5 big blog topics for Financial Planners
One of the easiest ways for Financial Planners to come up with blog topics that prospective clients want to read is to answer the questions they want answering.
This revolutionary approach to content marketing is thoroughly explored in Marcus Sheridan’s book; They Ask You Answer.
It makes sense when you think about it. By writing and publishing blogs that answer the burning questions on the lips of your ideal client, you help move them from the ‘discovery’ to ‘consideration’ stage of their buying journey.
That’s one step closer to ‘decision’, your and their ultimate destination.
Sheridan believes five big blog topics are the most effective when it comes to driving website traffic, prospective client leads, and client engagements.
1 – Cost
2 – Problems
3 – Comparisons
4 – “Best of” Lists
5 – Reviews
But how can Financial Planners approach each of these five big blog topics?
1 – Cost
Following the introduction of the Retail Distribution Review at the end of 2012, there’s been a lot more fee transparency in the IFA and Financial Planner marketplace.
The cost of advice is no longer something determined by a product provider when they set commission rates, but instead by agreement between the adviser and their client.
More recently introduced legislation in the form of MiFID II has focused client attention on the cost of investing, with full fee disclosure now an integral part of client communication at each step of the process.
Despite this more significant level of transparency, the majority of Financial Planners still don’t share information on their website about their standard fees.
Now I know there are challenges when it comes to publishing your standard fees online. Every client case is different, and it can be near-impossible to present an exact fee amount before meeting the client and understanding their unique objectives.
But it is possible to share details of your fee philosophy on your website.
If you plump for hourly rates, explain in a blog post why that’s the approach you take. If you’re an advocate of project fees, that’s the topic for your blog post.
You might even work on a contingent charge basis and be willing to write blog posts defending that position.
Regardless of a) how you approach fee charging, and b) the quantum of your fees, there’s plenty you can write about the subject.
Prospective clients want and need to know how much advice is going to cost them. It helps them make better, more informed decisions before picking up the phone and making that initial appointment.
And course cost doesn’t stop with your advice fees. This is also a subject you can approach from the perspective of fund costs and platform or product charges.
2 – Problems
Sheridan explains that there are two main types of problems you should be blogging about; the difficulties experienced by the client, and the issues you face.
I know from personal experience that new problems arise on almost a daily basis when working in a Financial Planning practice.
By identifying the most common problems, writing about them in a way that demonstrates you understand them, and (most importantly) writing about how you solve them, you position yourself as a credible expert who has the authority required to deal with the issues.
You can phrase each of these blog posts as a question, with the solution to the problem contained in the blog itself.
Don’t limit blog posts in this category to their problems. Talk about the difficulties you face too.
This adds authenticity and makes it more likely prospective clients will decide to engage with you, instead of your competition.
When things go wrong, write about them.
3 – Comparisons
Writing blog posts about different solutions, what makes them different and why a client might consider one instead of the other, is the basis for writing about comparisons.
Comparing possible solutions is another essential part of the ‘consideration’ stage of the buyer’s journey, where prospective clients move another step closer to making decisions.
As a result of the rules around personal recommendations and suitability, there’s a limit as to how far you can compare different solutions.
I’m not, therefore, suggesting you start writing blogs comparing Product A with Product B.
You could, however, compare different generic product options (annuity versus income drawdown?), or various services (financial planning versus wealth management?).
When writing comparison content, disclose your position and any biases at the outset. Write a fair and balanced comparison, regardless of how strongly you might feel about a particular option.
There’s a useful role in comparison blogs for graphics to provide a concise summary of the pros and cons of each solution.
Wrap up these posts with a firm conclusion too; there’s nothing that will leave a reader as unsatisfied as an inconclusive ending.
4 – “Best of” Lists
We all want the ‘best’. It’s merely human nature.
Within retail financial services, ‘best’ is often replaced with ‘most suitable’, and the various regulations probably prevent you from listing specific funds or products.
What you could address in ‘best of’ list content is best practices used by financial planners.
What about sharing the 5 or 10 best client experiences you have overseen in the past year? Or the best places to find specific information, like the most competitive interest rates for a cash ISA or useful website links at the end of the tax year?
5 – Reviews
Something we fear when making a buying decision is later feeling remorseful.
This fear of a buyer’s remorse can be lessened by sharing the satisfying experiences enjoyed by your other clients.
One way to approach ‘reviews’ as content for your website is to share client stories, with their permission, of course.
Writing about your clients and making them the star of your website (or magazine, podcast, video series, etc.) is a great way to strengthen relationships with those clients and to help prospective clients understand the decisions they made.
Illustrate these stories with great photography and words directly from the happy client, and you make this content more credible in the eyes of your website visitors.
That’s five big blog topics for Financial Planners to include on their websites.
Don’t limit covering these five areas to written blogs; they work equally as well as audio podcasts or YouTube videos.
One piece of content can be readily repurposed across the written word, audio and video, to obtain maximum reach and deliver that content in the preferred format of each prospect client.
If reading this article has prompted you to create fresh content of your website, we’re here to help.
Content marketing is one of several essential marketing topics that we’re covering at the Financial Planner Marketing Summit in Guildford on Friday 21st June 2019.
Visit bamfordmedia.co.uk/fpms to learn more about our excellent lineup of engaging speakers and book your ticket for this memorable event.