Do you ever feel like your digital marketing needs more care than you have hours in the day? As marketers, we all know that you must deliver fresh content to stay relevant in the game, and your social channels need to have fresh material published at a regular cadence. In the traditional wealth management industry, midsize firms are prone to establishing a digital strategy, going gangbusters with blog content, video and social posts for six months or so, then fading out to a trickle of activity. Eventually, you see websites that promise to keep people up to date but haven’t posted a blog in the last six months. Ouch.

Why do well-intentioned efforts fail? One reason is that people confuse having a digital strategy with a content strategy. In other words, you can have an attractive website, blog, newsletter, social pages on all the right channels and the tools you need to execute email, digital and video communications, but you must have material to publish! This requires a well-planned content strategy which takes discipline, creativity and a company-wide team effort.

When companies get content fatigue, it’s often because they have relied on internal or freelance copywriters to build content, and it gets hard (and expensive) to keep up with the volume. Perhaps they have defined what they talk about too narrowly and are running out of topics to cover. If they don’t know how to repurpose and unbundle content, they have to produce much more original material each month. Lastly, video is pretty new to many firms, and they don’t know how to incorporate it into the flow of marketable content.

About two and a half years ago, we were struggling with this very issue. We had changed the marketing platforms, tools and tactics we were using, but we hadn’t fundamentally changed how we produced or sourced content. Our previous focus on newsletters and email marketing was now woefully insufficient for where we wanted to go.

Our digital marketing team knows that it takes a village – not just the marketing department – to create the quality and volume of content needed to engage in frequent conversations with clients and prospects. Here are five tips to help you feed the beast of an active content strategy.

  1. Create a content committee or working group that includes interested sales people, technologists and product folks – you’ll be surprised how many people are interested in writing or identifying topics.
  2. Establish a calendar that lets you plan content by channel – each blog post, the number of social posts you need, the due dates, etc. A content calendar will help visualize the plan and identify neglected types of content or channels. Knowing exactly how much needs to be produced by when will also help keep you on track.
  3. Now, step back and start populating the calendar with your core business events and seasonality. Hardcode key events that impact the business first to make sure you’ve captured these important functions. Next, fill in the calendar with relevant topics and themes. For instance, you may want one investment piece each month on the economy, but you also want a tax planning theme and a charitable theme. Complete the calendar with events that interest your readers and think about major holidays as well as fun dates to remember like Grandparents’ day or Women’s History Month.
  4. Post early and often on your social channels. For example, a blog post with five ideas to raise financially responsible children can be broken into five separate social posts with each tip as a reminder. Don’t be afraid to post third party content – it can actually improve your credibility. If you have a great post or article, share it again! Smart marketers repost and repurpose content all the time.
  5. Measure everything. By monitoring open rates and click-throughs, you’ll get a better idea of what interests your audience. Our content committee closely tracks these metrics each month and makes adjustments to the plan to boost engagement. They also share best practices with those responsible for writing articles or making videos.

We still use freelancers to help ghost write or edit some pieces, but much of what we are producing is now home grown, and we’re keeping up with the volume while improving reader responses. As CMO, I have a dashboard to measure the effectiveness of our content strategy, and we also monitor our activity levels compared to our industry and key competitors.

It’s important to build a digital marketing strategy and platform, but don’t stop there. Good content is the fuel that your marketing engine needs. Have a plan to feed the content marketing beast to make your digital efforts successful!