Inbound Marketing is an investor-centric strategy that uses the Internet to produce visitors for financial advisor websites, and then uses the websites to convert those leads into clients. At its core, Inbound Marketing is based on letting investors find and contact advisors, and not the other way around, as it has been in the past.
A combination of content marketing, social media and local SEO produce the website traffic. Then, automated drip emails, workflows and compelling content with attractive free offers allows you to obtain the visitors’ contact information. Having this information allows you to nurture the lead and provide helpful information until the lead is ready to become a client.
How it Works
- Internet Visibility: Investors have to be able to find you
- Website Traffic: Investors have to visit your website; this is your only chance to convert a visitor into a lead
- Website Conversions: Your website has to convert visitors into qualified leads
Increasing numbers of financial firms and professionals are transitioning from Outbound to Inbound Marketing strategies, not only because Inbound Marketing produces superior results. The other reason? Inbound leads cost 62% less than Outbound leads! With a cost savings so enormous it makes sense to start Inbound Marketing.
Financial advisors have used Outbound Marketing for decades to initiate contact with investors.
Outbound Marketing strategies include:
- Hundreds of cold calls per day
- Mass emails and thousands of pieces of direct mail
- Rejection rates approaching 100%
- A lot of time and expense for little or no return on investment
Outbound Marketing strategies are simply out-of-date and no longer work, especially as more and more people look to the internet to research advisors on their own.
The tables have turned, and investors want to contact advisors; not be “harassed” by advisors trying to sell them services.
Outbound Marketing strategies are also hard on advisors. Many left the industry because they burned out trying to contact people who did not want to be contacted.
Today, Outbound Marketing is even tougher when investors use caller ID and spam filters to avoid advisors.
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Financial Advisor Websites
Financial advisor websites need to generate leads.
A great website should:
- Target your ideal client
- Create differentiation and competitive advantage
- Convert more visitors into leads
The Internet has changed the game as far as marketing for financial advisors. Investors are taking control and researching advisors online before moving forward with services. With that said, a financial advisor website needs to come up in search results when potential clients type in certain keywords looking for services. A website needs to grab a lead’s attention long enough to get them to further search your site for information and then should grab visitors contact information in return for a compelling free offer.
Not having a Web presence isn’t an option anymore. Having a stagnant website that acts simply as a brochure of information doesn’t work anymore either.
Financial advisor websites need to be visually compelling, interactive and reviewed on a regular basis to see what works and what doesn’t.
Developing and promoting blog articles is an integral part of Inbound Marketing. The right blog content impacts your:
- Visibility on the Internet
- Traffic to your website
- Conversion rates
If you want your content to rank on page one of Google, you must play by four Google rules that impact the organic ranking of your articles:
- At least 1,000 words
- Original content
- Consistent flow of new content
- People must read the articles
You can write the articles or a Digital Marketing team of expert professionals can write the articles for you.
The production of high-quality blog articles is a multi-step process. You should:
- Manage an editorial calendar
- Research keywords, headlines and topics
- Write and edit original articles
- Select appropriate graphics for each article
- Make compliance revisions as required
- Add your biography and backlink to your website
- Optimize articles for maximum Internet exposure
When advisors write articles, all too often they focus on topics that interest them. However, the best content will be about topics that interest their ideal types of clients. The best content will be about solutions for investor pain points.
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Drip emails and regularly scheduled newsletters are a great way to keep your name in front of leads and prospects. They can also produce new business opportunities for your firm. You can even use drip emails to obtain referrals from current clients.
Marketing firms like Paladin Digital Marketing can manage drip email systems for financial advisors, as well as conduct the market research and produce the email content for you.
Regular newsletters can simply be your latest blog post, which you email to your leads or clients on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Automating these emails can alleviate the stress of scheduling and remembering to send them out to clients and make you look like a marketing pro at the same time.
Social media should be an important part of your Inbound Marketing efforts. Not only are they often free ways to advertise your firm and your services, but they have proved to be very effective ways of marketing for financial advisors.
It takes specialized knowledge and skills to build a substantial social media presence for RIAs who want to make the Internet an important source of new clients.
Social media efforts should increase your brand recognition through:
- Organic social growth
- Paid social traffic
It should also:
- Establish you and your firm as subject matter experts on specifics topics that are important to investors
- Connect with social influencers who can help you reach more potential clients
- Create brand awareness among followers
- Build relationships through engagement
- Increase your website exposure (traffic)
- Directly influence leads and conversions
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A persona is a representation of your ideal client. Many firms have more than one. Ideally, your entire marketing strategy will be based around your personas so your website, blog, and free offers all focus on the target clients you wish to work with.
An Example of a Completed Client Persona:
Client Persona: Frank Founder
President and founder of Founder Manufacturing which he founded 30 years ago
B.S. degree in economics
M.B.A. Business Management
Married 35 years; three children; six grandchildren
HH Income: $350,000
Net Worth: $8.7 million
Lives in suburban, single-family home
Successful transition into retirement
Create a business succession plan
Expand financial and volunteer contributions to community and charity
Spending time with family
Skyping with children and grandchildren
Reading financial blogs
Finding more time for family
Recruiting new talent to keep the business growing
Staying on top of technological advancements in industry
Losing valuable employees before or during business succession
Watching the business falter or fail after retiring
Not being able to leave a legacy for the family
Reads personal emails in the evening
Wants calls returned within 24 hours
Reads both financial publications (WSJ) and financial blogs
Will conduct own research before making financial decisions
Remember, Frank Founder is a composite of all the data and information you gathered from your research on your ideal client. If your research was extensive enough – pulling data from client files and interviewing existing clients – you can be confident that your persona is an accurate representation of your target market.
Your client personas form the narrative that frames all communications with your target audience segments. They provide the context around which all your content is developed, including your web content, your blogs, your presentations, even your elevator pitch. You can use your client personas to create a more sharply honed message that will resonate with your target audience.
You can use these personas to:
- Refine your presentations
- Create more compelling topics
- Create appropriate blog content
- Design your web marketing strategy
The goal of creating client personas is to humanize your ideal client, so you can give your content the proper context and tailor it to the audience segment you are trying to attract. It does take some time and effort; however, it will give you the ability to narrow your focus and channel your resources for the most effective and profitable use of your time and effort. If you don’t have the time or interest in making a client persona, there are marketing agencies that will do this for you.
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Paladin Digital Marketing
Paladin Digital Marketing has used Digital Marketing strategies since 2003 to produce qualified referrals for a select group of RIAs and IARs who are members of its Registry. Paladin has packaged its unique Internet knowledge and experience into Digital Marketing and Consulting Services. No other firm provides this combination of expertise and services.