Financial advisors – are you utilizing digital marketing to promote your services?
Old school strategies still work. But if you aren’t attracting leads and clients online, you could be missing out.
The reality is that the strategies you’re already using can work well in the online environment too. You can build your credibility and authority by answering questions. You can use it to create new connections and nurture leads to bring them to the point of purchase. This process can even be automated.
Digital marketing should be a part of your overall strategy, and here’s why.
Why Digital Marketing?
More and more people are looking for solutions to their problems online. According to Internet Live Stats, Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second.
People know they can find reliable information on the internet. And there’s a good chance the topic they’re researching has already been covered by someone.
If you’re not showing up in search results, either your competition is capitalizing on business, you could be getting, or your target audience isn’t getting the answers they need. This, perhaps, is the greater injustice, since people make bad financial decisions every day.
If you know why people seek out financial advisors in the first place, if you understand what problems they’re trying to solve when they do, and can demonstrate your expertise through compelling content, you can close more business.
The broader definition of digital marketing also includes anything that can be viewed or interacted with on electronic devices, like TVs, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and so on. From interactive presentations to videos, if you can create content, your target audience can consume when it’s convenient for them, your business will gain more visibility.
Where to Begin with Your Digital Marketing
Now you know that there’s an opportunity to tap into. But your chances of succeeding at digital marketing aren’t great if you don’t have a strategy. The online space is competitive. The financial advisor niche may be under-served, but this isn’t to say there isn’t plenty of financial and investment advice already out there. Targeting the wrong keywords, failing to clarify your value proposition, not understanding your target audience, and not doing competitive analysis could all lead to failure or unsatisfactory results.
Every effective digital marketing initiative begins with a plan. What many companies don’t understand is that they need a lead generation funnel. A funnel is a process that moves your leads closer to the point of purchase.
Many people aren’t ready to buy when they first begin their research process. Others are still comparing options and determining which solution best meets their needs. With a funnel in place, you can assist your prospects on their buying journey to where they’re ready to buy from you.
Setting up Your Funnel
There are many ways to attract new prospects, whether it’s with traditional or digital marketing. There’s just one problem. Your leads are at different stages of their buying journey, and people aren’t always going to find out about you through the same channels, especially since there isn’t a shortage of channels to leverage. So, the steps you take your leads through may vary depending on these two factors.
Let’s say, for instance, that a prospect is in their research phase and finds your website through a Google search. They land on a blog post and read through to learn more. They’re impressed, so they sign up to receive your email newsletters.
This only describes one type of lead. Others may be in the comparison phase, and join you for a webinar to learn more about your expertise and offerings. They watch with a critical eye, trying to determine whether your service is right for them.
You’re probably beginning to see the importance of a plan. If your system doesn’t funnel people through the right processes, there could be a disconnect between the content you’re delivering, and what your prospects need at that moment.
So, you need to be thinking about the different channels people will be using to find you. And, you need a system for getting the right people the right messages at the right time. This is what a funnel is.
Tailoring Your Approach
Sometimes, leads need to be nurtured longer before they’re ready to purchase. Some will require less information and attention. This depends on the size of the transaction, the complexity of what’s being offered, the amount of trust that needs to be built between you and your prospects, among other factors.
Your funnel may require more steps than you even realize. Or, it could be fewer. But failing to optimize this process could prolong the sales process, make you come across as too pushy, or not help you close any sales.
As a financial advisor, you need to gain the trust of your leads. In most cases, this will not happen instantaneously. You’ll need to get the right kind of content into the hands of your leads at the right time. You’ll need to get in front of them regularly to show them why they should work with you.
No funnel is perfect, but if it isn’t working for you, it needs to be tweaked. If no one converts despite being nurtured, there could be a problem with your offer or the content you’re sharing. It could be that you’re not building enough trust.
Regardless of the issue, customizing your approach is an essential part of building your funnel.
Marketing and Sales Funnels
Marketing and sales funnels are interconnected. But this doesn’t mean they’re the same thing.
Marketing may be done to build new connections and relationships with people that will be ready to buy down the line. Sales will be made to close a prospect. This means your approach for each will often vary.
For instance, when you’re looking to generate new leads, you’ll likely concentrate on tactics like content marketing and social media. These tactics can help you gain visibility online and build more awareness for your business and services.
But when you’re looking to close leads, you may concentrate on tactics like pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns targeting specific keywords, or getting a listing in a prominent online directory when someone is searching for a financial advisor as soon as possible.
This isn’t to say that you’ll use different tactics for different funnels every single time. Content marketing can sometimes help close sales, and PPC campaigns can also be used to drive people to a landing page to capture an opt-in.
But as we’ve already talked about, it’s essential to be thinking about the different funnels you have. Plus, you need to be able to manage them all, and that can be the hardest part.
Executing Your Plan
The final step is to put the right systems and tools in place to implement your plan.
You’ll be delivering different messages to different segments of your audience at timed intervals. Without marketing automation, this is difficult, if not impossible, to do.
You’ll be creating landing pages and sales pages. This also can be a difficult task without a skilled developer or the right tools.
You’ll need to measure and track the results of your campaigns. Any marketing that doesn’t involve tracking isn’t marketing at all. It’s just wishful thinking. Although you can form theories about what will work (after all, no one knows your target customers as you do), you need data to make more informed decisions. Data can help you optimize your process to be more effective. The only way to make something like a PPC campaign work is to always tweak based on your findings.
Finally, without traffic, none of this will work. You need to drive traffic to your website and landing pages. Have a long-term vision for your content and social media marketing efforts because they can take time. It’s unlikely that you’ll see immediate results. You’ll also need a budget for PPC campaigns, directory listings, and your other advertising efforts.
These different puzzle pieces are what make a funnel possible. It may sound complicated, but once it’s up and running, much of it can be put on autopilot. This allows you to stay focused on what matters most – your relationship with your clients. The technology is there. Why wouldn’t you put it to work for you so you can focus on high-level activities in your business? Unless you have an in-house marketing team backing you up, you’ll require these resources to succeed in your digital marketing efforts.
Digital marketing can help you tap into new markets. If your clientele is primarily local, you could begin extending your reach out nationally.
You can also use it to diversify your revenue streams. Digital products, such as eBooks and courses, could be sold to your target market to help them gain a better understanding of what you do. You could then up-sell and cross-sell.