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12 Steps for Marketing Your Financial Services Firm in a Digital World (Part 2)

Written by: Leonard Parker | financial advisor marketing | 30th January

Last week, I discussed the first six steps for marketing your financial services firm in a digital world. To ensure you have established a solid foundation for your online marketing strategy, read those tips here before delving into the steps below .   So, at this point, you now have determined your firm’s marketing goals and objectives, identified your customer segments, performed competitor research, assigned different marketing roles to your team members, and started a strong digital foundation with a great, high converting website and an effective SEO strategy.   In this article, I will detail other ways you can drive qualified traffic to your website.   Without further ado, here’s step 7!  

Step 7: Showcase your Expertise with Content Marketing

  Effective content marketing for your firm is a great way to engage your audience with educational, and when appropriate, entertaining articles while also showcasing your expertise in your niche of financial services.   Content marketing comes in various forms, including:  
  • Blogging
  • Guest Blogging
  • LinkedIn Blogging
  • Press Release
  • Presentations
  • Podcasting
  • Webinars
  • eBooks
  • Participation on Forum & Q&A sites
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  I advise you to choose the options that are best for your communication style and strengths and the culture of your firm. For example, if you enjoy making videos, then turn on your webcam and make weekly videos for Youtube and other social media sites.   As you can see, blogging is listed 3 times above, and for good reason. Blogging has been show to bring 55% more traffic to your website and give your site 400% more indexed pages in the search engines.   In a nutshell, blogging creates more pages on your website in the search engines, which gives potential clients more opportunities to find you.   Expert Tip: Leverage multiple forms of content marketing to see what works best for your firm.  

Step 8: Marketing your Financial Services Firm with Social Media Marketing

  Social media marketing consists of building a following of potential clients and people similar to them on your firm’s social media assets. 67% of Internet users in the US regularly use a social network, so social media is a great place to find and engage with your target clients. There’s an unfortunate sentiment that social media marketing doesn’t lead to new clients; that couldn’t be further from the truth!  
social media marketing top of funnel marketing your financial services firm financial advisors
Image Courtesy of Bad Rhino
Marketing on social media is a top of funnel activity, where you are trying to build awareness of your firm and services within your target demographic. Once you get people into your client acquisition funnel, you can market to them with more aggressive marketing strategies.     Now, that you understand social media marketing’s role in client acquisition, you need to set up branded profiles for your firm.   Which sites do you start with? Build profiles and concentrate your efforts on those sites where your target audience congregates.   Are your targeting young people who are just starting their professional and financial journey? Focus on Facebook and Twitter.   Going after business owners and other professionals? LinkedIn is your best bet.   Do you specialize in a more specific niche, like single mothers? Pinterest or Instagram may be your best bet.   The key takeaway for leveraging social media marketing for your financial advisory firm: Focus on social media platforms where your target audience congregates, build high value communities there, and create and nurture genuine communication and relationships with the people who follow you!   Expert Tip: Content marketing and social media marketing go hand in hand. Until you fully utilize social media to publicize your content, your firm has not reached its content marketing potential. If time is an issue, there are many ways to automate sharing your content on social media!  

Step 9: Leverage Paid Online Advertising for Quick Wins and Target Audience Insights

  Paid advertising is a quick way to generate qualified traffic to your site. With a strategic approach to paid advertising, your firm can get easy wins with new leads and insights about your target audience, including:     These are the most popular ad platforms:  

Google AdWords

These are the ads you see when you perform a Google search. Keywords are the basis for Google Ads, you can target people based on location, time of day, day of week, and more. You can also set up display network (image and video) ads for your firm and/or remarketing campaigns.   For more details on setting up a Google Adwords campaign, review this detailed guide.  

YouTube Video Ads

Video ads allow you to use video to turn viewers into leads. You can target videos based on viewer interests or keyword placements. There are various video ad formats you can use for your firm, including:   TrueView In-stream Ads YouTube TrueView In-stream Video Ads Financial Advisors marketing your financial services firm     TrueView Video Discovery Ads YouTube Video Discovery Ads Financial Advisors marketing your financial services firm     Bumper Ads YouTube Bumper Ads Financial Advisors marketing your financial services firm Your video ads can appear on YouTube and other sites across the Google Display Network; your video ads can also show on tablets and other mobile devices.   For tips on setting up a YouTube video campaign, review this page from Google.

