Digital marketing is only going to become more important in the coming years for financial firms. Yet which tools are most effective, and how can you avoid waste by using them to maximum effect?
In this post, our financial marketing team will be looking at 3 digital marketing tools/channels available to financial planners. Most of these you will likely be aware of, such as SEO and Facebook marketing. Yet what we’ll be sharing here is how to refine your use of them, to get the most “bang for buck”.
Let’s get started with social media.
#1 Social Media Platforms
Should you bother with the likes of Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for financial marketing?
There are certainly platforms that we at MarketingAdviser would automatically caution against. Pinterest and Instagram, for instance, are highly “visual” social media platforms which make them great for fashion, fitness and travel.
Not so great for financial services unless you have a really unique angle (e.g. the “fashionable, in-shape financial planner”)!
Some of the other social media platforms hold out more promise for financial firms, however. Yet you’ll likely waste a lot of time on them if you’re not careful.
Consider the following tips we’d suggest for Facebook and LinkedIn:
- Avoid private messaging (PM) outreach to individual Facebook profiles. People don’t tend to like unsolicited contact from people who are not their friends and family.
- Consider using Facebook to build your email list. You can do this by offering them exclusive content on your newsletter which is not available to social media followers.
- Try to build up to 500 likes (followers) for your business page from relevant people. This gives you more credibility to new prospects. Give them a good reason to follow by offering value.
- Consider focusing more on developing the network for your personal LinkedIn profile, instead of focusing on getting followers for your LinkedIn company page.
- Again, try to build your email list through your LinkedIn activity. This is yours and cannot, therefore, be touched by an algorithm change on a social network.
- Consider LinkedIn Ads if you are marketing nationally. Locally-focused financial planners may not find the volume they hope for, which would make the campaign worthwhile
With social media platforms, just bear in mind that the likes of Facebook make their money largely from advertising. So it’s in their interests to keep users on the platform (rather than leaving to check out a web link) and push paid posts over organic ones!
For financial planners, the COVID-19 lockdown put a huge spanner in the works. Not only could they not meet existing clients anymore due to social distancing, but free consultations could no longer be held out as a carrot to interested, new prospects.
One good thing that’s come out of all of this, however, is the increased use of video calling across age groups, regions and social classes. Clients of financial planners and similar firms are now more open to this form of communication.
It is also potentially a big time saver and cost-saver for you, since you may not necessarily need to travel to meet every client!
Webinars are also a great way to market your financial firm online. Consider the following:
- Think about an area of financial service (e.g. pension planning) where your target audience has burning questions, and where you can help. Consider that as a 20-minute webinar topic.
- Plan a way to set up your webinar (e.g. a Skype call or Zoom session with a landing page), and also how you will promote it – such as using Facebook Ads.
- Have a clear customer journey in mind. Once people have attended your webinar, what would you like them to do next?
For a good example of someone using video powerfully to engage an audience and bring in new business using video, check out the PensionCraft channel on YouTube. There’s some good inspiration on there!
Search engines are still typically the supreme pillars in most digital marketing strategies. Everyone wants to be on page 1 of Google for their audience’s search phrases.
For locally-based financial firms (e.g. IFAs), this is much more viable. There’s typically less competition (unless you’re in an area like London) and it’s often possible to rank highly quite quickly.
For nationally-focused financial firms, the search engines are usually much more competitive. You’ll need to think carefully about which search phrases to go after, and have realistic expectations about the timelines and chances of success.
Here are some SEO tips for financial firms to consider in 2020:
- Look for low-hanging fruit. Are there questions which your audience is typing into Google, and the results are poor? Could you write something better that nails the answer? Consider making it!
- How’s your Google My Business (GMB) profile looking? In 2020, Google is keen to get people using GMB and it’s now a more important ranking factor. If you’re missing positive reviews and key information on your profile, consider addressing those gaps.
- Make sure your website speed is rapid. Slower pages equate to poorer user experience.
- Ensure easy website navigation. Your visitors should be able to find the content they are looking for in no more than 3 steps.
- Answer the user’s question straight away in blog posts, and keep the content on-topic.
- Post a blog or landing page at least once every two weeks to show Google that your website is active.
- Be strategic and patient. SEO is a bit like investing – the results will almost never come quickly. It can take 5+ months for a piece of content to reach 90% of the monthly traffic it will ever achieve. Once your content machine is up and running, however, the effort is well worth it.