Imagine your ideal client. They need a financial advisor, so the first thing they do is go to Google and search for one. They read reviews, look up some info and make a decision. Google acts as a compass, guiding this person through the steps to their destination – the right financial advisor. Many advisors do the opposite, they will seek out potential clients. But this process is exhausting. Building the network to reach individuals, discussing services and turning them into a client takes time. Wouldn’t it be better if you could just hand them a map, and let them find you?
This is exactly what inbound marketing resolves. It frees up time for content creation, which provides long-term growth for your firm and guides the “right” prospects to you. Content acts as the road marker for each step. It turns a lead into a prospect, and a prospect into a client, by engaging them through content and allowing them to decide whether your services are right for them.
How to Find the Right Prospects:
To help create content and understand who the “right” prospects are, you should develop a few audience personas. You can do this by asking the following questions about your ideal clients:
- Demographics: What is the age, gender, occupation, living location etc. of your ideal audience?
- Interests: What does your audience enjoy doing? What do they spend time and money on?
- Pain Points: What are the problems this audience deals with? How can you solve them?
- Roadblocks: What might prevent a member of this audience from becoming a client?
What Makes a Great Website?
Having a website is necessary for any online traffic, but improving it is essential to maintaining prospective clients.
Your website should be:
- content should be accessible
- costs and benefits should be transparent
- images, text and animation should complement your website
There are multiple ways to improve a website’s design, but the objective is to create a positive user experience with easily accessed and organized information.
For example, websites like Storybook Financial, which check all of the boxes for a great website. Features like a clear navigation menu, sorted information, interactive animations, consistent blogs and a clear purpose provide clients and prospects with a positive user experience. There are hundreds of other great sites like this. If you would like to see more examples, then explore our client showcase blogs for inspiration.
5 Ways To Use Blogs and Guide Prospects
Blogging is one of the best ways to improve SEO (search engine optimization) which helps a prospect discover you. It provides the opportunity to create specific pieces on the pain points, interests, concerns or any other topic they might engage with.
This allows blogs to become a knowledge basis for many industries. And, Google often rewards sites that publish content on a regular basis, establishing a “freshness factor” to show your site is active. The better your site scores on Google, the more often it will appear in a search result. Using these five tips will help your blogs score higher, and appear more often for prospects.
1. Write Articles Between 1,800 and 2,400 Words:
Too short, and your article might not have enough information or keywords to score on a SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Too long, and your article will impact reader interest. The key is creating content that provides as much information as possible in a short period of time. This is challenging for more complex topics, but understanding your reader’s intent helps, as you can focus the article on the information that is relevant to their needs.
2. Include Relevant and Engaging Visuals (with Alt Text):
Creating an engaging reader experience involves more than writing. Include images and video to break up large portions of text. These images and videos should be relevant to the topic at hand and add to the subject matter. Including them will improve user experience and increase time spent on a page, which in turn affects the user’s overall desire to return to your content for a similar experience.
Also, all images should include alt text. This is not the image file name, but a text field that can be filled out for any image in a web or blog editor. Including alt text provides ADA compliance and assists the visually impaired when exploring your blog posts. Alt text also assists your SEO efforts, as the text field is often used for keywords.
HOW TO ADD ALT TEXT TO AN IMAGE:
Adding alt text to an image is easy. First, decide the image you would like to use in your blog. If you’re having trouble, feel free to explore our post on some of our favorite royalty-free stock photo sites. Once you’ve downloaded your image you will need to upload it to your blog. This can be done by clicking the Insert Image button on your menu:
Once your image has been uploaded to your blog, clicking on it will reveal a menu. From here you can add alt text by clicking on the “i“, revealing a text window:
3. Organize Your Articles With Keyword Packed Headers:
Headers provide a blog post with structure, making it skimmable for the reader, and easier to organize for the writer. But headers are also the first place that a search engine scans a blog post, providing greater context for the posts SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Headers are scanned in order of header type, in order of H2, H3, H4 and standard text. So, make sure to include your high priority keywords in a higher tier header, like H2 or H3.
FINDING BASIC KEYWORDS:
Keywords are the terms that prospects will use to find your websites. They are the query posted into Google or another search engine search bar:
Things like “Best Financial Advisor” or “Steps to Retirement”. A keyword is the language prospects will use. Understanding who your prospects are and what they care about can help you identify appropriate keywords and target them through your content. However, be careful when adding too many keywords. They should be included naturally in your text, not crammed in to match search engine requirements. This is referred to as “keyword stuffing”, which many search engines punish by lowering your search ranking.
