A recent report states that 90 per cent of respondents felt it was more important to put their audience’s information needs ahead of their sales pitches.

Granted, the report focuses on business-to-business (B2B) marketing; however, the same rules apply in consumer (B2C) marketing. Putting content first represents a paradigm shift for many planning firms, as selling services has generally been the primary focus of their marketing. So, what works best – sales content or audience education?

Content marketing must be about your audience

First off, delivering engaging content to your clients involves providing useful information that will be educational. So, on that note, I agree that considering the needs of your audience is crucial. The content must entice them to read or watch it; therefore, the blog or video can’t be just about you.

I find it hard to believe that someone would be interested in reading 600-800 words all focused on your sales pitch. Valuable content gives the audience something for free. You provide insight or knowledge on a subject that showcases your understanding of that area.

The need isn’t always financial advice

On that note, your content should extend beyond standard matters of financial advice. Most punters already know you understand exchange-traded funds or testamentary trusts. That said, don’t ignore the financial commentary, it just shouldn’t be the only topic you address.

A valuable content program shows your audience you’re a well-rounded organisation that not only understands finance but also understands them. I’d suggest not making your content all about finance. You should cover subjects such as energy bills or tips for renovating an investment property.

Having a diverse content program is usually right for you, too. Diversity stops you becoming stale, as it gives you more scope to cover. You can always find a financial angle.

Can you still do sales content?

Of course, sales content still has a role to play. What I would suggest is to massage in some educational content first and include a strong call to action (CTA).

A robust CTA gives the reader/viewer a reason to reach out to you and find out more about the subject that has captured their attention. It might mean simply using a line like: “If you found this interesting, we’re always able to help you find the ETF that works for you. Click here to find out more.”

The click-through tab enables browsers to access your website or open an email addressed to your business. Either way, the aim is to encourage these new leads to make contact.

Just remember that with so much content available, it’s easy for a consumer never to engage with you at all if all you’re doing is pitching a sale. Make the sales content about them and not about you, and you might see some more business start to flow your way.

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