In a constant and continual stream of social media messaging, where the average user is inundated with the typical “15 Ways to Retire” or “How to Save for College,” it is important for financial advisors and companies to be strategic in their approach to the ratio and frequency of curated versus original content they put forth into the digital sphere.
In marketing and communication, a philosophy known as the “Goldilocks Principle” states that something must fall within certain margins, as opposed to reaching extremes. In lay terms, this principle describes the quantity and intricacies of messaging necessary to capitalize on effectiveness, while not becoming redundant or excessive (too much). It also avoids inaccurate or incomplete messaging (too little). In relating the Goldilocks Principle to content strategy, financial marketers and advisors must consider—in a world of “too much” or “too little”—which amount and type is “just right.”
How do I build brand visibility while driving engagement and interaction? The answer is to first determine the best mix of original and curated content, followed by formulating the ideal amount of information to disseminate and when to post it.
The Case for Original Content
Two of the best strategies for original content are ones that promote industry expertise and/or humanize the brand. When a company creates its own content, the result is an owned piece of branded thought leadership used to tout the company’s experience and proficiency in a particular space. As long as value is being delivered to the reader, they will continue to come back for more. Providing content in real time is a very successful extension of this strategy. Driving engagement through promoting current news with your particular insight and perspective not only increases the likelihood of repeat visitors, but also results in engagement and interaction. This type of original content stimulates engagement by creating an open-ended discussion as opposed to a one-way message.
The other clever strategy is less focused on showing what you know and more of who you are. In a world of big banking distrust and Wall Street cynicism, leading with corporate culture and developing a narrative around a firm’s employees and advisors from an intimate and personal perspective drives loyalty and trust. This type of original content reflects the authentic voice of the brand, achieving emotional resonance and inspiring greater brand loyalty. A great way to do this is by spotlighting employees and incorporating a mix of interesting fun facts as well as showcasing the employee’s knowledge of their field. In the case of the advisor, it may be discussing winning investment philosophies, as well as how they spend their weekend or who their favorite 80s band is (preferably AC/DC). Clients are going to feel much more comfortable investing their money when they feel they have a better sense of the person responsible for looking after their financial future.
How to Piggyback on Curated Content
Sharing existing content created outside of your firm can also be an effective way to utilize social media. For one, it serves as great filler in between original content posts. Unless you have a person or team solely devoted to content creation, the average advisor does not have the bandwidth to constantly create new and insightful pieces. Recycling existing stories that are relevant to your audience will help you maintain a consistent presence on social media without putting a major strain on resources. The key here is to continuously ensure that what you are posting is relevant and meaningful to your audience.
Once you get a better perspective of the content mix that is right for your business, the last step is to determine the frequency of messaging. This is where the real art and science of social media marketing comes into play, with the holy grail of moderation being the equilibrium between over and under-stimulation. Each social media platform requires a different rate of messaging with most social media strategy experts agreeing that Twitter requires the most repetition, followed by Facebook and LinkedIn, respectively. The one principle consistent across all mediums is that daily posting is essential in building a following and driving engagement.
Curated content is good, but original content is better. Focus on interesting content that showcases the brand while maintaining a consistent presence in the social media space.
Sarah Gosler is senior vice president and head of marketing at Wedbush Securities.