4. Build Your Links:
Sharing information from known sources, citing stats and crediting creators are a few ways to generate credibility. In blogging, this is all done through link building. There are two types of links in a blog, inbound and outbound links.
These are links from your blog post to another source – like this one to Twenty Over Ten’s main page. They can be used to credit someone, provide greater context, link a user to more information etc.
Also called backlinks, these are links from other sources to your blog post. For example, this link from a Market Insider article on Twenty Over Ten:
This link would count as an inbound link for Twenty Over Ten. Understanding how to build more backlinks is essential to improving your blogs, so make sure to develop a strategy for acquiring more.
5. Publish Blogs on a Set Schedule:
Search engines reward sites for being active. Blogging on a set schedule allows you to establish a steady flow of content, while making sure that your website remains active, improving SEO efforts.
Distributing Your Content:
Creating content for the right prospects will certainly lead them towards your site. But, you can increase the number of incoming prospects further by distributing your content through relevant channels. Determine your communication channels based on who you want to attract.
Receiving a prospect’s email from a lead capture source is a clear indication of interest. These email channels can be used to share and distribute your content, providing it directly to the prospect instead of waiting for them to return to your site. Email segmentation yields further accuracy to make sure content gets to the right visitor. This provides an opportunity to nurture your leads by sending occasional content updates, through a process known as a drip campaign.
WHAT IS A DRIP CAMPAIGN?
A drip campaign is a method for distributing emails that target prospects based on their previous interactions and audience persona. It’s a way of growing a lead into a prospect and a prospect into a client by reminding them of the value you provide. According to Optinmonster, companies that utilize drip campaigns receive 80 percent more sales and spend 33 percent less than other strategies. If you’d like to establish a drip campaign, but you’re not sure where to begin, then read our guide to creating drip campaigns that increase engagement to learn more.
Establish a Social Media Presence
Social media provides your content with a platform. Each social channel comes with different audience demographics and expectations. In addition, a study of social media from the Pew Research Center showed there has been a consistent increase in social media usage across every age range, providing advisors with an opportunity to interact with a variety of clients:
However, despite the ubiquitous increase in social media use, each channel comes with specific advantages, demographics and expectations. Content that performs well on one channel, might not perform well on another. So keep in mind the differences between social channels. Analyze your analytics, and see what works with your customers. Read our post on creating a drip campaign for more information on audience behavior and channel demographics.
If You Need Help With Blogging:
Tacking the strategies above can bring serious results, but only if you have the time to invest in them. Blogging is a long-term task that provides the biggest ROI with more time and investment. So, if you’re finding it challenging to complete any of the points above, then consider these options:
EMPLOY AN INTERNAL WRITER OR CONTENT CREATOR:
Trained content creators can bring experience and focus to your blogging efforts. This reduces the time it takes to produce content and increases the volume and quality of content. Bringing on an employee to tackle the blogging process boosts the benefits of your blogging efforts. This is a great investment, but expensive, and therefore not perfect for every situation.
HIRE MARKETING OR WRITING INTERNS:
Hiring an intern is an excellent investment for both parties. A position could provide college and university students with an off-campus job, and experience relevant to future employment. While an intern’s reduced hours can save the firm money while investing in a possible future employee and content strategy. Check out our post on hiring an intern for a detailed process to setting up your own intern program.
UTILIZE A SERVICE LIKE TWENTY OVER TEN OR LEAD PILOT:
We provide new content to clients every month. Completely editable, shareable and easily scheduled. You can use this content on your landing pages, or share it on social media. This can almost remove the burden of content creation while providing you with additional tools to improve your content’s outreach.
OUTSOURCE FROM AN AGENCY:
Using an agency like Perfectly Planned Content or McGuire Marketing can completely remove the time requirements of content creation. In addition, you will receive content specifically for your firm, created by professionals and geared towards your ideal audience.
CHECK GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE FOR INSPIRATION:
A free tool, Google’s search console can provide you with data for your blog. It can seem intimidating at first, but some of your best sources of content can come from this database. To find ideas, log in to your Google account and navigate to the Search Console page.
Wrapping it Up:
Using the five tips above will help clarify your prospect’s journey. Finding your website and presenting value will be much easier. And, if you’re having trouble creating content and just don’t have enough time, there are several options to help you lay the groundwork and guide the right prospects to you.