Great Advisor Content Marketing

This was article was originally published in Advisor Perspectives. Check it out here.

In prepping to write this article, I combed through countless wealth management firms’ web sites, looking for examples of great content marketing.

Man, was it hard to find anything.

If you’re a wealth manager, you’re doing some form of content marketing. You’ve got a monthly commentary, a piece guiding prospective or existing clients through an important life stage, or a seminar analyzing the upcoming election (spoiler alert: politics stink).

The bad news? Everyone else has that content too.

Too often, we jump into content marketing without thinking about what it needs to accomplish:

  1. It needs to act as an engagement toolengaging our existing email list and social media followers with our latest thinking.
  2. It needs to act as a lead-generation toolhelping us to capture new, qualified leads who can become clients in the future.
  3. It needs to act as a brand-building toolcommunicating your unique positioning as a firm and why you’re different.

Chances are that you’ve got #1 down pat – you’re producing content that’s timely and relevant. But points 2 and 3? Too often, those are non-existent.

Before you ever put pen to paper, think very intentionally about how to create content that checks all the boxes. Specifically, ask yourself:

  • What can we produce that’s relevant and entertaining?
  • What can we produce that adds real value to our target audience’s lives?
  • How can we produce content that communicates our unique point of difference?

It’s hard, I know. But luckily, my recent walk down “commoditized content lane” revealed a few nuggets of wisdom. To jumpstart your creative process here are three strong examples of content marketing from wealth management firms that checks all the boxes:

Brown Advisory: Navigating Our World (NOW)

Brown Advisory, an independent, international firm of 700+ individuals, has built a strong positioning around the notion of “thoughtful investing.” While its positioning is rooted in a general thoughtfulness around the myriad of issues related to money, it’s also bolstered by a deep level of expertise in the arena of sustainable investing.

At the core of Brown Advisory’s brand are two very simple principles: They’re smart, and they care.

Enter the Navigating our World content series. Originally conceived as a conference in 2008 featuring a rich array of speakers from various backgrounds, the company pivoted during the COVID era to create the NOW2020 podcast.

One glance at the content here and you’ll see it checks all the boxes. It’s relevant. It features topics like the California wildfires and diversity and inclusion in Silicon Valley. It has an element of subscribership through the podcast, which means the potential to engage subscribers and turn them into clients long-term (attendance at the conference performed a similar and even more valuable lead generating function). And it’s suited perfectly to Brown Advisory’s core brand principle of “Thoughtful Investing” – featuring intelligent and provocative subject matter that leans towards the socially responsible arena.

Goldman Sachs: Talks @ GS

It’s always been funny to me that Goldman Sachs doesn’t have a tagline: After all, are there any words that could communicate the sheer excellence associated with its name? It’s like the Berkshire Hathaway site – who needs marketing when you’re the best?

Talks at GS is a content series from Goldman Sachs that communicates “premium” in the only way the firm knows how – by bringing together the best, brightest and most successful people in the world and getting them talking, plain and simple. Whether it’s the author Deepak Chopra, or Meredith Kopit Levien, CEO of the New York Times, one thing is for certain when you watch Talks at GS: Goldman Sachs has access to some of the hardest-to-reach people in the world; they’re one of the smarter brands; and man, those talks are interesting.

The Colony Group

The Colony Group is a national RIA firm with over $11 billion in AUM. The first thing you’ll notice when you land on their website is a bold statement: “Managing beyond money.” The basic idea is that financial advice is commoditized, so here’s a firm that can help you beyond the dollars and cents.

The nice thing about Colony Group’s content? It communicates that. In spades. Scroll down the page and sure, you’ll see the same rote tax planning and risk management pieces, but you’ll also find content geared specifically for athletes, lawyers, business owners and entrepreneurs. You’ll find perspectives on specific topic areas that matter to high-net worth segments – things like equity incentives for business owners, divorce among older couples, and philanthropy.

If there’s anything you can tell about Colony’s content, it’s that it’s not just focused on the markets: It’s focused on you. The hyper-targeted nature of its content means that it has more likelihood to communicate relevance and value to its target audience. And it’s instantly showing commitment to “Managing beyond money.”

What you can do

So, you want your content to start working harder? Here are three steps to take immediately:

  • Step 1: Piece together a content concept. Define your overarching mission as a firm and then ask yourself, “What can I write about in an ongoing series that communicates our mission?” Have an idea? Great. Now give it a name like NOW or Talks at GS and you’re off and running.
  • Step 2: Run every piece of content through an RVD (relevant, valuable and differentiating) check. Make sure every piece is relevant to the times, valuable to your audience and implicitly communicates what sets your firm apart. Does your next topic not check a box? Cancel it and figure something else out.
  • Step 3: Optimize, rinse and repeatWith content, there will be times when the data shows that you hit a home run, and there will be times when you swung for the stands and … missed. Take a step back from every piece of content after it launches and ask yourself what went right and what could have gone better. Enshrine those learnings in a written ledger so that you can enforce those rules for your content efforts going forward.
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