There’s a harsh truth when it comes to blogs and financial marketing. If you’re expecting to see results and ROI from a mediocre blog post, then you’re probably going to be disappointed.
Crafting a compelling, original and effective blog post does takes time – something most IFAs are in short supply of. However, if your readers come across average content on your news/blog page, then they’ll look elsewhere for the content which they believe offers real value.
We get it. Keeping on top of all the essential components for an effective blog post isn’t easy. There is a lot to remember, and blogging is a skill which takes time to develop.
To ensure nothing slips through the net, we’ve outlined the anatomy of an ideal blog post for financial marketing. Make sure you bookmark this page, and return to it when you begin writing your article.
Anatomy Of The Perfect Blog Post For Financial Marketing#1 Headline
A solid blog post should begin with an attention-grabbing headline. It should create intrigue and compel the reader to click.
This doesn’t mean your financial marketing has to become sensationalist or “tabloid,” but it does mean you have to be creative. Too many financial articles are just plain boring.
Remember, 60% of online readers don’t read past the headlines. So don’t miss your opportunity.
Create a mind-map of blog post titles, and narrow them down to be as interesting as possible. For example, if you’re looking to write a post on pensions, which do you think would be most likely to generate clicks from your readers?
- Why You Need A Pension
- How To Brexit-Proof Your Pension
- Will Labour / The Tories Hurt Or Help Your Pension?
Once you’ve nailed your angle, there are a few other things to consider:
- Google will cut off headlines in their search engine which are too long, so try and keep your characters under 70.
- Users on Twitter will share headlines between 8-12 words most often.
- Facebook posts with headlines of 12-14 words are liked most often.
Great. Time now to move onto keyword research.
#2 Keyword Research
Keyword research will illuminate the kinds of topics which will perform well in Google’s search engine. It will also help you craft a headline which will improve your search engine ranking positions (SERPS).
There are a range of tools here that will help your financial marketing, including Keyword Planner and SEMrush. These will help your identify specific keywords which your target market are looking for, and which have higher search volume.
Consider targeting a mix of short-tail and longer-tail keywords, as the former, whilst higher in volume, are usually also higher in competition compared with the latter.
Have you noticed what the keyword is for this blog post? “Financial Marketing”!
#3 Meta Description
Your meta description isn’t displayed visibly to your readers within the blog post. It refers to an HTML attribute – a short description you give to Google telling them what your blog post is about.
Together, your title, meta description and URL work to convince users that your blog post is worth reading, and relevant. Try and keep your meta description under 155 characters.
#4 Featured Image
Your blog post’s featured image usually displays in your blog gallery, and sometimes at the top of your blog post itself.
The image should reflect, at least on some level, what your blog post is about. It should also provoke or intrigue readers. Just make sure you’re legally permitted to edit and distribute the image you’re thinking of using.
Here are some image galleries you might want to consider using for your financial marketing:
Make sure you also provide an appropriate alt tag to describe your image to Google.
Sub-headings are an important way of breaking up your blog post to make it more aesthetic and digestible for your readers. No-one wants to be confronted with a huge wall of text!
Make sure you use H2 tags or smaller ones for your sub-headings, never H1 tags. The latter should be reserved for your title.
In this article, for instance, you’ll see that I’ve included the phrase “financial marketing” in both my title and first sub-header.
#6 Blog Body
The body of your blog post is the text, sub-titles, imagery and content which comprises the “meat” of your article. At the very least, your blog post should be 300 words in length.
However, to be effective you need to be writing a minimum of 700 words. To really go for gold, aim for 1000-2000 words.
Other features that should be included in your blog post body are links. Make sure you provide relevant, timely hyperlinks to other blog posts you’ve published, as well as to reputable external sources.
#7 Conclusion & Call To Action
It’s important to have a good sign-off when you reach the end of your article. It doesn’t need to be lengthy, but it should provide a brief recap of the points you’ve covered. Provide more resources and guidance as well, if you feel your readers would benefit.
A great way for financial marketing to end in general is to provide a call to action. This might be a link to another relevant blog post you’ve written, or it might be a download for a white paper, E-book or report.
So, in summary the perfect blog post should:
- Have a compelling, attractive title which encourages clicks.
- Be based upon thorough keyword research.
- Have an effective meta description.
- Include a featured image with an appropriate alt tag.
- Include the strategic use of sub-headings.
- Have a decent body length.
- Sign off with an effective conclusion and call to action.
Need a marketing specialist to take your financial content marketing to the next stage? Get in touch for a free, no-obligation marketing consultation.
Phil Teale is the Sales & Marketing Manager at MarketingAdviser, an agency specialising in marketing for financial services – and especially for financial advisers. Along with our sister company, CreativeAdviser, we also provide bespoke website design, branding, graphic design and video production services to financial clients.
Contact us on 01923 232840 or email me: email@example.com