So you’re thinking about starting a digital marketing campaign for your financial firm? That’s brilliant news. Digital channels are a fantastic way for financial firms to grow their brand presence, build an online following and generate new business opportunities.
It is likely that you are thinking about approaching different financial marketing agencies to help you with your campaign. Indeed, most financial planners and advisers will probably need help with their digital marketing strategy and its implementation. After all, there’s a lot of work involved with both of these – and you are already very busy!
To find the right agency for your needs, it will be important for each of them to understand what you are looking to do and achieve. One of the best ways to articulate these is to compile a short campaign brief and pass it to the agencies you are considering.
Yet what should you include in your brief? Below, our team at MarketingAdviser addresses this question. For more information or to discuss your own campaign with us, get in touch for a free consultation.
Set clear goals
What do you want your marketing campaign to achieve? Here, consider using a framework like SMART rather than vague goals about “increasing website traffic” or “getting more leads”. The clearer and more measurable your marketing goals, the easier it will be for each agency to understand what you think “success” looks like for the campaign. It will also be easier for you to hold your agency to account once the campaign is underway.
Try to include some short-term and longer-term goals within your brief. Here are some examples:
- Long-term (12-24 months): Attain 1,000 monthly organic visits on our website, with a 5% conversion rate.
- Short-term (0-6 months): Publish 4x articles per month and increase organic traffic to 200 monthly visitors.
State your budget
How much are you looking to spend? Many financial firms expect agencies to tell them what digital marketing should cost. Yet only you have access to your company’s balance sheets. As a starting point, about 10% of your revenues should be spent on marketing (e.g. print advertising, events and digital).
How much is a digital campaign worth to your business? How highly do you value the skills and resources you’ll be accessing by working with a specialist agency, versus taking a DIY approach or hiring an inexperienced freelancer?
Some financial firms are worried that, by stating their budget on the brief, agencies will overcharge for their services. Yet you can protect against this by approaching multiple agencies, and letting each one know that is what you are doing. This encourages them to compete against one another, providing their best range of services at an attractive price point.
Articulate your position
Where does your financial firm sit in the marketplace? Unless you are a very well-known brand, you will need to educate agencies about your market share, competition and brand positioning within the brief.
Take time to address FAQs within the document, such as:
- What kind of brand experience do your clients, prospects and stakeholders have with you?
- How fierce is the competition, and do you compete on the same basis (e.g. price)?
- How would you like your positioning to change using digital marketing? (Use SMART).
Identify your audience
Who are you looking to engage with your digital marketing campaign? It’s important to be really clear about this in your brief. After all, no two client bases are the same amongst financial services firms.
Are you looking to target expats within a particular country with your financial planning offer, to take an example? Or, are you looking at a locale within the UK – perhaps targeting prospects within a 20-mile radius of your office?
Wherever your audience is located, however, it is crucial to go beyond this surface-level analysis and also specify some of the key demographics and psychographics of your audience. For instance, does your particular buyer persona have a typical lifestyle, or a similar set of hopes and pain points? Identifying these features will help a financial marketing agency understand how the content of your campaign needs to be positioned, and which keywords to pursue for search engine optimisation (SEO).
Spell out internal resources & infrastructure
Which marketing tools are you already using or paying for? It is important to mention this to potential marketing partners, as it could affect whether they can help you at all. For instance, some financial firms build their websites on the Hubspot platform – which can be ideal for some agencies, but not others.
It can also be useful to list tools and applications you use which may not obviously apply to digital marketing. Your sales software, for example, could have a big impact on the integrations which your agency might want to set up for your campaign. Email marketing software (e.g. MailChimp) are also important to list, in case your agency includes this within their digital marketing packages.
For financial services marketing, in particular, there are typically compliance processes to take into account when approving content for social media, client newsletters and website articles. Make sure you mention these in your brief, as some agency specialists may have their own compliance partner to help.
Finally, consider listing the key people who will be involved in your campaign. If you have an internal marketing manager who will be coordinating things with the chosen agency, then specify what their role will be and what you expect from the relationship. How often would you like to hold online meetings with your agency to go over recent performance, and who are the key stakeholders they will report to?