Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 1 year ago

97) #InsideDigitalGrowth - Thought Leadership: Differentiate w/ Content Marketing


Today I’m answering a question from Sheila, a content and communication professional at an East-Coast financial brand:

What’s the difference between content marketing and thought leadership?

Well, the first thing you need to understand is that all thought leadership is content marketing, but not all content marketing is thought leadership.

In this episode, I break down all you need to know about thought leadership.

Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast:

- Alec Hanson

- Casey Crawford

You can find this interview and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Banking on Digital Growth in your favorite podcast player.

It is thought leadership that will empower you to differentiate your financial brand as the subject matter expert in the communities that you serve, Sheila ask is there a difference between thought leadership and content marketing? That's a great question Sheila and one that I look forward to answering for you on today's episode of Banking on Digital Growth. Mm. Mhm. You're listening to Banking on digital growth With James robert lay a podcast that empowers financial brand marketing, sales and leadership teams to maximize their digital growth potential by generating 10 times more loans and deposits. Today's episode is part of the inside digital growth series where James robert shares, answers to some of the biggest digital marketing and sales questions he gets from the digital growth community. Have a question you want to get answers to on a future episode visit www dot go ask jr dot com to submit your question today. Now let's go inside digital growth greetings and hello, thank you for tuning into the 97th episode of the Banking on digital Growth podcast, where I James robert lay your digital anthropologists and coach guide you along your digital growth journey as you commit to guide people beyond their financial stress towards a bigger, better and brighter future. Today's episode is part of the Inside Digital Growth series and I'll be answering a question from Sheila, a content and communication professional at a financial brand on the East Coast. Once again, Sheila ask is there a difference between thought leadership and content marketing? Well, first off Sheila, content marketing is exactly what it sounds like. You produce content, for example, blog posts, videos, images,... media, post podcast even. And that content is going to contain the messages that you want to communicate to your ideal market segment. Now, we defined content marketing here at the Digital Growth Institute as well defined systems and processes that position a financial brand as the expert within the communities that financial brand serves to work towards three specific goals number one, to attract the right people, number two to capture and nurture relationships online, specifically digitally, And the number three to create value for the financial brand by creating value for the right people that the financial brand is nurturing relationships through this content to ultimately convert those leads into loans and deposits. Now, this is not done by using content. Once again, what is content, blog articles, videos, images, social media, post, podcast. This is not done by producing and promoting content that promotes the same commoditized products and services. The look alike laundry list of bullet features that every other financial brand is promoting an offering. This is done by positioning...

...the financial brand as the premier expert in the communities that the financial brand serves. And it's this last point of positioning around expertise or of banking on expertise, if you will. This is where thought leadership comes into play as Thought Leadership is established through the production and promotion of insightful, compelling content. That brings something new, brings something of value to the audience. Thought leadership is in fact part of a content marketing strategy and can be used to establish expertise and spotlight your financial brand as the leader in your community. Put that another way. Content marketing can be independent of thought leadership, but thought Leadership is dependent upon content marketing. And Thought Leadership will require some type of research around a particular topic or subject area. So, for example, buying a home and more specifically buying a home in your local community. I think this is where there's an opportunity to build some deeper level. Local community expertise are starting a business in your state, doing some research around the local market. What are some of the questions? What are some of the concerns? What are some of the pain points that people feel and experience when doing X, Y or Z. Buying a home, starting a business, buying a car, getting married on the...

...flip side where the opportunities, where are the trends? What are the patterns, what are the hopes and dreams that people have in these stages of life? And then you use this research which research at its root should be framed around pattern matching. Use this research to craft your thought leadership and use the thought leadership to position yourself your financial brand as the expert linder for small businesses in the Houston market, as the expert home lender in the florida market. All of this thought leadership that you gain from the research that you do, and more importantly, from the insights you share. That's what you package up through the content that you produce and promote the videos, the podcast, the articles than the articles more specifically optimized for local S. E. O. Search and then can be shared and distributed even further via social media post. That can be boosted and optimized and also can be utilized to share from internal team members to help build up their own personal brands and for thought leadership to be a success, you're going to have to commit to go all in on consumer personas. This is why I think so many financial brands struggle with content marketing yet alone thought leadership because they have not planted a flag in the ground into who the personas that they are going to go all in on in the first place and going all in on consumer...

...personas is an acronym A. L. L. And then you can add another at the end if you want. The first A. Is simply asking asking questions. That's your research. The number two is just listening, listening to what people have to say. And there's a lot that can be done and learned and gained by asking and listening. That brings us to the second L, which is learning and then and only then you can come to the final L, which is to launch content framed around answering the questions that people have, technology has transformed our world and digital has changed the way consumers shop for and buy financial services forever. Now consumers make purchase decisions long before they walk into a branch. If they walk into a branch at all, but your financial brand still wants to grow loans and deposits, we get it. Digital growth can feel confusing, frustrating and overwhelming for any financial brand marketing and sales leader, but it doesn't have to because James robert wrote the book that guides you every step of the way along your digital growth journey, visit www dot digital growth dot com to get a preview of his best selling book, banking on digital growth or order a copy right now for you and your team from amazon Inside you'll find a strategic marketing manifesto that was written to transform financial brands and it is packed full of practical and proven insights. You can start using today to confidently generate 10 times more loans and deposits now back to the show and on this idea of going all in asking, listening and learning and then you launch your content, not the other way around because I see a lot of financial brands just launching content, producing content and it's not framed around any specific questions or concerns or if it is, it's a very broad...

