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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Hourihan

Navigating Digital Business Development Strategies

Understanding the digital landscape and how to leverage it for business development has become a critical skill for 401(k) advisors. This article will delve deeper into the content creation process, exploring the ideation, research, composition, design, and distribution stages in more detail. It will also examine who should create content, why it's important, and the benefits that consistent business development strategies bring.

Diving Deeper into Content Creation

In its simplest form, content creation is the process of generating ideas and ends with distributing them to your plan audience. Let's take a closer look at each stage:

  1. Ideation: The first step is coming up with a topic that is relevant to your plan sponsor and/or participant audience. In the 401(k) space, there are plenty of trending news and macro topics to choose from, such as fiduciary plan governance, the SECURE Acts, financial wellness, investment oversight, and administration and organization.

  2. Research: Once you've selected a topic, you need to decide what aspect of it you want to explore. This could include fee benchmarking, different levels of fiduciary responsibility, conducting investment oversight, or updates on laws, legislation, and regulations. Research helps you present a well-informed point of view to your audience.

  3. Composition: After settling on a topic and conducting research, it's time to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). This stage involves writing the actual content. Whether you're creating a checklist, outlining a podcast, or scripting a video, you need to determine the words you'll use and share.

  4. Design: In today's world, we are bombarded with around 10,000 advertisements per day. With so much content vying for our attention, it's critical to make yours stand out. Good design can make people stop, pause, and take notice of your content. Gone are the days when a Word document with a blue border sufficed as 'design'. Today, good design is not just a nice-to-have – it's a necessity.

  5. Distribution: The final stage in the content creation process is arguably the most critical - distribution. It's not enough to create top-notch content; it also needs to reach your audience.

In earlier times, distribution was perceived as a one-sided push into the marketplace. Whether it was a cold call, a TV commercial, or a printed postcard, the idea was to push your message out to potential customers.

Today, however, the concept of distribution has evolved significantly. It's no longer a linear, one-way street but rather a loop. The advent of digital media and technology has made distribution more interactive and dynamic.

Consider a LinkedIn post, for instance. Once you post an update or share an article, it triggers a series of actions. If your content resonates with your network, they might like, comment, or share your post, thereby increasing its visibility. This interaction can lead to more people viewing your content, potentially leading to inbound messages and new connections.

Similarly, let's consider an email campaign. A well-crafted email can prompt recipients to open it, forward it to others, or even visit your website for more information. These actions can lead to inbound messages on your website, further engagement, and potentially, new business leads.

Or take a blog article. A well-written, SEO-optimized blog post can rank high on Google search results, making it visible to a larger audience. Even months after being published, it can attract readers who may turn into leads, boosting your website's SEO and findability.

The distribution stage is not just about pushing your content into the marketplace; it's about creating a loop that brings engagement and leads back to you. By understanding and leveraging algorithms, you can maximize your content's reach and impact.

The process of content creation is a multi-dimensional journey that requires careful attention within each stage to ensure effective engagement and deliver business results.

Who Should Create the Content?

As a business leader, particularly as a 401(k) advisor, the management of your time is crucial. Creating high-quality, engaging content on a consistent basis can be a time-consuming endeavor, and your expertise may be better employed in managing your clients' retirement plans. The question then arises: should you be the one creating the content or should you delegate it to a team? Perhaps you might consider joining a membership that provides an abundance of retirement plan marketing content, or even outsourcing the task entirely to a professional firm well-versed in the 401(k) marketplace. Regardless of the path you choose, maintaining consistency is key.

This is where the value of subscription content services becomes evident. By subscribing to these services, you can concurrently maintain focus on running your business and ensure your clients receive relevant and timely content. These subscription content services offer a steady stream of professionally written articles, newsletters, social media posts, and more, helping you establish your credibility as an expert in your field and fostering trust with your clients.

Harnessing the Power of Algorithms

This brings us to the crucial role of algorithms in content distribution. Whether it's LinkedIn's algorithm that determines the visibility of your posts, email marketing algorithms that filter which emails land in the 'Priority' inbox, or Google's search algorithm that ranks web pages, understanding and leveraging these algorithms can significantly enhance your content's reach.

  • LinkedIn: To optimize your LinkedIn presence, it's essential to understand how its algorithm works. LinkedIn prioritizes content that generates conversations. So, creating content that encourages likes, comments, and shares can increase your visibility on the platform.

  • Email Marketing: Email service providers use algorithms to filter out spam and prioritize important emails. To ensure your emails reach your audience's priority inbox, focus on personalization, avoid spammy language, and maintain a clean email list.

  • SEO: Google's search algorithm considers more than 200 factors when ranking web pages. By optimizing your content for relevant keywords, improving your website's loading speed, and earning quality backlinks, you can increase your chances of appearing on the first page of Google's search results.

Why Is This Important?

A consistent business development strategy can yield three significant benefits:

  1. Client Retention: Regular communication leads to happier clients, which in turn leads to higher client retention rates. Your clients want to hear from you and stay updated on the latest news and trends.

  2. Awareness: As you communicate more consistently with your clients and centers of influence, you start to become known as the go-to retirement plan expert. This increased awareness can lead to more referrals and business opportunities.

  3. Prospect Doubt: Prospects may start questioning their current advisor's services when they see the value you provide through your consistent communications. This doubt can lead to more business development opportunities for you.

Maximizing Digital Business Growth

The art of content creation and distribution is a dynamic and interactive process. It's no longer merely about pushing your message out into the marketplace but rather about creating a loop of engagement that brings leads back to you.

Whether you choose to content creation yourself or delegate it to others, remember: the ultimate goal is to create a comprehensive influence around you and your business. By providing valuable, high-quality content, you can position yourself as a trusted retirement plan advisor and grow your business.

Thanks for reading & Happy Marketing!

About Us

401(k) Marketing is the modern marketing agency for the retirement plan industry. We are proud to support our clients through custom engagements, content marketing campaigns, sales material innovations, thought-leadership consulting, interactive workshops and speaking events. Our mission is to empower the retirement plan industry with high-quality marketing, ultimately inspiring Americans to become financially prepared for their future.

Retirement Plan Marketing is the solution for retirement plan advisors looking for an ongoing and scalable marketing process to generate awareness, streamline sales opportunities and earn more 401(k) business. This comprehensive, strategy driven marketing program includes digital content and sales material specifically designed to help retirement plan professionals attract the right decision makers.


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