91% of financial advisors say their #1 marketing need is more qualified leads that they can talk to each month.
The need is high because the production of good quality leads is a complex marketing process. Financial services may just be the most competitive marketplace in America. Thousands of firms, advisors, and products are competing for the same investors.
86% of financial advisors say they continue to rely on Outbound Marketing strategies even though the tactics are expensive, time consuming, and relatively ineffective.
You are familiar with the process, but you may not be familiar with the term "Outbound Marketing" (telemarketing, direct mail, networking). Outbound Marketing describes the sales process that requires you to initiate contact with investors. The rejection rates for this marketing process approach 100% when investors do not want to be contacted.
You must possess superior sales skills and be willing to experience a lot of rejection if you are going to rely on Outbound Marketing to grow your business.
The Inbound Alternative
14% of financial advisors say they are using one or more Inbound Marketing tactics to produce new clients for their firms and practices. Inbound means they do not initiate contact with investors. Instead, investors use the internet to initiate contact with them.
This is a superior way to market financial advice and services because investors want to be contacted.
Why Contact You?
Inbound marketing is a superior method of lead generation for financial advisors if you can develop a strategy that motivates investors to initiate contact.
You have to provide what they are seeking so they will submit their contact data.
This is no easy feat. Most investors protect their contact information. Their biggest concern is the aggressive sales tactics that are used by some financial advisors.
What Are They Seeking?
Our surveys show investors use the internet to find the following:
- General financial information
- Information about financial advisors
- Financial advisors
Most investors visit brand name websites to obtain general financial information - for example, WSJ, Investopedia, and Kiplinger. They select sites that deliver objective information without trying to sell them a financial product.
There is a major opportunity to deliver information about financial advisors that helps investors make the right decisions. Advisors deliver this information on their websites and blog sites using eBooks and white papers.
The ideal person is someone who is using the internet to find a financial advisor. In general, they fall into four categories:
- They have relocated to a new city and do not know any advisors
- They are rolling assets from a 401(k) to an IRA and need advisors
- They are replacing terminated advisors
- They are outsourcing planning and investing to professionals
This creates a one-time opportunity. Website visitors become prospects if they submit their contact data.
According to Google, one of the biggest trends on the internet is people who are seeking all types of professionals: financial advisors, CPAs, attorneys, doctors, etc.
How Do Investors Find Advisors and Information?
You already know the answer to this question. Investors enter keywords into search engines to find what they are seeking. 72% of the time that search engine is Google.
They may enter short-tail (a couple of words) or long-tail (a string of keywords) to find what they are looking for. An example of short-tail keywords might be "Financial Advisor". Long-tail keywords might be "How to a financial advisor with a quality rating".
Therein lies your opportunity for investors to find you on the internet. You have to identify the keywords that drive your business and develop a strategy that makes you visible when they enter the key words in the search engines.
What Do Investors See?
What do investors see when they enter certain keywords in Google? They are going to see multiple service providers:
- Four advertisements on the top of the page
- Three advertisements on the bottom of the page
- 10 links to organic content and websites
The ads are dominated by brand name firms that have big advertising budgets (Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, UBS).
Because there are 17 choices on page one, Google says 91% of people never go to page two when they search for information and services. They assume the best sources are on page one.
This is the challenge that every RIA in the country is facing when they use Inbound Marketing to help them grow their businesses. How do they achieve visibility on page one? There are no easy solutions. It takes a multi-faceted Inbound Marketing strategy to make this happen.
Inbound Marketing Principles
An effective Inbound Marketing strategy is based on three key principles:
- How to increase internet visibility (find you)
- How to increase website and blog site traffic (visit you)
- How websites convert visitors into leads (productivity)
Master the three principles and you are ready to mine the gold that is produced by the internet when investors use it to find financial advisors and information.
Since more investors are seeking information than are seeking advisors, you need an effective strategy for producing the right content based on the keywords that investors enter in the search engines.
Not only will the right content increase your visibility on the internet, it will also increase your credibility as a financial expert.
You want visibility when investors, who don't know you or your firm, enter keywords to find the information they are seeking.
You want credibility when they Google-search your name or your firm's name. What they see can establish you as a financial expert.
Who Writes the Content?
Do you write the content or do you hire a third party to write the content for you?
You need a steady flow of high quality content to create visibility and traffic for your website. Infrequent and marginal content is a waste of time and money.
You may or may not have the time, interest, or skill to write the content yourself. The good news is there are experienced copywriters who will produce the content for you.
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.