There is no doubt digital marketing is the low-cost way for financial advisors to accelerate the growth of their firms. In fact, digital marketing has become so popular that it is hard for financial advisors to ignore it when they look for effective strategies that will bring new clients to their firms. If anything this trend is accelerating due to the impact of Covid-19 on traditional financial advisor marketing practices.
Sure, financial advisors that have bigger digital marketing budgets might get there faster, but that does not mean smaller financial advisors are locked out. It does mean the smaller firms have to be smart when they develop and implement digital marketing strategies that target their ideal types of clients.
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Sometimes it is in the financial advisors’ best interest to hire a digital marketing consultant who can help them develop a digital marketing strategy that is tailored to their firm. The right consultant can also help financial advisors avoid mistakes that undermine their digital marketing results.
Digital Marketing Best Practices
This article describes several digital marketing best practices that increase the odds financial advisors will achieve their goals: More online visibility, increased website traffic, and higher conversion website conversion rates.
Your Most Powerful Sales Tool
Online visibility and website traffic are two critical criteria for successful digital marketing experience. However, they do not eclipse the importance of a financial advisor website.
It has been our experience that digital marketing experts tend to take financial advisor websites for granted. Consequently, the websites look and act a lot like attractive sales brochures. The websites look nice and deliver some pretty basic information, but they do not produce leads and contacts for the financial advisors that own them.
We say websites are the financial advisors' most powerful sales tool because this is where the digital marketing rubber meets the road. Websites, like landing pages, have the unique role of convincing visitors to give-up their anonymity and submit their contact information. Not to mention, they may be the investors’ electronic first impression of financial advisors and they have to deliver the right information to be effective.
It pays to assume investors are surfing the web looking for financial advisors. Therefore, websites have to be competitive to produce results.
Focus on Investor Needs
The digital marketing strategy for most financial advisors is to focus on the firm. Page after page of information on their websites that describes key features about the financial advisor.
There are two old sayings that should define the best digital marketing practices for financial advisors:
- Investors buy benefits and not features
- You only have one opportunity to make a great first impression
This makes it imperative that the content on financial advisor websites is more about investors and less about the firm. Too many features will turn investors off, in particular, if they cannot relate to them.
For example, a financial advisor prominently displays financial fiduciary on the firm’s website. The investor thinks: “What is a fiduciary and how does that benefit me.” A much better description would be about the benefits when they select financial fiduciaries to help them plan their futures and invest their assets.
Meet All Google Requirements
If financial advisors want high rankings in Google, they have to be willing to play by Google’s rules. Google wants everyone to have a positive experience when they use the Internet to find service providers and information. Advisors can choose to ignore Google rules at their own peril. If financial advisors do that they will be buried so deep in the search engine they are invisible.
What is Google’s point? It is really quite simple. Google wants people to have a positive experience when they use it to find what they are looking for.
A website with a slow load time (more than 2.8 seconds) undermines the experiences people have when they use Google to find service providers and information.
Multiply that by hundreds of millions of people per day and it is easy to see why Google puts so much importance on the performance of websites and the quality of content.
How does Google reward great content and websites that play by the rules? The reward comes in the form of higher visibility and it does not matter how big the firm is.
An important Google hot button is financial advisor websites that are mobile-friendly. According to Google, 62% of all searches originate on mobile devices. Consequently, if a financial advisor website is not mobile-friendly it is undermining the experience of Google users. This can cause Google to bury an advisor’s website on a distant page that requires large numbers of clicks to reach it. 91.5% of Google users do not scroll past page one.
Avoid Digital Marketing Distractions
Too many financial advisor websites are loaded with distractions that undermine their digital marketing results.
It starts with how much time visitors are going to spend on financial advisor websites. A recent Paladin survey showed the average time-on-site was two minutes and thirty-three seconds. Let’s be generous and round the number up to three minutes. Keep in mind this is for a high-quality financial advisor website.
Financial advisors can use Google Analytics to review the performance of their websites. Don’t be shocked if the number is significantly less than three minutes. In a recent study, we saw 72% of the financial advisor’s website traffic exited the site in ten seconds or less. Something was not resonating with investors.
What do financial advisors want website visitors to see? Read an article on the blog? Watch a video? Use a calculator? Read a recent newsletter? It stands to reason none of these activities will help investors learn more about financial advisors. Consequently, they do not contact the financial advisors, which undermines the results of their digital marketing efforts.
Conclusion: Digital marketing is the future, but it has to be right to work.