Leadership is important in every industry. However, given the year we’ve all just had, it’s never been more important in financial marketing. American businesses of all sizes, in all industries, have ridden a rollercoaster of government policy, shutdowns, booms, busts, and technological advances. Now that 2021 is on the horizon, it’s time to start planning.
Since we’re all friends here, we want to give you a tip: this is a huge opportunity for you. Everyone is looking for direction and guidance, and you have the expertise they need to make it through these tricky times. It’s time to step up and be the leader they need. To take a quote from William Shakespeare, “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” (Does that send tingles up your spine too?)
That means it’s time to talk about thought leadership. This is a financial marketing strategy that leverages the experience of your team to build an audience and generate leads.
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Thought leadership in financial marketing
The most effective way to display thought leadership is through content marketing or publicity. The former can include virtually every type of media from blogs to videos, social media, and more. The latter can include speaking at events like conferences and webinars in order to build brand awareness. There are lots of ways you can establish your expertise:
- Discuss the latest industry news and offer an opinion
- Create a step-by-step guide to tackling a common problem
- Answer questions your clients frequently ask during appointments
- Write long-form articles that give advice using strong keywords
- Examine trends and predict where the industry is heading
- Share case studies about the way you achieve success
- Collaborate with colleagues and other experts
Truthfully, the sky is the limit when it comes to thought leadership in financial marketing. Since you work in finance, we know you like numbers, so pay attention to the analytics. Check in regularly with Google Analytics and Facebook Analytics to see what kinds of content are getting the greatest reaction. Which blog posts are people most likely to click? Which ones are people reading all the way to the end? What types of social media content get the best engagement? What are people talking about in the comments?
Paying attention to the data will help you refine your strategy over time, capturing as much attention as possible and presenting your brand in the best possible light.
Pay attention to financial marketing trends
What’s trending in the finance sector? How will this affect your business? Most importantly, how will this affect your customers? It’s really important to stay up-to-date with industry news, because this is great fodder to not only improve your practices, but fuel your strategy.
Financial marketing is changing rapidly, just like the industry it promotes, and there are several reasons why it’s important for you to stay ahead of the curve. The first one is so that you can provide a calm port in a storm for existing clients and give them the best possible service. The second to build trust with prospective clients to start winning them over.
Think about it. There are generally two ways people find a new financial services partner: they ask for recommendations from people they trust, and they start Googling. You’ll catch their eye with snazzy Google Ads and a sparkling SEO strategy, and then you’ll only have a couple of seconds to make an impression and win their confidence.
Here are some thought-starters. What’s your take on these topics?
- Artificial intelligence integration
- Best practice in cybersecurity
- Importance of data analytics
- The rise of Blockchain technology
- Re-thinking the concept of money
This isn’t a random list. It’s the result of a quick search for “finance trends,” which means they’re the kinds of topics people are talking about online. Are you taking part in the conversation? What are you going to do if a client asks for your take? The best way to be prepared is to include them, and any other trending topics, in your financial marketing strategy. That way, the next time people are searching for answers, your content will start to appear in search results lists.
Make sure your content works double-time
If you’re going to invest in thought leadership as a financial marketing strategy, you’re going to need strong content. Content requires a considerable investment of time and effort, so it makes sense to get the biggest possible return on investment. Right? If you’ve ever heard of the marketing guru Gary Vaynerchuk (we’re big fans here at the Beacon office), you’ll know he’s the king of repurposing content. There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel.
Digital marketing is versatile. There are many platforms, many mediums, and many methods you can use to share your messaging with the masses online. Here are some simple and time-saving ideas you can use to maximize your impact while minimizing your effort:
- Share video of your speaking engagements on your website and social platforms.
- Combine blog posts into an eBook to boost your credibility as a thought-leader.
- Present blog posts as videos (or vice versa). Then share the audio as a podcast!
- Screenshot Tweets and share them on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.
- Share content from colleagues and experts with a thoughtful comment.
- Freshen up your old content and reshare it with a modern twist.
- Create a quick infographic to accompany a report.
The progression is simple. Thought leadership needs content marketing. Content marketing needs a marketing strategy. A marketing strategy needs a strong brand with clear goals. This will lay the foundation you need to successfully start growing your audience online.
Secrets to financial marketing success
Before we let you go, we’re going to run you through some very practical tips to help you level-up your financial marketing strategy for the year ahead.
The most important, by far, is consistency. Thought leadership, and content marketing, are both long-term strategies. Each piece of content will build on the ones that came before it, leading to exponential growth over time. There’s nothing to be gained by publishing one or two think pieces and then simply hoping for the best. Consistency means you’ll need to budget the time to research trending topics, plan a publishing schedule, and create the content you need. You’ll also need to check-in regularly to ensure it’s hitting the mark and that you’re across any sub-topics that need further explanation.
The other thing we’d like to mention is the importance of making content marketing a two-way conversation. Don’t just shout into the void of the internet! Respond to all the comments people leave on your blogs or videos, and dedicate at least 30 minutes a day to interacting with people on social media. This doesn’t mean simply dropping a few likes here and there, but asking questions or leaving thoughtful comments to encourage people to engage in a dialogue with you.
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