In today’s consumer-driven economy, businesses must do everything that they can to ensure that they stand apart from the competition. This can certainly be challenging as more and more industries embrace the internet as the source for reaching their audience and driving leads.
As a financial adviser, you know the importance of generating quality leads to help boost revenue, but you may not yet fully comprehend how digital marketing can help you reach your sales goals.
The following article will explain the basics of digital marketing, how to assess your current strategy, and ways that you can improve campaigns to broaden your reach and grow your money advice and planning business.
What is digital marketing?
Study after study has shown that modern consumers are increasingly savvy when it comes to marketing. Today’s buyers don’t want a generic sales pitch – they want a personalised service and a more intimate connection to the brands and companies with which they interact.
At its core, digital marketing is the strategic, methodical approach to delivering an extraordinary customer experience, making it possible to offer customers seeking help with money issues the value and attention they crave. It involves everything from quality content and effective social media presence to targeting specific demographics and optimising your website.
In order to create and implement a successful digital marketing strategy for your financial adviser firm, you must first evaluate your current framework.
Where do you stand now?
A thorough assessment of your current digital marketing strategy will attempt to position your company in one of the five stages of marketing maturity:
- Stage 1: Your firm is dependent on manual processes and sales pitch marketing that treats all customers the same. Messaging is generic and not personalised, and your firm may not have much budget devoted to marketing initiatives.
- Stage 2: Your company has developed marketing communications that are segmented or trigger-based. Marketing is in the budget, but speed and efficiency of communications are paramount.
- Stage 3: Your company has a slightly more sophisticated approach and may have developed a single customer profile to which most communications are directed. Success is measured in terms of return on investment for marketing spend.
- Stage 4: Your firm has created a set of personalised communications for a variety of customer profiles and maintains a targeted content hub powered by data. Investments in marketing are viewed as essential to the success of your business.
- Stage 5: All customer communications are presented in real time, backed by advanced technology and metrics that deliver a totally personalised experience. Marketing value comes from the understanding that strategies must be continually refined and updated in order to produce results.
To evaluate your current position and maturity stage, you will want to consider the following factors:
- Readiness: Has your firm developed a corporate vision, a clear organisational structure and a commitment to implementing changes and investing in initiatives that will improve customer service?
- Data: Does your company have established data collection and analytic channels to help you better understand your customers?
- Profiling: How well do you understand your customers, both existing and prospective? What are they looking for, and how can you help?
- Content: Does your firm have ways to reach your target audience where they are with natural, personalised content that speaks to their needs and concerns?
- Technology: Can your existing systems and marketing technology support strategic, integrated growth across all channels?
After a thorough assessment, you may find that your digital marketing approach is actually holding you back from meaningful growth. You may be strong in some areas but weak in others – for companies in the early stages of marketing maturity, this is quite common. Focus on improving those weaknesses to strengthen your overall strategy.
How can you improve?
If you’re not a professional marketer, how can you implement the changes you need in order to improve your reach and drive more conversions?
Significant changes will take time, of course, but here are four tactics that you can initiate quickly to get your digital marketing off the ground:
1. Live video streaming
Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms have recently introduced live video feeds to their services. The key is to think carefully about content. A hosted Q&A session, how-to video or educational series are all excellent ways to share your money advice and planning expertise, expand your reach and improve your online reputation.
2. Ephemeral content
This is another recent development on social media, where shared content disappears after a set length of time. Snapchat pioneered disappearing content, but now other social media platforms have integrated the same technology. Sharing ephemeral content is less formal than professionally edited photos or financial adviser blog posts and can go a long way towards establishing consumer trust and connection with your brand.
3. Influencer marketing
Social media influencers – thought leaders, trendsetters and public figures with a large following – are one of the fastest-growing segments of digital marketing. Influencer marketing is an affordable way to reach a new audience quickly and can be extremely powerful when used effectively. It will take some careful thought to find the right niche influencer to help promote your financial adviser business, but the potential returns are worth it.
4. Personalised content
One of the pillars of digital marketing is producing quality content and sharing it consistently. Content innovation includes things such as maintaining a financial adviser blog, using analytics to personalise content for different users, and making sure that every piece of content you create or share is optimised for search engine rankings.
Since no two financial planning firms are the same, your approach to digital marketing should also take into account the unique features and advantages that your company can offer both existing clients and people just beginning their financial planner search. This information, coupled with the insights that you’ve gained from your marketing audit, will help guide your next steps.
The best financial advisers understand the importance of a sound, comprehensive marketing strategy to help generate new business and boost the bottom line.