Producing quality online content is a much overlooked yet vital part of an adviser's marketing arsenal, as Phil Bray has regularly pointed out, with that in mind here are some of his top tips…
Whether it be including case studies on your website, developing an effective social media presence or simply avoiding common online marketing pitfalls, The Yardstick Agency founder has frequently emphasised the value for an adviser's business in creating an online profile.
Urging advisers to consider marketing as an investment not a cost, Bray (pictured) says while some advisers may consider themselves "too time poor" to focus on this, done effectively it should offer a "measurable return".
Here is Professional Adviser's top five picks from his tips throughout the year...
1. Case studies are winning pieces of content for advisers
Not only do case studies demonstrate what type of clients a firm works with and what type of work it specialises but they improve a site's search engine optimisation and can help gain media coverage.
"It's rare that I see case studies used on adviser websites," says Bray. "That's a shame as they are hugely useful and versatile pieces of content."
2. Decide on your niche
Based on expertise, experience, and knowledge, Bray says advisers can use multi-media content to demonstrate they are the ‘go-to' expert for their specialism. Whether that be blogs, video, and podcasts, he suggests adapting the content format to the relevant audience.
3. Use social media to promote content
Social media offers the opportunity for advisers to drive potential clients to website content and generate business leads, says Bray.
However, research conducted by The Yardstick Agency found fewer than one in 10 (8.45%) visitors to adviser websites came from social media. Yet similar research from Intelliflo found nearly three-quarters (73%) of advisers were using social media for business.
"I suspect most advisers don't effectively move their followers and connections to their website, or indeed, to offline conversations," he comments.
"Hang out online where your target clients do," he advises. "Use content to demonstrate expertise, contribute, add value, be personable (avoid permanent broadcast mode) and you will turn social media into a profitable stream of new enquiries."
4. Avoid links directing users away from your site…
Linking to directories, other news sites, or featuring social media links too prominently, can risk the target audience leaving the site with no guarantees they will return, warns Bray.
"I see too many adviser websites with a newsfeed - often prominently placed on their homepage - displaying coverage of events from around the world," he says.
He adds: "Getting people to visit your website is hard work, so why would you include a link that sends them to a list of competitors?"
5. … And large blocks of text
Avoid long sentences and extended paragraphs, says Bray.
Instead, he suggests breaking them up with sub-headings and bullet points, ideally having no more than 25 words per sentence and three sentences in a paragraph.
"Research shows we skim-read online so this should be reflected in how we display content," he argues.
3 January 2018 deadline
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