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What Types of Content Work Best?

When it comes to doing business in today's wired society, social and digital media are absolute musts. There's simply no point to avoiding it, as social media has fast gone from nice to have to must have. Content is at the heart of all social media activity. It's what your audience craves, and everything you post is considered content. But the Web is saturated with content, both good and bad, from the factually informative to the practically irrelevant. So how can your voice be heard over all this noise? What kind of content works best? The key is to provide your audience only with effective, targeted content that speaks directly to their needs or desires.

THE BENEFITS OF CONTENT MARKETING

Creating great content is certainly worth the effort. When delivered to the light people, outstanding content can:

Enhance your social media presence – Each time you post knowledgeable content, particularly if you do it consistently, you establish yourself as an influencer in a relatively short span of time.

Elevate and solidify your brand – This goes hand-in-hand with building up a strong social and digital media presence. People are simply more likely to purchase a product or use the services of a brand they've come to recognize.

Position yourself as the go-to authority on a particular issue – Stellar content, especially if it's laser-targeted, can go a tremendous way toward culturing a perception of yourself or your firm as the authority and resource for a particular need. For example, an advisor who specializes in annuities and creates plenty of annuity-centric content will appeal to

PIMCO's Plain Talk Gets Noticed

FIGURE 21.1 PIMCO's Plain Talk Gets Noticed

any potential investor currently researching annuity products. Likewise, asset managers who position themselves as the best firm for advisors in the business of working with high-net-worth investors by continually posting solid and leading content will earn extra credibility as the right firm to join.

■ Spark discussions that improve engagement – It's not enough to rely on the sales pitches, jingles, and billboards that were so effective a decade ago. You must provide your audience with real value. If you do this regularly via blogs or other posts, you can create a dialogue with your prospects, and this is the type of engagement that produces results. As an example, PIMCO isn't shy about taking positions and communicating them on social media. In 2012, PIMCO's former “Bond King” Bill Gross came out swinging against the most recent easing plans from the Federal Reserve and European Central Banks. The comment came just days after the Fed unveiled its plan for a third round of quantitative easing–or QE3–and generated lots of engagement. See Figure 21.1.

Boost your credibility – Again, the more content you produce on a specific subject, the stronger your credibility becomes, especially since your content proves–rather than just implies – that you're an expert.

Increase your exposure and reach – Great content is almost always picked up and re-circulated, opening the doors to several opportunities to further your reach. For example, bloggers may ask you to contribute a guest blog post, while other media outlets will be eager to publish your content. Not only does this increase the number of links back to your own website (which improves search engine rankings), but it also puts you in front of all-new yet qualified audiences.

Drive more traffic to your website and improve your search engine ranking – It's a simple equation: Search engine optimization (SEO) Keywords + Content + Frequency = better search engine rankings, and as a result, more traffic to your site. If you hope to land on the first page of a consumer's search results, be sure to weave plenty of SEO keywords into your every post.

Grow your list of followers and fans – Whether prospects find your content via search engine or through word of mouth, being known as a great resource will naturally lead to an uptick in your followers.

Generate qualified, warm, and interested leads – The people reading your burgeoning content cache (which indicates they have an interest in what you have to say or offer) can easily be engaged and converted to new relationships.

Be repurposed and reused for a multitude of reasons – Even the biggest asset management firms have caught on to one of the best benefits of economies of scale, and that is that original content can be reshaped, repurposed, and reused to appeal to different audiences or to meet different goals.

Help recruit great talent – Good content speaks to the future employee. It tells them not only about your firm and investing philosophy, for example, but how much you get it – how current you are. Indeed, many young people I've spoken to are making decisions about firms they want to join based on the firms' openness to utilizing social media.

To realize all of the amazing benefits strong and savvy social and digital media can deliver, we'll touch on the key components to crafting a winning social media presence with impactful content that works.

 
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