A sales team while you sleep? Sounds too good to be true right?
With persistence and a sound strategy, this is exactly what a strong digital presence can do for your financial advisory firm.
But, I’m sure you’ve heard of this before.
Not exactly novel concepts, as you can do a quick Google search and find thousands upon thousands of articles on each of these topics.
Furthermore, competitor financial advisor firms in have the same information, so it’s really difficult to set yourself apart.
Digital marketing, as with most other industries, is constantly changing.
Long gone are the days where you could keyword stuff your way to the top of Google’s search results. (You want to keyword stuff your website just like you want to wake up to a car frozen shut)
Or buy pay per clicks ads for cents instead of dollars.
The same is true for 2018, as a wave of trends on the horizon will affect the traditional ways you have marketed your firm online.
If you are:
- A financial services professional in looking to enhance your offline sales process AND
- Interested in creating a strong digital presence OR
- Improving upon what you have to stand out among area advisors in 2018
Then, this article is for you. If not, I will spare you the time and you can stop here.
Let’s get started!
More than ever before, digital marketing has quickly become one of the most efficient ways to grow your firm.
Financial advisory firms are spending more than ever on online advertising, and there is an increasing number of technologies and platforms to connect them with potential clients.
If you’re wondering how to stand out as an innovator, these are the digital marketing trends for 2018 that will help you and your firm stand out in the area.
Human Workers, Automated Machines
Medicine and fraud detection services already use machine learning to predict problems, but in 2018, machine learning will really take hold in marketing.
Before delving too much into machine learning’s place with your 2018 digital marketing efforts, let’s do a quick overview:
- Machine learning simulates the human decision making process using past data models, trends, and patterns.
- Machine learning is not new. The concept was first developed during the 1950’s.
- Machine learning is not the same as artificial intelligence. In fact, machine learning is under the artificial intelligence umbrella.
- Instead of programming a machine to do something, with machine learning, the machine is provided the information to do the task itself.
Working in conjunction with human marketers, machine learning will help financial advisory firms like yours respond quickly and efficiently to shifts in your prospects’ behavior.
With machine learning, you are able to gather data from an unlimited number of sources.
With this information, you can adjust your firm’s message based on the most recent behaviors of your prospects, allowing you to automate and personalize:
- Website design
Machine learning can be used to identify different segments of your target demographic as well as create micro-segments based on patterns that you may not be able to spot.
This data can help you create a predictive, rather than reactive, approach to your client segmentation, allowing you to lead each prospect individually through his or her client journey.
Client Lifetime Value
Does your firm offer various programs of different value?
Increasing lifetime value from your clients should be one of your priorities.
Machine learning calculates your client lifetime value more accurately.
This allows you to optimize your future interactions with them accordingly.
How Can You Leverage Machine Learning for Your Financial Advisory Firm?
Machine learning tools can be expensive, but here are some things you can do to enjoy some of its benefits (without the costs):
Search Engine Optimization & Content Marketing Improvements from Machine Learning
For much of the history of search engines, search results have been based on keywords and search phrases.
With Google’s greater focus on using machine learning, addressing searchers specific needs is more important than matching search results to keywords.
What does machine learning mean for your financial advisory’s firm online marketing?
Instead of producing generic, boilerplate content based on your target prospects’ past interests, develop high quality content assets that address where their interests and needs are headed.
Examples of high quality content assets include:
- Ultimate guides on a specific topic
- A series of educational videos
Not sure on which content type would be best for your niche and/or topic?
- Type your niche or topic into Google (consider adding your city or town, too).
- For example, if you are a financial advisor who focuses on estate planning, type in “ estate planning” to see what shows up on the first page of search results.
- Take note, and make sure whatever content you produce blows what’s there out of the water!
Tools for Find Trending Topics in Your Niche (and the area)
- Google Trends
- Google Suggest
- Google News
- Trend Watching
- Trend Hunter
- Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter
- NewsWhip’s Spike
Build Your Financial Advisory Firm Brand in and Beyond with Smart Link Building
Over the years, link building has evolved. Instead of focusing on quantity of backlinks, instead, keep the following in mind:
- Brand recognition content that links back to your site with branded anchor text.
- Social signals from social media sites like Facebook and Twitter that mention your firm’s name
- Guest posts on niche and local relevant websites
Lastly, do not buy backlinks without doing your research!
Stand Out Among Advisors with Local SEO
To position your website to perform well on Google, you must optimize your website and other online properties for searches in the area.
These are several tips to help you get started:
- Make sure your firm’s name, address, phone number, and other important is listed consistently across all websites. You can use this tool from Yext to quickly assess this.
- Create separate geotargeted pages for each of the areas your team serves. For instance, if you serve the entire San Francisco Bay Area, create separate pages on your site for:
- Do outreach to local newspapers, blogs, and other publications for backlinks and press feature opportunities.
- Don’t focus solely on the big publications.
- Working with the smaller publications can help build your profile for approaching larger publications
Learn more about optimizing your website for and other local relevant searches here.
Optimize Your Website for + Other Local Searches Related to Financial Advisor & Financial Services Voice Searches
With the increasing prevalence of personal assistants like Amazon Echo and the Google Assistant, voice search is becoming increasingly important in establishing a solid digital presence for your firm.
Consider this stat from comScore: 20% of all online searches are performed using voice searches. By 2020, this number will jump to 50%.
These are several tips to optimize your financial advisory firm’s website for voice searches:
1. Write your website content in a conversational tone.
In other words, explain a financial topic with the written word as you would if you were explaining the concept to someone in person.
2. Include long tail keywords in your content
In search engine marketing, there are head terms and long tail terms.
Long tail terms make up approximately 70% of all online searches on Google and other search engines.
Instead of focusing solely on head terms in your content, like “ Fee Only Financial Advisor”, target more long tail terms, like “ Fee Only Financial Advisor for Dentists” or “Fee Only Financial Advisor for Divorced Women.”
3. Optimize your website for mobile devices
As it sounds, make sure your website looks good on mobile devices such as cell phones and tablets.
4. Provide easy to digest answers to prospects’ questions
Answer common questions you receive from clients and prospects, and make sure they are easy to digest by:
By answering questions on your website in this manner, you position your firm to be featured in a featured snippet.
- Providing answers in bullet points or number lists
- Answering in a succinct yet sufficient manner.
What You Should Do Next to Prepare Your Financial Advisory Firm for these 2018 Digital Marketing Trends
As you worked through this article, you may have noticed an underlying trend: search engine optimization.
While SEO has and will continue to be one of the best ways to generate qualified traffic to your site from prospective clients, it should be only one tool in your digital marketing tool belt.
To get the knowledge you need to succeed with digital marketing in 2018, sign up for our free 5 part email series that will address other important areas for your firm’s digital marketing, such as content marketing, marketing via social apps, and more!
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