Not too long ago, financial firms were limited to “offline forms” of marketing – TV, radio, billboard and newspaper/magazine ads. Today, the rise of internet-based marketing channels has left financial firms spoiled for choice.
In fact, quite often the problem facing financial firms is which marketing channels to focus on. After all, most small businesses cannot hope to juggle 10+ marketing channels effectively. Each one requires expertise, attention and money to make it work.
It is better to select a few marketing channels and do them well, rather than try and do everything at an inadequate level.
Below, we offer four possible digital marketing channels for financial firms to consider for their strategy in 2022. We hope you find inspiration in this content and invite you to get in touch if you’d like to discuss your own marketing strategy with us.
Search engine optimisation
Often short-handed to SEO, search engine optimisation is a powerful way to attract “organic” traffic to your website and generate leads. This involves working on your website in such a way that Google pushes it up the search engine results, for specific phrases used by your target audience.
Financial SEO takes time to build. A new website with no “domain authority”, for instance, might take 6-12 months to start reaching the top 10 search results for some of their main target search phrases. However, SEO is a lot like investing – there are no guarantees, and it requires a long-term commitment.
However, the results are usually well-worth the effort and wait. Certain search phrases have a lot of search “volume” (i.e. people entering the phrase into the search bar on a monthly basis). If you can reach, say, the top 1-5 positions on the first page for those phrases, this acts as “prime real estate” in Google which is difficult to be dislodged from – once you occupy the space.
SEO involves a lot of moving parts including building backlinks, publishing excellent content and doing regular on-site optimisation (e.g. improving your meta data) to have a realistic chance of success. You also need to choose your target search terms carefully. Many are very difficult to rank for, carry lower search volume and might have low “user intent”.
An experienced financial marketing agency can help you draw up a smart plan to help you reach your SEO goals.
Often called “PPC marketing”, this typically involves using Google Ads to display digital ads to your audience on the internet.
Financial services firms usually choose between two types of PPC campaign – search ads and display ads. The former involves showing your Google Ads within Google search results for specific search terms. The latter shows your ads on other websites.
PPC works on a “cost-per-click” payment model. In other words, each time someone clicks on your advert, Google charges you for it. The other main way you can be charged is on a “cost-per-mille” model, where you are charged for every 1,000 times your adverts are shown to users. You may need to test your campaigns to see which one is most cost-effective for you.
Google Ads can be a useful way to gain brand exposure online more quickly. Provided you have enough budget, your ads a decent and you have a strong landing page to direct people to, a financial firm can get to the top of Google search in short order.
However, the quality of traffic from PPC is usually not as good as from organic. It is also easy to waste money on irrelevant keywords and let your budget get out of control, if you are not careful. A professional can help manage this for you.
Email marketing is certainly not dead. In fact, with a healthy email list, this can be one of the best ways for financial firms to engage current clients and gain new ones – particularly when you have a strong, regular newsletter.
One of the benefits of email is that your list belongs to you. With SEO and social media, for instance, your marketing could suddenly be negatively affected by forces outside of your control – such as a Google update. However, provided you do not “spam” your list or add people who do not want to be subscribed, your email list is under no such threat.
A financial newsletter can contain a range of marketing “assets” that can help you achieve your goals. For instance, you might include a set of interesting thought leadership pieces (original, high-quality articles) in each monthly newsletter, which your clients look forward to. Perhaps they even forward some of your content on to people they know who might benefit from it.
You can also use email marketing as a lead-nurturing tool. For example, perhaps you ask website visitors to sign up to your newsletter as part of their request to attend your upcoming webinar on: “The UK Investment Outlook”. From here, you can use an automated “drip campaign” to offer value to these subscribers and build trust with them, making them more likely to attend the webinar and book a consultation.
YouTube is the second-most popular search engine, after Google search. The global trend for internet content consumption, moreover, is towards video in the coming years. People seem to prefer watching to reading.
Here, there are many ways a financial firm could market itself. One idea could be to start a YouTube channel and build your subscribers. Another might be to include education videos on your website, which could appear in Google search results.
Financial videos are powerful, but take time and expertise to craft effectively. Here, a design specialist can be very helpful – especially when it comes to the editing and sound quality. At MarketingAdviser, we have a range of ready-made videos for financial planners on our platform, Clients Plus, which may be useful to you.