Sales & Marketing

Give your online audience information that has a long shelf life

By Beatrice Paez |

"Evergreen" content is information posted online that is less time-sensitive than news-related and seasonal posts. This content can often be presented at any time and left on your website for longer periods.

The average lifespan of an online post is roughly three days, according to web analytics company Parse.ly. So, there is a need for more content that can outlast the 24-hour news cycle.

As an advisor, you can create evergreen material that helps your clients make sense of the world of finance — and the work you do on their behalf.

Here are some ideas on how you can develop a library of timeless resources that clients will turn to again and again:

> Use various forms
Evergreen content can take any form — whether presented as an infographic or an explainer video — as long as the topic it tackles remains relevant for a lengthy period of time. Because people process information in different ways, you might create variations of the resource in order to appeal to the various learning styles, says Elizabeth Hoyle, chief marketing officer at Bridgehouse Asset Managers in Toronto.

Be attuned to how your clients take in your advice, she says: "If you listen to people around you, they tell you how they process information."

For example, someone who says, "I see what you mean" probably processes information visually.

> Choose topics built for a broad audience
Evergreen resources have the capacity to capture the interest of people beyond your immediate audience. They can take the form of how-to articles on setting up a personal budget, or one-page explainers of industry concepts, such as dollar cost averaging.

You might choose to educate clients about behavioural finance to help them understand the forces that could cloud their judgment, says Peter Kinkaide, managing director of corporate finance at Raintree Financial Solutions in Edmonton. Raintree runs a recurring feature in its newsletter on the various biases investors hold.

> Explain your process
Much of the work of an advisor and support staff isn't fully visible to clients, such as the effort that goes into organizing seminars or connecting clients to specialists.

You can demystify the value of the work you do by offering insight into the nuts and bolts of the advisory business, Hoyle says. For example, Bridgehouse produced what it calls the "Value Spectrum," which breaks down an expansive list of services that clients can expect from their advisor.

> Re-mix old material
You don't always have to develop new content to stay relevant. Some resources that have proven to be popular among your audience can be repurposed and updated to reflect changing circumstances.

For example, since it was developed more than a decade ago, Bridgehouse has created new iterations of its "Wheel of Investor Emotion," Hoyle says. This tool has evolved from a paper handout into an interactive online tool that explains why clients should avoid letting emotions dictate their response to volatile markets.

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