How To Deliver The Right Content, To The Right People, At The Right Time
Recently I attended a workshop in Chicago for the American Marketing Association in which marketing buzzwords including “marketing funnel,” “buyer personas” and “content marketing” continued to be a hot commodity. While these concepts in themselves span decades if not centuries, these tools can help breathe new life and provide critical structure to marketing for your financial practice.
Who are you talking to? Define your buyer persona.
As a financial professional, you are likely used to identifying financial characteristics of your prospects (homeowner, net worth, income, investable assets,) but who are “your people”—beyond the balance sheet?
How yesterday’s “target market” becomes a buyer persona is by giving a name, face and key human characteristics to develop a crystal-clear picture of your ideal customer to provide key insights for targeting your marketing efforts.
If you already work with some you consider the perfect client, how can you clone them? Think through some of their defining characteristics:
- Where are/were they employed (company, industry)
- Job title
- Family elements
- Charitable organizations, etc.
As they say, birds of a feather… so capturing these insights can help deepen existing relationships as well as find other like-minded individuals that may be a perfect fit for your firm. Start by focusing and building out two to three personas that are most reflective of your ideal customer. The more clearly defined and accurate your targeting for audience segmentation is in this first step, the more personalized and effective you can be as you move onto our next step:
How do you reach your ideal customer? Enter the marketing funnel.
While the buyer journey is far from linear (particularly for major buying decisions like working with a new financial professional,) each new client you work with must go through four critical stages with your brand. It’s also key to note that a prospect’s attention span is inversely related to these stages of their decision-making journey; therefore, you need to develop content for each of these stages to speak to them effectively and move them towards your desired goal of taking action.
1) A: Attention
If your prospect is not aware you exist, they cannot take start working with you.
Channels to consider: Advertising, public relations, social media
Content to consider: Infographics, bite-sized videos, display ads
2) I: Interest
Once a prospect is aware of your existence, they need a reason to connect and care about you and your service offerings.
Channels to consider: Direct marketing, advertorials, digital & social PPC (pay-per-click) marketing
Content to consider: Brochures, one-pagers, checklists or other relevant content of value that a prospect would be willing to trade their essential contact information in exchange for.
3) D: Desire
Ok, you’ve got their attention and piqued their interest. Now it’s time to drill down into their problems you help solve and deliver the unique value they can only get from working with you to create the desire to take the next step. As this contact has engaged and entered into your sales process, this content will be delivered via email, appointment process or other personalized communication to provide a deeper understanding of the value you provide and problems you help solve. These materials address: Why work with you?
Content to consider: Long form videos, white papers, events, webinars, seminars
4) A: Action
Congratulations! They know you, they are interested in you, they desire to work with you, but before you start celebrating, it’s time to cross the finish line! To avoid becoming an abandoned shopping cart, you must create timeliness, urgency and a clear and easy path to move forward from prospects to officially become clients. Any support materials for prospects at this stage answer: why work with you now? And how do I get started?
Content to consider: Action items may include a case study, tax deadline or other limited-time promotion to create urgency as well as explainer videos, worksheets or client portals to simplify taking the first step of the onboarding process.
The marketing funnel in action: Where do you need work?
As a financial advisor, the steps of the marketing funnel may also align with your standard appointment process. Are there areas you feel you are coming up short? Is your biggest challenge getting new prospects in the door or pulling the trigger once you present a plan? Identify any holes in your sales funnel that need to be repaired, expand your process and corresponding support materials, or start at the beginning for a comprehensive review for any missing steps.
Need help? Just as a gap in a financial plan can have a significant and costly impact, a hole in your marketing plan, whether a broken contact form on a website or mixed messages in your print materials, can weaken all surrounding efforts. At AdvisorPR, we offer a 10-Point Marketing Review to help provide a broad critical assessment and fresh outside perspective of your various marketing initiatives from your visual and verbal brand to digital marketing and database outreach. Contact us today at (866) 888-5333 or email us at Info@advisorpr.com to learn more!
Courtney Browning, vice president of marketing for AdvisorPR, is an experienced financial marketing professional having established integrated marketing communication plans and provided consulting on coordinated marketing and branding initiatives for hundreds of financial advisors over the past decade, as well as firsthand experience as an insurance and securities licensed advisor. Established in 2005, AdvisorPR is a branding, marketing and public relations firm dedicated to providing custom and turnkey marketing communications solutions exclusively to financial professionals and the corporate companies that serve them.