A blog isn’t just for trendy, freelancer types like web and graphic designers. It is actually one of the most potent inbound marketing tools available to modern businesses, including financial companies and IFAs.
Not only does a blog promote user engagement, enhance your brand (by showing thought leadership), and increase website traffic – it also helps increase your rankings in search engine results.
However, after more than 8 years serving the financial sector, it hasn’t been uncommon for us to hear the following question: “Does anyone actually even read IFA blogs?”
A very good question. Indeed, does anyone even read your blog (if you have one)?
Perhaps your blog isn’t attracting much attention. Or perhaps your getting some views, but it could work a lot better. Maybe you haven’t got a blog yet, but are wondering how to do it well if you were to include one in your marketing efforts.
The key thing here really is about producing content of quality. This content isn’t easy to write. It takes longer than simply regurgitating what others have said. However, this content contains value that endures, and keeps interested readers coming back for more.
What counts as quality content is quite subjective. However, there are some commonly-accepted principles that you should follow when attempting to produce it.
Here are three of them:
1. Offer Valuable Content
If you’re looking to distinguish yourself from competitors, then the simplest way is to offer something they are not!
By providing the best-value content, you can set yourself head-and-shoulders above others by establishing yourself as a thought-leader in your industry. Clients will feel more secure knowing you are stewarding their finances, and prospects will feel more comfortable approaching you for that first, introductory meeting.
One obvious, but important way of providing valuable content is to be original. Don’t just repeat what’s been said previously.
This might sound daunting, but your experience as an IFA has been unique – although others may have shared similar experiences. No one has the exact same collection of clients as you. No one has taken the journey you have. By simply “being yourself” in your writing, then your voice with carry through – giving authenticity to the prose, and naturally unearthing original insights.
However, it’s not enough to be original. You must also give your readers something to do. They’ve arrived at your blog for a reason. They are looking to learn about something, or are wanting a problem fixed. So share a resource, or provide some step-by-step instructions …anything that can be taken away, and acted upon.
Don’t worry. You don’t need all the answers to every question that might come up. If you can’t solve a problem, try and point your readers in the right direction – or towards some other, credible resources which might help. A report. Another blog. A news article. In an internet age, there are many possibilities.
2. Ensure Content Is Easy To Read
It might seem like I’m teaching you to suck eggs. But I’ve come across plenty of jargon-filled blogs, and articles, written by IFAs which have made my brain frazzle!
As time moves forward, users are becomingly increasingly bombarded by information. Moreover, their attention span is less enduring. So it’s vital that IFA blogs are enjoyable, engaging, and easy to read. There are many practical ways you can achieve this.
For instance, keep paragraphs and sentences short. Keep jargon to a minimum. Use a font size that will be legible on multiple devices and screen sizes. Use formatting (e.g. italics, bolding, bullet points etc.) to add variation, break up the text and please the eye. Imagery and videos can also be great aids.
3. Understand Your Audience, and Speak Directly To Them
Knowing your buying persona(s) – i.e. your ideal website visitor(s) – is crucial if you’re going to write content that engages with them.
Look at all the great, successful companies out there. There’s a reason they’re at the top. It’s because they know who they are marketing to, and how to communicate with them.
Before you write a blog post, it’s vital that you do some research. Understand what your audience cares to read before putting your fingers on the keyboard. What are their biggest desires? What are their problems? Moreover, how do they write and talk? What language and tone do they use? A familiar voice is more likely to stimulate a response than one which feels alien.
In addition, nothing beats good old-fashioned feedback. Ask your readers what they think of your blog. It’s better that you find out, good or bad, what their thoughts are than potentially spend loads of time writing content that no one engages with.
As the Marketing Coordinator at CreativeAdviser, Phil is responsible for devising marketing strategies for his clients, generating engaging and informative content, and ensuring brand consistency across all of CreativeAdviser’s communications. Phil has a passion for digital marketing and a borderline-unhealthy addiction to Google analytics.
In his spare time, Phil can be found powerlifting at his local gym, watching action movies, or playing acoustic guitar at open mic nights.