Marketing in the digital age – a whole lot of jargon, being followed around by online ads, and emails that clog up your inbox. Why do most financial advisors not know how to market or what it does for their practice? It’s because marketing is largely broken in most spaces. We’ve gone from direct mailing zip codes (though direct mail can have its place) to spamming inboxes and social media profiles with locked content that doesn’t convert.
Most people think that marketing still flows in a funnel – you make someone aware of your product, you drive them to a form, then you push them through an engagement funnel until they reply back, or in most cases, unsubscribe.
But the buyer journey is different – some buyer journeys can require up to 20 touch points before someone buys. This is why brand content has become such a big piece of the marketing mix. It’s the idea that your investor prospects could spend more time in any part of the journey – whether that’s the top of the funnel (ToF), middle of the funnel (MoF), or bottom of the funnel (BoF).
We get tactical on a few key areas that you need to focus on to create better quality leads.
Your marketing engine
- You need a well-defined content plan
- There are three tranches that your content should fit into – ToF, MoF, and BoF. Each of these three tranches will require a different type of content because the prospect is in a different part of the buyer journey.
- Top of funnel will largely be education, thought leadership and brand building content – you want to get people to engage with your content on your feeds and website. The holy grail is to get them to your website so you can build demand generation campaigns off that traffic, but you can also do this when people watch your videos on social media.
- Middle of funnel will lend itself well to things like case studies, content breaking down your approach or financial planning philosophy, and talking about specific situations that may be relatable to your niche and/or audience.
- Bottom of funnel is where you discuss your offering or products and convert them into a lead.
- Be sure you are using the right tactics for each specific part of the funnel
- ToF tactics are very different from MoF and BoF tactics. At the top of the funnel, you’re going for two primary goals – have people engage with your brand/content on social media platforms and drive people to your website. Ideally you have a good mix of content that’s allowing people to stay on the platforms (i.e. watch a video on LinkedIn) and heading to your website to consume something.
- In the middle of the funnel, you want to get people back into your website experience and you want them to swap contact information for something. This could mean retargeting them on social with a download or case study, or it could mean leading them to sign up for a webinar. The key here is the information exchange so you can lead them to the bottom of the funnel.
- Bottom of the funnel will be aiming to get them to convert into a qualified lead – this could mean offering up a free assessment or portfolio analysis. This will allow people to have 5-6 touch points (minimum) with your brand before they turn into a qualified lead, which makes the sales process that much easier.
- Set up the right channels for ToF, MoF, and BoF
- ToF Channels
- MoF Channels
- Retargeting on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram
- Google Ads, YouTube pre-roll
- Website – newsletter sign-up, e-book landing page
- BoF Channels
- Email marketing
- Text messaging service
- Video conferencing
- Set lead points (aka lead magnets)
- For MoF and BoF, you want to ensure you have the right conversion points on your website – having a sticky call-to-action in the corner for a free assessment, integrating a pop-up into the site that gives them an offer before they leave, integrating a newsletter sign up on every page. Investors should have to dig to submit their information.
- Develop detailed FAQs
- Your website FAQs matter in a big way – make sure they are easily accessible and dive into detail (compliance-approved) vs. staying generic. If people are researching you and have questions, you want to give them the answers before they reach out.
- Breakdown your services on your website
- When talking about the services you provide, make it as simple and robust as possible. Describe exactly what will be happening during a portfolio review or when tax season comes around – help sell yourself, but root it into the person coming to your website to research the services that you offer.
Your sales process
- Clearly define your onboarding process
- This means taking a step back and mapping out the steps to get someone onboarded as a client – including calls, meetings, emails, and paperwork. You want to make sure each client has a unique experience, but you’re also able to scale the process as you bring on more volume.
- Supporting assets
- A lot of advisors don’t think they need supporting assets to onboard clients, but in a day and age where information is the differentiator, this couldn’t be more wrong. When’s the last time you updated your brochure or your onboarding presentation? Ensure you’re auditing your onboarding assets and building out the appropriate documents to help create a unique experience for your clients.
Marketing doesn’t need to be a complex system or effort that requires 60 hours a week, you just need to map out how you’re going to attract, engage, and convert investors into prospects.