It’s easy to get very busy with marketing as a financial services firm, particularly if you are a small business such as a financial planner. After all, there is so much you could be doing…
Twitter posts. Replying to Facebook messages. Requesting Google Reviews. Writing and publishing blog posts on your website. Updating your pages with appropriate meta tags and alt tags. Creating and sending email/newsletter campaigns to clients…
And this is only scratching the surface of some of the digital marketing activities you could be doing. We haven’t even started on some of the offline/print stuff!
Clearly, very few financial businesses (apart from maybe the biggest ones) can do all of these things. An even smaller fraction will be able to do all of it well, even if they could do it. In fact, we’d go as far as to say no one can do ALL aspects of financial services marketing well, all at once.
It’s important for financial planners and other firms to recognise this, and to be strategic in selecting a specific range of focused marketing activities to concentrate on. Doing so will help eliminate wasted time, money and effort in your marketing.
Better to do a few things really well in marketing and have something to show for it, than try to do everything and have little to show at all.
Eliminating Marketing Waste in Financial Services
You’ve probably heard the old saying by John Wanamaker: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” He wrote this over 100 years ago, and this was probably a fair description of marketing (as a whole) at the time.
Fortunately, things have moved on since then with the advent of digital marketing.
Today, it is possible to set up an email campaign and track how many people receive your message, open it, click on it and convert into paying customers.
You can now track how many social media users are reached by your Facebook Ads, and how many website visitors their clicks produce.
You can track where your website’s search engine rankings are in Google (using dedicated software such as Agency Analytics), and use Google Analytics to track how many visitors these rankings produce over time and how many convert into website enquires.
And so on, and so on. Clearly, marketing has moved on a great deal due to technological innovation. It is far more measurable now, and scientific. It is possible to ground decisions about your marketing in firm, quantifiable data.
If something isn’t working in a part of your digital marketing, you can “split test” a variation (e.g. your newsletter subject lines) to see if that improves things.
If the data shows that you are constantly colliding with negative results with one marketing tactic or another (e.g. Twitter Ads), then you have hard data to justify discontinuing that tactic and diverting resources into other marketing tactics which are showing demonstrable results.
All of this is crucial when it comes to eliminating marketing waste. After all, there are bound to be areas of your marketing which are not working right now in your financial services firm. Which aspects are they? How do you know? With digital data and metrics such as those described above, you can start to move things more in the right direction.
Living Within Your Means
It’s important to be realistic with what you can do with your financial services marketing. How much time, money and effort can you actually commit to marketing your firm? Be honest with yourself, as it’s very easy to overestimate our own abilities and also underestimate how much work a marketing activity can entail.
SEO (search engine optimisation) is a classic example of this. At MarketingAdviser, we often have IFAs and financial planner firms asking for help to increase their search engine rankings in local Google Search results. Sometimes, businesses such as these seem to be under the impression that this simply entails making a few tweaks to their existing website (e.g. keyword stuffing their pages), and then taking a “set it and forget it” approach to their content strategy.
In reality, most financial planners’ websites in the UK are probably quite out of date when it comes to SEO, and likely need quite a big overhaul in order to meet Google’s search engine compliance standards. This might entail a complete website re-design in some cases. Regardless, in all cases, increasing an IFA’s or financial planner’s local SEO rankings will require a monthly marketing programme containing a lot of moving parts (e.g. backlink building, content production, on-site SEO and more).
This is a lot of work for a specialist agency to do, let alone for an IFA to try and do in-house. Yet many seem to think they can achieve high SEO rankings themselves. This is a mistaken belief, and it’s important for financial firms to recognise the scale of work involved with different marketing tactics.
Once the scope and scale of your marketing plan are clear, it becomes much easier to eliminate marketing waste by identifying areas where you can do things themselves – and where you need help.
Many financial services firms waste considerable resources by either trying spreading themselves too thinly in their marketing (by trying to do everything), or by simply not measuring marketing activities in order to focus more on what’s working.
Fortunately, there is much you can do to ease the strain on your marketing budget and start to see more demonstrable results. It could be that some of your business systems need updating, or perhaps you need to actually engage in more significant change such as a shift in company culture (towards a “measurement style”).
Regardless, we would love to speak with you to discuss how we can help. At MarketingAdviser, we specialise in marketing for financial services firms and have a strong track record in this area. Get in touch to arrange a free, no-commitment consultation with a member of our team, today.