The foundation of Inbound Marketing is investors initiating contact with financial advisors. This is the polar opposite of Outbound Marketing that is based on advisors using aggressive sales tactics to initiate contact with investors.
Outbound Marketing is largely obsolete due to the exceptionally high rejection rates – close to 100% depending on who is doing the marketing. This type of marketing (cold calling, direct mail/email) is tough when advisors are trying to reach investors who do not want to be reached. Caller ID and spam filters have made this type of marketing even tougher.
Why Inbound Marketing?
Inbound Marketing solves the rejection problem when investors initiate contact with financial advisors.
Many advisors have also embraced this form of marketing because it has the potential to produce very high-quality leads. That's because investors have taken the time to learn more about the advisor before they initiate contact.
They must have liked what they saw on the Internet or they would not have given up their anonymity and initiated contact.
A third compelling benefit, after less rejection and higher quality leads, is conversion rates. Advisors report they convert more leads into clients when the leads come to them through their own websites.
The Internet makes Inbound Marketing possible.
First, investors use Internet search engines to find financial advisors. They can’t contact advisors if they can’t find them. This is the equivalent of driving down main street and stopping at the storefronts of local financial advisors.
Second, the Internet gives investors access to vast amounts of public data starting with content on financial advisor websites. Website visitations are the first step. Then they google search names (company and professional) to learn more before they schedule any interviews. Some investors even visit the websites of regulatory agencies.
Third, like it has in other industries, the Internet is changing the marketing tactics of a lot of financial service firms. In the past, advisors controlled the information that they provided to investors. Investors heard what advisors wanted them to hear. Investors are no longer limited to information that was provided to them by advisors.
Firms vs Professionals
Inbound Marketing is used by firms to produce leads for firm principals, advisors, and marketing professionals.
This tactic requires a website where investors gather information and submit their contact information.
Many firms forward these leads to company professionals for follow-up.
Just like investors cruised down main street to find financial advisors, they can surf the web looking for advisors who work in their communities. There is no longer a need to cruise down main street or check the yellow pages.
Today, what matters most is Internet visibility. This is how strangers, that don’t know advisors’ firm, find financial advisors. The more visible advisors are on the Internet the more visitors they will experience on their websites.
Note, we said strangers will find financial advisors on the Internet. They will use keywords to find firms and financial information. On the other hand, people that know firms will enter the firm’s URL.
The role of digital marketing is to reach people that don’t know a firm.
Websites do not produce their own traffic. Internet visibility is what produces traffic. Visibility cannot be taken for granted. It requires specialized knowledge and a lot of hard work because thousands of advisors are competing for the same space.
Think of it this way. 91.5% of Google users do not scroll past page one. 4.8% scroll to page two and 1.1% scroll to page three. It is easy to see why visibility is based on higher page ranks.
Page one is already full of services and information. Consequently, a lot of competitors with big advertising budgets will pay whatever it costs to get on page one and stay there throughout the day.
Page two is a lot cheaper, but it also has substantially lower traffic.
Getting content on page one for competitive keywords is a major challenge. Staying on page one can be an even bigger challenge.
A lot of work goes into convincing investors to visit financial advisor websites. Once they are on the sites, they must be convinced to give-up their anonymity and submit their contact information.
This is a challenge because the pre-disposition of most investors is to protect this information. They have been telemarketed for years and seen the headlines that document industry abuses.
Visitors must find what they are looking for on the advisors’ websites very quickly. Website navigation must be intuitive for this to happen.
Are all of the Inbound Marketing tactics that are used by financial advisors worth it?
The answer must be yes or so many advisors would not be using these tactics.
We believe what makes this form of marketing so popular is the production of warm leads that have low rejection rates. Inbound Marketing produces superior results for less time and expense.