On 9th May 2017 the Australian Federal Budget 2017 will be handed down by Treasurer Scott Morrison. But you knew that, didn’t you? Because the media circus has already started, the tone is set, the battlegrounds decided. As the budget draws closer, and by the night the budget is delivered, there will be less and less that hasn’t been leaked, debated, revised and releaked.
But that won’t stop financial services companies reporting ‘Everything you need to know about Budget 2017’, ‘What Budget 2017 means for you’ and of course the old ‘Winners and losers’ analysis.
But with so much Budget clutter is it possible to achieve cut-through in your PR and marketing? And is it worth the effort?
We say yes! While it is a very noisy time, it is also an opportunity to demonstrate expertise and thought leadership, but with some simple rules in place.
1) Know your audiences and what they really care about.
Spend some time listening (social or the real deal!) to what your target audience cares about. Look for evidence of the trending topics in social media, online forums, amongst the leaders in your clients’ industry and your sector media as well as broader media commentators such as Ross Gittens, Alan Kohler and Peter Switzer.
Tip: Easy “listening” tools we like are Google Trends, HootSuite, Buzzsumo and Hashtagify (for top hashtags to follow)
2) Go narrow (and own it!)
Choose an area that forges a link between you and your client, the problem you can solve, then do it well. Don’t talk about the big issues like housing affordability and capital gains if this isn’t where your audience is at, and attempt to squeeze out an opinion. Within your chosen area consider your customer path to purchase and develop your content around this, providing the right content according to their needs at that stage.
Tip: A narrow focus can only be achieved if you’ve done your persona work. HubSpot have a basic persona development tool, or ask us, it’s part of what we do!
3) Once you’ve identified the likely Budget pain points for your clients, start to talk to them and/ or media about your solution before the Budget.
Use the lead up to the Budget to warm up your customers to the possible changes and the solutions you may be able to offer. If you have a great media spokesperson get in touch with media who are covering your sector issues and let them know you have an opinion or a solution.
Tip: Spend some time with your spokesperson developing the key messages you want them to discuss with journalists or clients.
4) On your marks, get set and GO!
Your window for communication after the Budget is brief. To offer your clients value you’ll need to deliver your ‘So What?’ analysis within 48 hours. And with so much already in the public domain by the time the Budget is announced you would be wise to make an early start on drafting, designing, setting up newsletters/ EDMs, updating your lists, writing a template for your CEO’s/ employees’ social networks, agreeing how to participate in online communities, including groups on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn including nuancing messages for other channels such as online community forums.
Tip: Ensuring your emails are open and read is part art and a whole lot of science, as we’ve discussed in our blog “Getting your email on in 2017 – Human behaviour hacks every financial services marketer should know”.
5) Have a clear call to action
What do you want to achieve and how do you want your clients and prospective clients to respond? Have you got a staff member who can field calls or an ‘advice line’ from people wanting more information? Could you host a Q&A of your own? Effective communication builds relationships by creating opportunities for dialogue but your clients need an avenue and a prompt to get in touch.
Tip: Each piece of communication should achieve two things: map to your customer’s buyer journey and move them closer to your brand.
With all this planning, you may well save yourself the all-nighter on Budget night but best of all you’ve given yourself the best chance of producing content your clients actually want to read. And that’s definitely not boring.