If it hasn't dawned on you yet, the future of marketing your financial planning or wealth management business is all about content. Content is rook, knight, queen, and king when it comes to engaging with the future consumer.
Since most prospects today have such a short attention span and a crunch for time, what you produce out on the Internet will be one of the differences between growth and high-powered growth.
What exactly does content mean and why should you be paying attention to this important part of the future?
1. Your Website.
You company's home page is analogous to the first picture you would show of your home if you listed it for sale. It's the very first impression that a prospect or center of influence will get of you in the initial visit to your website.
Here's an example of what not to do when you build your website.
Home page content can range from fresh, clean, well-done photographs, to buttons for free e-books, to eye-catching articles. Why will someone want to stay on your website? The more clean and crisp the content is on your home page, the longer amount of time a prospect will spend on your site. What do consumers do when they spend more time in your store? That's right — they buy something.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If you are prospecting to Gens X and Y, you'll need to be just as clever with your eye as you do with your pen. It took me a great deal of time to really understand how to drive, attract and retain Facebook followers, but recognize that having high-quality pictures with links to important content will be your friend.
To succeed on social media, you'll need to stay active with comments on Facebook and Twitter, and consider using something like istockphoto for an array of stock images.
3. Your Blog
If you aren't producing a blog, I think you are already behind the curve. In fact, if you are using the work of a third party who produces the same material for other financial advisers, I think you are making a huge mistake.
Whether you choose to include the blog on your website or you push the blog somewhere else, consider writing article that are aimed at "the common folk."
I've written over 1,000 posts, and the most widely read content generally is aimed at the lowest common denominator. Study someone like Brittney Castro who has done a great job with content and developing a specialty.
Looking for more online content ideas? Check out how Brittney Castro uses video to turn 'friends' into clients
As a financial adviser, you should realize that the Internet has made your business a 24/7 store, whether or not you like it. You have no idea when people will be looking for you or when they will find you. However, if your content is top-notch, you'll put the odds in your favor.
What do you think? What are some of your best online content strategies? What has worked for you — and what hasn't?
Ted Jenkin is co-chief executive and founder of oXYGen Financial Inc.