Marketing can be confusing for financial advisors. Most are very quantitative people who wouldn’t list marketing at the top of their list of favorite things to do. Marketing is a necessity to grow businesses, but the advent of digital marketing is changing the way financial advisors need to think about how they are going to market their services over the Internet.
For this article, we’ll dive into some best practices of online marketing for financial advisors.
Online marketing, digital marketing, inbound marketing – they’re all the same concept, which simply means having a presence online where potential clients can find you. The most successful financial advisor firms include a visually stimulating website with intriguing content that is updated on a regular basis. The financial advisor website should also include compelling offers that resonate with visitors. When a visitor submits their data through a website, it’s an opportunity to turn that contact into a lead and potential client over time by nurturing them with various information about your services and firm.
Paladin has provided inbound marketing services to financial advisors since 2003.
What happens when RIA marketing experts combine their knowledge with digital marketing experts? You get a best-in-class website that produces results. Learn more about how Paladin Digital Marketing can help you.
Since it had been a number of years since we updated our Paladin Registry website, we recently did a complete website redesign. We incorporated the following 9 elements into the site:
1. Easy, intuitive and information-packed navigation
Easy-to-access, top navigation tabs should allow investors to search for what they want right away. Our main objective is to get investors to our lead capture forms, while educating them on how to select and screen financial advisors.
2. Interesting, financially focused, client-specific content
Content is key, and it should be written with your client in mind. Our target audience is investors looking to hire financial advisors. Our content is focused on all things financial advisor related. This helps guide the visitor to the right content and then they convert by submitting their contact information to be matched with one of our Registry advisors. Think about it: If you work with retirees and widowers, make sure the content on your website isn’t geared toward Millennials.
3. Free tools
Paladin Registry offers several tools to help educate investors, from free eBooks to a financial dictionary that defines some of the jargon advisors use. Advisors should follow this same practice and offer resources that will help investors in their informational stage. Create free offers that will resonate with your target audience.
4. An easily accessible Contact Us page
Every page on our Paladin site has a Call to Action button where investors can start a conversation with us. Your site should make it very easy for an investor to reach out to you via a Contact form. Have easy-to-find forms throughout your site. Also consider the types of questions you will require someone to fill out in order to contact you. If you make the process to onerous, they likely will not submit their data to you. You want to provide visitors with what they’re looking for, so that you have a better chance they’ll submit their contact data to you.
5. An updated blog
Having a blog is one thing. Having a blog that is full of content that is targeting your ideal client (we call them personas) is critical. You want fresh, updated content that is focused on your ideal client’s pain points. What issues are they struggling with? What information can you write about that shows you’ve dealt with that issue before and are a subject matter on? Topics that you may like to write about might not be the same topics that a potential client is interested in. Get focused with your writing and come at it from the reader’s perspective vs. your own.
6. Links to social media accounts
Social media gives advisors yet another avenue to generate leads. Advisors should always share their blog posts, videos and news stories.
7. An explicit description of services
Because our Registry service is very unique, it’s important for the website to convey not only what we do but why we’re different and what the benefits are to an investor if they use our advisor-matching service. Your website should be the same. One of the first things an investor looks for when visiting an advisor’s website is whether the advisor offers services they need. Don’t make your services a scavenger hunt. List them right up front, and in-depth descriptions are helpful.
8. High-resolution images
A website is your first impression, so use photos that are high-resolution. Using real photos of your office and staff are also recommended as it gives investors a feel for what it would be like to work with you and/or your firm.
9. Optimized graphics for maximum page-loading speed
People want their information immediately. They don’t want to waste time waiting for a website to load. And they won’t. Web-surfers will quickly move on to the next site if the process is taking too long. This also gives an outdated impression.
Sadly, the Internet is filled with advisor websites that were developed with serious intentions but are woefully inadequate in their ability to keep visitors from quickly clicking through to the next site.
The most successful financial advisors follow up with a strong inbound marketing strategy, one that includes local Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which uses keywords to rank high in a Google search for local advisors; drip campaigns, which include emails and newsletters to nurture a potential client; and directory listings, which get an advisor listed in local directors such as Yelp and Bing.
The Internet and online marketing is especially important for financial advisors, as more and more investors are turning to the Web to find, research and contact an advisor on their own.
In fact, Paladin helps educate investors on how to do this. Our newest book, “5 Steps for Selecting the Best Financial Advisor: How the Internet has Changed the Game for Investors and Financial Advisors,” was written for investors. However, this book also serves as a great resource for financial advisors who want to use online marketing to grow their business. Once you know how investors use the Internet, you can use that knowledge to develop a strategy that brings them to your website and converts them into prospects and clients.
Unfortunately, many financial advisors are slow to adopt online marketing. The concept can be overwhelming.
But it’s a trend that can’t be ignored anymore.
Creating a custom website isn’t inexpensive, but it is a strategy that will save money in the long run. Think about how much money you may be wasting with fancy mailers and postage. These tactics typically get a 100 percent rejection rate. Putting money into a modern, digital marketing plan will continue to generate leads long-term. Some advisors don’t believe they need new leads; that their current client base is enough. But situations do come up that make even the most loyal clients leave a firm – divorce, a move, death.
If you take anything from this article, it’s this: Outbound, traditional marketing does not work anymore. Investors are actually eliminating advisors who use old-fashioned, high-pressure strategies like cold calls and direct mail from their list of potentials to interview. Aggressive sales tactics make investors uncomfortable, and, because of the Internet, they don’t have to deal with them anymore. Investors are educating themselves and are finding, researching and eventually hiring financial advisors on their own.
Good financial advisors know this, and they are changing their strategies. Are you?
Paladin Digital Marketing has helped financial advisors improve their Internet visibility and ultimately increase their client base. Contact us if you think we can help you too.