It’s no secret anymore: Blogging is a crucial part of a successful RIA marketing plan. The benefits from blogging are many, from establishing yourself as a trusted and reliable expert in your field to attracting Google, which in turn, helps attract potential clients through high search rankings and keyword optimization.
In an attempt to “save money,” many financial advisors set out to handle their blog themselves. But ironically, this decision may be costing them more than they think.
According to a recent poll conducted by Orbit Media Studios, which surveyed more than 1,000 bloggers:
- The average time it takes to write a blog today (with Google’s ever-changing requirements) is three hours and 28 minutes. Again, this is the average. While half of all the bloggers surveyed spend less than three hours per post, one in eight spends more than six hours on one article! That’s a lot of time!
- The average length of a blog post is 1,151 words. Google’s minimum requirement has increased from about 500 words a few years ago to 1,000 words today.
- As the length of a post increased and therefore, the time it takes to write the post increased, more and more bloggers reported to writing less. However, this is not a smart marketing strategy for financial advisors. The purpose of a blog is to publish often (at least once a week).
Another trend the study found is that more and more companies are outsourcing their blogging efforts. This makes sense.
Because an expert blogger can write a post quicker and better, it’s a logical decision. This is especially true for financial advisors, who are typically more analytical, numbers people as opposed to wordsmiths.
However, when deciding to outsource your blogging efforts, especially when it comes to financial advisors, it’s crucial that they hire a firm that is an expert in their field. The financial services industry uses a lot of jargon, and when a post is written by someone who doesn’t fully understand the topic, a potential client can tell immediately. Remember, blogging should establish you as an industry expert; not as someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about!
Outsourcing your blogging efforts can be a cost-effective and strategic step that can save you and your firm a lot of time, and therefore, a lot of money!
Professional bloggers also have tricks of the trade that can get you more bang for your buck, like repurposing content.
Another aspect to consider is the follow-up – what’s working and what’s not; what topics are resonating with your clients and/or prospective clients and what topics aren’t. For financial advisors determined to do it themselves, analyzing your blog’s performance is even more time spent away from what a financial advisor should be doing – helping clients with their investing and retirement planning needs.
Year after year, there is an increase in the percentage of bloggers who measure and analyze the results of their blogs. Perhaps because analytical tools have become better and more adept at gathering and delivering this information, giving bloggers more ability to use these powerful tools to their advantage. Analytics help you understand what your audience values instead of relying on a personal, sometimes bias guess of what is meaningful and compelling to a consumer segment. A better understanding of what your audience values is the key to delivering highly desired content that will motivate potential clients to take action.
One-third of bloggers in this helpful poll stated that they always measure the performance of each blog, and consequently, these bloggers are twice as likely to report strong results.
Information is a powerful thing. When you utilize analytics to see trends and track success by, say, a topic, publish date or author, then you can continue to improve your online marketing and in turn boost your bottom line.
When hiring a firm to handle your blogging efforts, make sure they include analytics as part of their blogging services.
What Do Bloggers Do?
In the survey mentioned above, it was found that among professional bloggers, the correlation between the time invested in writing an article and the “strong results” produced by said article was directly related. Bloggers who spend six or more hours per post are 56 percent more likely to see “strong results” from their blog, as opposed to those who spend less time writing each piece. The correlation between the actual word-length of a blog and its success is also strong. More than half of the bloggers polled, who write 2,000 words or more per article, report seeing “strong results” from these longer, information-packed pieces.
What are “strong results”? These can be the number of leads produced from a piece, the amount of “clicks” a blog generates or the amount of contact information received. All of these results are directly beneficial for a firm that relies on a steady stream of clientele and a stellar reputation.
Keep Calm and Delegate
The takeaway from these finding is that to be successful, an RIA marketing plan should devote as much time, tools and expertise as possible to make their blogs powerful and profitable. In the competitive arena of financial advising, a strong Internet presence is key. A strong Internet presence will breathe a constant stream of investors into your firm through the dedicated management of your company’s blog.
Delegating has always been crucial to business success. This includes the wide array of Internet marketing where efficient strategies directly translate to time well spent and money earned.
There are many components that can go into a motivating and powerful blog.
Some effective blog strategies include:
- Images, infographics and video clips
- Results tracking
- Automated communications and drip campaigns
- Natural contact collection
- Links to external sites
- Original research
- Guest posts
- Guides for content repurposing
Hard Work Pays
To be truly successful, a lot rides on the all-powerful blog, and to short-change this important part of your business can very easily open it up to failure. The surest way to devote the time and expertise needed for a blog that produces results is with a Digital Marketing expert by your side. For RIAs who go this route, the management of a blog can be systematic, stress-free and fun for your firm to track impressive results while freeing up your advisors’ time to focus on investment strategies.
Paladin Digital Marketing works solely with RIAs and IARs in the financial realm and can apply tailored and proven Internet strategies for firms and independent advisors. Concentrating solely on one industry also means we have navigated nuances specific to the field, like protocol, compliance and trends. In much the same way that you would not write and produce your own television ads or draw your own brochure, companies are finding that their Internet marketing requires the same level of expertise and service to contend with fierce competition and meet the level of quality that today’s investors expect.
Outsourcing your blog efforts can be the difference between a successful RIA marketing plan and one that overwhelms an advisor and ultimately costs them leads.