Boost Your Digital Marketing & Grow
Digital marketing for financial advisors is complicated by the regulatory requirements of the industry. Regulation aside, the goal financial advisors is to create awareness, stand-out to their target audience, and educate future customers on products and services that can be complex. Competition also require financial advisors to stay relevant to those new consumers as a way to increase each customer’s life time value (LTV).
Digital marketing is a cost effective way to acquire and retain customers and should be a key component of any comprehensive marketing strategy. Financial service providers without a digital strategy are overlooking an important communications channel. According to a 2021 survey, Google stated that 85% of shoppers use a search online for a product or a service before buying.
Digital Marketing & The Customer Journey
To prepare for online search, digital marketing should first map out the customer journey. Mapping out the journey allows the marketer to create content to meets the potential customers where they are in their journey. First, let’s explain what the customer journey means for digital marketers for financial advisors.
The customer journey is a dynamic series of steps, starting with brand awareness and extending through a purchase to eventual customer loyalty. This journey is pivotal for financial advisors seeking to optimize customer experiences at every touchpoint. By giving customers a positive experience, businesses can instill trust, foster customer relationships, and ensure long-term retention.
Customer Journey Stages:
To master the customer journey, it is crucial to optimize for the following five stages:
- Awareness: Potential customers become aware of a brand and its products.
– Information gathering occurs through social media, search engines, and other channels.
– Focus on providing information and building trust rather than hard-selling.
– Customers consider a brand as a solution to their problem.
– Comparison with other businesses and solutions takes place.
– Emphasize product features and content that address specific problems without pushing a sale.
– Customers are ready to make a buying decision.
– Persuade customers with information on pricing, comparison guides, and abandoned cart email sequences.
– After the purchase, focus shifts to keeping the customer and driving repeat business.
– Strategies include regular email outreach, coupons, sales, and exclusive communities.
– Delighted customers actively encourage others to make purchases.
– Implement referral bonuses, loyalty programs, and special deals to encourage advocacy.
- Awareness: Potential customers become aware of a brand and its products.
Based on where potential customers are in their journey, the content you present should align with one of five categories. For example, a business owner first researching CPAs (the awareness stage) may want content covering:
- The firm’s industry specializations and experience serving specific niches
- What factors impact CPA fees and billing models
- Whether to select a solo practitioner that provides relationship-focused service or a large firm with expansive accounting resources
- How to determine what level of accounting expertise and personnel is needed based on the complexity of one’s accounts and transactions
Paid and Organic Content
Once the customer journey map is complete and you know what content is needed, the next step is selecting digital channels to reach your target customers. You should consider using both paid and organic content across these channels. Paid content allows you to target audiences directly on major social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, and LinkedIn. It is also valuable on search engines like Google and Bing and streaming platforms.
Organic content is unpaid owned media published on your website, blog and social accounts. It can help increase awareness through search and social sharing. Evaluate resources for producing engaging organic content as well as budget for amplifying that content through paid promotion to your buyer personas.
Google Search Network
The primary benefit of paid platforms is the ability to scale a digital advertising campaign while targeting specific audiences, segmenting those audiences and tracking performance, and adapt in real-time. For paid advertising, Google Ads reigns supreme. Google captures over a quarter of online ad spend (approximately 28.6% in 2021) so this article will focus on the Google ad networks – Google Search and Google Display.
The Google Search Network displays text-based ads on google.com above or below organic search results when a user enters a query. These search ads are triggered by keywords that users type into the search bar. Advertisers bid on relevant keywords in a real-time auction system to show their ads.
Financial services marketers can optimize search network campaigns around industry keywords or phrases like: how to prepare for retirement; CPAs near me or business loans.
Google Display Network
The Google Display Network allows advertisers to bid on placement for video and written ads that appear across websites within the Google network of partner sites. This includes YouTube and Gmail as well as millions of other third-party websites and mobile apps that participate in the Google ad network.
Some of the most common ways to target your audience include:
- Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. This reaches new prospects who are searching for financial services online. It also has the ability to determine purchase intent.
- You can precisely target your ads to focus on specific locations, age groups, interests, behaviors, and other demographic factors. This exposes your brand to qualified prospects actively looking for or likely to need financial services.
- Remarketing to existing clients and those who did not respond to your call-to-action (CTA) the first time. This is often overlooked. Remarketing also allows you to reconnect with people who have previously interacted with your website or ads but did not convert initially. Staying top of mind improves the chances of them coming back.
Pro Tip: Implementing online advertising helps you gather market intelligence on competitors. It’s helpful in creating a customer persona based on their real data like gender, age, profession, and other behaviors. Use that to drive more traffic, both online and offline, and increase your conversion rate.
A key goal of financial services marketing is to generate qualified leads that can be nurtured into customers over time. Conversion occurs when a lead reaches the point of making a purchase. For a CPA firm, this may involve a site visitor sharing their contact info to access a free consultation, content offer, or other engagement incentive.
Once captured, leads can be nurtured with helpful tips and content that builds familiarity with the firm’s services over time. More quality leads create more conversion opportunities and paying customers. Ultimately, higher conversion rates translate into greater marketing return on investment.
Understand Your Market
Online ads provide market intelligence to understand competitors and create detailed customer personas based on real data like profession, behaviors, etc. Use this to further optimize marketing.
With an effective digital marketing strategy, your financial services firm can attract more qualified leads, build lasting relationships through relevant messaging, and strengthen its brand presence online.