Content planning may be easygoing – you get to pick and choose your goals to grow your firm. But consistent execution of that plan is much more difficult. How can you ensure your team has the tools, time and resources available to get the work done?
Content marketing, done correctly, includes extensive planning. You’ve got to create a strategy, outline your goals, develop your personas – the list goes on. But even with the most well-thought out plans, your content marketing won’t move the needle until you take action and put those plans into place.
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That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to content marketing execution for financial advisors, so you can be sure all your hard work yields results. Read on to learn the value of proper execution as well as tips and tricks you can use to get started.
If content marketing strategy is “talking the talk,” then content marketing execution is walking the walk. And no, this kind of execution doesn’t involve un-aliving anyone.
Execution is you and your team’s ability to take your content planning and put it into action, tweaking your processes and methods along the way to optimize results for your specific goals. It’s the follow-through (or lack thereof).
Your content marketing execution is often the difference between success and failure – it’s one thing to plan out all that hard work, but are you equipped and motivated to bring these projects to fruition?
Think of a time when you were excited to begin a new project – you got all your supplies and dove head-first into the task, only to realize days or weeks later that you’re experiencing burnout. Without careful planning, you risk losing motivation down the road.
Today, we’re walking you through five important questions that can help financial advisors execute their 2023 content marketing plan – consistently and effectively.
It’s time to plan out all the stuff you already planned for your content marketing in 2023 – here are five questions to guide you along the way.
We could write pages and pages on creating goals for your content (and we have!). But here’s the TL;DR:
Your goals are the guiding star for your content – they tell where you began and where you hope to end up. In short, they’re the foundation for everything – so you want them to be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based). The more specific, the better.
For example, you might wish to increase your newsletter subscribers by 25% in the first two quarters of 2023. Or maybe your website gets around 5,000 unique visitors per month, and you want to see that number increase by 10% by the end of the first quarter.
Don’t worry about how you’ll track metrics just yet – we’ll get there in one of our upcoming blogs. Just focus on the what and the why.
You can also use the marketing funnel, which sections your audience off based on where they are in their buyer’s journey to create a more personalized, relevant experience. The infographic below shows how you can sort your prospects and clients and create content aimed at solving problems for each section of the funnel, thus helping your firm reach your goals.
As you work toward your goals in the coming months, remember that the only good ideas are ideas that work. It may be time to spend less time on strategy and more time taking action.
Next up, you’ll need to decide who’s going to actually create your content. Although it’s easy to think you can do it all yourself, even a blog per week can really cut into your time – a luxury that advisors don’t have much of. A recent study showed that a single blog post under 1,400 words can take over four hours to write.
If your content will use a multimedia format (such as videos, podcasts or webinars), then you’ll also need to factor in the time and skill set required to record and edit those projects.
In all likelihood, you’ll need someone (or multiple people) on your team to make your firm’s content to fruition. That could be an in-house marketing team, an outsourced agency or some combination of the two.
There are several factors to consider in this decision, including:
How much control do you want/need?
Do you think turnaround time will be an issue?
Will you need help with strategy?
What skill sets will you need (designers, writers, SMEs, etc.)?
What are you able to contribute?
What’s your budget?
Identifying your key team players before you begin creating content can help streamline your content creation and keep you on track for successful execution.
Sometimes, you can hire a writer, give them a blog topic and let them run with it. But for more complex topics like financial planning, your writer will likely need access to more resources to create top-notch and useful content.
In those cases, who or what will the writer reference? Identifying resources now can help prevent bottlenecks in your processes later on. Are there subject matter experts within or outside of your firm that are willing to pitch in? Does your firm have any pre-existing content or marketing materials that may be useful for your writer(s)?
Another important resource to consider is time – if your writer is an in-house team member, how will they carve out the necessary time to create quality content? Will other responsibilities shift along the way, and how will that affect your firm?
This is one of those questions that you should continually ask: What kind of content does your audience actually need?
If you cater to younger clients, perhaps they need help developing a budget or learning the basics of investing for retirement. If your firm serves high-net worth clients with complex portfolios, those same resources may not be as valuable.
Think about the questions your clients ask most frequently, or consider simply asking what kind of content they’d like to see your firm produce. They’ll appreciate your consideration and it takes the guessing out of the game for your marketing team.
One of our favorite tactics to use with advisors is sending a survey out to their most engaged readers specifically asking them what they want to read about.
Your time frame has several moving parts: what you hope to accomplish each day, week, month, quarter and even over the course of the year. More importantly: How quickly can you get this all done?
While a blog each week might not seem too difficult, when you add in a monthly newsletter, tracking metrics and creating accompanying social media posts, you’re suddenly very busy.
One of the best ways to manage your time is to set clear expectations as far as deadlines for initial drafts, revisions and publication.
Related: 8 Steps to Creating a Repeatable Content Production Process for Your Firm
It’s easy to think that execution equals sticking to the plan no matter what. In reality, good content marketing execution relies on observance and flexibility. If the type of content you’re producing isn’t best serving your clients, don’t be afraid to pivot to a new tactic.
Likewise, if your content team is having trouble reaching the designated goals, it’s okay to rearrange responsibilities or lighten your team’s load.
Success isn’t built on a staunch following of “rules,” but rather the realization that growth is built off learning from failures.
A content calendar can help guide your content planning and creation through the new year. Click below to grab a copy of our free calendar template, which includes sections for brainstorming, planning blog topics, assigning a writer and more!
To edit your own copy, simply click the image below, then File > Make a Copy.
We work with your advisory firm to strategize, plan and execute your unique content marketing goals. Click here to learn more or connect with a member of the Three Crowns team today.