Your brand's blog is the foundation of your inbound marketing strategy. It's your primary platform to convey expertise and professionalism, all while building a rapport with customers and leads. This role shouldn't be taken lightly: more than any other industry, the financial sector needs to build trust and educate clients around the complexities of financial products and services.
With that in mind, we'd like to briefly look at the keys to successful financial blogging: what to blog about, what language to use, frequency, and other considerations to transform your blog into a knowledge center and, better yet, a lead generation channel.
What to blog about?
The good news is that there's no shortage of material to write about from a financial perspective. The bad news is that, well, there's no shortage of material to write about from a financial perspective. As a result, bloggers — particularly members of your team who don't consider themselves "writers" in the traditional sense — will get a bit confused. Call it "content overload." Fortunately, there's an elegant solution and it involves assuming the roles of your buyer personas. What are they interested in? What are their main concerns? You already know the answers to these questions; let them dictate what type of content you publish.
For example, let's say a buyer persona is a 45-year old woman in Novato. She has a day job, two teenage children, a husband, and she co-owns a house. She's concerned about saving for retirement and college. As you can already see, we already have a nice foundation for blogging content: "7 Tips for Saving for Your Kid's College," "The Time May Be Right to Refinance. Here's Why," and so on.
Finding your blogging "voice"
The tone of your posts will speak to your target audience. Given our aforementioned example, your "voice" will be conversational and casual, but not patronizing or too "informal." If fact, we rarely recommend adopting a "cool" tone — even when talking to college students — because it can sabotage your efforts to exude expertise. On the other end of the spectrum, you'll want to be more formal if you're writing for a high-end business client. Effective financial blogs essentially reflect how writers would talk to these clients in person, in their office.
Blog length, frequency, and other considerations
OK, so you've got an idea on the basics of financial blogging. Better yet, thanks to helpful tools like Google Alerts, which automatically sends timely, keyword-driven content to your inbox, you have no shortage of content to pull from. You also have a roadmap for calibrating your blogging voice and language based on your target audience. Next up is the nitty-gritty: establishing an editorial calendar and style guide that dictates things like blog length, frequency, and other considerations. Our advice is the following:
- Post three-to-five blogs a week on alternative days like Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
- The typical blog should be 500-750 words and should include one or two hyperlinked keywords.
- Eighty-percent of blogs should be "non-commercial" in nature; 20 percent should directly address a product or service (along with a strong call to action.)
- All blogs should end with questions to drive user conversation, especially on social media.
So there you have it. Apologies for the sensationalist article title: successful financial blogging isn't much of a secret. All it takes is knowing your audience, a little planning, and publishing compelling content that resonates with users.
What do you think? What's the most important element of effective financial blogging? Do you encourage your analysts to blog on a regular basis? What resources have proven to be helpful in generating compelling financial content?
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