Blogs are a great way to pass on updates, connect with clients, and engage with prospects. With around 70 million new posts published every month on WordPress alone, making your content stand out and capture the interest of readers is essential.
When asked what they enjoy reading about online, pensions, protection products and Inheritance Tax, aren’t going to feature on many peoples’ list. Yet, that doesn’t mean there’s not a demand or interest in reading about financial planning topics. The number of people who click through to learn more on the newsletters we send out on behalf of financial planners, shows clients do want to read carefully chosen content.
86% of companies produce blog content, according to SEMrush. Blogs work, but that doesn’t mean you can skip taking the time to ensure they’re engaging. Here are six tips to think about next time you’re writing a blog.
1. Speak directly to your audience
In most cases, your blog should speak directly to the reader. That means using the pronoun ‘you’ throughout and encouraging action for them to take.
It can be tempting to slip into a formal, more technical writing style when you’re explaining the ins and outs of financial products. However, write your blogs in the same style you’d speak to clients in a meeting. Keep it friendly and jargon-free.
Emily’s previously offered tips for making your writing more accessible by keeping George Orwell’s writing rules in mind here. This includes avoiding passive language to make your writing more engaging and direct.
2. Focus on client challenges and goals
Clients and prospects should always be the focus of your blog.
A change to the pension Annual Allowance may be important to clients, however, it needs context. How will it affect how much they save into a pension now? What does it mean for their retirement lifestyle? Without these links, you run the risk of clients thinking it doesn’t apply to them, getting lost in the complexities of financial services, or simply becoming bored.
Always show how the point of your blog affects those taking or seeking financial advice. It not only makes it clear why it’s important but demonstrates the value financial advice offers as well.
3. Use your subheadings wisely
73% of people admit to skimming blog posts, according to HubSpot. So, make it as easy as possible for them to pick up the key pieces of information.
Use your subheadings to highlight interesting statistics, pieces of news, or show off the benefits you can deliver. A client should be able to get the gist of your post by just reading your headline and subheadings. If they want to learn more about a certain area, they know which section to read, and it could inspire them to settle down for an in-depth read too. Nick explains more about using sub-heading effectively here.
4. Make it visually appealing
Writing about financial services often means passing on complex information and data. Make it as easy as possible for readers to understand what you’re saying.
Break up big chunks of text into bullet points that are easier to digest. Where appropriate, include tables, graphs and images that highlight your points and make picking up data or concepts easier. Much like subheadings, these options will draw the eye, even as a reader skims through the blog, so are an excellent way to draw attention to your key points.
5. Use lists to pull people in
People like reading lists and are more likely to share them. In fact, listicle style posts get twice as many shares than other blog formats, according to SEMrush. Why? They’re easy to read and can pass on lots of information.
That’s not to say a listicle should be your format for every single blog. But if a list would suit the topic you’re covering and what you want to convey, it’s definitely worth using this format.
If you need inspiration for blog headlines and formats, you can find some suggestions here.
6. Know what your audience is interested in
Keep in mind who your clients are and what they’re interested in. This is one reason why defining who you work with is important, it can help inform marketing decisions.
When conducting meetings, you’ll ask what concerns clients have and what they want to achieve, incorporate the responses into your content plan. Keep track of which content is proving popular too, from which blogs receive the most clicks in your newsletter to traffic on your website. It can help you strike the right mix of content and ensure your financial planning blogs are engaging to the right people.
Need help with your blogs?
As financial services specialists, we can help your blogs engage with both clients and prospects. From suggesting topics to analysing what works, and, of course, writing the content, we’re here to help you get the most out of your blog page.