Content Marketing: Start with Strategy
I am in the midst of taking a large trip to Asia for the very first time, and while I'm thrilled to be traveling overseas I'm a little anxious because I don't know much about traveling abroad. A friend told me to check out REI Co-op, a leading brand in encouraging people to go outside and be more adventurous. Since then, they have been my one stop shop for everything: traveling gear, "how-tos", classes and events.
I’ve come to rely on their expert advice through blog articles, videos, awesome in store customer service and a super informative emailing list. Before I knew it, my travel check list was complete and my REI bag is packed with REI gear from tips I learned from REI! They will continue to win my business and any time a fellow traveler needs info you better believe I will refer REI resources.
Think of the places you go for reliable information; how did those sources build your trust? Now, where do you think your plan sponsor prospects go when they need expert advice for their retirement planning questions? That source could be you!
In previous blog articles, we've discussed the importance of developing a message behind your brand and remaining consistent as you promote your brand. Content marketing is what bridges the gap between your what your firm believes, and the promotion of your product or service.
The Value of Content Marketing
Content Marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
According to a report by the Content Marketing Institute, 83% of marketers consider a content marketing strategy very effective in increasing revenue. As we enter into the new year, a closer look at your content strategy may be responsible for increased web traffic, a growth in leads, and more loyal clients.
Here are four simple steps to create a content marketing strategy:
1. Identify your goal and your prospects buying persona.
Be specific with your goals and discuss them with your team. Identify your why, what, and how and by doing this, the process will be easier and more enjoyable. Who is buying your service? For the retirement plan advisor, it's a business owner but what kind of business owner? What are some industries that dominate your territory? Uncovering these demographics can help you tailor your content better towards those types of business owners.
2. Conduct a content audit
Let's look at what you currently have for content; this could include email campaigns, newsletters, articles, videos, etc. Are you consistent with your current content? Or are these posts very spread out demonstrating inconsistency? After you conduct your audit and answer these questions, identify what pieces of content you'll be able to remain most consistent with and which ones you will not. For example, if it takes teeth pulling to get you to sit down and write a blog article, but creating a newsletter takes an hour, focus your energy on your newsletters and delegate blog writing to another team member or outsource blog writing.
3. Determine how you will manage your content
In a previous article, Clicks into Customers Pt 1: Automate the Important, we discussed automating your content through email automation. Distributing and managing content can be streamlined and easy if done correctly. Email marketing programs, Hootsuite, and CRM platforms are all solutions to distribute and manage your content.
4. Create an editorial calendar and stick to it
An editorial calendar will help you determine what topics to promote, and what type of content pieces to create. We recommend splitting your calendar up by quarters and giving each quarter a theme to follow for consistency. While the year moves along you won't have to pause and brainstorm content for that quarter, you'll already have a foundation to begin with.
As you create content, a lot of it will be evergreen as they are important topics today and will be months from now. However, don't ignore timely topics; they won't be a big part of your strategy but might make good use to generate spikes of traffic.
It takes time, effort, creativity, and organization to create a content marketing strategy. But the efforts result in your firm having a strategy that will save a lot of time, help attract leads, and will help educate your target prospects and generate awareness for your firm.
About 401(k) Marketing
We believe the retirement plan industry can do better. Our clients are the best professional retirement plan advisors and TPAs in the business. They care deeply about saving America’s retirement future. We are proud to share their voices through industry writings, professionally-designed marketing materials (including websites), and expert content collateral. We lend support by promoting businesses through on-going awareness campaigns. www.401k-marketing.com
About Retirement Plan Marketing
We believe the retirement plan industry can do better. Retirement Plan Marketing is a product of 401(k) Marketing and is an on-going turnkey marketing solution for retirement plan advisors. It is an easy-to-follow, consistent marketing program designed to get you noticed in your community and generate new retirement plan sales. When you deliver relevant plan sponsor content, you add value to your conversations and can work your way up to become known as the “go-to” retirement plan advisory office.
 “What Is Content Marketing?” Content Marketing Institute, contentmarketinginstitute.com/what-is-content-marketing/.
 Snyder, Victor G. “The Secret to Successful Content-Marketing In 2018 Is Having a Strategy, So Get One.” Entrepreneur, Entrepreneur Magazine, 7 Dec. 2017, www.entrepreneur.com/article/305314.