Marketing is all about storytelling, and digital marketing is all about digital storytelling.

Building marketing campaigns, executing marketing tactics, and creating an overall plan contribute to creating a story. The best stories (just like the best marketing plans) are well-thought-out and focus on achieving a single goal.

But that begs the question, how do financial advisors tell better stories through their marketing in the first place? On top of that, digital marketing gets spun up as being more complicated than it is. How does digital marketing fit into this picture?

Like getting a flat tire in your car, sometimes you need a new wheel. To answer these questions, let’s define the marketing process using the following graphic:

All marketing in history has followed this wheel in some capacity.

Think of the above as a single marketing push or a sprint. It’s a focused effort to achieve a single goal. A full marketing plan would have many of these sprints built-in, but your focus at any given time should only be on no more than three sprints. This is to keep the workload manageable and the goals in sight.  

(Added note: a successful marketing plan is not merely one agile marketing push after another. Use the Marketing Wheel as a tactic to execute pieces of your marketing calendar rather than a replacement for one.)

When planning the strategy, start at 6: The Goal. Any time you plan a trip abroad, it helps first to know where you’re going. Once you know what goal you’re trying to achieve, reverse engineer how you need to get there. Ask yourself how you get from 6 to 5, from 5 to 4, 4 to 3, and so on until you get to 1, the content you need to send out to get started on this sprint. This gives you the best path.

When executing the strategy, though, you go in order.  Start with the content and work your way to accomplish your goal. Now that you understand the basics, let’s add some context to each step and give some ideas as to what pieces would be used throughout the process.

We’ve provided links to several other articles, webinars, and resources so you can take a deeper dive into any of the topics we present here.

The Marketing Wheel

STEP 1 – CONTENT 

Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about three times as many leads. Advisors who create original content leverage one of the most cost-effective strategies to increase client retention and generate new business.

Ask yourself: What kind of content needs to get sent to accomplish my goal?

  1. Whitepapers
  2. Newsletters
  3. Weekly emails
  4. Event invites
  5. Videos
  6. Social ads
  7. Forms
  8. Handouts
  9. Blogs

We offer a comprehensive content creation guide that can give you a deeper understanding of how you can ideate, create, and utilize content in your marketing.

STEP 2 – PERSONALIZE

Personalized marketing is a growing trend among businesses large and small. Because we live and shop in such a customer-centric marketplace, consumers expect personalized messages and recommendations from brands with whom they interact.

Ask yourself: Is this custom, curated, or catered content? Who is the audience receiving it?

  1. Add logo
  2. Contact details
  3. Add a disclosure
  4. Adjust messaging and design to fit the audience

STEP 3 – HOOK

Motivating people to do something may be one of the hardest parts of content marketing, but it is also one of the most important. Whether you want visitors to schedule a first meeting with your team, sign up for your newsletter, or share your content, calling them to action is key. 

Ask yourself: What do I want people to do when they receive this content? What’s the call-to-action that will prompt an action?

  1. RSVP for an event
  2. Schedule a Zoom meeting
  3. Provide a referral campaign
  4. Go to a landing page
  5. Download a whitepaper
  6. Watch a video
  7. Share an email

STEP 4 – DISTRIBUTE

There are many content distribution methods that can help you get your content in front of a wider and more specific audience. Let’s examine what content distribution is and the different avenues available.

Ask yourself: How do I need to communicate this to clients or prospects?

  1. Website
  2. Email
  3. Social media
  4. Phone calls
  5. Physical mail
  6. Automated campaigns

STEP 5 – DESTINATION

Matching your content to the personal journey of your customers is an excellent way to create a dynamic path to engagement for your prospects and clients. You need to guide your prospects from the awareness to purchase stage of your sales funnel.

Ask yourself: If applicable, once people get the content, where do I want them to go?

  1. Come to event location (keeping pandemic regulations in mind)
  2. Visit website
  3. Join advisors at home office
  4. Follow social media page
  5. Share the content

STEP 6 – GOAL

Advisors are 42% more likely to achieve their goals when they write them down. Creating a documented, actionable marketing strategy will help you achieve your goals and mark things off your to-do list all year round.

Ask yourself: What am I trying to achieve?

  1. New business
  2. Stronger client relationships
  3. Stay top of mind
  4. Generate more leads
  5. Brand awareness

The goal stage is your chance to analyze and revise. What worked? What didn’t? Was there a better path through the wheel that would have produced better results? Keep track of your progress and strive for each push to be more successful than the last.

The mark of a successful advisor is revising, retargeting, and retrying.  

There’s always a more successful message, better content, and a fresher audience.  

The options are infinite, but the steps in the wheel are constant. Traditional marketing has been living in this wheel for centuries, digital marketing exists in the wheel now, and whatever the future holds for marketing will continue to exist in this wheel.

 

 

This article is Part 7 of The Modern Advisor’s Guide to Content Marketing series. 

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