401(k) Marketing: 3 Reasons All Retirement Plan Advisors Need Custom Content

financial advisor marketing services
Great content is key to 401(k) marketing. But not all retirement plan content is created alike. Find out why you need custom content to stand out in a crowded marketplace.


As a retirement plan advisor or TPA, you’re probably aware that great content is key to 401(k) marketing.  It’s simply one of the best ways to build credibility and get noticed in the online world.

Especially in an industry that can at times seem commoditized, the biggest challenge is standing out.  And that’s precisely what high-quality content can do for you.  But not just any content will work.  To effectively differentiate your firm, you need custom content.

Otherwise, you may have well-written, professional content, but you risk it being the same as everyone else’s.

The Dangers of Convenience

Ready-to-use 401(k) marketing content is convenient and requires little effort to implement.  But that convenience can be deceptive since that strategy can often backfire on you.

Without content tailored to your firm’s unique strengths, there’s no easy way to stand out in a sea of similar providers.

That’s not to say that you can’t use any canned content; you certainly can, and it can be beneficial.  When it comes to marketing content, however, you can’t afford to blend in.

Custom 401(k) Marketing Content is King

In today’s digital world, content is important, but custom content truly reigns supreme.

Here are the reasons you need custom content for 401(k) marketing.

#1:  To help your prospects determine who to hire.

Being a retirement plan sponsor or committee member is not an easy task.  After all, you have your job or business to run, which is, of course, naturally your first concern.

So these individuals don’t necessarily know what to look for when hiring experts for their retirement plan.  They probably have not done this before or very often.  What will they do?  Probably go online and do research, which is where they can find you.  This is why content marketing is powerful for consultants and other experts.

Don’t leave prospects wondering why you are different. Tell them!  Use your marketing to play up your differentiating factors, whether it is your specialized expertise, experience serving a particular niche, independence, fiduciary services, etc.  These are all excellent opportunities to provide needed information while supporting your strengths.

Plus, educating potential clients about the hiring process and asking the right questions is a way to serve your audience before you get hired.  People appreciate those who gladly share their expertise before getting paid.

#2: To establish credibility and trust.

In specialized areas such as retirement plan administration, most of your marketing will be educational.  Thankfully, that’s an ideal fit for most professionals who prefer to avoid anything that hints at a sales pitch.

That’s the beautiful thing about good content, the best and most persuasive is simply educational.  By sharing your expertise in print and online, you establish your firm as an expert.

What should you generate content about?

  • Are you a 3(21) or 3(38) consultant? Write a piece to explain these roles and the benefits your clients will receive.
  • Do you have decades of experience? Write about why that is critical and can help reduce the risks of expensive mistakes.
  • Are you a specialist firm? Talk about your specialty and how that equates to tangible benefits for your clients.

Here’s another instance that you need great content online. Let’s say a prospect has been referred to you.  They will likely plug your name into google to see what comes up.  What’s best?  Your name on a list of meaningful articles or eBooks and other pieces, either on your blog or as guest posts on other websites or publications.  That establishes you quickly as a credible expert who has contributed to the industry.

#3: To rank higher on search engines.

The third reason to use custom content is to help build your search rankings.  With canned content, you get no help in ranking higher since Google and other search engines will see your content as duplicate and, for the most part, ignore it.  In some cases it can even penalize you and actually lower your rankings.

Custom content, however, provides the juice your website needs to rank higher.  With every piece of fresh content, that’s a new opportunity to increase your visibility online.

For best results, you can angle your content to target specific keywords.  This is ideal if you specialize in helping particular types of plans. For example, if you specialize in serving retirement plans in the healthcare industry, you can create content around those keywords.

Then when a hospital administrator types in “hospital retirement plan advisors,” you’ll have a better shot of showing up when a potential client searches for their options.

Getting 401(k) Marketing Content Done

There is one downside of custom content:  it can take significant time to do it right.  In these expertise-based businesses, you need polished pieces that are well-written and researched.  And, of course, compliant.

If you team members who are skilled writers, you’re very lucky.  That’s a huge advantage but unfortunately quite rare.  If not, or if there’s no time to write, it can be wise to consider outside professional financial content help.

But general marketing firms, financial writers, or ghostwriters may not be the best fit.  Most don’t understand compliance or the mindset of the plan sponsors evaluating your services.

Here are some tips on finding a firm that can help you succeed:

  1. Look for industry and B2B marketing knowledge. Business-to-business marketing is very different than marketing to a consumer.  Business buyers have more at stake, typically, so they need a more strategic approach.  Then, you also need your content to be written in a way that your target demographic will respond to.  So ideally, find a firm with industry knowledge and save yourself some significant editing headaches.
  2. Look for compliance knowledge. General firms may put together a great finished product for you that will get torn apart by compliance.  Best to start your search where the firm’s team has some compliance knowledge.
  3. Retirement plan knowledge. When you’re selling expertise, your content needs to reflect that.  Along with that, the firm should also be up to date regarding industry dynamics.  Otherwise, it isn’t easy to write with credibility.

But find the right combination, either your internal team, an outside provider, or a combination of the two, and watch content marketing transform your company’s digital marketing presence.



Looking for original content that attracts attention?  Wavelength has created high-quality custom content for retirement plan advisors, wealth managers, hedge funds, private equity firms, and other financial firms.  Contact us to see if we can help you achieve your goals. 



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