How to Use Digital Marketing for Financial Advisory Firms
By Jordan Collins
Tucker Advisors Senior Digital Marketing Specialist
Are you looking into financial advisor digital marketing but don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, you’re in the right place. With all of the emails, social media ads, and traditional marketing claiming to double your ROI, it’s hard to know what to trust. There are more acronyms to learn than you have time for, and a simple solution that will bring in more leads is what you’re really after.
You’re in luck.
We will be taking a look at the two primary branches of digital marketing today, which are SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay per click), also referred to as search engine marketing (SEM). First, we will be taking a look at search engine optimization.
Search Engine Optimization
Everyday there are 3.5 billion searches on Google alone. With 87% of the United States population using the internet, there is constant web traffic searching, visiting, and buying on websites every day. Financial advisor digital marketing pushes some of that traffic to be directed to your website. In search engine optimization, your aim is to index your website and its’ posts under keywords that future users will search. This is done by submitting a sitemap to Google and having your pages crawled for indexing. Once they are indexed, they can pop up in user searches. Outside of indexing for your business name and location, you’ll want to rank for searches related to the topics and services your company offers. This way, searchers who are showing intent towards your business are given the option to view your site. This is where content marketing comes in.
Why do you click on the links and websites that you do?
They have the information that you are looking for.
Content marketing is all about giving the people what they want. For a financial advisor, this would be material that is appealing to your target demographic’s questions, concerns, or educational interests. It could be a retirement calculator, a white paper on what to do before retiring, or an educational video on getting the most out of Social Security. You want to create something that will be valuable or educational to your chosen audience because it will bring more traffic to your site.
Pro Tip: Take your FAQs and turn them into content
Many of the questions you receive from prospects and leads can be turned into written, visual, or audio content. If a prospect isn’t asking you this question, they might be asking Google. With this in mind, you can take something that is usually a customer service inquiry and turn it into a touchpoint for someone to find you and see you as an expert on the topic.
You may be asking yourself, why put in all this work to give away my insights and knowledge for free?
This answer has three parts.
First and foremost, your competition and the worldwide web is already giving this information away for free. If someone searches Google or YouTube on a topic, chances are that there is an industry professional sharing their knowledge, marketing their services, and profiting. In short, this information is already out there and you want your name attached to it as an expert.
The second part of this answer is that oftentimes it isn’t totally free. For valuable downloads and content, most sites will have a form or information capture in exchange for the information they are providing. This is a great way to capture leads and take your website from a description of your business to a lead-generating machine. Note that the efficacy of financial advisor digital marketing is still dependent on the quality of your content, the usability of your site, the number of pieces you create, and many other variables that are constantly changing. If you are creating informational content that people enjoy, in time it will elevate you and your brand.
Lastly, SEO is a great long-term investment in the marketing of your financial advisory practice. With every new piece of content you index on Google, you are expanding your web property’s reach. One of the greatest advantages of SEO is that users are already searching for this information which is much different than seeing an advertisement. By creating new content on your website, you are raising awareness for what you do, becoming an authoritative voice on the topics relevant to your practice, and increasing web traffic, which is crucial to your lead generation.
Financial Advisor Digital Marketing: SEO Overview
- Free of cost
- Long-term investment in site traffic
- Higher-quality leads
- More intentional than most marketing
- Builds trust with your audience
- Time cost
- Requires original content
- Isn’t immediate
- Won’t show up above ads in search
PPC (Pay Per Click) / SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
Every business has a message to spread. With search engine marketing, you can use your budget to decide where to spread it, who to spread it to, and how you would like them to respond. Deciding where your message will be served and the audience you’d like to see it are crucial topics to address before your campaign starts.
Pay per click ads are a great way to reach a specific audience based on who your offer appeals to, but there are large differences in how a Facebook ad will work in comparison to a Google ad. This has a lot to do with the different functions each site has. People looking to find information are more likely to search on Google or YouTube, in comparison to someone who is looking to interact with friends on Facebook. It’s crucial to understand this difference before running financial advisor digital marketing ads, because it will affect your budget, your targeting details, and the success of your campaign.
Advertisers have a variety of ad types and unique targeting to serve your message. Having an understanding of these ad types and what they can offer is important, because you will need to evaluate and optimize your ad spend’s efficacy once your campaign has had sufficient time to gather some data. Many advertisers see PPC as a short-term fix for a lack of organic traffic, but if you can optimize the ads to produce a positive return, it may be something that you can scale.
While SEO boasts a lot of upsides, paid ads offer the opportunity to influence prospects at the exact moment they are looking to buy. Being able to show up on the top of a page’s search results could be a crucial a-ha moment for a user interested in what you have to offer. Note that, depending on your product or service, people may be less likely to buy on social media. This is something you should take into account when planning your campaign.
A good alternative to posting an offer is promoting a tool or resource on your website and adding people who clicked your article to a remarketing list. This strategy works because the user has already signaled their interest in the topic surrounding what you do and build some familiarity with your site. Over time, they are qualifying their interest in working with you.
Another strategy used is doing keyword research and using tools to bid on your competitors’ keywords. Depending on your location, budget, and offerings, this can be a profitable strategy or a large waste of resources. We would suggest doing extensive research into what can be won and lost prior to committing to this strategy.
Financial Advisor Digital Marketing: PPC / SEM Overview
PPC / SEM Pros
- Top-of-page results
- Instant exposure
- Can test quicker
- Faster results
- Different types of ads
- Branding & visibility
PPC / SEM Cons
- Cost (traffic stops when you stop paying)
- Some people won’t ever click ads
- Can lose efficacy over time
- Need $ to make $
- Upkeep of campaign health
- Varies in efficacy from industry to industry
SEO or PPC: What’s right for my financial advisory firm?
The best financial advisor digital marketing strategy is doing the right campaigns at the right times. As broad as that sounds, it’s quite simple. If you are looking to build your financial advisory practice online, you should be doing some of both. While they can both create demand around your services, they work in two fundamentally different ways.
If you’re on a budget and want to get more website traffic for your firm, set out a plan to make written, visual, or audio content around subjects your prospective audience cares about. From here, you want to be sure that each new piece lives on your website and is spread through your social media channels to maximize the number of people who will see it. With some time spent indexing the pages, researching keyword volumes, and improving these pages, you can drive users to your site in a consistent way that will bring you leads, position you as an expert, and expand your practice’s influence.
If you need an immediate impact for a specific campaign, you will want to make a budget, plan around what actions you’d like taken from your ad, and be sure to set a plan to improve your ads over time. While this might seem like the “easier” of the two options, it’s very costly to invest in advertisements that have no ROI. You will need to be sure that you set clear goals prior to starting your campaign to assess whether it was a success or not.
Using SEO for long-term organic traffic growth and PPC for offerings people can take advantage of now will offer a lot in your sales process. Be sure to take the time to understand what outcomes you’d like from your digital marketing and start working backwards from there. This leads to intentional marketing that can grow your clients and your practice.
For Financial Professional Use Only. NOT INTENDED FOR VIEWING OR DISTRIBUTION TO THE PUBLIC. Insurance-only agents are not licensed to offer investment advice.
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