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When Lightning Strikes, Here’s How to Create Great Content

Sales & Marketing

Rebecca HourihanEver have a great idea and just run with it? Whether it’s a new blog article, a lead generation email campaign, or a new prospect presentation deck, the creative lightbulb is burning at 3,000 megawatts an hour. Oh baby, you’re cruising! Those magic moments when everything just clicks. Awesome – keep the ideas flowing. Then STOP. 

Take a moment to look at what you’ve created. Then before you share it with your clients, prospects, centers of influence and compliance teams, ask yourself: How does this reflect my 401(k) advisor brand? Is this content going to enhance the conversation? Yes, of course it is! This was your megawatt moment. It’s good stuff that needs to be shared with the world. However – in what form? 

Most advisors create their materials either in Microsoft Word or PowerPoint. That is normal and okay. Some advisors will try to “spruce it up” by adding a colorful border around the text. (If you’ve ever added a box to your text for a pop of color, what color did you use? (Please share in the comments section below.) Then many advisors feel like it is ready to share with the world. 

Nope, not yet. First ask yourself three questions:

1. Does it look professional?

  • Yes. Proceed to the next question.
  • No/not sure. Partner and work with a graphic designer or design agency. Email a few trusted professionals, tell them to be honest because you respect their valued opinions and then ask for their candid feedback.

2. Is it Compliance-approved?

  • Yes. Proceed to the next question.
  • No. Compliance is your friend. As you know and read about daily, our industry is rapidly changing. Compliance departments have your best interest in mind, and it’s beneficial to your business to have them on your side. 

Read more commentary by Rebecca Hourihan here.

3. Could you do more?

  • Yes. Oh really? That’s great news. What else are you thinking? For example, let’s say you wrote a great blog. Could you repurpose the information into an infographic? Direct mailer? Vlog? Webinar? Seminar? Explainer video? Most pieces can be repurposed. Think about other ways you could share that information across distribution media (website, emails, social media, print, events, and more). 
  • No. Are you sure? If it’s a really good idea, chances are there are lots of opportunities to promote your brilliant brainchild. If you need help, ask your trusted professional friends again for their input. I bet your idea has much more mileage in the tank. 

Time to Share it with the World

Content marketing should always follow a consistent process and serve a greater purpose. The first step is to create a marketing calendar. Then you can schedule where and when to distribute your material. For a sample marketing calendarclick here

Whether you are sharing an email, webinar, seminar, newsletter, infographic or video, there should always be a strong call to action (CTA). These CTA closing statements strengthen your marketing message (education, influence, meeting request, to name a few). Additionally, as a retirement plan expert, your content marketing should sound, look and feel professional.

When inspiration hits, go with it. Embrace the creative lightbulb. Then take a moment and stop. Look at your production. Create a distribution strategy. Work with a designer to make it POP. Then share it with the world, lean back, and take a moment to feel proud of your thought-leadership. Nice job! You crushed it! 

Way to go – and Happy Marketing!

Rebecca Hourihan, AIF, PPC, is the founder and CMO of 401(k) Marketing