10 Steps to Digital Marketing for Financial Advisors in the New Normal

     
Chris Lamoureux / August 24, 2020

Define/Redefine your Digital Marketing Objectives

If you wish to increase your Digital Marketing results, the first step you need to think about should be to be clear about your objectives.  Each financial advisor’s objectives will be different, so start with determining where you want to be on the Digital Marketing Scale? If you are starting from scratch, your objectives should look much different than if you have a strong content marketing strategy already in place.

Align to Your Practice

A digital lead generation program for a new advisor starting is going to look very different from a customer retention campaign from an established firm. Just like giving financial advice, tailor your objectives to your practice’s. If you have a strong book of business, focus on the client stay-in-touch routines; if you are starting out, your digital marketing strategy will be more lead generation focused.

Set SMART goals 

SMART goals are easy to measure and possible to achieve in a given time frame. They are designed to help you breakdown larger digital marketing challenges into “bite-sized” chunks. Here are some examples:

•  Increase Assets Under Management (AUM) by 15% within the next three months.

•  Increase time on website 50% within 6 months.

•  Increase newsletter open rate by 20% in your next 3 newsletters.

•  Increase the number of contacts that you engage with digitally by 200% in 1 year.

Establish “Digital Routines”

“Motivation is when your dreams put on work clothes.”

Benjamin Franklin followed the same schedule, day in and day out because he understood the benefits of healthy habits and routines. Even though he spent a good part of his life engaged in lofty intellectual, political, and scientific endeavors, he still adhered to a strict work schedule.

•  Establish a set day of the week/month/quarter when you’ll review all of the results of your efforts, to see what’s working or not and plan your activities.

•  Set time aside daily for engaging with social media, reaching out to influencers and content producers, or starting new conversations.

•  Set time aside weekly to develop new and engaging content that will appeal to your audience, E.g. blogs, white papers, etc.

• Release a monthly newsletter and make time to personalize some of your content.

Writing & Content

Remember that Content is “King and Queen”. It’s about connecting with your target audience using relevant messages and convincing them to take your desired action.

Need to be Found by Google. Identify the SEO keywords that your audience is searching for and include them strategically in your copy. This dramatically increases the likelihood of being found through organic search results.

Evergreen Content. Evergreen content is content that doesn’t go out of date. It revolves around topics that are always relevant to readers, regardless of the current news cycle or season. Its name comes from the evergreen—a plant that retains its green leaves all year roundNot every piece of content must be evergreen but do not become fixated on hot topics (e.g. COVID-19) without providing foundational content that retains its value for the long term. Like giving financial advice, in practice.

A lead magnet is an offer that you can promote to prospective clients in exchange for their email address and perhaps other forms of information (such as name and phone numbers). Where this becomes critical is when your objective is new client business and can be delivered via ebooks, form, and attending an event as one example.

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SEO – Improve Your Website Visibility

SEO is a science unto itself but just to give you some sense of its importance, research indicates that there has been a near 30% increase in organic traffic growth for finance-related subject matter, since the onset of COVID-19.

Here are two quick pointers to improve your SEO results:

Ensure that your website includes the types of keywords that your clients are searching for. E.g.

• RRSP

• 401K Contributions

• Investing in Gold

• Planning for Wealth Transfer

Have a blog on your website and update it regularly with new content. This allows you to keep adding new and pertinent keywords.

Social Media Engagement

Possibly the biggest goal for financial marketers is to be seen and trusted by audiences. While building trust doesn’t come easily, there are simple social media best practices for you to maximize your efforts and campaigns.

89% of consumers will buy from a brand they follow on social media

Facebook

•  Keep posts short & specific;

•  Post at least twice a day;

•  Include images whenever possible;

•  Currently, the best times to post on Facebook are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10–11 a.m.

Twitter

•  Search & add Twitter followers strategically;

•  Have a simple handle;

•  Set Twitter goals;

•  The current best time to post on Twitter is Friday 7–9 a.m.

LinkedIn

•  Include clickable content in your posts;

•  Peak your audience’s interest;

•  Make your posts visually appealing

•  Current best times for LinkedIn posts are Wednesday at 3 p.m, Thursday at 9–10 a.m. and Friday from 11 a.m.-noon.

Possibly the biggest goal for financial marketers is to be seen and trusted by audiences. While building trust doesn’t come easily, there are simple social media best practices for you to maximize your efforts and campaigns.

Email Marketing

Although email marketing is considered as an old practice, it remains one of the most effective ways for financial advisors to nurture relationships between you and your prospects or clients. We see materially improved open and click through rates from our advisor community than industry standards: 38-42% average open rate on advisor emails in 2019.

The benefits of using email/newsletter marketing include:

•  The ability to target your audience & messaging;

•  Newsletters can provide increased awareness for your business and offerings;

•  Email Marketing is cost-effective;

•  Email provides highly measurable data and insights.

Digital Events: Great for Reaching Targeted Groups

According to a recent survey, 60% of marketers said they would not be attending any conferences or live events this year unless a vaccine for COVID-19 becomes available. Out of the more than 250 responses, just 4 out of 10 said they would attend a conference before the end of 2020.

The survey results aren’t surprising. The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating for event-driven businesses, with many companies (including Veriday) moving to virtual platforms. The value and experience for attendees, exhibitors, speakers and marketers is hard to replicate in a webinar platform. Still, the uncertainty of when in-person events will return is a looming concern for many of us — what will such events look like? And who will feel safe attending?

Digital and virtual events are the marketing and education channel of the future. You can reach and communicate with your target audience effectively and efficiently, delivering the right message at the right time.

Whether for lead generation or education, digital events can take your business to the next level and exponentially grow your ROI.

At a time when most people are working from home, attending, speaking, or hosting a digital event might be an effective alternative.

Webinars

Improve financial advisor social media engagement by incorporating your content marketing and making available to your audience new case studies, white papers and professional articles. These are very effective in reaching  a smaller and relevant audience.

Podcasts

Podcasts’ popularity and presence have significantly increased over the last few years. According to recent research, there are now over 900,000 podcasts. If you’re looking to get in front of a large target audience, this is a great way to build your follower base.

Participate, attend, or host a digital conference

The conference industry was hit very hard by COVID-19. With all in-person events being postponed for the foreseeable future, many of these events were canceled altogether or had to move online.

Expand Your Exposure with Online Advertising

Google AdWords, Banner Advertising, & Social Media 

Online advertising allows you to reach audiences that are interested in the products and services you offer. Online advertising offers both pay-per-click (PPC) and contract based plans.

Online advertising is fast, flexible, and trackable and allows you to: 

•  Drive traffic to your website & increase conversions;

•  Increase brand awareness, credibility & trust;

•  Reach the hard-to-reach Millennials market;

•  Lower your marketing costs;

•  Re-engage previous prospects with retargeting ads.

Measure Everything

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”
– Peter Drucker

Measure Leading Indicators First

These are the things you do every day from a digital context to affect your campaign goals. Creating Fresh Content, Social Posts,  Distributing Monthly Newsletters, etc.

Then Study Your  Lagging Indicators

These are your ultimate campaign goals, such as increased number of leads, increased AUM and increased client engagement and net referral scores.

Good analytics will help you figure out what’s working and what isn’t.

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