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Top 5 Digital Marketing Strategies for Financial Advisors

We wish digital marketing was as simple as renting a website, adding some stock photos of the couples on the beach, and downloading articles from a library. Unfortunately, none of that really works if your goals are online visibility, website traffic, and a website that converts visitors into leads.

In fact, digital marketing is a very strategic process because it targets skittish investors who know the importance of selecting the right financial advisors. In many cases, they are like the proverbial deer in the headlights. They know they will live happily ever after if they select the right financial advisor. And, they know there are serious consequences if they select the wrong advisor. 

The need for an effective strategy is exacerbated by the sheer competitiveness of an industry that is dominated by a powerful sales culture and an Internet that transfers more power to investors - they have unprecedented access to information about financial advisors.

It starts with the two crucial processes for financial advisor websites. First, they are an important part of the process that investors use to “find” financial advisors. Second, websites are where investors go to “learn more” about advisors and the professionals who work there. Both processes are equally important for the generation of leads for financial advisors.

So what are some best practices that will make the Internet a financial advisor’s best source for high-quality leads? This article describes five business practices that have the greatest impact on results.


Keywords & Rankings

Financial advisor websites should rank for hundreds of keywords that are used by their ideal types of clients when they are seeking advisors and financial information. In the aggregate, ranking for hundreds of keywords will produce the traffic that websites need to generate a consistent flow of new leads and contacts.

Page one ranks are also critical. That’s because Google says:

  • 91.5% of its users limit their searches to page one
  • 4.8% scroll to page two
  • 1.1% scroll to page three

So, if your website or content is listed on page two or lower, you are relatively invisible for those particular keywords.

Lead generation websites need Internet visibility that produces a substantial amount of traffic each month.


Target Marketing

The best digital marketing strategies target particular types of clients that can be divided into three broad categories:

  • Individuals & Families
  • Businesses
  • Institutions

Targeted keywords are more effective than generic keywords. For example, there are “baby boomers” and there are “baby boomers who are retiring in the next 12 months”. Or, there are “women investors” and there are “women investors who are recently divorced”.

You can imagine how a recently divorced woman reacts when she finds an advisor that specializes in working with investors in her situation. They assume that these advisors will have specialized knowledge that benefits them.

Another way to improve visibility is to narrow search parameters by using geo-specific keywords. This is as simple as adding city and state to the keywords you want to rank for. At a minimum, you have eliminated some competition.



A high percentage of financial advisors use SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to build online visibility and produce traffic for their websites. SEO strategies can include blog articles, pillar pages, social media posts, videos, Local SEO, and podcasting. All of these strategies have the potential to increase brand awareness and produce traffic for financial advisor websites.

A smaller percentage of financial advisors use SEM (Search Engine Marketing) to buy their visibility on page one. However, three issues impact the success of their advertising campaigns.

  • It can be relatively expensive to buy page one visibility for high traffic keywords throughout the day
  • There is a lot of competition for the best keywords with the most traffic
  • The quality of the leads can be suspect, for example, they are seeking information versus advisors

In general, financial advisors who are using SEM have bigger digital marketing budgets. They can afford to use SEM to supplement their SEO activities.

From a strategic perspective, you still need SEO even if your main source of leads is SEM. That’s because SEM leads will still visit your website and Google search your name to learn more about your firm.


Types of Investors

The more you know about the types of investors using the Internet to find and research financial advisors the better. 

Following are examples of three frequent types of individual investors who can be further categorized by their ages, work status, circumstances, etc.

First, there is the replacement market. These are the investors who are replacing their current advisors. They are going to be very cautious because they have already had bad experiences with previous advisors. 

This market tends to peak when large numbers of investors are unhappy with their recent financial results. If the problems occurred at brand name firms, there is a good chance they may be using the Internet to find an advisor who works for an independent boutique.

Second, there is the first-time user market. They could be investors who are retiring and rolling assets from 401ks to IRAs. They are going to be extra cautious because they have little or no experience working with financial advisors. And, they are very dependent on the quality of advice they receive during their retirement years.

Third, is a subset of the other two. These are investors who are relocating to new cities and they want local professionals advising them on financial topics and strategies. This is a diminishing market as more investors get increasingly comfortable working with virtual advisors. But, nevertheless, there is still a subset of investors who want local advisors they can meet with, in particular as covid recedes into the background. 


Investors Need Information

It makes perfect sense that most financial advisors are focused on the production of leads. Leads can be converted into prospects (mutual interest) and prospects can be converted into revenue-producing leads.

Let’s agree, the definition for a lead is an investor who has an immediate need for a financial advisor. They initiate contact to schedule appointments for initial interviews. This is the getting-to-know-you phase of the relationship. 

Then there is the definition of a qualified lead. Let’s assume your firm has a $1 million minimum asset requirement.  Investors with less than $1 million of available assets do not qualify to use your services. Ideally, you can refer the investor to another RIA in your community. There should be cross-referrals to make this a fair arrangement for all parties.

So, what is missing? There is a much higher probability that investors are seeking information when they visit your blog and website. The blog publishes general financial information. Your website publishes information about your firm and the professionals who work there. But, there can be some overlap. For example, your website could have a Resource Center that contains eBooks, videos, on-demand webinars, whitepapers, and other types of information on financial topics.

You create serious competitive advantages when you are the source of information that investors are seeking. This is your unique opportunity to build credibility, trust, and brand awareness.

Think of information-seekers as deferred leads. They are seeking information now that they will use later when they are ready to start interviewing financial advisors. The most common version of this is investors who are retiring in six to twelve months and want to learn more now in preparation for that event. 

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