The Content Marketing Strategy That Grew Our Client Base by 100%
Recently, I led a discussion with a group of financial planners who wanted to improve their marketing. One planner shared how they had been checking all the right tactical boxes and following a number of best practices for content marketing, but still weren't seeing the results they really wanted. "I've built a strong social media presence," they shared, "but I'm struggling to get followers to convert. What should I do?"
It was a great question, and one that immediately brought me back to my work with Beyond Your Hammock, a financial planning firm that serves young professionals in their 30s and 40s.
When I first began helping Beyond Your Hammock with their marketing, they faced the same challenge: They were creating high-quality, valuable content that was drawing in their target audience, but it wasn't converting. Thanks to a simple but fundamental shift in marketing strategy, we were able to increase new clients by 100%, along with a host of other benefits.
So, what did we do differently?
It all came down to authenticity. Again, all the content they had been producing was highly valuable in that it offered great information and education, and was well-written. But it was what I started referring to as "buttoned-up." It was very middle-of-the-road, careful not to make strong statements or voice loud opinions. The content took care not to offend, give cause for objection, or get too personal.
When analyzing the success of different types of content, I realized that our target audience connected most with authenticity in our brand. They wanted financial advice that felt human and real. They wanted to work with someone who not only talked the talk, but walked the walk. We needed to demonstrate that the founder, Eric Roberge, wasn't just an expert—the advice he doled out was the advice he followed in his own personal life, too.
We decided to bring savvy financial advice to life by sharing real stories, providing personal perspective on both timely and evergreen financial topics, and developing a hard-line stance on some big-picture ideas.
The specific, personal, and honest we developed was the cornerstone of our new approach. We integrated that in a number of places:
- We created long-form posts for Facebook and included a picture of Eric in most of them. We posted them as photos with captions, not links—but included "www.BeyondYourHammock.com" at the bottom of each.
- We started developing plain-text tweets that just shared ideas, suggestions, or insights on Twitter, and mixed those in with posts that linked back to landing pages or articles.
- We wrote longer, more personal blog posts that were optimized for specific long-tail keywords that were relevant for the target market.
- We positioned Eric as a thought leader with a strong set of opinions on millennials and money (and more!) and targeted reporters at major publications as well as podcasts popular with our target demographics, to help amplify the stronger, clearer voice we developed.
We definitely had more fun with the marketing after we decided to get personal with the marketing materials and content—but we also saw exactly the results we were hoping for. In the past six months, from when we implemented this new strategy in the summer of 2017 to January 2018, we've seen:
- 42.45% increase in overall website traffic
- 24.76% decrease in website bounce rate
- 9.8% increase in Facebook page likes
- 13.39% increase in Twitter followers
- 12.11% increase in overall email subscribers
Of course, the true test is whether or not this strategy solved our initial problem: the struggle to convert members of the audience into clients for Beyond Your Hammock. To that goal, we've seen:
- 31% increase in overall revenue
- 102% increase in prospect calls scheduled
- 100% increase in new clients
The takeaway here? Don't shy away from authenticity. It's everything in both marketing and business, and in a world where it's extremely easy to make things look perfect online, we value it more than ever. Share who you really are and allow your potential clients to connect with you as a person.
Put authenticity in your marketing, and your business' bottom line will likely thank you.