Recap a blog post
  • Share an office tour
  • Share your thoughts on a current event
  • Discuss a commonly asked question
  • Introduce your team
  • Conduct an interview with an attorney, CPA, or other professional
  • Talk about an upcoming or past seminar or client event
  • Provide insights, tips or tricks related to personal finance

Let your viewers know they can find out more about you and your firm on your website and social media. Don’t assume they can find you – give them the URL so they know exactly where to go.

Recording

You have your wardrobe picked out, you’ve got your mindset right, and you have your talking points – it is time to record!

Start out talking in a really conversational way about something personal and even unrelated to your topic. It needs to be something that makes you smile and gets you relaxed and warmed up. Once you are comfortable you can move into your topic. You can then edit out the warm-up intro during the editing phase.

  • Use the camera to talk to one person you really like.
  • Bring someone in the room with you, stick up a photo, or even bring your dog into your first attempts.
  • Drink lots of water (your mouth will get dry).
  • Take breaks if your mindset gets supercritical. Go for a walk and come back fresh.

There are a few steps you should take to be sure the audio quality of your videos is good. Record in a room that doesn’t have a lot of background noise, such as air conditioners, fans, printers, or other equipment that hums; if you’re using your phone to record, mute your notifications or even turn on airplane mode so your video isn’t interrupted by a text message or phone call; and you may want to consider using a shotgun mic or lavalier mic. Another simple but often overlooked step is to do a sound check before recording. Nothing’s worse than finishing your video only to find out the audio quality is terrible.

About Batch Recording

If you’re using a background setup and have put time into getting ready for recording I highly recommend batch recording. That way you don’t have to set up your lights, makeup, hair, camera, etc., for each video you create. You can use the same set up over a day (or more), and knock out a bunch of videos at one time. Just be sure to have a realistic goal for the number of videos you can shoot in a day. Also, think about changing your shirt between videos so it is not so evident that you’ve done them all in one day.

Wrapping Up

Your work is not quite over when the red light of the camera goes off. You need to put in a little extra to make sure that you get the most out of each and every recording session. So, once you have done a little victory dance that you did it, and no you didn’t die, then you can move into the wrap-up stage.

  • Focus on what you did well, not on what went wrong.
  • Write down at least three things you’re proud of in your filming.
  • Write down one or two things you’d like to improve for next time.

I hope this helps you in your video marketing journey. Last year I moved into the world of creating podcasts for my business; this year I hope to complete some video marketing pieces. I would love for you to step out of your comfort zone with me and see how fun and beneficial it can be.

Before You Get in Front of the Video Camera

With the growth of platforms like YouTube and content sharing on social media sites such as Facebook, video is a great way to convey information to your audience and make a more personal connection.

Indeed, it’s the perfect way to talk to clients and prospects and move beyond sharing text-based information. While those types of marketing materials still have a place in your business, they don’t come close to meeting the potential of connecting with people on a more personal basis.

If you aren’t sure where or how to start with video marketing, here are a few tips to get you moving in the right direction:

Your Appearance

Most people won’t consider doing videos for their business because, let’s be honest, they are worried about what they will look like on camera. The truth is, you look about the same on camera as you do in person. There are a few things you can do ahead of time to ensure that you will present the best you possible and be confident on recording day:

  • Test out your wardrobe.
  • Use a camera to see how your clothes look. Don’t rely on the mirror.
  • Be aware that the appearance of your clothes, colors, and necklines can all look a little different on camera.
  • Wear something that is comfortable but professional and makes you feel confident.

Mindset

Another struggle of getting in front of a camera is putting yourself in the right mindset. You have to put your nerves aside and take the leap. Having the right mindset does wonders for your confidence.

  • Know your why! Why are you doing this, what benefit will your clients get from it, what do you want to accomplish? This “why” needs to be bigger than your fear of being on camera.
  • Warm up – sing, dance, be silly while you’re setting up and getting ready. This will help you loosen up and bring a smile to your face.
  • Set an active intention before you press record. This needs to be focused on your audience and how you want them to feel:
    • examples: inspire, empower, entertain, connect, ignite, invite, inform

What are you talking about?

You’re creating this video for a reason and you want to make sure that reason is clearly communicated. Plan your talking points and have a general outline. Read your scripts out loud to someone in advance and tweak it so that it sounds like you and flows naturally.

If you don’t think that you can make it through your points without completely forgetting what you’re saying, you can use a teleprompter. However, there are a few things you need to realize about using a teleprompter:

  • Look straight into the camera lens. You don’t want to look like you are staring off into space rather than looking at the camera.
  • Keep it conversational and don’t make it feel read or too rehearsed, this can be hard and will take practice.
  • There are teleprompter apps from the App Store and Play Store, and a free teleprompter website that you can use right from your browser.

If you are not sure what to talk about, here is a quick list of ideas for financial advisors:

  • Share a big announcement
  • Provide a behind-the-scenes look
  • Draw on a whiteboard/chalkboard
  • Thank your audience
  • Tell a story
  • Recap a blog post
  • Share an office tour
  • Share your thoughts on a current event
  • Discuss a commonly asked question
  • Introduce your team
  • Conduct an interview with an attorney, CPA, or other professional
  • Talk about an upcoming or past seminar or client event
  • Provide insights, tips or tricks related to personal finance

Let your viewers know they can find out more about you and your firm on your website and social media. Don’t assume they can find you – give them the URL so they know exactly where to go.

Recording

You have your wardrobe picked out, you’ve got your mindset right, and you have your talking points – it is time to record!

Start out talking in a really conversational way about something personal and even unrelated to your topic. It needs to be something that makes you smile and gets you relaxed and warmed up. Once you are comfortable you can move into your topic. You can then edit out the warm-up intro during the editing phase.

  • Use the camera to talk to one person you really like.
  • Bring someone in the room with you, stick up a photo, or even bring your dog into your first attempts.
  • Drink lots of water (your mouth will get dry).
  • Take breaks if your mindset gets supercritical. Go for a walk and come back fresh.

There are a few steps you should take to be sure the audio quality of your videos is good. Record in a room that doesn’t have a lot of background noise, such as air conditioners, fans, printers, or other equipment that hums; if you’re using your phone to record, mute your notifications or even turn on airplane mode so your video isn’t interrupted by a text message or phone call; and you may want to consider using a shotgun mic or lavalier mic. Another simple but often overlooked step is to do a soundcheck before recording. Nothing’s worse than finishing your video only to find out the audio quality is terrible.

About Batch Recording

If you’re using a background setup and have put time into getting ready for recording I highly recommend batch recording. That way you don’t have to set up your lights, makeup, hair, camera, etc., for each video you create. You can use the same set up over a day (or more), and knock out a bunch of videos at one time. Just be sure to have a realistic goal for the number of videos you can shoot in a day. Also, think about changing your shirt between videos so it is not so evident that you’ve done them all in one day.

Wrapping Up

Your work is not quite over when the red light of the camera goes off. You need to put in a little extra to make sure that you get the most out of each and every recording session. So, once you have done a little victory dance that you did it, and no you didn’t die, then you can move into the wrap-up stage.

  • Focus on what you did well, not on what went wrong.
  • Write down at least three things you’re proud of in your filming.
  • Write down one or two things you’d like to improve for next time.

I hope this helps you in your video marketing journey. Last year I moved into the world of creating podcasts for my business; this year I hope to complete some video marketing pieces. I would love for you to step out of your comfort zone with me and see how fun and beneficial it can be.