A blog can be a big investment for financial firms, adding a significant commitment in time and resources. However, the payoffs are typically well worth the effort.
One of the biggest payoffs is search visibility. Want your financial marketing to make you appear in front of qualified prospects in Google? Fresh, high-quality and original content content will help you get there.
The trouble is, no business has infinite resources when it comes to their marketing budgets. It can therefore be tempting to ignore “longer term” strategies such as blogging, and prioritise “quick win” methods such as paid advertising.
In our experience, there’s a balance to strike here. Yes, content marketing (e.g. blogging) is typically a longer game than other forms of marketing.
You therefore shouldn’t put all of your marketing eggs into this basket if you are just starting out as an IFA, for instance, and need leads quickly.
However, as any financial planner will tell you, investing for the long term usually pays off (with the right strategy). If you can get to the point where over 12-18 months you rank for your most important keywords, then the dividends in lead generation will be well worth the wait. It’s just like saving. The earlier you start, the better.
The Benefits Of Blogging To Financial Marketing
Most IFAs we speak to struggle to get footfall onto their website. The vast majority struggle to get their website onto page one of Google for search terms like “local financial adviser” (which shows the user different results depending on their physical location).
These are real problems that we solve here at MarketingAdviser. The logic goes like this:
- Optimise the adviser’s website for financial marketing, encouraging engagement and conversions. Sometimes this will require a complete redesign and rebuild, if the website is old or poorly made.
- Increase traffic onto the website by leveraging multiple digital marketing channels, among them search engine optimisation (SEO). This brings “organic” traffic to the website, by ranking the pages for relevant search queries used by the target audience in Google.
- Build the website’s search rankings over time by identifying relevant keywords, and by producing regular content which captures the intent behind those keywords.
- Optimise the website for conversions over time by analysing the increasing search traffic, and engaging in split testing.
This approach works, and we have successfully implemented this financial marketing strategy across multiple campaigns for financial advisers in the UK. The key is having a viable, appropriate strategy which you commit to, consistently, over the course of many months.
Again, it’s like investing. If you invest only for a few months, you will likely fail. If you pull your money out of your investments the moment you see a dip, you will probably lose out. Committing to a solid plan over the long term, however, gives you a solid chance of success.
There are no guarantees, unfortunately, in marketing or investing. Yet this doesn’t stop people investing. If they can be shown a strong plan based on facts and adviser experience, they often go for it.
Nor should people avoid blogging in financial marketing, simply because there’s a chance of failure. Remember, all marketing channels hold the possibility of failure with a cost, whether it’s exhibitions, print advertising, or digital marketing.
How Blogging Nurtures Leads
One of the great benefits to blogging is that it offers a fantastic opportunity to display thought leadership, and establish your brand as a credible, trustworthy authority in the eyes of your clients and target market.
Often, we find ourselves unaware that we are buying something. When you enter a car showroom, for instance, you have started a buying journey. You admire the design of the car. Possibly you sit in it to get a feel for the wheel and the interior. The sales rep then comes over and offers a test drive…
A similar thing happens in financial marketing when prospects read a financial adviser’s blog, or online content. They might not even be aware that they need pension advice, for instance, but reading your article on how Brexit might affect various investments and markets causes them to reflect:
“Gosh, I know I have a pension with my employer. I haven’t paid much attention to it. Maybe I should be looking into it more. I’ll keep following this company for a bit and see what else they say.”
At some point, this person might be willing to pick up the phone and book an appointment. This person started their buyer’s journey at the “Awareness” stage – getting educated about their problem, and the potential solutions out there.
Your articles then nurtured her along towards “Consideration” – speaking to you about what you can offer, compared to her other options out there.
So, Will My Rankings Dive Without A Blog?
With all that said, let’s cut to the core of the question.
Will my website’s ranking deteriorate without a blog? Without any competition in the search engines, there’s a chance your website might be alright.
However, most IFAs have competitors with websites, and most of them want their website to be found by qualified prospects online. That means, if they are not engaging in SEO already, there’s a good chance they will be in the future.
Search engine optimisation rests heavily upon your financial marketing putting out fresh, relevant content which engages users. There are ways to do this without a blog, but the most common way – and probably most effective – is to release articles which target the intent behind your audience’s keywords.
It’s worth bearing in mind that other factors can cause your search engine rankings to plummet, in addition to not releasing content.
One is failing to optimise your website for mobiles. Google’s direction of travel appears to be heading in the direction of punishment – pushing your website down search rankings if the user experience is poor on a smartphone or tablet.
Another area to be aware of is Google penalties. If you have stuffed keywords onto your website, for instance, then there’s a good chance will see this sooner or larger. They will likely punish your website for this, since it is deemed a “black hat” practice.
So, our recommendation is to come up with a strong content strategy, and to commit to a content creation and optimisation plan over several months.
At MarketingAdviser, we can help you ascertain the viability of content marketing for your firm by conducting free research and analysis for you, through a no-obligation consultation. Get in touch to get started today!