3 strategies for creating a content calendar to channel growth:
The road to effective financial advisory search engine optimization (SEO) travels through content. Without content targeted to your growth audience, you’re reliant on your website to support your SEO.
That’s a losing battle because most websites are static – they’re created as virtual business cards and don’t change much from when they’re launched to when they are overhauled or replaced.
Talk to any credible SEO expert and you’ll quickly find out that consistent, fresh and relevant content is the key to building and maintaining SEO.
In the first three articles in this series on financial advisory and wealth management content, I discussed how to brainstorm content ideas, create an ideal client persona and build out content ideas. In this article, I’ll walk you step-by-step through how to organize a content calendar to drive eyeballs to your website.
This process starts with determining how often you want to post content, progresses to deciding what forms of content you want to create and ends with the creation of an actual content calendar.
Strategy #1: Determine content frequency
Posting frequently is important, but it’s better to post less frequently than not at all. Too many advisors aim for too much frequency with their content given how busy they already are.
The result is that they get discouraged and quit creating content, because they can’t meet their own expectations.
In my opinion, it is better to start slow and increase posting frequency over time. I’m working with an advisor right now who has started blogging once a month, specifically because she needs better SEO.
If that doesn’t seem enough for you, then go for every other week or twice a month.
Strategy #2: Decide what content forms to post
Because I’m a writer, my bias in content is towards writing. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to write. You could create videos or audio – think a podcast. In fact, my client who is starting to blog is also using it to supplement her weekly podcast.
I recommend focusing on whatever is easiest, because that’s what is most likely to get done. If you’ve never done video, you don’t want to all of a sudden commit to doing video even once a month, because you don’t know enough about what it requires.
You may not have a high opinion of your own writing abilities, but if you don’t have experience with video or audio, that’s what’s left. If you feel really hopeless about writing or pressed for time, you can always hire someone – a ghostwriter experienced in the financial advisory industry and compliance – to help shape your ideas into blogs or articles.
Strategy #3: Build a content calendar
Once you know how often you want to post and what kind of content you’re going to post, the final step is creating a content calendar. If you want to post blogs twice a month and you’ve got two groups of five ideas each, that gives you enough ideas for the next five months.
If you’ve followed the sequence of these articles, you’ve already got several groups of ideas and headlines. If not, you should stop now and read 3 Steps for Turning Ideas into Content.
Take one group of ideas and fill in the first part of your content calendar. If you can link the ideas together as a series, that’s great because it will help your readers stay oriented within your content.
For example, if you’re writing about retirement income planning from the point of view of a pre-retiree, a five-part series might look like this:
- Assess your retirement expenses: Phase 1 of pre-retirement planning
- Evaluate your retirement savings: Phase 2 of pre-retirement planning
- Consider Social Security claiming: Phase 3 of pre-retirement planning
- Build your income streams: Phase 4 of pre-retirement planning
- Plan for retirement risks: Phase 5 of pre-retirement planning
It doesn’t matter so much how you do this, just that you do it. Unwritten or unposted content won’t do you or your practice any good at all. Drop the perfectionism and create the content – schedule that task in your calendar if necessary.
Follow on benefits
To get even more benefit from a potential five-part content series, you could even make it a six-part series by starting it off with an introduction and overview of these five parts of pre-retirement planning.
Then, when the series is written, you could put it all together and release it as a white paper, which would give you an offer you could put on a landing page to gather email addresses and add to your email list.
As you’re writing and posting, you can create social media posts that link to these article – say three or four Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn posts per article. Make sure to send links out to your email list that includes current clients and prospects
All these activities should increase visits to your website and build up your email list, giving you more potential prospects to drip your content on.
In the next part of this series, I’ll help you write content more quickly by using an article or blog template. Finally, we’ll wrap the series up with strategies on how to pair your content with images that increase readability and conversion.