Are you designing a brand for the distracted or the driven?

A Brand For NobodyI saw a study recently that aimed to help financial advisors understand what kind of content to post. The results showed that survey respondents were much more interested in posts that entertained as opposed to those that offered informative stuff.

If you read this report, it would be too easy to surmise that we need to post more things about Speak Like A Pirate Day and less of that financial stuff. Sure, those four tips for putting more money in your pocket may be super helpful but, doggone it, can’t we just watch some cute kitten videos instead?

Wait a minute, is that really what my brand is supposed to do?

Okay, no. If we ask random people if they want to look at financial tips or kittens, what do we think they’re going to say? What this study failed to take into account is where the prospect is in the customer journey.

If I was someone not particularly looking for financial help, I’d probably opt for the kittens, too. But if I was someone with money frustrations, I’d find that helpful information pretty enticing. These two situations illustrate prospects at different stages of the customer journey. Now, we need to talk to people in all stages of their journeys. But we need to prioritize.

The expert insight here is that we don’t treat every stage equally.

Should we post entertaining stuff? Sure (as long as it isn’t totally irrelevant to our brand). It may begin to establish a relationship with a prospect who could turn into a client down the road. But if we’re spending all our effort here, we’re missing the opportunity to connect with those looking for that helpful information. That would be a strategic blunder. Because these are the people that have the higher propensity for becoming our clients right now.

The secret to killer content for your brand

Some would have us believe that we can either be entertaining or helpful. But we have to choose. The truth is that we can be both. We don’t see it a lot because it’s not as easy as just posting someone else’s monkey video. But if we commit to it, it can be pretty enticing. Here’s an example of how First Federal Bank makes financial help not so overwhelming and boring. (Full disclosure: First Federal Bank is a client of mine.)

We don’t have to feel pressured to win the attention of every not-really-interested and highly-distracted potential prospect. The real opportunity lies in those who have already taken a step or two toward us. Those who are frustrated or driven to take advantage of an opportunity to better their situation. This is where we should be focusing our brand efforts.

Understanding our customer’s journey is the first step.