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Grow Your Finance Business With Diamond Content

Jul 30, 2008
Businesses need to grow their client base and their profitability if they want to remain in business. Each industry, and the target market of each business, determines what steps need to take place in order for a company to get more clients or increase revenue over expenses. Growing your financial business brings its own unique challenges and opportunities.

One of the ways to grow your financial business is with written content. But how do you know what kind of content you need? Sure, you'll probably need marketing copy and web copy. But what should it say? And maybe you want something that you can give to your customers or to people who attend your seminar. What should that say? How do the various documents work together?

Simply creating content isn't easy. Chances are, you have enough things to do in your day. But outsourcing content isn't necessarily any easier because there are so many content-types - articles, blogs, ebooks, web copy - which one is right for you?

This is where The Content Diamond(TM) can help. The Content Diamond is a 4-part model identifying the 4 types of activities you perform to run a business. At a general level, The Content Diamond can apply to any business, but it can also apply specifically to businesses in the financial industry.

The Content Diamond is made up of 4 parts: At the top of the diamond is Strategy; on the left is Value-add; on the right is Sales; and on the bottom is Support. You perform tasks in each of these 4 areas every day and together they make up your financial business. So, you need content for each part of the diamond to help you perform that task more effectively. Let's look at each one and consider how it applies to your financial-industry business.

STRATEGY CONTENT

This is the top-down view of your business. This is the course-charting "from 30,000 feet" view that looks far into the horizon and determines the best way to make your organization (or your part of the organization) successful.

Strategy content includes USP statements, core values, business and marketing plans, and long-term strategy documents. If you work in an office that is operated by a large organization, you likely have a lot of this content coming down the pipe to you from higher up. However, if you own your own business or run a branch office, you need to produce this kind of content to set the direction for your business. While a lot of strategy content is intended for an internal audience, this material can also be positioning material, such as a definitive book that demonstrates that you are an authority.

VALUE-ADD CONTENT

Manufacturers sometimes have an easier time identifying this because they can actually see the process of turning raw materials into finished products. The assembly or production to convert raw materials into sellable goods is the value-add. In the financial industry, the value you provide your customer is difficult to see, even though it includes raw materials - the raw material of your knowledge (which is usually complex in your industry) and special access (to a stock exchange or to debt management tools or to insurance). You provide value by turning this "raw material" into a sellable service - investing and advice, or credit improvement, or an insurance policy. Value-add content is intended for an external audience.

Value-add content is anything that helps your customers understand the complex aspects of the industry. Often, value-added content includes blogs (which build relationships with clients), ezines and newsletters (which inform clients), and whitepapers or ebooks (which can educate clients). There are other types of value-added content, of course, but these are excellent examples of effective content types.

SALES CONTENT

This one is easy to identify. A sale is made when money is exchanged for the service you provide. This part of the diamond includes either content that is sold or content that helps you sell. Often, the previously mentioned value-add content is relationship-building content first (but might be sold) while the sales content is content that primarily supports the transaction (but will still help to build the relationship). See the difference? Certainly there is some overlap here, just as there is overlap among all 4 parts of The Content Diamond. Like value-add content, sales content is intended for an external audience.

Specific sales content includes ebooks or books that might be sold, as well as marketing material like direct mail, web copy, AdWords text, and so on.

SUPPORT CONTENT

No business is complete without some bottom-up support. If strategy content is the high-level view just over the horizon, support content is the "daily grind", step-by-step content to show you how to get there. Like strategy content, support content is primarily aimed at an internal audience

Support content includes technical writing, how-to and instructional manuals, and internal e-learning content. And there's overlap with strategy content because business plans and marketing plans give high level views but often also provide more detailed steps to success.

All businesses should have content from each part of The Content Diamond to help them operate successfully. Your financial-industry business needs to implement content from each part, as well, but the implementation will be unique to the opportunities and challenges of your industry.
About the Author
Aaron Hoos is an in-demand copywriter who writes effective, compelling content for the financial and real estate industries. Visit his website at AaronHoos.com to grow your financial or real estate business.
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