What customers want, how customers think, and how customers interact is changing – constantly. Every year we see the rise and fall of certain platforms, trends and memes that explode, and changes in customer preferences that force the evolution of marketing channels, strategies, and tactics. These conditions and our new awareness of buyer journeys are creating new marketing opportunities where advisor networks can deliver breadth and depth to head office marketing programs.
New tech and new trends will keep you on your toes. It can be easy for some opportunities to slip past, and it’s sometimes hard to predict exactly what trends will manifest in the near future.
So to help prepare for the changes to come, we’ve put together a list of the top digital marketing trends to keep an eye on.
Blogging is a great way to strengthen digital presence by developing and distributing content that will help customers find your brands. Advisors who blog receive 97% more leads to their websites . Organizations need to develop strategies to train, incent and create regular blogging growth within their advisor community. Doing so will increase customer engagement and drive business growth in a unique way. Whether starting to produce a blog or long-time blogger, there are some tweaks that should make to blogging strategies in 2018.
Content Marketing has become widespread and there is a lot of noise that customers will need to cut through before they find your content. This shouldn’t discourage you from producing and publishing high-quality content. Instead, make sure your content distribution strategy is performing to get the best possible results on your content. Accessing an advisor network to distribute content can create both greater reach and ability to integrate content testing and data-driven strategies for customer engagement
There is a lack of connection between brands and customers because head offices have limited ability to connect in a human way. And, social networks illustrate a model of human connection that organizations should aspire to. Corporations with distributed service and sales organizations like advisors have a built-in advantage because that extended human channel can create warmer connections with customers. In financial services, customers don’t want to be limited to a 100% transactional relationship. Sensitive and higher value transactions require a more human engagement and a strong sense of trust. When you connect customers to your people your brand is warmer more likely to engage with..
Aligning your brand persona with key customer contacts ensures that more of your content and engagement models build more personal client engagement. Furthermore strategically automating the human component to personalized engagements such as email will add a warmer touch and better results in building connections with customers.
A find an advisor search model is an opportunity for organizations to support multiple stages of a buyer’s journey, but assuming that customers only want location and contact information bypasses some of these stages. As customers progress their research into financial products and services they will look for specialists and local advisors. Reducing friction in their research process by providing flexible search capability across a diverse set of criteria will reduce abandonment and increase engagement. Organizations need to think carefully about buyer journeys and so customers can find what they’re looking for easily and quickly. Examples include retirement and estate planning specialists along with insurance, small business, and family trusts.
You have created high-quality content that creates a personal connection between the brand and the customer, but all the work in building these personal relationships may be a waste if customers are not given every opportunity to contact advisors. Some financial organizations offer limited search ability to find an advisor. Implementing advanced search criteria will allow customers to connect with advisors very quickly and not require them to jump through hoops to find what they need.
Getting customers the right content specifically designed for them is a challenge for any organization and even more so for large organizations. So in addition to automating content delivery by client selection, organizations with advisors can access a personalization model that has much more awareness of micro-segments and specific needs of customers in their local markets. Examples of this personalization strategy is both the advisor micro-sites and email campaigns.
With individual micro-sites, advisors can provide to their customers with highly targeted content. Empowering field agents to create their own content will result in content that meets the needs of the hyperlocalized customers. Email campaigns are another marketing program that advisors can action with great success. As customers prefer personalized messaging; a mass email from a faceless enterprise does not meet the desires of the customers. When advisors contact the customers directly, there is a person behind the email and customers recognize that. This means that customers will be more receptive to the messaging and will feel that the content is personalized for them.