How to make the most out of posting thought leadership content

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Advisors should not only post thought leadership content on their websites to position themselves as experts, they should also analyze the results to improve their return on investment.

Content should focus on clients’ five major concerns: smart decisions about their money; mitigating taxes; taking care of the heirs; protecting assets from being unjustly taken through divorce or litigation; and charitable giving, says John Bowen, founder and chief executive of CEG Worldwide in San Martin, California, who coaches top advisors.

“The challenge is you need to share great content consistently,” he says. “For most advisors, creating high-value thought leadership content is not the best use of time, particularly when there are so many other ways they can curate content.”

For example, Bowen’s firm has a turnkey business development platform of thought leadership content called CEG Advantage that it makes available to advisors focused on wealthier clients.

Advisors should also employ marketing automation tools to analyze how well their content is being noticed by clients and prospects, though the more expensive solutions are best suited for those practices that have scale, Bowen said.

Three of the industry leaders are HubSpot, Marketo and Pardot.

“For most advisors, marketing automation is an expensive ‘nice to have,’ unless they have a $1 billion practice and above,” Bowen says.

Kimberly Mills, marketing manager at Birchwood Financial Partners in Edina, Minnesota, said that her firm recently started using the free version of HubSpot, which helps track the activity of potential clients after they have filled out the “contact us” form on the firm’s website.

“We are able to see what brought them to our website, whether it was a promoted blog post on Facebook or a search engine, and then how many times they’ve returned and what pages they’ve visited,” Mills says. “There is a lot of potential down the road to help us shape the information we provide to prospects through our website.”

Bing and Google also offer free analytical tools.

Bing Webmaster analytics has a dashboard that provides a summary view of how well a website is performing and identifies what needs emphasis; reporting tools to help firms understand what leads people to their website, and what to focus on to increase traffic; and diagnostic and research tools that provide information on what people are searching for and what areas to expand on next.

Google Analytics lets firms measure their advertising ROI as well as track their flash, video, and social-networking websites and applications.

This story is part of a 30-30 series on savvy ideas on modernizing your practice.

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