Unfortunately, the financial services industry as a whole tends to be a little bit behind the times when it comes to keeping up with the latest marketing trends. I still see many advisors who turn to more traditional means of marketing their businesses such as seminars, dinners, lunch and learns, referrals/word of mouth, postcards/snail mail, and so on rather than using any sort of digital marketing.
While these can still be effective in some cases, they are often costly and time-consuming. In 2019, there are an incredible amount of digital marketing tactics that are available at our fingertips that a lot of advisors just simply aren’t leveraging, even though digital tactics are often much less expensive and can produce greater ROI over the long term.
Traditional Marketing Drawbacks vs Digital Marketing
So, what are some of the reasons that you should implement digital marketing as a part of your overall marketing strategy? To best compare these two strategies, I find it is easiest to talk about some of the limitations of traditional marketing when compared with digital.
Check them out below and see why you shouldn’t limit your firm to only traditional marketing, and how when executed properly, digital marketing is much more effective and will produce a higher ROI in the long run.
1. Higher Costs
There’s no doubt that traditional marketing costs can be much higher than digital marketing costs. For example, that ad you placed in the local paper is really only effective if your target audience sees it on the day you choose to run it. What about that postcard or flyer that you distributed? All of the fees to print them weren’t as cost-efficient, especially since the paper products are for one-time use.
Now, compare that to content, graphics, and other marketing assets that you create digitally. You can create graphics and content and then repurpose them across multiple channels. For instance, an infographic can be shared on your website, on social media, in a guest blog post, in an email newsletter, in an online ad, and many other places.
Best of all, your digital content can be highly targeted to a specific audience. And not only that, but it can also be easily shared with a mass amount of people, which allows for your content to reach a much larger audience. Now that’s a win!
2. Limited Customizations
Yes, you can market to certain segments or demographics via traditional marketing methods, however, you cannot target certain customers individually.
For example, when running ads online you have a crazy amount of segmentation options to ensure you’re reaching the right kind of prospects for your firm. When participating in digital marketing, this also enables you to tailor the kind of content you are serving up since you know exactly who will be seeing it.
When marketing online, you can tailor your content to a certain niche, use keywords that your target audience is searching for, follow trending keywords, and in turn, boost your organic search rankings.
Engaging Women in Wealth is a mother-daughter duo who specializes in catering to the female niche. They choose to tailor their website content to attract a female clientele base, and they’ve even created a blog The Empowerment Diary catering to their target audience. Including keywords that are important to their audience (SEO optimization) allows that audience to easily find them through web searches.
3. No Measurement
Results from traditional marketing can be incredibly hard to measure. Without any measurement of your marketing efforts, there’s simply no way to know what’s working and what’s not and if you’re investing in the right tactics.
On the other hand, digital marketing offers a plethora of analytics in order to truly measure the return on your investment. Whether it’s a simple blog post where we can track the total number of visits and where those visitors came from (a referral link, social media, or email), an ebook download that generates email sign-ups or an online ad that generates traffic to a landing page. All of these actions can be measured, giving us valuable insight into where we are getting the biggest ROI!
Even better, the granular measurement provided in digital marketing allows you to A/B test. For instance, you could run two ads online at the same time – with the same graphics and text, but one of those ads takes visitors to a landing page that just has text and a call to action, while the other includes a video that further explains the offer. You can then track which version of your landing page gets the most conversions (i.e. people “signing up” with their email) over a two week period.
The great part about seeing all of these analytics and reports is that we can draw conclusions from that data, iterate and fine-tune our digital marketing efforts as time goes on, to make it even stronger and produce an even higher Return on Investment. As the saying goes, the numbers don’t lie!
4. It’s Not Evergreen
If you host a seminar, send a print mailing, put an ad in the newspaper, invite prospects to a dinner event, or engage in some other traditional marketing you are paying for a one-time marketing event.
Digital Marketing, on the other hand, allows you to create marketing that will continue to produce results for you for years and years to come. Every blog post you write, every video you upload, the website you create or the posts you put on social media – these are all marketing efforts that will live online indefinitely and garner you views for years.
This is because anyone who conducts a search query online has the potential to stumble upon your content, regardless of when it was created. Of course, some content is more “evergreen” than others – a blog post about a new tax bill in 2017 will not get as many views in 2019. But a blog post on top considerations when deciding when to retire could get views for years and years.
Producing timely content on current events or trending topics is still something any marketer will tell you should be part of your marketing strategy – but it is evergreen content – content that will be relevant to your viewers years from now – that will give you the biggest “bang for your buck” over the long-haul.
Your Turn to Decide
According to Demand Metric, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about three times as many leads. Stats like this can’t be ignored, and coupled with the pros and cons above, it’s clear that digital marketing has a definite edge over traditional marketing methods. As an advisor the chances are that you’ve been there. You’ve tried traditional marketing methods. So, ask yourself – did they provide ROI? If not, it’s time to make the switch to digital.