If you’re a financial advisor trying to market your services online, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Here’s the challenge: most investors don’t trust you. That’s the conclusion of a study from Hearts and Wallets, which found that less than 20% of investors trust their current financial advisor. And, if investors feel they’ve been burned in the past, they’ll be less likely to trust a new advisor in the future.
Some of that cynicism is the nature of the business—after all, when you’re dealing with people’s money and they don’t get the results they want or expect, there’s a good chance they’ll blame you for giving them bad advice. Some of it, however, could be on your shoulders. The problem is that, in an effort to remain compliant and sound knowledgeable, financial advisors too often come off as lacking “personality,” and that makes it harder to market your business.
As Hubspot notes:
“Often times, the standard financial terminology found on advisor websites and brochures is more likely to alienate potential clients than attract them. So while you may think that “financial speak” will help you come across as knowledgeable, it’s important to note that it actually puts you at risk of sounding stiff and unapproachable.”
Of course, you need to convince prospective clients that you’re skilled and knowledgeable, but that doesn’t mean you need to leave your personality at the door. As you market your services online, strive to nix the insider jargon and bring some warmth to the conversation. That will help bridge the trust gap and differentiate you from your competitors.
That said, here are 10 smart strategies to market your financial advisor services online:
Since we’re talking about establishing trust, it’s important to note that the people looking for your services are far more likely to trust organic search results compared to sponsored ads. That’s why, according to Search Engine Watch, people click on organic results 94% of the time, vs. just 6% for PPC ads.
Search engine optimization can be a dicey proposition—search engines like Google are continually updating the algorithms they use to rank websites (witness the recent “mobile first” shift)—that means it’s not a DIY project. You’ll get more website traffic if you optimize your site, but you’re better to leave the details to SEO professionals who know what they’re doing.
Having (and frequently refreshing) a blog on your website works—according to Hubspot, businesses which posted 16 or more blog posts a month got 3.5 times as much web traffic as those which posted 4 or fewer times. Equally important, blogging is one of the best ways to establish trust—use your blog to show off your personality and to give prospective clients helpful information they can use.
The fact that organic results are preferred by the lion’s share of searchers doesn’t mean PPC is unimportant. Sponsored ads are a great way to get results quickly, and to manage highly-targeted campaigns. GoogleAdWords offers a wealth of advice and tools for picking the right keywords, creating ad groups, scheduling, and using negative keywords, bid adjustments and ad extensions to help you achieve your PPC goals.
Ever notice after going to a website that you start seeing ads for that business on other websites? That’s what retargeting is all about. Essentially, when someone comes to your website, you place a tracking cookie on their computer. When they go to other websites, they see customized ads for your financial advisory services. This helps get them back to your site, where you can nurture them and move them forward in the buying journey.
Facebook has millions of active daily users, and, contrary to popular opinion, many are consumers looking for products and services. Facebook collects a wealth of data about those users—what they like and what they don’t—and makes all that information available to advertisers. Add to this the fact that, according to a recent study from Nielsen, people are 68% more likely to remember an ad with social context, and it’s clear that advertising your financial services on Facebook is a critical component of your online marketing strategy.
Bottom line: video works. It works because it creates an immediate emotional connection with your prospective clients and helps you display your company’s personality to create trust. That’s why 75% of senior executives watch at least one video each week, and 59% prefer video over straight text. These days, it’s relatively inexpensive to create engaging (and useful) videos and upload them to YouTube.
Inbound marketing is all about creating trust. One of the best ways to do that is to offer clients some highly-desirable content and send them to a landing page where they can download that content in exchange for their email address.
After you generate new, qualified leads with content marketing, use a smart email marketing strategy to nurture them over time, further building trust. Email marketing has the highest ROI of any marketing strategy—about 4,300%, according to Search Engine Journal.
According to Capterra, 88% of consumers trust customer/client reviews as much as personal recommendations. One of the often-overlooked strategies to generate more positive reviews is simply to ask for them, and one of the best ways to do that is using software which makes it easy and convenient for clients to provide feedback. Once you have your reviews, share them strategically on your website and on social media sites.
Again, as a financial advisor, your top challenge is to show your human side, and posting on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram is among the best ways to do that. Before you create your content, do some sleuthing to find out what topics are hot, and what questions prominent, among your prospective clients—then give them content which responds to their financial concerns and helps them solve their problems.
Marketing has changed over the past couple of decades—it’s changed because consumers have changed. Bombarded with a constant onslaught of TV ads, print ads, promotional emails from companies they don’t know, direct mail pieces which feature products they don’t want and annoying telemarketers who seem to call 24/7, they’re looking for an alternative.
Inbound marketing is that alternative. Instead of pushing sales pitches at consumers who aren’t yet ready for them, inbound pulls consumers to products and services with valuable content that builds trust and leads to more sales. As a financial advisor, building trust has to be number one of your marketing to-do list, and inbound strategies, effectively executed, are the best way to do that.
To learn more about the ways our inbound marketing, website design, lead nurturing, demand generation and content marketing services will help you drive sales and grow your financial advisor business, contact us today.
Photo by Andrea Reiman on Unsplash