If cold-calling prospective clients is the worst part of your day, we’ve got some good news. Outbound marketing is on its way out, thanks to the less obtrusive and more cost-effective tactics financial advisors are discovering with inbound marketing. While paid ads and service solicitations may still work to drive business to your firm, inbound marketing is a content-focused form of marketing that creates a more positive experience for the viewer at a fraction of the cost to you. We’ll explain what exactly inbound marketing is and the six crucial steps you can take toward obtaining inbound marketing success this year.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy designed to draw customers in, as opposed to your firm reaching out. How is this done? Through creating, optimizing and marketing quality content that attracts your target demographic. Using this marketing strategy can help your firm better reach your target audience in an unobtrusive and inviting way.
The Four Components of Inbound Marketing
As you create and implement your marketing strategies, there are four main components you should look to achieve: attract, engage, convert and delight. We’ll explain below.
Attract: You can’t generate new leads if you can’t first attract an audience. Your marketing strategies must focus foremost on drawing people to your site.
Engage: Once you get people landing on your site, it’s time to turn them into leads. Through meaningful engagement, you can begin to prove your trustworthiness and authoritative voice.
Convert: After trust has been established, you’ll need to nurture your leads toward conversion, whether it’s through social media campaigns, drip email marketing or convincing calls to action (CTA) on your site.
Delight: Turn your happy clients or converted site visitors into brand advocates by encouraging social shares and referrals.
SMART Inbound Marketing Goals
Before you begin implementing any of the tips and tricks we’ve outlined below, you’ll want to start by setting SMART goals for your inbound marketing efforts. This is a must for any advisor because it allows you to measure your success while targetting areas in need of improvement.
When we say SMART goals, we mean:
6 Elements of a Successful Inbound Marketing Campaign
Now that you have a better understanding of what exactly inbound marketing is, we’ve got the six most effective techniques you can use to attract, engage, convert and delight your target audience.
SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, is an intimidating concept for most advisors – and for good reason! SEO requires time, effort, metric analysis and, to top it off, its best practices are always changing. But fears aside, you can’t have an effective inbound marketing campaign without incorporating SEO.
Optimizing your website is what helps Google users find your site organically, which is the very essence of inbound marketing. While there are lots of SEO tips and tricks you should know about, focus first on incorporating relevant keywords into your site.
Find out what your target audience is searching for most by using keyword research sites such as AHREFs, SEMrush, Answer the People and Google Search Console. Create content that either answers the questions your target audience is asking or provides essential information about topics they’re interested in. Place your most valuable keywords (high volume with low to moderate competition) in prominent locations on your site including the Title, URL and metadata.
Other important SEO factors to consider include:
- Making your site mobile-friendly
- Creating skimmable content with logical headers
- Ensuring your site is secure
- Having a page loading speed of 3 to 5 seconds
- Incorporating internal linking strategies
- Obtaining inbound links
Whether you’re brand new to SEO or looking for one convenient SEO tell-all, we’ve got you covered.
Download our Free SEO for RIAs Ebook + Checklist today!
2. Content Marketing
The truth is, your SEO strategy will fall flat if you aren’t using content marketing. Fresh, new content is what propels your SEO efforts and helps you gain traction in the SERP (search engine results page) on Google.
What Counts As Content Marketing?
The answer is simple: almost anything you create using words! Ebooks, infographics, memes (yes, really!), email newsletters, social media posts, videos and podcasts all fall under the umbrella of content marketing. The list goes on and on! But before you get too overwhelmed by options, we recommend starting with one of the most basic, yet effective, content marketing strategies: blogging.
Why Blogging Is Important
Having a blog right on your firm’s website is an effective way to add fresh, new content on a regular basis. In your blog posts, you can target specific keywords, answer questions and provide in-depth articles on topics relevant to your firm.
Whether you’re blogging or focusing on other mediums, it’s important to stay consistent with your publishing. A post here or there won’t do you any good. Instead, we recommend creating a content calendar to ensure your content marketing efforts aren’t erratic or, worse yet, nonexistent.
3. Social Media
Advisor firms will often shy away from using social media. But we’re here to say that if you aren’t taking advantage of these platforms, you’re seriously missing out on marketing potential. According to Statista, a whopping 77% of the U.S. population is on social media. That means your target audience is out there ready to engage with businesses like yours.
Social media is a great way to build an audience and encourage interactions and engagement with your target demographic. Whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, take advantage of hashtags, geotagging and social sharing to gain an audience and interact with peers or potential clients. Doing so can also help humanize your firm and allow your advisors’ personalities to shine through.
An effective social media strategy is a powerful way to boost your site’s SEO efforts. As audiences online share your blog posts, your list of inbound links is building and traffic is being driven to your site. That’s why it’s always a good idea to share your newest posts on your social media channels. It gets the ball rolling on site traffic before your post has had time to rack up search value with Google.
4. Landing Pages
Landing pages are highly focused pages designed for one purpose: to get the already interested visitor to complete an action. This action could include anything from downloading an Ebook to subscribing to a newsletter or signing up for a webinar. These ultra-targeted pages do not link directly to your site or anywhere else. This ensures you’ve provided the visitor with no escape routes (i.e. links leading away from the page). Every landing page is centered around one distinct call to action that commands the visitor to complete a task.
Landing pages are a must if you’re partaking in any type of paid or unpaid marketing campaign. These include PPC (pay per click) Google Ads, social media ads or email marketing newsletters. Just remember, you should make a separate landing page for every campaign or action you want the users to do. And if your landing pages aren’t hitting their peak performance potential, be sure to A/B test them along them the way.
5. Email Marketing
Despite the astronomical rise in social media over the last decade, email marketing is still more effective at converting new leads. And with the help of third-party services such as MailChimp, it’s easier than ever to turn your mass-marketed newsletters into more personalized emails for viewers.
Segment your subscriber list to ensure you’re sending targeted and relevant emails to the right groups of people. Doing so can help increase the likelihood that the email will be opened (as long as you include a killer subject line!) and the receiver will find it engaging and enticing enough to click on.
In general, you’ll want to ensure your emails newsletters are clear, concise and include striking visuals. Remember, while the reader did opt into your email newsletters, they didn’t necessarily ask to receive this email. That means you only have a few seconds to either capture their attention or end up in the deleted folder.
Inbound marketing doesn’t have to feel like you’re taking a shot in the dark. In fact, if you aren’t analyzing the results of your efforts, how do you know they’re working?! Make sure you’re taking the time to set goals and KPIs (key performance indicators) before you begin any type of marketing campaign or efforts. This will give you something to compare the end result to while creating quantitative proof of your success. You can measure important metrics and assess your KPIs using Google Analytics or your third-party mail service.
Inbound Marketing for Financial Advisors
If you’re looking to push your firm’s marketing efforts to the next level, incorporating inbound marketing is a must. With plenty of time, effort and trial and error, you can create lead-generating machines through your social media platforms, email newsletters, blog and more. Mix and match the techniques we’ve mentioned above to find the right type of marketing for your advisor business this year.