This article will break down the component parts of a productive website with some tips that will help financial advisors improve the results that are produced by their websites.
Let’s start by separating leads and contacts.
What About Leads?
Just about every financial advisor firm judges the productivity of its website based on the number of leads that are produced each month. This makes perfect sense because the definition of a lead is an investor who is seeking a financial advisor and wants to talk in the next 30 days.
This is an important next step in the digital marketing process that produces new clients for financial advisors.
However, most advisor websites produce more contacts than they do leads.
What About Contacts?
A contact is seeking information and not an advisor – at least not right away. They may be seeking information about the financial advisor, about financial advisors in general, or information about a financial topic.
A lot of financial advisors miss the boat when they do not place enough value on contacts.
Often times, a request for information is a major indicator that investors have a problem and they are seeking information that will help them solve it.
This creates a major marketing opportunity for financial advisors who become the source of the information that is sought by investors. Or said differently, by providing the information, they have an opportunity to develop a relationship with investors that they otherwise would not have.
More often than not, these information-seekers will end-up in advisor CRM systems so they can stay in touch until the investors are ready to talk. This makes an advisor’s drip list the key to a nurturing system that converts contacts into active prospects over time.
What’s the catch? Advisors do not know when investors on their drip list will go into active search mode for a financial advisor.
Financial Advisor Websites
One source of information is the content on financial advisor websites. In general, this is static text that is focused on providing information about the advisory firm: About Us, What We Do, Who We Serve. Most advisor websites also have a function titled Resources on their main navigation that is in addition to their blog. This function may deliver eBooks, white papers, podcasts, videos and other types of information that educate investors about advisors, markets, and other important topics.
For example, let’s assume an investor is on the Internet seeking information that describes how financial advisors are compensated. Let’s suppose they find this information on an advisor’s website or blog site. The advisor becomes a trustworthy source of information that will help this investor evaluate financial advisors in the future.
The advisor that provides this information has a competitive advantage because the advisor already has some name recognition and trust developed with these investors.
Why trust? The advisor provided information that helped the investor learn more about financial advisors. The investor must have appreciated the information because he or she contacted the advisor for an interview.
The Free eBook
Investors will find a lot of information on financial advisors’ websites. They can find even more information when they Google search the advisors’ names. That’s the good news. The bad news is investors, who conduct virtual research, are anonymous until they want to be contacted. This is a level of control that the Internet has bestowed on them.
The challenge is to provide information in a format that requires investors to give-up their anonymity. This is accomplished with free eBooks that are gated – that is, they require registration to view the content.
Effective eBooks have four characteristics that make them a great source of leads and contacts for financial advisors:
- The eBook targets an advisor’s ideal type of client
- The content focuses on an investor pain point
- The eBook has a compelling title
- The eBook has a registration requirement
Most advisor websites will have 2-3 eBooks that are based on a financial advisor’s ideal types of clients.
The Free Webinar
A second type of free offer that should reside on financial advisor websites is the opportunity to attend a monthly webinar that covers a timely financial topic. This can be great online exposure for firms that embrace this form of marketing.
Depending on the topic, advisors may want to invite current clients and contacts on their drip lists.
This type of communication is consistent with how financial advisors may be communicating with clients, prospects, and contacts in the future, at least while most investors are practicing social distancing. Investors who may not have attended webinars in the past may be more open to this type of communication in the future.
Many advisors also promote their webinars with paid advertising to reach even more investors.
Like the eBook, webinar's need compelling titles and subject matter that describe a solution for a financial pain point. Information tied to the virus and its impact on the U.S stock market and the global economy would be timely topics.