How RIA Firms Can Develop a Content Marketing Strategy that Nets New Clients

When it comes to attracting new clients for your RIA firm, content is king. According to research conducted by Demand Metrics, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about three times as many leads.

The fact is, nearly every person who uses the internet is looking for answers. And it’s a safe bet there are individuals online right now who are looking for information about managing their personal finances, investing, and planning for their retirement – to list just a few topics.

Savvy investment advisors know the best way to grow their business is to fish where the fish are. That means you need to grow your online presence, and the best way to do that is through publishing and distributing quality content.

But if you’ve just registered your RIA firm, or if your existing practice is new to the concept of leveraging content as an effective marketing tool, where do you start?

In the following article we outline a step-by-step process to help you develop a content marketing strategy that will start you down the path to netting new clients.

Designing Your RIA Firm’s Content Marketing Strategy

Step 1. Define Your Target Audience:

Much like developing your RIA firm’s brand, one of the first steps in developing a content marketing strategy is to identify your target audience. By taking the time to define and understand your potential clients’ aspirations, fears, and questions, you will be able to identify topics that will resonate with them.

When defining your audience, dig deep. Instead of saying, “we’d like to reach high net-worth individuals,” be specific. There are plenty of investment advisors who want to market to affluent individuals, so it’s important to carefully define your audience. For example, you might want to narrow your audience down to working with doctors living in New York, police officers from Pennsylvania, or data scientists in Silicon Alley.

When defining your target audience, it’s important to think about their challenges and goals. By doing so, you will be in a better position to address their questions and provide them with relevant information they will value and appreciate.

Step 2. Identify Your Topics & Goals

Now that you have a clear understanding of what type of client you are trying to reach, you will be able to develop topics and themes for your content. As part of this process, you should assign a goal to each piece of content you create. 

According to Hubspot, a leading CRM and content management platform, there are three stages of the marketing funnel. These stages, which are outlined below, should be used to determine the goal for a specific piece of content.

Three-Stage Marketing Funnel

  • Awareness: As part of the awareness phase, the goal of the content you produce should be to attract your target audience. For example, if you are trying to connect with doctors who live in New York, you might want to consider writing a blog about the Top 10 Ways Doctors in New York Should Invest Their Time and Money. By nature, awareness pieces usually provide a high-level overview on a specific topic.

  • Consideration: During the consideration phase, your firm should focus on generating content that helps differentiate your firm from other investment advisors. This can be done by providing potential solutions to common challenges, or by showcasing exactly how and why your firm is different.  (Positioning Example: Our RIA firm specializes in working with Pennsylvania Police Officers to help them manage their 457 plans.)


  • Conversion: Once potential clients are familiar with your brand and you’ve started to earn their trust, you will need to convert them into a qualified lead — and hopefully a client. Common conversion steps include having the potential client sign up for your newsletter, registering for a webinar, or having them request a free consultation. Each one of these conversions brings the lead a step closer to becoming a client.

Pro Tip #1: When creating your content strategy, you should plan to have topics for each stage of the marketing funnel. If you’re just starting out, try to generate three pieces of content for each stage. Then, add a piece of content to each stage as necessary.

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Step 3.  Choose Your Content Format

There is no shortage of ways to produce and distribute content. When defining your topics and themes, you need to decide what types of content make most sense for you and your audience. For example, does it make sense to send a weekly email to clients and prospects about current market trends? Or is your time and energy better spent creating a video series that you can host on your firm’s own YouTube channel?

Below are a few examples of content formats you should consider and how they can be used.

