IT STARTS BY CRAFTING YOUR CONTENT TO YOUR AUDIENCE
25 years before he became the public face of world health, Bill Gates was credited with making the statement “content is king.” For asset managers grappling with the challenges of marketing to advisors amid a stay-at-home economy brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, those words have even greater resonance today. In this first installation of a four-part series, we will begin to explore time-tested solutions to the most common problems asset managers face on a daily basis.
With most traditional distribution models locked down and advisory firms imposing moratoriums on in-person meetings with wholesalers until further notice, finding effective ways to reach and engage advisors has become paramount for asset managers.
We believe this current crisis has accelerated interest in a distribution model that some firms may have heard of but very few have embraced. It is called Digital Wholesaling and it starts by connecting every aspect of an asset management firm’s distribution team including sales, marketing, technology, support, and analytics within a platform called Inbound. Inbound is a roadmap for how to grow your business in a digital world where prospects and clients have information at their fingertips.
Content plays a major role in this strategy where the goal is to attract advisors who are searching for solutions online by providing them with timely and relevant answers to the questions and needs they have.
While content is key, not all content is created equal. Content needs to be crafted with skill, used strategically, and published in a timely and consistent manner.
Inbound content can include blogs, social media, landing pages, videos, infographics, webinars and more. Creating great content often takes time and the hand of skilled professionals, yet it is a cost effective and efficient way to reach advisors and to do so in a non-intrusive manner.
Whether delivered by text, graphics, video, audio or other methods, quality content establishes your firm as a thought leader. It defines the areas where you are a subject matter expert—from equities and fixed income to alternative investments. But most of all, it solves your prospects’ questions, concerns, and needs, which helps to foster trustworthy relationships.
Begin with your Buyer Personas
So, how do you get started in creating this great content that will attract advisors to you? It begins, with defining exactly who you are trying to reach. In Inbound vernacular, that person is defined as your buyer persona, which is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.
Detailed buyer persona profiles go a long way in helping you establish your voice and tone, the topics you cover, and your point of view. Plain vanilla content may not tarnish your reputation, but it does little to distinguish you and set you apart from so many other providers. Advisors can find generic content anywhere. It is all over the web and flooding in-boxes and mailboxes. Financial advisors need a compelling reason to come to you for information and keep coming back.
This means you must consider who your target advisors are, what content would be of value to them, what pain points they wish to solve, and what information they need to better service their clients. Your target, for example, could be RIA firms which have five advisors, between $500M and $1B AUM, and who have a heavy focus on alternative investments and tax shelters. Your content needs to be relevant to these firms.
When creating your buyer personas, consider including customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. The more detailed you are, the better.
Defining your RIA buyer personas is just one step. The next is identifying which advisory firms fall within your target audience, so you will want to work with a leading financial services industry data provider to help you source your best prospects. Once you know exactly who you are marketing to, you can dive in and start getting to the meat of drafting your content.
Just like defining the buyer persona, drafting content needs to be strategic. Each piece of content should be crafted with the targeted buyer personas and with the exact stage of their buying journey in mind. There are three stages to that journey: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision.
Our next series of blog posts will explore each of these content marketing stages and the strategic direction for each. For more information about Inbound and how it can have a positive impact on your company’s growth, check out our resources here.