Advisor Technology | 04/27/2016
The Bare Essentials of Digital Marketing for Advisors
Look out across the digital landscape. It’s a world of opportunity. Prospects are out there just waiting to be claimed. Are you ready to go get them?
Maybe you just started an advisory firm and money is so tight right now that you’re not sure when you’ll be able to take a paycheck. Or maybe you’re part of an established firm that is just getting around to building an online presence. Or maybe you’re so overwhelmed with clients and meetings that you haven’t had time to think about your digital game.
Whatever the situation, you’re ready to put out your electronic kiosk and begin attracting some customers. It’s time to get the essential pieces of your digital marketing plan in place. You might call this your “digital starter pack.”
Your website is the digital version of your office. Nowadays, if you don’t have a website, you might as well not even have a physical office. It’s that important.
Your website doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but it should have these essentials:
- Three Pages (Home, About Us, Contact)– If you’re not sure where to begin with a website, this is a good place to start. Of course, your website should eventually be a little more fleshed out than just three pages, but this is basically the equivalent of building your office and putting in desks and computers. The essentials are there, you can decorate the walls and get a rug to tie the room together later.
- Responsiveness – Nowadays, more people access the internet on mobile devices than computers.
A responsive website looks different based on what device you’re accessing the site on, so computer users get the full version and mobile users get a simplified version. You’ve probably gone to a non-responsive website on your phone and found it to be a frustrating experience. This should be an easy one since responsiveness comes standard from most web designers these days, but somehow the advisory industry is still lousy with non-responsive websites.
- Calls to Action – This is a fancy name for buttons that allow web visitors to engage. Without them, your website might as well be an ad on a bus bench – people can see it, but they can’t do anything with it. I’ve got nothing against ads on bus benches, but there’s nothing interactive about them (other than sitting on them). The great thing about a website is you can interact with it. Include buttons that lead to your contact page, or if you have content, point visitors to where they can download or read more.
You don’t have to write all the time. We have clients who blog multiple times every week and some who post once a month. But a blog is a must. If a website is your virtual office, your blog is your virtual personality. It gives prospects and clients the chance to find out who you are, how you operate, and what you think about current events. Blogs are free and easy to set up, so there’s no excuse to not do this one. When you blog, focus on these three things:
- Personas – A persona is the embodiment of your ideal client. Your personas should guide your blog posts (and pretty much every other aspect your marketing). If your main persona is women approaching retirement, you’re probably not going to attract them by writing about day trading and investing in startups.
- Keywords – Try to put yourself in your ideal client’s shoes for a minute. When they go to Google, what are they typing in to learn about their financial security and investment plans? If you can map out your persona’s keywords, coming up with blog topics will be so much easier. Also, if you ever get stuck, we came up with a bunch of ideas to help keep your blog hopping.
- SEO – This can be a long and confusing journey, so don’t worry about going too far down the path of Search Engine Optimization. If you’re running a WordPress website, you can download the Yoast SEO plugin and it will guide you through the basics of SEO’ing your posts. Also, if you are a WordPress user, check out our other favorite plugins for advisors.
If you’re blogging, you should be posting it on social media. Of course, that shouldn’t be your entire social media plan of attack, but since we’re focusing on the basics for now, that’ll work. Get a company profile set up on the big three networks:
Twitter spans the party world of Facebook and the professional world of LinkedIn, so you can get a little more cheeky here. I consider Twitter to be the easiest network to engage other users on, whether that user is a celebrity or your neighbor. You just have to know how to do it right.
Your grandma’s on here, your neighbor’s on here, your plumber’s on here – everyone’s on here. Facebook is the largest social media network out there and it is also your best bet for engaging an audience on a large scale. Even though it has no character limit like Twitter, posts on Facebook should be kept short and to the point. Nobody here has the attention span for anything more.
This one is largely useful for B2B interactions, but what it lacks in numbers it makes up for in power of influence. Limiting itself to the professional world has arguably given LinkedIn a more serious audience who is ready to listen, so cater your posts here appropriately. When you’re trying to get people on Facebook and Twitter to engage with your professional posts, it can feel like you’re a wet blanket at a party. At LinkedIn, there’s no need to feel that way because it’s a wet blanket party.
Now you have your digital marketing starter pack. Get these three pieces in place and you will be amazed how quickly you start landing leads.
Need some help getting started? Contact us today and see if we can help.
Want to bounce your blog ideas off someone? Drop me a line.
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