Types of Content

  • White papers: These longer-form publications can help you showcase your expertise and knowledge on a complex topic to potential clients. This content format contains a lot of objective industry research and is meant to help readers understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision.
  • eBook: While not as complex as a white paper, an eBook or Guide, provides a lot of detailed information about a specific topic and is geared towards helping a potential client accomplish a specific goal (like creating a personal budget).
  • Articles/blog posts: Blogs or articles are a great way to educate and inform your potential clients on various topics. This content format is ideal for communicating valuable information to those who don’t want to spend a lot of time digging through extensive research information, like a white paper or eBook.
  • Videos: Video provides a great opportunity to connect with your audience one-on-one. Videos are especially helpful for explaining different concepts visually. When producing videos, be mindful of the subject matter and your target audience. When producing videos, keep them concise and engaging as possible to maximize viewership and retention.
  • Webinars: Webinars, both live and pre-recorded, provide a chance to dive deep into a topic and engage a potential audience on a specific topic. In lieu of live events or seminars, this content type can be highly effective at attracting potential clients while helping you establish or reinforce your firm’s brand presence and position as a thought leader.
  • Social media images/graphics: Post short, eye-catching posts that grab people’s attention. Sharing these types of images can show off your brand personality while reinforcing your firm’s knowledge and experience.
  • Emails: Since most of the population already uses email, sending timely information can be a great way to stay top of mind with potential clients. Also, email databases can be segmented, so this content delivery format is a great way to deliver highly targeted messages to a receptive audience.

***Compliance Disclaimer: Keep in mind that all content is advertising by the advisor and must comply with the relevant federal or state advertising rules.

Step 4. Get Organized: Create A Content Calendar

Delivering consistent, quality content that helps you educate, inform, and entertain (to a lesser degree) your target audience is the key to a successful content marketing strategy. To accomplish this goal, you will need to be organized. The best way to plan and stay consistent with your content marketing efforts is to create a content marketing calendar.

You can create your content calendar from scratch using Microsoft Excel, Airtable, or any other spreadsheet or database management tool of your choice. Or you can also save some time by doing a Google search for “Content Management Calendar template” and use one of the free versions as a jumping off point.

When establishing your content marketing calendar, you should clearly define the following:

  • Content Owner(s): Here, you will want to name the person(s) responsible for writing/producing the content.
  • Topic/Title: In this column of your spreadsheet, you should identify the theme of your content. (Example: Top 10 Ways Doctors in New York Should Invest Their Time and Money)
  • Target Audience: Who is the intended audience this content is being created for? (Example: Doctors/Medical Professionals living in New York)
  •  Stage/Goal: Here you should identify the primary goal of the content as it pertains to the three stages of the content marketing funnel. (Remember Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion?)
  • Content Type/Format: Under content type, you will want to identify the primary format of the content, be it a blog, video, eBook, etc.
  • Publication Date: The publication date identifies when your piece of content will be published and promoted to your website, social media platforms, etc.
  • Distribution Channels: Here, you will want to identify all the places your content will be promoted and shared, such as your website and social media platforms. We take a closer look at the distribution of content in Step 5.

Step 5. Promote Your Content

Like any sound investment, quality content takes time and resources to produce. Over the years we’ve seen plenty of RIA firms make the mistake of spending hours producing blogs, videos, and eBooks without allocating enough time to properly promote the content they created.

Once you have produced a piece of content, you should take the time to promote it across your social networks, including your firm’s website and your Google Business Profile.

Depending on the platform, you should consider creating different graphics for different networks. For example, if you recently published an eBook on Cryptocurrency, you might want to consider pulling a statistic from the copy to be used in a graphic that you’d then publish to your LinkedIn business page.

In addition to organically promoting your content on your various networks, you may want to consider using some of your marketing budget each month to run paid promotional posts on key platforms such as LinkedIn, YouTube, Google, etc.

Step 6. Evaluate Your Strategy

Content strategies can be as simple or as complex as you need them to be. What’s important is to understand your goals, who you’re trying to reach, and the time and resources available to you. Remember, you can’t improve what you don’t measure.

After you’ve dedicated a couple of weeks to consistently publishing and promoting content, you should take the time to evaluate how your content is performing. Are some blogs or videos getting more views than others? Are you seeing an increase in overall website traffic? Do you have more people signing up to receive your weekly market update emails?

The key performance indicators (KPIs) you choose to define and evaluate your content marketing strategy are entirely up to you and your team to decide, and they can and will evolve over time. The important thing is to make sure someone from your firm is actively monitoring your marketing efforts.

Start Small and Grow

When creating your content marketing strategy, you may feel like you need to be promoting your content on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and everywhere else under the sun. The key to starting a successful content marketing strategy is to start small and grow.

As a tip, we suggest that most RIA firms focus on no more than three platforms and make sure those networks are optimized and consistently maintained. If you would like more insight into how to develop a compliant-friendly content marketing strategy for your RIA firm, contact us to schedule a free consultation.

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