June 18, 2014 by Rebecca Prescott
Consumers crave content, which explains why the phrase “content marketing” has generated so much buzz in the past year.
A study by the Custom Content Council found that 78% of consumers believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them. 1Deeper in the study, they find that customers don’t necessarily want content that’s selling them a product. They want something that provides benefits and value.
As a financial professional, you don’t need a Pulitzer Prize to create content that engages customers. You just need to transfer what you already know into a format that clients can consume.
Consider consolidating big ideas that have come up in client discussions into a series of tips. This allows you to break big concepts into bite-sized pieces that are easier for you to write and your clients to digest.
Here’s a list of “tip” topics to consider:
- How to prepare for a child whose entering college.
- Things to consider when a parent needs long-term care.
- What to do with unplanned, extra income (tax returns, bonuses, etc.)
- Preparing your estate so your beneficiaries are protected.
- How to take an inventory of your retirement strategies.
Get writing. Before you know it, you’ll have enough content to keep your customers engaged. In the next installment of the blog, you’ll learn the different places to publish your content.
150 Stats You Need to Know About Content Marketing. (n.d.). 50 Stats You Need to Know About Content Marketing. Retrieved June 12, 2014, from http://blog.newscred.com/article/50-stats-you-need-to-know-about-content-marketing/4d5125444fcd2d72ebd17b282107d742
May 15, 2014 by Rebecca Prescott
Here’s one way to lose a potential client: Write a 7-paragraph email without asking the reader to engage with you. (I tried to avoid that here just by doing it in the headline.)
By leaving out a call-to-action you’re taking the chance of losing a client conversation.
If you’ve read the past Brokers International blog about creating drip marketing campaigns, you’ve already spent time segmenting your database. Don’t forgo that hard work by skipping the call-to-action. If you don’t provide a call-to-action, your reader will not know what they should do next. So what do you need to do?
A call-to-action is the mechanism that you use to get a client to engage. Once you’ve set the goal (example, call to set up an appointment) it’s time to create the call to action. Here are some tips:
- Use the active voice
- Try synonyms of everyday words
- Focus on benefits (not features)
- Give a deadline
- Guide their actions
- Create value
A call-to-action not only motivates a reader to engage, but it also changes your advertising piece—which is meant to build brand awareness—into a direct marketing piece that can help drive traffic.
Do you need some call-to-action examples? Click here to download a list that we developed to help you go from advertising to selling.
In the next installment of our blog series on drip marketing campaigns, we’ll look at creating content that’s relevant, easy to read and encourages your audience to stay engaged.
April 18, 2014 by Kristine Garrett
Choosing the correct segment—target audience—for a marketing message can dictate its success.
Segmenting allows you to use the information you know about someone—such as gender, age, income or interests—to create a persona/client profile.
According to Eloqua,1 a leading provider of marketing automation and revenue management software, “Personas are fictional characters created to represent your ideal buyer.” Click here for a sample client profile.
When creating a persona, recognize that there are different types of clients. Look at your client list and prioritize what type of client is most important to your business. For example, you may work with clients in different life stages such as pre-retirement or retirement. Which one of these segments is the most beneficial to your business? Create that persona first.
Click here to download a client profile template to help you complete your persona.
Here is an example of a segment you might look for in your database to market life insurance.
- Workshop attendees: Keep track of workshop attendees in your database. And, record what workshop they attended. Creating a follow up campaign will help keep you top-of-mind after the workshop—and hopefully, when they are ready to buy.
When you are ready to create your next marketing communication, choose your segment or persona first so your message resonates. Remember, you can use multiple segments to narrow your marketing message such as: women who attended a workshop on estate planning.
The next step in creating a relevant message is to decide on your desired outcome. The next bog will go into detail about how to create a call to action.
1Pacheco, Claire. “EloquaU Power Hour: Creating Buyer Personas.” Topliners. Eloqua, 7 Feb 2014. Web. 28 Feb 2014. <http://blog.biltd.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/SalesFunnel_2.jpg>.
January 16, 2014 by Rebecca Prescott
Let’s address writing; my favorite part of developing a brand.
I’m a bit of a word bully around the office (and at home). I’ll always edit out the use of ellipses for emphasis. I can’t stand a split infinitive. Jargon makes me verklempt.
I wholeheartedly believe that good writing is an integral part of good advertising, marketing and promotion.
David Ogilvy, legendary advertising executive (called the original “Mad Man”), believed that good writing was key to selling products. He penned a memo to the Ogilvy & Mather staff in 1982 titled “How-To-Write.” Click here to read the 10 tips from his memo.
Ogilvy was no advertising dummy. He helped Dove become a best-selling soap in the United States by promoting that it contained one-quarter moisturizing cream. He also helped companies like Rolls Royce, American Express and Sears.
What does this all mean for you developing your brand?
You may have the best logo, coolest colors and great pitchman for your product. But if your ad, website or brochures are poorly written, you can’t communicate effectively. If you can’t communicate effectively; you can’t sell.
So how do you work on your writing?
- Hire a professional copywriter.
- Read, and follow, Ogilvy’s 10 tips from his memo.
- Read books about writing. (I recommend On Writing Well by William Zinsser.)
- Have someone else read your writing before you publish.
- Read. But don’t just read novels. Read other advertising.
- Write for your audience; not yourself.
It’s one thing to have a tagline that is a grammar bender (Got Milk?). It’s another to have a brochure full of typos, run-ons or completely confusing copy.
Don’t ruin a first impression with bad writing.
January 10, 2014 by Kristine Garrett
Drip…drip…drip…our kitchen sink had a leak. At first I tried to ignore it—then the water bill arrived. So, I booted up the computer and searched for “how to fix a leaky faucet”. According to the search results, I could fix it in 6 easy steps.
Two trips to the hardware store, 3 acetaminophen tablets and 15 steps later, I fixed the leak.
Fixing a leaky sales funnel won’t require a trip to the hardware store. But to alleviate headaches and push your prospects through the sales funnel, you should create a drip campaign.
A drip marketing campaign is when you periodically engage with a prospect or customer through channels such as direct mail, social media, phone calls or email. Drip campaigns typically consist of a sequence of messages sent according to your prospects needs, interests and their stage in the sales funnel.
Here’s how to create a drip campaign.
Step one: Choose a segment. Look at your existing database and determine where your clients fall in the sales funnel. Pick one segment you’d like to start “dripping on” and map out a campaign. For example, if you’d like to start with new workshop attendees, you should map out a welcome campaign.
Step two: Decide on your desired outcome. What do you want the person receiving your communication to do? Do you want them to call you, sign up for a webinar or attend an event? Identify the desired outcome in the initial campaign development phase. It will guide your entire process and allow you to measure your effectiveness.
Step three: Create content. For each stage of the sales funnel, you need to construct communications that are simple, relevant and engaging. For example, if you are putting together a welcome campaign for workshop attendees, send them additional educational materials based on your workshop topic.
Step four: Mix it up. There are many ways to reach out to your clients (email, direct mail, social media, phone calls, etc). Use a variety. Each person responds to information differently and has communication preferences. By mixing up your delivery methods, you have a better chance to reach your target.
Step five: Repeat. Replicate this process until you have relevant content to speak to buyers in each stage of the sales funnel. Soon, you will have enough material that you can drip on clients through the entire process.
This blog is an overview of how drip marketing campaigns can help fix a leaky funnel. Watch for upcoming blogs that will go into each of these steps in detail.