Just like with any field, marketing jargon can be confusing, intimidating and complicated. A financial advisor may be ready to upgrade his or her marketing plan, or website, but then gets turned off when the terminology being used doesn’t make sense.
In an ongoing effort to educate financial advisors about the importance of a strong Digital Marketing plan, we are breaking down some of the most common terms that clients ask about.
(For terms not explained below, click here.)
Inbound Marketing is the modern way to market financial planning services. No longer do investors wait for financial advisors to contact them by obtrusive phone calls at dinner time, junk mail fliers or offers for a “free lunch” – which typically come with an aggressive sales pitch. The Internet is a game changer, shifting the power to investors. Investors now take the reigns and head online when they’re ready to research financial advisors. Then, they only make contact when they’re ready to give up their information.
Because of this shift in the way lead-generation works for financial advisors, Inbound Marketing is a must. Financial advisors need an online presence so they are where their potential clients are looking for them. This means they need an interactive website, effective Calls To Action (CTAs), an intuitive drip system and strong local SEO.
Inbound Marketing is a trend that financial advisors can no longer ignore.
Traffic: Organic, Direct and Referral
Website traffic refers to the visitors who come to your website, either organically, directly or by referral.
Organic traffic refers to visitors who come to your website through a keyword search – when someone types in terms such as, “financial advisor San Antonio,” and then clicks on your website as it appears in their results. This type of traffic is very important, as more and more investors are searching for financial advisors organically.
Direct traffic refers to visitors who come to your site by typing in your URL directly; not relying on Google to find you and suggest your site.
Referral traffic refers to visitors who come to your website from a referring site, such as Paladin Registry or NAPFA, which may include a link to your website.
Topic clusters are another way to generate high Google rankings.
In the past, online content would be laced with specific keywords that would attract Google, and therefore potential clients when they typed these terms into a search bar. While keywords are still used, topic clusters expand on this concept, connecting individual blog posts and landing pages to an overall expert page, giving this page more traffic. Increased traffic is a sign to Google that a link is really an expert on a specific topic, and Google will rank a site higher because of this.
Good rankings are crucial. This is the place that your website is listed in search results. Spots 1 to 10 appear on page 1 of a Google search. Spots 11 to 20 appear on page 2. These are the most coveted spots, as most web searchers won’t continue on to the third and fourth pages to find what they’re looking for.
When working with an experienced firm like Paladin Digital Marketing, an expert team will know how to best optimize your content to improve your ranking results.
When posting content to your website, hyperlinks are important. When added correctly, links to other pages (yours and other industry expert websites) will establish you as an expert, both with potential clients and with Google. Google uses 200 search-ranking factors when determining where your site will appear in a search result. Hyperlinks to other helpful pages is one of them.
Content: Original vs. Repurposed
Content is what drives visitors to your site. Content consists of everything from the wording on your home page to the blog posts you publish.
Original content is best. Original content is anything not already found online. When Google sees fresh, original content, a link to this content will get a better ranking than something that has been “seen” before on another site. Regular, original content that resonates with your clients is how a firm expands its digital footprint.
Creating original content on a regular basis can be difficult and time-consuming, especially for a financial advisor who wants to spend his or her time working with clients. With this in mind, outsourcing your blogging efforts and other Digital Marketing services can be a very cost-saving and time-saving decision. Working with a marketing firm that has experience in the financial services industry can be extremely beneficial, as the industry uses a lot of complex jargon itself, and when used incorrectly, a potential client can tell.
Repurposed content can also be original. For example, a well-written blog post that meets all of Google’s requirements can be repurposed as an explainer video, a social media post and/or an email to clients. Digital Marketing experts should know how to use your content in many ways, giving you more bang for your buck.
Likes, Shares … And Other Social Media Terms
Social media has become an important factor in marketing financial planning services. More and more investors are turning to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for reviews, comments and news about financial advisors.
With that said, in addition to posting on a regular basis, it’s important that your “friends” like your posts, share them on their social media pages and re-tweet them, which basically means passing your content on to another group of potential clients.
“Liking,” “sharing,” and “re-tweeting” are ways information is passed on to others among social media platforms.
The Buyer’s Journey
The buyer’s journey refers to the journey an investor takes when hiring a financial advisor, and it’s important when establishing a good marketing plan.
Investors typically start searching the Internet for general information first – this is called the information-gathering stage. It is important that an advisor’s content, free offers and language on certain pages reflect this mindset.
Once an investor establishes an advisor’s site as an industry expert, he or she only then starts to research an advisor for more information, such as credentials, experience and services.
Investors typically decide to hire a financial advisor after at least one visit to a website, so it’s crucial that the language on specific pages of your website speaks to these different stages.
A Virtual Presence
What does it mean to be a virtual advisor or to have a virtual presence? This simply means that you are available online. Financial advisors who operate on a completely virtual level means they meet with clients, schedule appointments and share information solely over the Internet.
A user-friendly, modern and interactive website is crucial to a virtual existence.
While many financial advisors still operate out of a brick-and-mortar office, more and more are adding a virtual presence to their business plan, offering online meetings, e-statements and scheduling apps to attract investors who don’t want to drive to an office every time they want to meet with their financial advisor.
Adding virtual opportunities for your clients has become one of the top marketing trends for financial advisors. Contact Paladin Digital Marketing for more information.