Which Financial Advisor Marketing Strategies Produce The Best Results?
Most financial advisors know digital marketing strategies can be a steady source of new leads for their firms. In fact, that is how lead generation companies produce the leads that they sell to financial advisors.
Visibility, traffic, and the right websites can produce high-quality leads for financial advisors. But, the opposite marketing results can also be true for advisors. What investors see and don’t see impacts who they visit and don’t visit online.
Sound complicated? It can be, which is why financial advisors hire digital marketing agencies to help them use the web to reach prospective clients.
Question number one is why do financial professionals market their services online? The simple answer is that is where increasingly large numbers of investors find financial services. They enter a few keywords into a search engine and have access to pages and pages of potential advisors.
A good digital marketing plan for financial advisors will connect them to their target audience. However, investors have several ways to find advisors.
For example, they can obtain referrals from friends, family, and centers of influence. They can read about them in various publications. Or, they could meet them in social settings. The point is there are several ways to find advisors, and the web is just one of those ways.
How do investors research financial advisors before contacting them?
Let’s assume investors have found several financial advisors from various sources, but they don’t know anything about the advisors. How do they research the advisors and maintain their anonymity until they are ready to schedule interviews? And, of course, they do not want to contact financial advisors who do not fit their needs.
Where do they go to conduct their research? As you might expect, the answer is online, where investors can access unprecedented amounts of information about advisors. Consequently, millions of investors use the web to research potential advisors, and it does not matter how they find them. The internet is still their best source for comprehensive information about particular advisors and the professionals that work for them.
How important is the research phase online?
How important is the research phase when investors use the web to learn more about financial advisors? It is a critical phase when advisors market their services on the web. Investor research determines who they contact for interviews. In other words, they initiate contact if they like what they see.
If they don’t like what they see, they contact the advisors they like better. The measuring stick is the credibility of the financial advisors when they market their services online.
What do they see when they visit advisor websites?
Paladin’s research shows 82% of investors who are using the web to research financial advisors will visit their websites.
They are looking for very specific information that they can use to compare firms to the other financial advisors they are considering.
It is imperative that financial advisor websites deliver the information that investors are seeking. It is equally important that the information they see is competitive with the other advisor websites that investors visit.
Financial advisor websites have to deliver the following information:
- Who We Serve: Does the RIA work with clients like the investors who are conducting the research
- What We Do: Does the RIA provide the services that the investors seek (planning, investment, risk management)
- Our Team: Does the team have credentials that are competitive with other financial advisors that the investors are researching
- About Us: Background on the firm: For example, when it was established, who the principals are, etc.
- Why Us: Some compelling reasons why investors should contact particular financial advisors
- Resource Center: Various types of financial information that educates investors (eBooks, video, whitepapers)
Every financial advisor has a website. But, less than 20% produce leads for the advisors that own them.
There is no substitute for a custom lead generation website.
What do investors see when they Google search the name of your firm?
Paladin’s research shows 64% of investors who are researching financial advisors online will Google search their names. What they see in a name search may be more important than what they see on websites.
For example, they see a lot of content that other advisors have written. Who writes the content? Experts write content that is a source of credibility. And, the more content they see with the financial advisor’s name, the more credible the financial advisor is.
Conversely, what if they Google search an advisor’s name and find a website but nothing else? This can undermine the credibility of the advisor, in particular, if their competitors are published online.
This same case can be made for visibility in social media channels. Their visibility impacts the credibility of advisors online.
How do advisors know they have marketing problems?
The results should speak for themselves.
Advisors have websites that deliver information about the firm but do not produce a steady flow of leads each month. This indicates that the website is not competitive with the other advisor websites that investors visit.
Sales brochures deliver information about the firm. Websites should not be online sales brochures. The primary role of high-quality websites is to generate leads.
A smaller percentage of financial advisors have high-quality websites that produce periodic leads. This is an indicator the problem may not be the website. The real problem may be a lack of online visibility and traffic to the website.
A realistic expectation should be a 2-3% conversion rate, so every 100 visitors to a website should produce two or three leads. If an advisor wants 10 leads per month, then the advisor’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) efforts should produce a little more than 300-500 visitors per month.
It is also important to note that some leads are seeking appointments they can schedule to interview financial advisors. This is the ideal lead because they represent revenue-producing opportunities. There are also leads that are seeking financial information. For example, they are willing to trade their contact information for the information in an eBook.
The three key metrics for effective online marketing by financial advisors are online visibility, website traffic, and website conversion rates. The web should be the feeder system for the advisor’s sales pipeline.