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5 Internet Marketing Tips for Financial Advisors

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in June 2016 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

The Internet is the most competitive marketplace on earth for financial firms and professionals. Thousands of firms and hundreds of thousands of professionals compete for visibility on the Internet’s most popular search engines. Plus, many of them are providing the same services for similar fees, making differentiation more difficult for investors. There are also some important differences:

  • Ethical standard: fiduciary or suitability
  • Method of compensation: fee, commission, or both
  • Type of firm: independent or Wall Street firm
  • Size of firm: Boutique or brand name 

All of the firms that own brands and websites require online visibility if they want to use the Internet to produce traffic that their websites can convert into qualified leads. A percentage of these leads will become active prospects when there is contact and mutual interest. It is the advisor’s responsibility to convert prospects into revenue-producing clients.

Paladin has spent the past 21 years providing leads and digital marketing services to independent financial advisors. The five marketing tips in this blog are based on our more than two decades of digital marketing experience. Our goals are to help you improve your presence on the Internet and increase the productivity of your website. 


Website Conversion Rates 

Websites have two distinct purposes. The primary purpose is to deliver the information that investors are seeking about you, your firm, and financial topics. It pays to keep in mind, there is a high probability investors are window-shopping so they are visiting multiple financial advisor websites. It is important that your website delivers the information that investors are seeking quickly and easily. This makes your top-line navigation an important feature on your website.

The second, and more important purpose of your website is to convert visitors into qualified leads by getting them to submit their contact information. This task is more complicated than it may sound because investors are anonymous until they want to be contacted or gain access to gated information.

This may sound easy enough, but 82% of advisors have told Paladin their websites do not produce a consistent flow of leads for their advice and services. In fact, most financial advisor websites function like online sales brochures. They deliver information but don’t convert visitors into leads. 

Marginal digital marketing efforts fail on the Internet due to the extraordinary amount of competition. 


The Inbound Marketing Revolution 

Financial advisors have spent decades using outbound marketing to reach the investors who use their services. Cold calling was a frequent form of outbound marketing, but this invasive process is largely obsolete due to Caller ID and other types of screening filters.

Whereas outbound marketing requires financial advisors to initiate contact with investors, inbound marketing is just the opposite. Investors initiate contact with financial advisors. The Internet makes this possible when investors use it to find, screen, and contact financial advisors and information. 

Consequently, every financial advisor has a website. In many cases, they have websites because all of their competitors have websites. They would be conspicuous if they did not have websites. However, they do not view the Internet as a primary source of new leads for their firms.  

Many RIAs are just awakening to the idea that the Internet can have a significant impact on the growth of their businesses. We can probably thank Robos, the COVID-19 years, and new technologies for their transition to this marketing strategy. 

Three metrics measure the results of inbound marketing strategies:

  • Online visibility for important keyword combinations
  • Traffic to financial advisor websites
  • Website conversion rates. 

Inbound marketing strategies include: Content marketing, social media, local SEO, and other strategies that produce visibility and traffic for financial advisor websites.


Blogging is Content Marketing 

Blogging is a principal strategy for generating online visibility for the keywords that produce the right types of traffic for financial advisor websites. For example, a financial advisor, or an agency like Paladin, may write an article describing a solution for a frequent retirement pain point that is experienced by large numbers of investors. 

Blogging is also used to establish credibility for financial advisors. For example,  retirement planners write articles about pre-retirement pain points and use them to establish themselves as retirement experts.

Blogging can also be used to enhance the trustworthiness of financial advisors. This occurs when they are consistent sources of high-quality content and investors become followers for information they can trust to be in their best interests.

Who writes articles? Experts write articles. 

When investors enter a firm or principal’s name in Google, they should see several financial articles that have been authored by the principal. Blog articles are an effective way to build credibility on the Internet. 


Local SEO Expands Online Visibility 

Establishing a local presence on the Internet should be a critical part of your digital marketing strategy. 

Google Business is the premier service in this category and it is free. But, you have to earn your way into the top spots.

24.7% of Google’s website ranking algorithm is also based on local visibility. This visibility matters even if you market your services on a national basis. 

Directory listings are also a way to boost your local presence. There are more than 100 directories. You want to make sure you are listed in the right ones. You also want to be sure that information is the same in the various directories and of course accurate. Make sure there are no NAP (Name Address Phone) errors.


Stay In Touch With Email Marketing 

Investors may initiate contact with you to obtain information about the firm or a financial topic, but they may not be ready to schedule selection interviews.

It is imperative that you have an email marketing system that enables you to stay in touch with clients, leads, prospects, centers of influence, and other sources of new business. 

From a marketing perspective, an important type of contact for a financial advisor email marketing list is the investor who is about to retire and transfer more than $1 million from a 401k to an IRA. You definitely want your name to pop up when they are ready to begin interviewing financial advisors. 

Email marketing is also a way to leverage the content that you are producing for your blog. Again, these articles are displays of your financial knowledge that builds your credibility as a financial expert. The next step is being a consistent source of high-quality financial information that builds trust.  

The best email marketing content will solve significant financial problems without being overly promotional.  

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