Financial advisers and mortgage brokers are understandably interested in lead generation. After all, you want to grow your business by building up a steady, loyal client base who also refer you to others.
In today’s digital world, there are many marketing channels you can leverage to bring in new leads. Broadly, there are two approaches to lead generation you need to be aware of:
Inbound lead generation: Here, you “attract” mortgage and other financial leads to your business through great content. Quite often, your audience is actively looking for a service that you offer. The primary example of this would be using organic search to position your content in front of your target audience in the search engines. The intention here is that your audience click on your content, read it and are then motivated to make an enquiry.
Outbound lead generation: This is where you use more “interruptive” marketing methods to get in front of your target audience. Typically, this approach holds much in common with advertising in the sense that your audience is not necessarily looking for your service at the time they see your content. Good examples of digital channels which take this approach include Facebook Ads & Google Ads.
So, in light of these two approaches to mortgage lead generation, what are some of the digital channels available to mortgage brokers and financial advisers? Moreover, which ones actually work?
Let’s look at some inbound channels first…
Inbound Channel #1: Organic search
As mentioned above, organic search refers to traffic which arrives at your website from popular search engines, such as Google or Bing. This does not refer to the ads you often see in your search results after making a query. Rather, this refers to “unpaid” traffic.
Organic traffic is arguably one of the best ways to generate mortgage leads. Quite often, the people who enter a query into a search engine have a need which they are looking to address right now. If your content is found by these users, and it presents an answer to their question or a solution to their problem, then they are quite likely to make an enquiry.
The challenge here, however, is first of all knowing which search terms to go after. People enter many keywords into Google, and not all of them are relevant or showing a high level of user intent. Second of all, getting your content to the top of your users’ search results takes time, knowledge and resources. This can be achieved in time, however, by working with a reputable financial marketing agency.
Inbound Channel #2: Social Media
Many of us look on with envy at financial advisers and mortgage brokers who have a large Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook page following. Why?
It’s not simply about go (although that’s often part of it!). It’s also due to the fact that many of us recognise the value of a large social following. If you have a large, loyal online fan-base or social community comprising your target market, then you have a great opportunity to present value to them and create conversion opportunities.
The real challenge here, of course, concerns the time, skill and commitment it takes to build up a large social following like this. It can take many months – even years – of tweeting, sharing, following, commenting and liking before your social profile starts to show the volumes you need for significant lead generation opportunities.
At MarketingAdviser, we, therefore, do not tend to focus on social media as a lead generation channel for financial firms. However, in certain cases, it can be tremendously powerful. It has certainly worked very well for Martin Lewis, for instance.
Outbound Channel #1: Facebook Ads
Moving on now to some of the outbound marketing channels at your disposal. Facebook ads are a popular way for financial firms to try and position their advertisements in front of specific demographics in their news feeds, with the aim of creating sign-ups, applications, webinar bookings or enquiries.
Facebooks ads are powerful because you can specify who you want to show your ads to. For instance, you can filter out people based on age, job title, where they live, family relationships, interests and more. You can also choose different types of ads, depending on your goals. For instance, Facebook Lead Ads can be a great way to generate sign-ups to your newsletter, without your audience having to leave Facebook.
There are a few challenges which you need to take into consideration, however. First of all, you need to manage your budget, since this is a “pay per click” channel. This is not too difficult if you know what you’re doing, admittedly. You do need to regularly monitor your return on investment, however, as it is easy to spend lots of money on Facebook before you have seen meaningful results.
Second, you need to set realistic expectations with Facebook. People who see your ads are not usually looking for what you are offering, at that particular moment. The chances are, they are there to read about news they are interested in and to socialise digitally with their friends, colleagues and family members. So, your ads need to be creative and eye-catching enough to tempt your audience away from what they were doing, so that they give your value proposition the attention you desire.
Outbound Channel #2: Purchased Email Lists
GDPR might have changed the mortgage lead purchase industry, but it has not killed it off. It is still possible to buy “opted in” and “GDPR compliant” email lists from certain vendors, and many financial advisers and mortgage brokers will swear by them.
In our experience, buying email lists and then blasting the recipients with cold emails is not a sustainable, or overly-productive route to take in financial services. People are more likely to approach you to help them with their pension, investments or estate planning if they trust you. By taking their personal information without their explicit consent and then “spamming” them, however, you undermine that trust from the outset.
If that does not give you pause, just also please consider for a minute that lots of financial advisers and mortgage brokers have had the same idea as you. The chances are, many people have bought the same list and sent lots of similar-looking emails to the same group of people. Even if the recipients are “opted-in”, therefore, they have in all likelihood been desensitised by countless rounds of emails from financial services firms.
In our opinion, you are usually much better off building your own email list from scratch. There are legitimate, effective ways to do this which are unfortunately beyond the scope of this article. However, if you continue to follow our blog, you will find some content arriving on this topic soon. In the meantime, if you would like to speak to one of our marketing consultants about this, then please do not hesitate to get in touch in order to arrange a free, no-obligation marketing review.