Let’s do a video! What should it be about?
We need a new website! What design do we like?
Let’s arrange for a presentation to potential clients. What’s the topic?
If this sounds familiar, stop your work now. Sure, these are all terrific opportunities to build thought leadership – of your firm and its financial experts. But you’re asking the wrong questions. You’re wasting time and money. And you’re ignoring the fundamentals of effective financial services marketing. While it’s appealing to jump right to the fun, exciting tactics, strategic thought leadership first requires – you guessed it – a clear, solid strategy.
Thought leadership communications, as part of your firm’s marketing approach, can be a powerful way to rise above the noise and get heard by those who matter most – in the markets where you’re looking for new business.
Ask these six questions to build thought leadership into your financial services marketing strategy.
What do we stand for?
Ask this question first and repeatedly. You might start with your expertise: What are your strengths as a firm? What is your vision? In what area – whether trading, asset management, banking or financial planning – can you demonstrate success on behalf of clients? The answer should be aspirational yet simple. Imagine and define what you do best.What do we stand for? Ask this question first and repeatedly.Click To Tweet
What are the key individuals or businesses that need your financial expertise? Which clients are most important? Target the clients you want, based on where the greatest demand exists.
What do we have to say (that’s different)?
This question helps take your offering and translate it into messages that resonate. More so, by focusing on what’s different about your firm and its experts, you’re not only joining the conversation, you’re positioned to help lead it. Give your experts in various service areas a voice. Doing so shows the depth and breadth of your firm’s experts and advisors.
What does our audience want to hear?
You can’t expect to simply “build it and they will come.” Perform due diligence on the market issues and developments that most concern potential clients. Stay on top of new market and regulatory trends. This helps demonstrate that your firm’s experts are focused on resolving issues and complexities – and capitalizing on opportunities – for impacted clients.
Where are they gathering?
Assess what platforms or communication channels are used most by your audience. How do they prefer to engage and receive information? These answers provide a solid litmus test for determining whether specific tactics or opportunities make sense for your thought leadership strategy.
What do we want them to do about it?
It’s one thing to say you want to get your name “out there,” but you need to translate awareness into new business. To ensure your efforts ultimately create demand for your firm and its services, make sure your call to action is clear.
When any or all of these elements are ignored, your investment in thought leadership communications won’t deliver a strong return. On the flip side, once you’ve nailed each of these six elements, your financial services marketing efforts are much more likely to stick.