Written by: Kelly Forst“Content is King.”Twenty years later, Bill Gates’ lauded phrase still rings true in our work as financial services public relations professionals. And, as it happens, the King won’t be dethroned anytime soon.In the digital age, it’s no longer optional to have a content marketing strategy. It’s a necessity. To successfully compete and come out on top, your firm needs to be generating and disseminating compelling content regularly. But where to begin?As we turn the page on a New Year, now is the perfect time to energize your content marketing strategy. When your team gathers for year-end planning meetings, think about how you can take your content creation to the next level.Consider these tips as you develop a strategy for 2016: Make your conference presence felt – Sponsorships aren’t the only way to make an industry event your own. Rather than merely being present at events, digest the scene and package memorable takeaways into blog posts, newsletters, social media posts and white papers. Heighten your presence before, during and after an event and be the force driving the conversation. For instance, we previewed this year’s MarketCounsel Summit in a blog post highlighting exciting trends and opinions around the regulatory and political space for RIAs . Our attending team leaders also consistently live-tweeted nearly every major presentation and used the #MSUM15 hashtag to draw attention. They helped make sense of the conference’s themes and flagged pertinent information for others. Take the wheel and drive home your message and key takeaways. Showcase the breadth of your expertise – Your firm is jam packed with intelligent and able people. Why not give them the chance to have their voice heard? Take our long-standing client CBIZ for example. Check out the firm’s blog and you’ll see a list of experts extending far and wide to reach all corners of its business. Posts outlining tax planning best practices sit alongside a review of the Affordable Care Act and tips for avoiding a cybersecurity attack. Users visiting the page are immediately met with a ride range of content showcasing CBIZ’s thought leadership on multiple topics. Diversity of opinion is the best way to display your firm’s depth of expertise. Listen, learn & lecture – What’s everyone talking about? Listen up. Take what you’re hearing in meetings and calls and use it to drive your content creation. Embrace social media; it is a great place to take the temperature of the industry. Take this Storify of reporters’ reactions to the Federal Reserve’s rate hike last week. Know what’s being said about topics of importance to your business and throw your hat in the ring. Don’t be afraid to offer a fresh take or propose a new question to start a conversation. NewsHack your way into top outlets by sprinting ahead of the news cycle. Tell the world the story of how you’re moving the ground on which your industry stands and steer the media to you.
Don’t let content marketing be the resolution that slips through the cracks this year. Actions matter more than words on a page, and the most important aspect of developing your strategy is following through with it. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and over time content marketing will become a prized vehicle for your firm’s storytelling.