So you’ve embraced digital marketing. Even in the world of regulated marketing, firms have recognised the need for online content marketing strategies.
And it’s not surprising – the benefits are clear:
- Good content increases your search engine rankings, because Google places value on regularly updated, high-quality content when assessing websites.
- Frequently refreshed content is a driver for return visits to your site. If your site content is static, there’s no incentive for clients and prospects to keep visiting. And if they never visit, you’re missing opportunities to remind them about all your brilliant products and services.
- Social media is a crucial part of today’s marketing mix – and content is the engine that drives your social posts. Without a pipeline of content, you have nothing interesting to say on Twitter, Linkedin or your other social channels.
- High-quality content actually helps your clients and prospects. Content isn’t about selling – it’s about providing your contacts with information that’s useful and usable. Deliver content that is genuinely valuable rather than salesy and you will turn prospects into clients and ultimately advocates.
There’s only one problem. Everyone else recognises these benefits too. Which means your competitors have a content strategy every bit as good as yours.
Everyone is focusing on content
Every day, millions of pieces of content are posted online – from Tweets, to Instagram photos, to Pinterest pins, Linkedin updates, blog posts, YouTube videos – the list is endless. This great infographic gives you an idea of the vast amount of content you are competing with.
Even in a sector often regarded as behind the curve when it comes to innovation, it’s likely that you have embraced this content revolution. And so have your competitors.
You probably post on a corporate Twitter and Linkedin feed; undoubtedly have a website; may write a blog on topical issues. If you are consumer-facing, you may also have a Facebook page or Instagram account.
You almost certainly send out whitepapers and newsletters by email. You share press releases on the internet, and you may have online customer fact sheets and guides.
Content drives most marketing activity these days. And because social media, SEO and content strategies are growing ever more entwined, it is more important than ever that the content you produce is interesting, frequent, timely and useful.
How to make your content stand out
This can be a tall order for Marketing teams likely to feel under-resourced, over-regulated and generally struggling to meet demand. Producing any old content isn’t enough – to cut through the noise and make sure what you deliver stands head and shoulders above everything your competitors are doing, you need to produce high-quality content.
Here are a few tips that will help make your content that little bit better than everyone else’s:
- Add something different – non-static content such as videos, graphics or animations can increase conversions by up to 2x. Include some of this and see your click-throughs leap up.
- Make it easy to read – rules for writing online are different. People’s attention span is shorter. They expect snappier sentences, fewer words overall and more broken up text. This can be hard to get across to people used to writing about complex financial topics! – but persevere and your plain English content will stand out for all the right reasons.
- Ditch the long paragraphs – in a similar vein, bullet points, boxed out facts and a scattering of quotes all help to break up online text. The web isn’t a library for dry, text-heavy content. Think of more interesting ways to present your information.
- Include regular images – content with images every 100 words or so gets the most shares. Again, break up that lengthy writing.
- But make sure it’s long enough – although content needs to be presented in an interesting way, pieces with higher word counts actually perform better online. Make sure what you say is lengthy enough to be informative and authoritative, while remembering to make it visually interesting.
Timing is all important
Once you’ve perfected your content, you also need to get it out quickly. This is particularly important if it’s topical. If you’re commenting on a piece of news, sharing your views on new legislation, or getting a new product or service to market – you need to seize the moment.
In a regulated industry, this can be a challenge. You don’t just need to produce your content, you need to ensure it complies with the FCA’s requirements. This means you need to get approval from your Compliance team before you can issue any financial promotions or other communications. This includes social media posts – something that people often overlook. (Our blog on compliance tips for social media covers this in more detail.)
The need to get Compliance sign-off can slow you down and curb your ability to innovate. You need to streamline your Compliance approval process to get content out on time. There’s no point being the last firm to post a Budget assessment or reaction to new legislation – your content won’t get any traction at all. The time and effort you and your fee-earners have put into it will go to waste.
Getting content approved faster
The good news is that there are ways to get content out the door faster. Close collaboration between Marketing and Compliance teams can make all the difference, and we have some helpful tips on how to achieve this here.
Automating your marketing compliance processes can also have a dramatic impact, significantly improving your ability to get marketing materials out quickly. Collaborative reviewing, automated record-keeping and the ability to find and repurpose approved content – these are just some of the benefits of an automated approach. We look at this in more detail in our blog on how to reduce the time you take to produce marketing materials.
Minimising marketing and compliance administration enables you to focus on generating wining content. Cut the amount of time you spend on – often repetitive and duplicatory – admin around marketing compliance and you will maximise the time available to really fine-tune your content management strategy.
Follow these tips and you will be well on the way to developing content that sets you apart from your competitors. Cut through the noise online and you will reap the rewards of increased interactions, growing web traffic, improved Google rankings and – ultimately – more leads and new business.
If you want to produce marketing materials more quickly, our video shows how a multi-reviewer tool has helped firms collaborate for faster content production. And you might also be interested in our case study showing how The Nottingham Building Society saved their Marketing and Compliance teams 1500 hours a month. It’s free to download, and you can get a copy here.