Digital marketing for financial services is a bit like investing. Just as there are many different assets which serve different purposes in your portfolio (e.g. bonds and equities), there are also several tools at your disposal when it comes to your digital marketing.
Which ones are best for financial services, however, and how can they be leveraged to meet your marketing goals? In this article, we’ll be shedding some light on answers to those questions by focusing on 4 digital marketing channels open to financial firms.
This guide assumes that you’ve already got a clear idea of your buyer persona(s), current marketing position, your goals and overall marketing strategy. What we’re dealing with here are marketing tactics, which need to be set within this overall context. If you need assistance putting an effective financial marketing plan like this together, then we invite you to arrange a free consultation.
#1 Financial SEO
Financial SEO refers to “search engine optimisation”, which is the process of increasing your website’s position (unpaid) in search engine results for specific target keywords. When you look in your Google Analytics reports, website traffic from this source is usually referred to as “Organic”.
One of the powerful aspects of this marketing channel is that it has the potential to greatly increase your brand exposure to your target market. It also has the effect of increasing band trust, since consumers subconsciously tend to credit more authority to brands which appear higher in organic search results.
Website traffic from organic search also tends to comprise higher quality, more engaged users compared to many other digital marketing channels. That means a higher likelihood of conversions and enquiries.
There are some disadvantages to consider, however. First of all, it usually takes at least a few months of effort and investment in SEO before you start to move towards the top search engine positions. In some cases, it can take even longer, and sometimes you might even have a realistic chance of a look-in given the high levels of competition involved.
#2 Google Ads
These days, Google Ads tend to appear at the top of your search engine results after submitting a search query. At the time of writing, the top three spots are usually taken up by Google Ads (conveniently taking up your entire smartphone screen), with the remaining links comprising organic search results.
There are some strong advantages to using Google Ads in financial services marketing. First of all, it can be a quick and effective way to capture users who are actively searching for your brand on Google. Think about it: if a user looks for “X&Y Financial Planning” and your Google Ads, Google My Business page and several organic links show up, then you have a considerable amount of search engine “real estate” under your belt where competitors have little of a look in.
Of course, the downside of Google Ads is that you need to pay each time a user clicks on your ads. These clicks can sometimes be quite expensive, so you need to constantly keep an eye on your ad spend and optimise your account to make sure you are getting maximum “bang for your buck”.
#3 Email Marketing
This covers quite a large “bucket” of different types of financial services digital marketing involving email. For instance, you could theoretically buy an email list from a vendor and “blast” the list with a series of offers, to try and get some leads out of it. Another approach might be to invite website visitors to subscribe and opt-into your monthly newsletter. From there, you can gradually build up trust with your subscribers via thought leadership and eventually nurture some of them towards a sale.
The great thing about having a strong email list of opted-in subscribers is that this marketing asset is “yours”. You are relatively free to email your subscribers and leverage this asset to get more leads. With other digital marketing channels such as Facebook or even SEO, you are effectively living on “rented space”. At any moment Facebook or Google could change their algorithms or rules, which could have a big impact on your brand exposure, followers and lead generation efforts.
The downside is that it is difficult and time-consuming to build a really good, high-quality email list. It also needs constant updating and care to keep subscribers engaged. Leaving it alone for long periods of time is likely to lead to it going stale.
#4 Facebook Ads
Following on from the previous point, it used to be possible to build up a large following for your business Facebook page organically. Moreover, these people would likely see many of your business’s content after hitting that “Like” button. Nowadays, however, you need to “pay to play” when it comes to Facebook. You are unlikely to get many followers for your page without a robust Facebook Ads campaign. Even once they have “Liked” you, however, you still need to boost your posts and run paid ads in order to have a realistic chance of appearing in your target audience’s newsfeeds.
These are obvious disadvantages, and of course, you also need to work hard on crafting a compelling content offer in order to convince people to stop scrolling through their newsfeed, link on your links and potentially leave the Facebook platform temporarily to look at it. However, Facebook Ads can be a powerful way to build up an engaged audience of followers, and even generate some leads over time. The targeting at your disposal (for your ads), moreover, is quite staggering.
This is just a small snapshot of some of the digital marketing channels available to financial services firms looking to build their brand awareness, engagement and conversion rates. They each have their respective uses and drawbacks (similar to different investment asset types), and it’s, therefore, important to craft a unique marketing plan tailored to your distinct marketing goals.
If you need assistance putting a plan like this together from an experienced marketing team in financial services, then we’d be delighted to hear from you. Get in touch today to arrange a free, no-commitment consultation with our team here at MarketingAdviser.