At last month’s Hearsay Summit, Director of Content Strategy Gabrielle Levin joined Hannah Bland, Digital Marketing Manager at Aviva Investors and Tim Rickards, Director of Marketing and Client Engagement at Charles Schwab, to discuss their key content strategy tips for nurturing clients via social media, particularly during this past year.
Here are five takeaways from their discussion:
Carve out a safe space where knowledge and need takes precedence
Content plays an important role in simplifying people’s journeys, so Tim’s team seeks to create content that engages, educates, and activates prospects and clients.Through content, potential clients can engage without feeling pressure. Delivering the right content to the right people helps them build knowledge before they’re even ready to make a buying decision. Then, when the conversation finally happens, better and more meaningful outcomes arise because of the knowledge gained prior to the conversation.
Tim also posed the million dollar question, “how can you be relevant enough and targeted enough without maybe being too creepy? We work really hard to be as relevant as we can, and…when we’re right, I think it’s way more valuable to the individual who receives it.”
Consider content holistically
Hannah agrees that content must be considered in the context of the entire customer journey. In some cases, maintaining engagement with clients and prospects as they move through that customer channel can take years.
“We completely appreciate social is just one avenue for clients or prospects to engage with you as a business, and there are going to be multiple touch points across that client journey,” says Hannah. While consistency, activity and visibility are key for social, “it’s really key for us to understand the attribution model and how social plays a part in that.” By utilizing a single customer view, they’re able to get a 360 view of their clients and prospects, and how they’re engaging with their content.
Focus on customer impact
Hannah and her team use social media to demonstrate their expertise through weekly thought leadership pieces, producing publications such as “House View,” which gives a view into what investment decisions are being made, and “The Little Book of Data,” which highlights data visualizations.
Each publication focuses on customer impact, and is tied to their business objectives of brand awareness and increased credibility among clients. Because Aviva Investors’ business objective is to deliver strong investment performance for its customers through ESG-led solutions, this type of thought leadership also helps generate leads and grow third-party business.
Don’t forget the big picture when it comes to metrics
While it’s important to look at the number of people who respond to multiple touches to see how content is connecting with an individual, Tim stresses that it’s not the whole story. “More contacts, more touches, or more interaction may not necessarily mean the conversion rates are better,” he says. “Likewise, if someone doesn’t react at all, but does convert that’s a win.”
Keeping the feedback loop open with field teams is critical. Hannah layers in anecdotal feedback from her teams to understand what resonates with clients. “You might look at metrics, and say it’s really positive, but actually just because somebody clicked, opened, or engaged with something, it doesn’t necessarily mean it was a positive engagement,” she says. Getting feedback from her sales and distribution teams keeps the dialogue flowing and helps her contextualize and validate metrics.
Establish a trusting relationship
Trust is the bedrock for any successful business, but is even more important in financial services. Establishing this foundation absent in-person meetings is tough, so Aviva Investors rose to the challenge through a weekly LinkedIn poll called “Ask the Fund Manager.” They asked their audience what they wanted to hear from them, and created videos sharing poll results and providing answers.
“It’s very much person-to-person,” says Hannah. “It feels like you’re having a conversation with one of the fund managers which makes it really authentic as well. And in a time where we’ve got those limited face-to-face interactions, we wanted to demonstrate to clients that we’re visible and we’re active and we’re here.”
Already in its 50th week, the 3-5 minute video series helps Aviva Investors bridge a personal connection with clients, while building familiarity and trust with fund managers, who can showcase their expertise.
A huge thanks to Hannah Bland and Tim Rickards for sharing their content strategy insights with us! You can watch a replay of their session, and other Summit sessions here.