Everywhere you turn online, you’ve likely heard of a new marketing hack, approach, or tactic, and there’s an endless supply of gurus and experts available to coach advisors on the next shiny object.
Our ethos is to teach our advisors to succeed in the digital world, but we do that by connecting new tactics to the foundation of good marketing. People are binge watching Netflix series, listening to hour long podcasts, and let’s just not even talk about TikTok. So yes, the channels have changed, the price for entry has changed, and content quality has hit a new threshold, but the psychological effect of good marketing is the same – it engenders success.
We often talk to advisors about the importance of organization when it comes to marketing. We often coach the advisors on our platform about how critical consistency is in distribution. Good marketing, outside of using the four Ps (product, price, place, promotion) to shape your marketing, comes down to only four components.
Your Customer is the Architect of Your Marketing Vision
- According to Broadridge, 77% of advisors don’t have a defined marketing plan. But it’s not as hard to develop as that statistic would lead you to believe. Creating a great plan just means codify your vision. It should include five pieces:
- What’s the problem your brand is solving for? How is your solution different?
- Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) detailed out
- Your content types and the topics you need to develop to educate and entertain this ICP
- The channels your ICP lives on and the investment plan to reach your audience on those channels
- How you’re going to measure progress – incrementally and over time.
- Notice how everything, and we mean everything, is rooted in your ICP, not your product or business. The best marketing plan is about discussing things that intersect with what your customer cares about and what your business does. But don’t limit yourself to product – engaging your customer is more important at this stage than selling product.
Creativity Without Organization is a Hotdog Without a Bun
- It’s all about the delivery system. A common misconception is that marketing equals creativity. It’s actually about scale and relentless execution. The average life of a tweet? 18 minutes. The average life of a LinkedIn post? 24 hours. Paid ads on social lose their effectiveness over time. Advertising impression volume is lower than the data suggests.
- The point is that you have to have a consistent cadence, organic and paid, to have an impactful marketing program. This means an organized system that allows you to promote engaging content regularly. The best way to create a system? Document your cadence in writing: how many times you’re going to post per week, how many hours you’re going to timebox for writing or creating, how long you’ll let paid ads run until you review them, and what metrics you’ll consistently achieve. Getting this codified will allow you to build a mental model for your creation and distribution.
Create Interesting Content, not Just Educational Content
- Your plan is locked, your cadence is noted, so what now? Every good marketer will tell you that your marketing program will fail without good, quality content. How do we define quality in 2021? It’s a simple equation: entertainment factor + value = relevance.
- Now, we’re not saying you have to hire a producer and shoot a daily vlog. But understanding what your audience cares about, and how they emotionally react to things is critical to success of your marketing content. And your entertainment factor needs to be there.
- Newsletters were old hat two years ago. Now, they’re the newest way to monetize content as audiences adjust to paying for only what they want to consume. Cable went from a firehouse to the model we saw 40 years ago where premium movies command value.
- Free content is the ground level – but you need to up your game. Defining your ICP means you can speak directly to them, be blunt with your opinions and who you are. You need to have a point of view. Working to bring on interesting guests, highlighting topics that are meaningful, but others are afraid to address.
- What you’ll find is that you’re creating a differentiated ecosystem of media – as you build a following, push out great content, others will get involved.
- Final piece of advice is the oldest one in the book: pick one thing and do it well. You don’t have to host webinars, have a newsletter, produce a podcast, write a blog – you can pick one, do it well, and keep it interesting. Do one thing well vs. many things mediocre.
Distribution With Increasing Velocity
- Starting from ground level to building a consistent marketing cadence is daunting. Thinking about posting 5 times per week, running ads on 2-3 platforms, or sending out a newsletter on a monthly basis can be a daunting task. Just thinking about it can be paralyzing.
- That’s were distribution with increasing velocity comes in. Start slow, then gain momentum as you get more comfortable. What does this look like tactically? Possibly 1-2 posts per week to start, a newsletter once per quarter, maybe a paid ad campaign twice a year – building up to an experience of increased velocity, building on the momentum that you create as you get more comfortable. It’s important to build on the momentum – as you need to have a consistent cadence with your audience in order to maintain a marketing program. Before you learn to run, you have to walk. Set a goal, build the muscle to increase the reps.
The Bottom Line
The “gurus” will always try to lead you to a shortcut that gives the impression of success. But good marketing, good branding, successful business comes down to fundamentals, foundation, and consistency.