At first blush, the financial services industry may seem like a poor fit for content marketing. After all, content marketing thrives through storytelling, through the sharing of useful and compelling information, given freely from an expert to potential customers and clients. While there is ample opportunity for financial planners to share insights and information, there are also numerous restrictions; after all, financial services are regulated industries, and should a content marketing campaign employ careless verbiage or misplaced ideas, it could prove problematic.
And yet, a recent Huffington Post report makes clear that content marketing is anything but a foreign concept to the financial services industry. In fact, there is substantive evidence that suggests financial planners are leading the charge toward robust content marketing strategies!
The Huffington Post reports that an astonishing 75 percent of financial services marketers have separate content strategies in place for each of their marketing channels—representing the highest percentage of all industries polled. Likewise, the financial services industry bests all other industries in terms of its implementation of editorial calendars, with roughly half of all financial services marketers having editorial calendars in place.
Content Marketing Opportunities For Financial Planners
These figures may be surprising, at least initially: After all, content marketing is perhaps more often associated with such industries as real estate, retail, and hospitality, all of which are able to produce copious amounts of consumer-driven content. As the Huffington Post article makes clear, however, financial services may actually be uniquely suited for content marketing. Stories about money and finance tend to spark discussion and sometimes even friendly debate, which means they accumulate more social shares, comments, and likes.
More to the point, perhaps, financial planning is a field in which many consumers are desperate for guidance. Retirement planning, estate planning, basic household budgeting, saving money for college tuition, getting out of debt, making the right decisions about mortgages and credit cards—these are things that people struggle with on a daily basis. As such, they are areas in which financial service providers can readily show off their knowledge and their willingness to help, offering online tips and strategies that build trust among consumers.
Building trust is, perhaps, the key to content marketing for financial planners. There are plenty of planners out there, but when it comes to entrusting their financial future to someone they don’t really know, consumers need to have some assurance that they are picking the right person for the job. The financial planner who regularly blogs about retirement planning, or gives away free budgeting advice via his or her Facebook page, is going to great lengths to display expertise and a willingness to help.
None of this is to suggest that there are not also challenges that financial planners face. Regulative bodies such as FINRA and FSA stipulate what financial planners can and cannot say in their marketing materials, and abiding by these rules is essential. According to the Huffington Post, however, more financial planners are refusing to be daunted by this, instead having their compliance teams work directly with content marketers to ensure nobody fudges the rules.
The bigger challenge that financial planners face, these days, is being edged out by their more content-savvy competition. As these new facts and figures make clear, the financial services industry is increasingly investing in content marketing, and those who are on board are likely to see their businesses gain in prestige and visibility. Financial planners who are letting “content gaps” grow between themselves and their competitors, however, may find that bringing in new clients is growing more and more difficult.
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