First, there is some good news: Increasing numbers of investors are using the Internet to find, screen and select financial advisors. Enterprising RIAs and IARs are already making the Internet their#1 source for qualified prospects.
There is also some not so good news: Financial advisors need new digital marketing strategies to be successful. The old marketing strategies that were based on face-to-face sales contact do not work in the virtual world.
For example, in the not too distant past you used "outbound" marketing strategies to reach investors: Telemarketing, direct mail, advertising, and seminars. You conducted your sales activities in your office or the prospect's location.
In the virtual world you need "inbound" marketing strategies that bring the right prospects to you. In this world there are no sales activities until the investor is ready to talk to you. Consequently, your Internet presence and website have to do more of the initial marketing for you because investors can:
- Remain anonymous until they want to be contacted
- Learn a lot about you without talking to you
This is a whole new paradigm because many financial advisors rely on their sales skills to win new business. They may not get the opportunity to use these skills when investors use the Internet to find, screen and contact them.
Here's our 5 tactics to improve online lead generation for RIAS.
1. Internet Visibility
The virtual marketing process starts on the Internet. Investors have to find you before they can learn more about you and initiate contact.
You should be visible for the keywords that investors use when they use the Internet to find RIAs and learn more about them.
The highest traffic key words include: Financial Advisor, Financial Planner, Investment Advisor, Retirement Planner and Wealth Manager. A second set of keywords is your location for geo-specific searches.
2. Inbound Marketing
The primary role of Inbound Marketing is to generate the right type of traffic for your website. In this case, the right traffic is investors who are seeking financial advisors.
Inbound Marketing requires a consistent effort to create the Internet visibility you need to produce traffic for your website:
- Content marketing
- Search engine optimization
- Social networks
3. RIA Websites
The principal role of your website is to communicate the right information about your firm and convert visitors into prospects for your services.
It is important to practice transparency on your website. Investors compare financial advisor websites. More astute investors will know when you are withholding information that impacts who they contact.
4. Free Offers
The content on your website may not be enough to convince visitors to give-up their anonymity and submit their contact information.
You should consider one or more free offers on your site that require contact data. The most frequent free offers include:
- eBooks with intriguing headlines and content
- Free plan and portfolio reviews
- Initial consultations
The offer must provide significant value to be effective.
You expect your website to produce qualified prospects for your services. This means your website's visitors have to initiate contact with you (telephone, email).
There is substantial evidence that investors are reluctant to initiate contact by telephone. Right or wrong, they are concerned about unwanted telephone solicitation.
Your website should make it easy for investors to use email to contact you. The safer they feel initiating contact the higher the probability they will provide their contact information.
Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.