Facebook Ads

Facebook ads target Facebook users based on their location, demographic, and profile information. If your firm wants to target a certain audience with your marketing campaign, I highly recommend Facebook ads due to the advanced demographic targeting available.   There are several varieties of Facebook ads, including:  
  • Advertisements for your firm’s Facebook page. These types of ads are great for building awareness for your firm.
 
  • Posts on your Facebook page. These ads are also a good option if your want to build brand awareness and promote a specific blog or piece of content on your site.
 
  • Your firm’s website. These ads generate traffic to your firm’s website.
  For more detailed information about Facebook ads, read this article from Kissmetrics.

LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn ads are a great choice if you are targeting working professionals who are saving for retirement, their children’s education, and other long term financial goals. Unfortunately, many firms overlook LinkedIn ads because of misconceptions such as:  
  • LinkedIn is only for B2B marketing
 
  • LinkedIn has a significantly smaller audience than Google or Facebook
 
  • LinkedIn is not a typical social network
  LinkedIn, and specifically LinkedIn ads, can provide great value for your financial services firm marketing efforts. These reasons include:  
  • Similar to Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads offer great targeting options. With LinkedIn ads, you can target people by job title, employer, role, skills, and interests. For instance, if you only target clients who work in certain industries, LinkedIn targeting features could be invaluable for your firm’s paid marketing campaign.
 
  • LinkedIn provides more up to date professional information than other social networks
 
  • LinkedIn boast over 259 million users, with more than 100 million users in the US
  For more details on setting up your firm’s first LinkedIn ad campaign, review this article from Search Engine Land.

Paid Placements

Other than ad platforms, you can also purchase ad space on websites that would be of interest to your target audience. This is a great option if you understand your target client’s avatar.   For instance, if you know certain hobbies are popular for members of your target demographic, then it’s a great idea to purchase ad space on websites in this niche.   Before you purchase ad space, you should confirm the following areas with the website owner:   1. What are the CPMs (Cost per Thousand)? - Many media outlets offer special deals or packages, which could make it difficult to compare their offering to those from other media outlets. With CPMs, you can do an apples to apples comparison.   2. Is it possible to buy ad space in advance? Purchase your firm’s ad space as far in advance as possible so you can have more control over the advertising campaign.   3. Is it possible to buy last minute ad space? Yes, this contradicts point 2, but by waiting, your firm can take advantage of last minute deals at special rates.   4. Who else advertises on the site? Again, you want to make sure other advertisers also target or align with the audience your firm is pursuing. You also may want to review if advertisers are repeat customers. This means that paid placements on the site are working for them and may work for your firm.   5. What do other advertisers think of the outlet? Make sure previous advertisers are happy with the outlet before investing any of your marketing budget.   6. Are volume discounts available? You never know unless you ask!   7. How does the site place their ads? Are the ads placed well and clearly visible?  

Strategies for Paid Advertising

Regardless of which platform you decide to use for paid advertising, make sure you keep these best practices in mind:   1. Keep your ads as targeted as possible, including audience targeting, ad copy, and ad organization.   2. Use dedicated landing pages on your site for visitors who click on your ads. These are best practices you can use for your campaign’s landing pages.   3. Make sure you are clear on the goals of your ad campaigns. Ensure your paid advertising goals align with the objectives of the overall strategy for marketing your financial services firm.   4. Appropriate sufficient spend for your paid advertising to allow for sufficient data and testing. This data is critical for decision making as you make adjustments and optimize your campaign for better results.   5. Test out different ad platforms to see where your firm achieves the best ROI   From reading this article, I hope that you are now aware of the various options you have for generating traffic to your financial services website. Along with SEO, these strategies will help you attract qualified leads at various stages of the buying cycle.   In the next part of this series, I will go into detail about how you can nurture the traffic that comes to your site and eventually convert them to new clients.   In the meantime, click the button below for more detailed instructions on how you can best implement these different traffic generating techniques for marketing your financial services firm.