By Gate39Media

The shift of marketing from offline to online channels has streamlined new forms of reaching clients and has brought about the greatest change in marketing mentality.

Long-gone are the days where firms had to push advertising messages to prospects with static banners and TV placements. These traditional forms of advertising are still used—and necessary— but right now we are experiencing a general shift to pulling prospects towards our brand instead of pushing our brand messages to them.

Content provides value by educating, entertaining or engaging, and ultimately prompts your audience to take an action. The days of hard selling are approaching their end and content marketing has shown to have charisma whereas traditional marketing is lacking it.

So, let’s look at the different types of content you can use in your business’s blog.

  1. Educate
    One of the best ways to achieve thought leader status for any topic is to teach people about it.

    Teaching builds trust, shows you are knowledgeable, and prompts your audience to give you something in return. It is always perceived more valuable than shameless self-promotion. Because when you teach your prospects they will never ask, “what is in for me?” instead they will appreciate your efforts and come back for more.

    Educating your prospects in a compelling manner on the topics they are curious about will get them hooked and can further increase the chances of driving them to your services or products on the long-run. Just teach them what you know best, make their life easier and they will surely return the favor.

  2. Address Common Concerns

    Fear is a driving force in many decisions and it may stop prospects from buying your product or service.

    Address your audiences’ fears with an “I know what you are thinking, I have been there” approach and lower their defenses. For instance, investing can be a scary territory for many, but once you show that you not only have the expertise but also an understanding of where their fears are coming from you have a winning combination.

    Instead of publishing a boring FAQ page on your website make room for addressing questions in a more personal manner. You can have a “post your question section”. Publish surveys to figure out what is stopping your prospects from making a decision, and answer those questions directly. It will help establish transparency and build trust.

    Personal responses will be more effective in lowering your prospects’ doubts and establishing you as a leader who understands typical concerns and goes out of your way to answer them.

  3. Showcase Success Stories

    Everyone applauds their own firm and services, but nothing speaks higher of your abilities than your clients giving testimony to how you helped them manage risk, plan for the future or make more money.

    Customer success stories are an essential element of content—especially in a high-consideration industry such as finance.

    Interview your clients, ask them relevant questions and let them share their experience in a sincere way.

    It is not too ambitious to present a few case studies of your most established clients and make a step-by-step blueprint of your working relationship. These stories should not only be a part of your content strategy but also a crucial part of your client acquisition process. This is a very natural way of developing your prospect´s confidence and getting them on board with what you offer.

  4. Share Insight of Other Industry Leaders

    Leaders hang out with leaders right? Rubbing elbows with industry leaders and experts is a tried and tested technique that always works. Interviewing other industry leaders brings expertise to the table; it reinforces yourself and your brand, and makes for an interesting conversation to show your audience.

    If an established industry leader supports your claims no prospect will doubt your veracity.

    Many industry leaders agree to be interviewed albeit their busy schedule since it gives them free exposure and a platform to share their expertise with others. Finance is a complex industry and there is need for people with solid expertise to deliver quality insights. Industry leaders have been there and done that so use that to your advantage.

    If you still don’t have the influence to interview industry leaders, share and build on their content. Let their voice be echoed in what you write and it will surely be a step closer to having an interview.

  5. Digital Storytelling

    From quick tips to interviews, video content is plastered all over our social media feeds.

    Short, informative and visually appealing videos are popping up on the net for the simple reason that people like to watch and share them.

    Financial services can be a complex topic but that doesn’t mean you can’t synthesize key information and present it in a short video on your blog or social media channels.

    The trick with videos is that you need to grab users’ attention in less than 3 seconds. The intro should make it clear what you are going to talk about and start off with something really attention grabbing. Instead of saying “lets learn about finance today” go with: “here is how you can manage risk in a bull market”.

    Use teasers, hook up your audience and center it on a story, not a sale.

  6. Interactive Content

    Interactive content works because the need for interaction is wired in human nature. This is the ultimate form of content and it can make a huge difference in shaping your image as an industry thought leader.

    According to new research from The Content Marketing Institute, 81% of the marketers they surveyed say “interactive content grabs attention more effectively than static content.” There is no better reason to try interactive content to boost your online presence.

    Quizzes, assessments, polls, mortgage calculators, and interactive infographics, have all been used in the financial industry to capture and engage prospects. Some prospects might shy away from making a call to estimate their retirement savings but would happily plug in their data into a retirement calculator. Use this to your advantage and get more qualified leads.

  7. Market Commentary

    In spaces such as the financial industry, market commentary is an especially useful type of content. Financial and investment experts and thought leaders can provide an analysis of the markets and apply their expert insight which can help inform market participants – such as traders and investors.

    A “pro” of market commentary is that people value it. Market commentary delivered by subject matter experts can provide a special perspective on market activities that help guide investors and traders to make certain decisions as well as anticipate certain market moves.

    The “con” of market commentary is that is typically has a very limited shelf life. Unlike evergreen content that can be used repeatedly, market commentary is a trending type of content that is useful in a short span of time.

    However, another “pro” is that because of the short shelf live, market commentary can be delivered daily (or at least often) to newsletter subscribers, website visitors, and followers on social media.

It comes as no surprise that great content can attract customers and driving them all the way through a sales funnel without them even blinking. This approach works regardless of what you are selling: a monthly subscription, a single product, or looking for a long-term commitment from your clients.

By consistently leveraging a combination of the 7 key types of lead-attracting content, you can help ensure that your content “pull” is on point and that your content mix is compelling.

Gate 39 Media is a financial services marketing and technology firm providing complete solutions for the financial industry since 2004. To learn more about Gate 39 Media, visit www.gate39media.com or contact Shane Stiles, President, at 312-715-1475 or shane@gate39media.com.