So you want to be a thought leader and own your brand’s image? You need to have something important to say and you need to be active in saying it. A financial resource center is paramount to accomplishing this.
Here’s a great example why that’s so: I haven’t met a financial institution yet who didn’t give back to their community in some way. In addition to educating their customers, each and every one offers a scholarship or two, or donates to a charity, or sponsors local events. However, most aren’t very effective at communicating what they’ve done.
The tendency seems to be “one and done” tweets or blog posts about an accomplishment – sometimes they even hide this stuff away in a PDF! Content delivery through a financial resource center is the key to building a brand that can compete digitally. A financial resource center will help employ the tools that can organize your brand’s image effectively.
Essentially, a resource center is a site within a site, where all of your content is organized. The necessity of having one has only arisen relatively recently with the evolution of content marketing from a single effort here and there to a constant supply of blog posts, videos, podcasts, eBooks, SlideShares, and more. Without a resource center, all of this wonderful content can become buried on a blog’s archives or get dispersed across several sections of a company’s site. This makes it very difficult for consumers to find, and it essentially means that a piece of content’s usefulness will continually decline as it ages, as it simply won’t be findable over the long term.
Here’s a slice of what a resource center can look like:
The benefits extend beyond giving your customers easy access to information that can make a difference. A resource center keeps you from getting overwhelmed by your own content, building your image in an organized way.
When you use a resource center you can plan out your content strategy much more effectively. College application time? Promote content from your resource center around that topic. Tax time? Promote it!
A financial resource center helps with one of the biggest challenges that marketers are facing today; They aren’t being heard. Resource centers allow for more consistent communication about the issues that are relevant to customers, without blasting them ad after ad for products they aren’t looking for right now.
Getting started on your own is easy.
1) Pop open Excel and create a list of all your content.
- “Content” means (more or less) anything that isn’t a direct ad, e.g. a blog post with money saving tips, an infographic about retirement.
2) Organize content by three variables.
- Topic – What is the content about? E.g. Debt management, buying a home, etc. (Tip! File non-financial topics under “Miscellaneous”, it’s always OK to post goofy things or recipes.)
- Form – Is the content a blog? An image? A video?
- Function – What is the goal of the content? Is it driving leads? Is it promoting an event?
- Plan out a Content Calendar that covers all your topics.
- Post regularly and address the needs of different audience members.
Those are just the first steps. You’ll also need to get a resource page on your website, categorized so that customers can easily and intuitively navigate your content. This will put you on the path to clearer communication with your customers; You’ll be able to help more of them with more of their needs.