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How to Select the Best Digital Marketing Agency for Financial Advisors

Digital marketing is no longer a service that is used exclusively by larger financial advisory firms with substantial budgets. It has become an essential marketing strategy for every financial advisor who wants to grow by adding new clients.

This is the impact of the Internet on the financial services industry.

This article provides several tips that will help financial advisors select the best digital marketing agencies for their firms. 


Why is outbound marketing obsolete?

These marketing tactics were always based on financial advisors initiating contact with investors. This marketing strategy relied on invasive sales tactics because 99% of investors did want to be contacted by financial advisors.  

The most invasive outbound marketing tactic was the cold call. Financial advisors bought lists and started dialing for dollars. But, over the years, technologies like Caller ID and spam filters made these tactics less and less productive.

At this point, I think it is fair to say only the most aggressive financial advisors, who have no other marketing strategies available to them, use outbound marketing tactics.

It is also reasonable to say investors are no longer limited to the financial advisors who contact them. The Internet is a game-changer for investors and financial advisors.


Why is inbound marketing an effective strategy for investors and financial advisors?

The Internet makes inbound marketing possible. So, this is another example of the way the Internet is impacting the marketing practices of an industry - in this case, the financial service industry.

The Internet gives investors unprecedented access to the information they need to find, screen, and contact financial advisors. And, this process fits the way most people make buying decisions when the outcome is serious:

  • They find what they are looking for on the Internet
  • They learn more about the service providers
  • They identify the ones they want to interview
  • They initiate contact to schedule interviews
  • They select the best financial advisor

The search engines make it easy for investors to type or use voice commands to find financial advisors. Once they find the financial advisors it is equally easy to visit their websites to learn more about their services and the professionals who work there. Initiating contact is as simple as completing a brief landing page.


Is inbound marketing for financial advisors the same as digital marketing for financial advisors?

The short answer is yes. Both sets of terms rely on the Internet for marketing the services of financial advisors to investors.

In general, inbound marketing refers to the services that financial advisors use to build their online visibility and produce traffic for their websites.

Digital marketing also includes the design and development of websites that convert more visitors into qualified leads.


Why do investors prefer to initiate contact with financial advisors?

In a word, the answer is power. Investors get to pick who they interview. And, they have a convenient way to determine who they pick. Enter a few keywords in a search engine and they have hundreds of choices.

82% will visit the financial advisors’ websites and 64% will Google search the financial advisor's names.

Another form of power is the anonymity that investors have while they search for financial advisors and conduct their research. They can protect their identity until they initiate contact with financial advisors - usually by completing landing pages on the financial advisors’ websites. 


What are the two primary types of digital marketing agencies for financial advisors?

There are no doubt more than two types, so these are the two primary types.

First, there are the agencies that produce custom websites and original content that is owned by the financial advisor. These agencies charge more for their services because their work cannot be duplicated for any other advisors.

Second, are the agencies that rent template-based websites and content that is shared by hundreds or thousands of financial advisors. These agencies charge less for their services because the work is shared between advisors and it is owned by the agencies.

This creates two very distinct choices for financial advisors that are frequently determined by their goals and their digital marketing budgets.


How can financial advisors identify the best digital marketing agencies?

It makes sense that financial advisors want to select the best digital marketing they can afford. Advisors with bigger digital marketing budgets will select agencies that do custom work that is owned by their firms. Advisors with smaller digital marketing budgets will select agencies that produce template-based websites and rent content that is shared with other advisors.

Regardless of budgets, financial advisors should be seeking digital marketing agencies that have the following five characteristics. They:

  • Specialize in working with financial advisors
  • Have substantial industry knowledge
  • Employ a team of specialized professionals
  • Provide website and inbound marketing services
  • Have a history of producing leads for financial advisors


How do financial advisors find the best digital marketing agencies?

The two key words in this question are “find” and “best”. Finding digital marketing agencies is relatively easy. You use the same process that investors use to find you.

Enter the following words in Google: Find the best digital marketing agencies for financial advisors. Some of the agencies earned their way onto the page of the search engine while other advisors purchased an ad on the page. 

Financial advisors will have to conduct research to determine which agency is the best. The two principal sources of information are the agencies’ websites and the results of Google name searches.

Most agencies will be able to show samples of the work they have done for other financial advisors. And, they should be able to provide references from their current clients. Keep in mind, no digital marketing agency will knowingly use dissatisfied clients for references. 


Why look for a resource center on the digital marketing agencies’ websites?

You will find a lot of educational content in the form of eBooks, blog articles, whitepapers, webinars, and podcasts. 

This content will represent the quality of work of the digital marketing agencies. It makes sense they would do some of their best work for their own firms. Is it well written? Does it make sense? Is it professional in appearance? Does it provide the information you could be seeking from a digital marketing agency? 


Why look for free offers on the digital marketing agencies’ websites?

Every financial advisor website should have multiple free offers on their websites so investors who visit their sites have more reasons to engage.

Part of your research should include a review of one or more eBooks that should be available on the digital marketing agency websites. Again, you can learn a lot about the agencies by reviewing their work - even if you have to register to view it.


How do financial advisors measure the results of digital marketing agencies?

There are several variables that impact the results that are produced by digital marketing agencies. Some they control and some they don’t.

For example, one key metric is Internet visibility that is measured by page ranks for keywords that drive the right types of traffic to financial advisor websites. Another metric is the amount of traffic that websites can convert into leads and contacts.

In the final analysis, you want to select the digital marketing agency that has the highest probability of producing the best ROI for your firm.

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