As more people turn to the internet to shop, research, and live their lives – the need for financial advisors to transform and ‘go digital’ with their (digital) marketing efforts has never been more important.
For businesses in the financial services industry, this can sometimes feel a bit uncomfortable. You may think to yourself, “how are Facebook or Google relevant to my business”?
While it may not be obvious, tech platforms like Facebook and Google actually present so many new opportunities for your overall marketing strategy including the ability to reach new audiences, generate leads, and close sales.
Common Digital Marketing Problems Financial Advisors Face
Many financial service providers understand that they need to do some kind of digital marketing. However, they run into many roadblocks along the way. Some of these roadblocks include:
- Challenges with lead generation. I.e. how can the internet be used to not just find new people, but convert them into paying clients?
- Finding time to create content. Blogging and social media can be very time-consuming; how can a financial services firm squeeze time for this into their busy schedules?
- Creating a consistent digital content marketing schedule. How can publishing content via blogging, social media, and email marketing be integrated into regular business processes?
- Maintaining relationships with existing clients. How can digital marketing help the financial services industry maintain relationships with existing clients and audiences?
The aim of this guide is to help address some of these questions by sharing some insight and best practices for certain digital marketing tactics.
Introduction to Digital Marketing for Financial Advisors
When it comes to digital marketing for financial advisors, there are four key tools/strategies that are critical: SEO/SEM, social media, email marketing, and website.
Here is a closer look at what these tools are, why they are relevant to your financial services business, and practical tips for how you can implement them.
You may have already heard a lot about SEO, and many of you may still be wondering what exactly that means.
To put it simply, SEO or ‘Search Engine Optimization’ is a digital marketing process that aims to ensure your website and all of its content can be easily found on Google. In other words, SEO helps people on the internet find your business.
Why it matters
When people use Google Search to find something, Google wants to connect them with high quality and relevant information. And when it displays search results after a query, Google will present the best websites at the top of the page.
Ensuring that your website is optimized for this process is the best way that you, as a financial services firm, can reach potential customers, partners, and other stakeholders who may be looking for a service like yours.
If you want to learn more about the importance of a search engine optimization strategy, you can visit the blog post “Why Search Engine Optimization Strategies are Important“.
Okay… so how do I improve my search ranking?
Google uses well over 200 different factors to rank websites. While Google does not disclose the weight of each factor on the ranking process, there are some factors that are considered the most important for optimization.
Some of these include:
- Content quality – is your website’s content well-written, easy to read, and clear?
- Page speed – does your website load quickly on desktop and mobile?
- Number of backlinks – do other websites link to your website as a resource?
- Mobile-friendliness – does your website work on mobile and is it easy to use?
- Frequency of website updates – do you keep your website up to date, and is the information presented on it reliable?
It can take years to become an SEO pro in all of these areas – so don’t feel overwhelmed! You can either learn as you go or hire an expert who can help you optimize each item on this list.
Social media is no longer just a place for millennials and lifestyle influencers. It’s a serious marketing tool that can help you build your reputation, show a bit of personality, display your expertise, and listen to your audience/market.
All of these ingredients mixed together are a great way to bring in leads, keep your existing customers engaged, and maintain your reputation within your local community and industry.
Which platforms should I use?
For a financial services firm, you may find Facebook and LinkedIn to be the best platforms to use. Facebook has a broad spectrum of users, and LinkedIn is a great platform for professional services like finance and consulting. If you like to create videos, YouTube is also a great channel to explore.
Remember, you do not need to have a business account for each platform. Consistency on a few platforms is more important than trying to be everywhere all at once. Producing content is time consuming, so try to find one or two platforms to focus and excel in.
If you want to learn more about the differences of each social platform, you can visit the blog post “Social Media Summary for Financial Advisors: Target the Right Audience“.
Should I pay for social media?
Social media platforms also have advertising functions built-in; meaning you can reach new audiences by creating sponsored ads.
Ads on social media work great if you have a specific objective in mind. For example, if you are trying to book discovery appointments with new clients, it may be worth creating an ad with a simple link for users to make the appointment. You can target users based on a number of different factors, which is great if you are trying to tap into a new market or audience segment.
Email is another digital marketing tool that is extremely useful for the financial services industry. In fact, for financial services clients, emails are actually the preferred channel for communication. Not only that, but people are more likely to check their email instead of social media during working hours – so you can reach your audience while they are already in a business mindset.
There are a number of different ways that you can leverage email in your digital marketing strategy. Here are two ideas:
- Create a regular newsletter
Newsletters are a great way to keep your existing audience engaged with what you do. Have you been involved with a local charity? Did you hire a new staff member? Have you updated any company policies?
Newsletters are the perfect opportunity to share this information with your audience. While you may not have the capacity to do a weekly e-newsletter, a monthly or quarterly newsletter is still valuable and helps you drive your own narrative.
- Advertise a new product/service
If you are offering a new service line or you have a special offer coming up, share this information with your audience via an email advertisement.
Remember, always keep email ads tailored to the audience segments you are sending them to. An existing client may not need to know about an offer for a service they already have. However, if you have warm leads who may need that extra nudge, an email is a great way to notify them about an upcoming offer.
If you want to learn how to easily succeed at email copywriting with some proven strategies, you can visit the blog post “Email Copywriting Guide – How to Write a Successful Marketing Email“.
Your website is your online storefront, and like any storefront, it needs to look professional and inviting.
At the very least, you should make sure that the information on your homepage is up to date, presented clearly, and engaging. Other basic pages you should have on your website include:
- About page that shares a bit of background information on your company
- Team page that introduces your partners and support staff
- Services page that outlines what you provide for your clients
- Contact information page
- Blog page with updates, announcements, and resources for potential and existing clients (an updated blog is also helpful for SEO)
Including these pages on your website is not only extremely helpful for your audience, they also help you rank on Google.
What else can I do on my website?
If you’d like your website to do more for you, you can also use it as a way to nurture and convert leads. For example, on your contact page, you could have a section inviting readers to book a free call with you. By outlining that path for your audience clearly, you can generate more leads that will hopefully result in a sale.
It is also recommended to evaluate and update your website periodically. Just because it is optimized for your audience today, doesn’t mean that it will work for your audience in a month or two from now. Make sure that your information is regularly updated, and your processes still work over time. It’s okay to refine as you go; that’s the only way that you will improve.
The reason why you might have web pages which are not visited by users could be due to the boring appearance of the site that drives away prospective visitors, making them think that the sites do not have something to offer and will only be a waste of time.
If you want to learn how web design can help your efforts, you can visit my blog post “Web Design: How to Simply Dress Up Your Web Page“.
While it may feel like you have a lot to do – remember that there is a ton of opportunities out there and that you don’t need to do everything all at once.
The best way to refine your digital marketing efforts is to try something new, track the response, and see what happens. You have to be willing to test and experiment in order to discover what works best for your business.
Platforms like Google Analytics and Facebook offer plenty of ways to track and analyze your performance. Play around with the tools they have, and refine as you go. All you have to do is get started.
If you’d like some further advice about how you can incorporate more digital marketing for your financial services firm, visit my blog as I will update content regularly or feel free to get in touch and I’m happy to have a chat.
About the Author
Marketing expert with experience in developing digital capabilities within investment management companies. Certificated expertise in social media, web, email, online advertising and digital performance marketing campaigns, both from a strategy and operational perspective. Also experienced in driving the digital marketing technology investment roadmap including CRM and automation tools. My know-how spans both B2B and B2C in the finance industry.