View more on these topics

Phil Bray: How to improve your adviser blogs

Bray-PhilWe regularly see headlines pronouncing the death of blogging and promoting video, podcasts or other forms of content as an alternative.

The irony, of course, is that those making the predictions are doing so in a blog. Nevertheless, the question remains valid: is blogging dead?

I am confident it is not but its effectiveness will depend on your target audience. Matching your target audience to your message and the way in which it is delivered is key.

For some audiences, podcasts might well be the perfect way to reach them; others will prefer video. But the death of the blog has been greatly exaggerated – especially if your target audience is in their 50s or older.

Malcolm Kerr: Do the risks outweigh the benefits for the modern adviser?

So, with it still a valid way of connecting with potential clients, how can you improve the effectiveness of your blog? Here are seven things to consider:

1. Truly understand your audience

Only a handful of advisers have taken the time to create client personas. That is a basic error.

Understanding your target client’s communication preferences will help you decide on the most appropriate content mix. Assuming blogs have a part to play, the work you have done developing personas, including understanding their challenges, ambitions, beliefs and values, will make it easier to write engaging and relevant content.

2. Write for an online audience

We tend to skim read online far more than we do printed material. That means we need to change our writing style, using short sentences, sub-headings, lists and bullet points to get our key messages across.

3. Repurpose your blogs

It takes no little inspiration as well as blood, sweat and tears to produce a blog. So why would you not want to squeeze every ounce of value from it that you possibly can?

Phil Bray: Five business lessons to help the next generation of advisers

Blogs can be used as the basis for many other forms of content, including video, animation, podcasts, infographics and so on. What is more, a blog could be used as inspiration for a guest post on a complementary website or to start a conversation with a journalist.

4. Add carefully chosen images

Articles accompanied by images receive more views and higher engagement on social media. Adding carefully chosen images (no pictures of couples walking arm in arm down a beach please) is therefore important if as many people as possible are to read your carefully crafted words.

5. Up the word count

Blogs should be interesting, relevant and informative. When it comes to personal finance, that often necessitates a certain level of detail. It is also worth bearing in mind that Google prefers longer form content. We recommend articles are at least 800 words in length, ideally longer, assuming the quality of your writing and relevance of the message can be maintained.

6. Be consistent

If content is king, then consistency is queen. Writing and distributing high-quality, informative and relevant content on a regular basis is fundamental to any content marketing strategy. Rarely will a single, isolated blog produce significant results.

7. Get the calls to action right

Writing content and getting people to read it is only half the job; you need readers to take your preferred calls to action.

We recently worked with a planner who had a tremendous piece of content. Google loved it, sending hundreds of visitors each month. Those visitors spent an average of over five minutes reading it – an age in online terms. But guess what most readers did after finishing the article? Left the website. The bounce rate for the page was over 90 per cent.

Why? The calls to action were non-existent. It is so important to get them right, otherwise your effort of writing, publishing and distributing the blog is wasted.

Is blogging dead?

No, far from it. If it is the right way of communicating with your target audience and part of a wider strategy, there are countless reasons why there is still life in the written word.

If you need further proof: you are here and you made it to the end, for which I am eternally grateful.

Phil Bray is director of The Yardstick Agency

Recommended

2

Do retirement savers need national targets?

For many people, pensions are too confusing or such a long way off it does not seem real. Their annual pension statement may not make much sense because it is not set within the context of lifestyle. But translate the hard facts and figures into something they can relate to and it might be a […]

Five minutes with…Clive Waller

Ahead of his apprearance at the Money Marketing Interactive conference in Harrogate on September 13, CWC Research senior partner and The Investment Network chair Clive Waller weighs in on why advice is not a true profession yet and how to get the public on side. On a scale of 1 to 10, how optimistic are […]

2

Standard Life Aberdeen begins share buyback after Phoenix deal

Standard Life Aberdeen has begun buying back shares from investors after selling its life arm to Phoenix. According to a stock exchange announcement this morning, SLA has purchased nearly 770,000 ordinary shares from Merrill Lynch International at an average price of 318p a share, costing SLA around £245m. The announcement adds that SLA intends to […]

Pension - thumbnail
2

Pensions ombudsman sides with Aviva on pension loss case

A complaint that an Aviva system error kept an investor from retirement for five years and resulted in substantial financial distress has been rejected by the Pensions Ombudsman. The complainant – Mr D – held an Aviva Pension Plan until 2008, during which time he was underpaid £37,010.57 due to a fault in Aviva’s processing system […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment

    Close

    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm

    Email: customerservices@moneymarketing.com