...sense. I highly recommend listening to the conversation that I had with Marcus Sheraton, An episode # 83 where he unpacks a very good framework that he shared in his book. They ask you answer also when thinking about thought leadership. This plays very closely and I mentioned this before. Thought leadership plays very closely with building a personal brand and this has been a recurring theme on this podcast and and I'm having to wonder why is is this the next level up for financial brands to maximize their digital growth potential is thought leadership when combined with a personal brand, the way to humanize digital experiences? I think so, and and we're going to continue to dive deeper into this area of focus this area of studying this area of research here Over the next 12 months, because I think I really do believe that there is something just waiting to come out at a larger scale here. And I touched on this in banking on digital growth a bit with this idea of establishing a snag at your financial brand. A snag being a social media advocacy group as part of a content marketing strategy, more from a distribution standpoint. But we really didn't touch on this idea of building a personal brand and banking on digital growth. And I really, it's something that I feel that we could probably dive deep and build a whole book and strategy around for financial brands. And if you're listening and you wanted to have that conversation, please do reach out to me because, like I said, it's one that we're going to continue to To do some more study around here over the next 12-18 months. But coming back to thought leadership, playing very closely with a personal brand. This is where linkedin will come into... as linkedin is a great B two B opportunity rooted in thought leadership to build the brand of your financial brand experts, your business development officers, your business lenders, for example, even financial planners. But I'm also seeing a play for linked in with other product lines, including mortgage, for example, Jennifer Beeston, she is a nationally known mortgage originator. She ranked number 45th in the nation by national mortgage nudes. She just crossed 20,000 subscribers on YouTube. She has another 10,000 people following her on Instagram. Another 10,000 plus following her a linked in another 7000 following her on Twitter. And so this puts her total audience, people that have subscribed to her content that is subscribed to her thought leadership More than 50,000 people. Why? Because jennifer's mortgage content is designed To do one thing to help make the mortgage process easy for people to understand was zero stress. And it is really interesting to watch the engagement she is getting with her thought leadership video. The video content that she is sharing, framed around mortgages specifically on linked in her Youtube videos have also been viewed More than 4.5 million times in just four years. And the reason that she's been successful with this content with her videos with her thought leadership is because it's not focused on jennifer, it's not about her,...

...jennifer is focused on answering the questions, the concerns that others have to ease the pains that others might feel about buying a home, about the mortgage process itself, which we all know is so very complicated. And when I think about Jennifer, I know I am not 100% confident that you could do the same at your financial brand, for your financial brand, whether that be you or someone else, building a personal brand framed around thought leadership. And here's the thing with that leadership one plus one begins to equal 10 because there's an exponential factor to content production and promotion digitally. This is also something that I've seen the Movement mortgage team do, I've also seen the loan depot team do as well as they have been focused on not only educating others will call them consumers in the marketplace, but they've been focused on educating and empowering their team members in this area and this area specifically around building thought leadership and personal brands. And I highly recommend that you follow along the works of alec Hanson at Lone Depot on Youtube, he's also on facebook, he's on linkedin as well as well as Casey Crawford who's the Ceo over at movement mortgage. And I think it's important to note Casey because he is the Ceo he is leading by example and he has done a tremendous job of leading with video content of leading with social engagement for his team. And that's the key lesson here when it comes to thought leadership. When it comes to content. When it comes to building personal brands. Marketing must educate. Marketing must empower other team members for this idea of thought leadership of personal brands to be an activity of success specifically for lenders and quote unquote sells people who aren't comfortable operating and a...

...medium like this. In fact, when we think about future growth, future growth requires the alignment between marketing and sells to work together and what better way to jump start this journey than with an activity framed around thought leadership and personal brand building of ceos of loan officers of branch manager of business development teams. Carrie Anne Benton Stimpson. She actually shared insights on this subject in episode # 62, putting love and respect back into banking and as I mentioned before, these conversations have come up time and time again. Including episode # 80. Thought leadership has earned through powerful content with double dug Wilbur. Episode # 70 Building a personal brand means investing in yourself with Greg Martin, An episode # 51 humanizing the digital experience with J. Paultre. All of these conversations come back to this consistent theme that we've been hearing which is why I'm referencing them today. When I think about your question Sheila, what's the difference between content marketing and thought leadership? Thought leadership is a part of content marketing. It is thought leadership that will empower you to differentiate your financial brand as the subject matter expert in the communities that you serve to go beyond the commoditized promotion of great rates. An amazing service. Thought leadership is what will empower you and your financial brand to help first And to sell two as we wrap up today's episode that has been part of the inside digital growth series. If you have a question like Sheila, I want to hear from you because I want to help you maximize your digital growth potential. Text me your question to 4155793004 and I will answer it for you...

...and an upcoming podcast episode. And remember the only bad question is the question that goes unasked until next time and as always be well do good and make your bed. Thank you for listening to another episode of banking on digital growth with James robert ley. Like what you hear, tell a friend about the podcast and leave us a review on apple podcasts, google podcasts or Spotify and subscribe. While you're there. To get even more practical improvement insights visit www dot digital growth dot com to grab a preview of James roberts, best selling book banking on digital growth or order a copy right now for you and your team from amazon inside you'll find a strategic marketing and sales blueprint framed around 12 key areas of focus that empower you to confidently generate 10 times more loans and deposits until next time. Be well and do good.

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