Content, content, content. It’s the new “location, location, location” for building a sales pipeline through inbound marketing. Content done well can drive traffic, leads, and prospects along the sales funnel to satisfied, referral-providing clients.

However, only 30% of business to business marketers say their organization is effective at content marketing, according to the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.

First, the definition of content marketing, from the Content Marketing Institute: “Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

Who should your content be directed to? The answer is: Personas.

Personas are representations of your best clients, based on customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. All of this can be culled from in-person or phone interviews with top clients, and from data you collect with them.

Personas allow you to personalize or target your marketing for different segments of your audience.

WHAT CONTENT?

What is the content component of “content marketing” and how can Registered Investment Advisors and wealth managers implement a marketing strategy? The primary content components:

1. Blogs

Of all marketers sampled by Curata, 81% voted blogs as the most important component of compelling content marketing. 91% of the best business bloggers published at least weekly, and 21% sent weekly posts via a newsletter to their subscribers.

2. Case Studies

82% of marketers to businesses cited case studies as critical to long-term success. (Source: Curata) Case studies help prospects view your thought process, and let them how how working with you might work.

3. EBooks

An eBook, or a series of eBooks, provide informative content, as a PDF, on SlideShare, on your site, or all three. People share eBooks: 35% of business buyers have shared an eBook with a business colleague or friend. (Source: DemandGen Report)

4. Email

Email marketing, whether as a daily, weekly, or monthly distribution, is also a part of content marketing.

5. Fact Sheets

Don’t forget the basic fact sheet, hedge fund tear sheet, or product profile. For RIAs who also manage funds, each can be among the first point of contact for content delivery.

6. Infographics

The best infographics can pack a visual punch. They are clear, easy to digest, eye-catching, and can be placed on your website, in your pitch book, and/or in blog posts. More than two-thirds of those being marketed to said they have forwarded an infographic. (Source: Marketing Sherpa.)

7. Landing Pages

Landing pages are lead capture forms that within ask prospects for their name, email, and other worthy information. You want these on your website.

8. Motion Graphics

A motion graphic is a cousin to the PowerPoint or SlideShare presentation, with movement, narration, and music, added to the mix.

9. Pitch Books

A pitch book, or presentation material, can provide the backbone for your discussion points in face-to-face meeting, and small or large events.

10. Podcasts

While not as key to overall marketing efforts as other content items, 26% of B2B marketers examined by Social Media Examiner professed to looking to add more original (as opposed to curated) audio for 2016.

11. Quizzes

Quizzes may command attention and engagement. They may be used to attract new people or even to have people qualify themselves for your sales pipeline. HubSpot recently said that interactive content – such as quizzes, list generators, and calculators – drive 2X more conversions than static content.

12. Social Media

Every post you make on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ YouTube, and Instagram is part of your distribution network. According to Curata, 93% of B2B marketers said that social media content was a critical component of content marketing.

What types of content do marketers use in their social media marketing? Original written content comprised 70% of the total, said Social Media Examiner; original visual assets, like infographics, made up 71%; original videos 57%; and original audio 10%.

Linked was the largest social platform used, with 94% B2B participation. Twitter was not far behind, at 87% usage; with Facebook at 84%, YouTube at 74%, Google+ at 62%, and somewhat lower, at least for now, SlideShare at 37%. (Source: Content Marketing Institute, and MarketingProfs.)

In addition, according to Social Media Examiner, nearly two-thirds of marketers expected to increase their time and budget allocated to social media marketing for 2016.

As for time commitment, more than 80% of marketers increased their organic site traffic with only a six hours per week commitment to social media marketing. (Source: Social Media Examiner)

13. Tip Sheets

Not for the horses, but a quick one-page “10 Reasons Why….” page can quickly convey actionable points in a quick, bite-sized format.

14. Videos

Video has become the go-to method for many providers – and consumers – of content. Videos can be hosted on your website or on your firm’s YouTube channel. They can be short “explainer” videos ( about one to two minutes long) about who you are, how you work with clients, and how you manage money. From Demand Metric: more than two-thirds of firms planned to increase their video budget for 2016.

15. Webinars

For those who prefer to learn visually, and to interact, webinars are an effective way to engage potential investors.

16. Website

All the words, images, thoughts, ideas, landing pages, and calls to action on your site are “content.” Because your site is often the first thing potential clients see as they discover you, consider the website prime real estate for content consideration

17. Whitepapers

What’s a white paper? If done right, a whitepaper is an informative, in-depth report on a specific topic that proffers a problem and provides a potential solution. A whitepaper is not a product pitch.

CONTENT TOPICS

To build content with impact, each piece of content should answer help educate and inform prospective clients. According to a study by the LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community, the three factors that make content effective are:

  • Relevance (58%)

  • Storytelling (57%)

  • Call to action (54%)

But what’s the content about, you say? Well, it depends on what your target audiences’ interests and pain points are, and how you have be positioned your firm to help them. Potential content might be shaped around:

  • 401(k) Plans

  • Annuities

  • Charitable Giving

  • Education and 529 Plans

  • Estate Planning

  • Insurance

  • Retirement Planning

  • Social Security

  • Succession Planning

  • Tax Planning

  • Variable Annuities

  • Women and Financial Planning

Or topics could be focused on broad investment areas in which you have expertise, such as alternative investments, commodity futures, ETFs, fixed income, international equities, mutual funds, and REITS.

SO WHY CONTENT?

The big three goals of content marketing, from a study by the LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community:

  • Lead Generation (59%)

  • Thought Leadership/Market Education (43%)

  • Brand Awareness (40%)

How do businesses measure the success of their content marketing? According to the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, the metrics are, by importance:

  • Sales Lead Quality (87%)

  • SEO Ranking (87%)

  • Sales (84%)

  • High Conversion Rates (82%)

  • Sales Lead Quantity (71%)

  • Website Traffic (71%)

  • Brand Visibility (69%)

  • Views (55%)

  • Leads (48%)

  • Likes, +1’s, Tweets, and Shares (45%)

  • Downloads (41%)

  • Conversion Rate (40%)

Here’s how to review your firm’s pitch book for maximum content impact: