Isn’t it always about the leads? Over the last two years, I’ve worked with several financial firms located throughout the United States. No matter the size of the firm, the marketing budget, or even the internal resources, it always comes down to the leads. Marketing agencies and internal marketing managers alike seek to show as much lead growth as possible. As financial services firms create more and more content, competition increases. It can be challenging to show sustained lead growth using content marketing tactics like blogs and offers.
On top of the continual pressure to bring in new leads, for some financial firms, marketing can be a tough sell. Many of my firms struggle with limited resources and dual duty positions. Without hard leads, defining the value of marketing resources and asking for additional budget becomes mission impossible. So, what can financial firms do to better their chances of driving qualified traffic to their website?
Here’s my list of the four tips to help you maximize your lead generation marketing efforts.
Tip #1: National Is Nice; Local Is Better
Many firms utilize general branding tactics to help grow brand recognition for their firm. Tactics like press releases and article submissions to online resources like the Financial Times are a great way to promote your firm to larger audiences. There is certainly a benefit to wide-reaching promotion; however, local marketing is far more likely to attract attainable leads. There are many ways to use local promotions. Here are a few of the ways I’ve seen organizations have the most success:
- Events: Most of the firms I work with utilize events to build relationships with their existing clients – and to entice leads to convert. I recently wrote a separate post that delved more deeply into events for professional services firms. At a minimum, events should go beyond your typical client lunches and move into planned small-group discussions in your office. You don’t always have to go big with your events! The process of event planning intimidates many firms—finding a venue, arranging for food and drinks, and engaging a relevant speaker. Start small by planning a get-together in your office. You may find you can lean on your existing clients for speakers. Many firms have clients who are doctors, professors, and lawyers who make for the perfect speakers on a variety of relevant topics.
- Altruism and Community Service: Get involved in your local community! This may not be new advice for most financial firms. All my clients give back to their local communities in one form or another. Be sure you’re capitalizing on the charity events you attend, your donations, or community service outings. Use your community involvement as an opportunity to bring extra attention to the causes your firm supports and as a natural opportunity to create marketing content. These charitable causes can be promoted through blogs, newsletters, email campaigns, and social media content.
- Reputation Management: Consider a service like Moz Local or BrightLocal to keep an eye on your digital listings. Digital listings are often auto-generated for businesses to help you get found across the web. Listings for your business likely exist on channels from Facebook to the Yellow Pages. It’s common for these auto-generated listings to contain errors or missing information. If you’ve ever moved locations, it’s especially important that you keep an eye on your online listings. More than likely, the address for your old location is floating around on the web in various places. Reputation management won’t directly contribute to a growth in leads but will help the people who want to learn more about your business reach your firm.
Tip #2: Create a Spreadsheet, Calculator, Pre-Recorded Webinar, or Email Training Course
If you’re looking to drive more leads to convert on your website, you’re going to need a compelling piece of content to pull them in—something worth giving up a name and email for. As marketers, we tend to think of content in the most literal sense, a blog or a white paper, for example. And there’s no doubt on the scale of affordability and ease, a white paper takes less effort than a spreadsheet or webinar. However, competition is heating up in the content marketing world – writing an eBook is not as novel as it was a few years ago, and if you want to get your firm the attention it deserves, you’re going to have to widen the breadth of your ideas. This is where a spreadsheet, calculator, pre-recorded webinar, or email training course comes in.
Create a piece of content that makes your prospect’s life simpler. What calculations could you easily help them solve? Do you have an amazing budgeting document that helps clients plan for their child’s college education? With a little sprucing up, an existing Excel budget could be a powerful lead generation tool on your website.
Webinars or email training courses are additional non-standard ideas to utilize in your marketing plan. Re-use the presentation from your events, and record a simple webinar. The recording doesn’t have to perfect or videographer quality, so long as your prospects can derive real value from the information provided. If video isn’t your thing (even though it really should be), create a drip email training course on a topic.
Picture this: It’s February, and tax season is only a few months away. How many people do you know who frantically wait until the last minute to get their taxes in order? Imagine if you had a complimentary email training course that would slowly help your prospects get organized over a period of four weeks? Charitable giving, tax planning, and 401K management are relevant and timely topics that would make valuable training courses.
