Today’s Wall Street Journal features an article about the implications of Americans consuming more entertainment via their mobile devices. One emerging trend is the demand for shorter movies, TV shows, books and albums. Publishing houses, entertainment companies and others are also floating new shows, authors and musicians in smaller packages, using purchases, downloads and interest on social media as an indication as to whether there’s sufficient momentum to follow up with more, similar content.
This trend has important implications for marketing across the board, and particularly in financial services marketing. Let’s face it: financial services marketing can be heavy-handed, dull and lengthy. It can be difficult to get complex ideas across in a marketing campaign in a way that target audiences can first of all understand and second of all be interested in or inspired by.
Social media and thought leadership are having some impact on financial services marketing. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn have demanded the reduction of a thought leadership message to 140 characters, forcing companies to be more direct and succinct. The trend towards bite-size consumption means that executives, financial advisor firm owners and marketing execs and agencies need to be even more cognizant of breaking down and packaging their messages in ways that their audience will relate to.
Here are some thoughts on how companies can reach out with bite-size material:
- Divide that 2,500 word white paper into three separate 750 word white papers: not only will you increase the chance that your content will actually get read, you’ll have more content to engage your audience with
- Boil down that 600 word blog to less than 400 words. Better yet, include an image that gets your message across
- Use video: more advisors are there, but too many aren’t. Video doesn’t have to be expensive, there’s software out there that doesn’t cost and arm and a leg and most computers offer the ability to film a video right in your office
- Within your content, employ bullets and numbers to compress your content to several easy take aways and capture those in a clever headline
- Use analytics to determine what subjects are resonating the most with your audience and keep producing content along those lines: the number of site and blog visits as well as comments, retweets and shares are all solid indicators of what your audience is interested in. Keep giving it to them.
The attention span and interest of consumers is more fickle than ever before, so stay nimble. Try different media, different posting schedules and stay at it. Consistency and high quality content — when packaged appropriately — will, ultimately, win the day.