Tip #3: Get Local with Facebook Advertising
Facebook and social media can be tricky for financial firms. Compliance will always be a concern, and the application of reviews on social sites like Facebook can make determining what is and isn’t allowed difficult, from an SEC standpoint. Many firms will opt to focus on LinkedIn. After all, it does have over 500 million users who are in a business-focused mindset. I don’t want to recommend against a LinkedIn-focused social media strategy. It’s a worthwhile channel for financial firms, and my clients have seen a lot of traffic driven from LinkedIn posts. However, I’d like to propose a different solution for your advertising needs: Facebook.
Sometimes, it seems Facebook gets a bad rap. It’s home to family photos, snarky political debate, and even the daily weather. It’s become a one-stop-shop that many people use as their social media home. Your clients may have LinkedIn for job hunting and an Instagram to keep an eye on their kids, but Facebook is the daily channel used for a variety of purposes. I’ve heard from many of my clients that “prospects just aren’t engaging in business-related activity on Facebook.” My response to that statement (without sounding too flippant) is, “So what?” They may not be on Facebook for business, but most people check their profiles multiple times a day. This provides the perfect opportunity for you to advertise the helpful content you’re creating.
Seize the opportunity to create a targeted Facebook advertising campaign to promote your long-form content, like white papers. Offers, checklists, and pre-recorded webinars also make for compelling social media campaigns. And the great thing about Facebook advertising is that you can create an even more targeted campaign than on LinkedIn, Google Analytics, or Twitter. You can segment by location, home ownership, annual income, job title, and so much more. I’ve found that Facebook is by far the most affordable channel for social advertising as well. There’s no doubt your affluent prospects are active on LinkedIn, but you’ll pay more to reach them on LinkedIn versus Facebook.
Tip #4: I’m All Ears... Social Listening and Topic Authority
In my last tip, I spoke about the importance of going where your prospects are, even if that means reaching them when they aren’t actively thinking about their finances. Social listening allows you to be there when your prospects are thinking about topics related to your services. Tools like HubSpot will allow you to create a feed based on relevant keywords. Larger companies use social listening to monitor social channels for complaints or mentions about their products and services. Your clients and prospects may not be complaining on social media about you, but don’t write social listening off just yet.
Your prospects are likely sharing content related to investments, the economy, or maybe even the state of their retirement. Take these opportunities to be helpful and engage. By employing social listening, you’ll not only find natural opportunities to speak to leads, but you’ll also be better informed about what topics your prospects care the most about. Having this information can help you continue to improve your content offering like blogs, offers, etc.
If you’re noticing a trend in the topics being discussed, seize the opportunity to become an authority on a particular topic. Developing a cohesive content strategy involves finding topics your firm can “own.” The more relevant your chosen topics are, the more likely you are to connect with leads when they need your assistance the most.
Bonus Tip: Be Sure Your Advisors Are Engaged on LinkedIn
If you’re not utilizing a social scheduling tool like Hootsuite or HubSpot, you should be. Your advisors are on the front lines every day speaking to clients and prospects. If they are not actively promoting your content on LinkedIn, you’re wasting an opportunity to move leads further down the sales funnel. Using a social scheduling tool will help make regularly posting to LinkedIn a much easier task—and one a marketing manager or agency can help with. Make this task easier for your advisors by doing the heavy lifting for them.
At Precision Marketing Group, We Put the “Fun” in “Fun-ancial Services”
See what I did there? (It’s probably a good thing I don’t write ad copy.)
Financial services firms are both my most challenging and most rewarding clients. Navigating compliance issues, budget constraints, and an increasingly overcrowded marketplace makes my job challenging. But nothing feels better than seeing a new lead turn into a lifetime client for one of my firms.
I’m thankful to have a hand in their marketing success, and I hope my tips help you have a prosperous fall. If you need additional information about the lead generation tips above (and more!), check out these helpful articles:
- HubSpot Marketing 101: Leveraging the Social Media Monitoring Tool
- New Leads in Minutes – Building Your First HubSpot Lead Flow
- How B2B Lead Conversion Is Like the College Recruiting Process
- Attracting More Prospects: One Simple Technique Will Boost Results
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you would like to learn a little more about what I do for financial firms. And, if you have ideas I should add to my list, please comment below. I’d love to hear from you!
*Lead generation is all about knowing your prospect. Our free guide to Customer Success will help you optimize your lead generation tactics to their full potential. Read it now – no email required!*