Even after the return of in-person networking in a post-COVID-19 world, there's no question that the virtual environment is here to stay. As more clients turn to search engines and social media platforms over word-of-mouth referrals, it's more important than ever for financial representatives to harness the power of digital marketing.
An effective digital marketing strategy will help you satisfy the needs of clients who increasingly expect you to meet them on their own terms and interact in the channel of their choice.
What are the benefits of digital marketing?
From increasing brand awareness to personalizing your communication with existing clients while expanding your outreach to new ones, the benefits of digital marketing make it a vital part of your business.
1. Increase brand awareness — By increasing the visibility of your brand online, you can easily attract more new clients. Posting relevant content and positive feedback from satisfied clients on your LinkedIn profile, website or blog can help build your reputation quickly and inexpensively, while also opening up new opportunities.
2. Build trust — Tap into the 37% of consumers who are more likely to work with a financial organization or representative with an active social media presence. Not being active online can detract from your brand and your ability to build a trustworthy reputation.
3. Keep in touch while staying top of mind — The easiest way to grab consumers' attention is on the platforms where they spend the most time. By sending subscribers an occasional email newsletter, posting a memorable video on a social networking site or messaging a few quick tips come tax season, you can solidify those relationships while staying top of mind next time they need you.
4. Rank higher in search engine results — If you post video content regularly on your social media feeds, you'll rank higher in search engine results and make it easier for new clients to find you.
How to get started
While there's no one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to what to focus on first, there are a few strategies every financial representative should consider in their digital marketing.
Find your niche — Give some thought to what makes you unique from all the other financial professionals out there. Who are your target clients? Once you've identified your niche and who might be looking for your services, determine what keywords they'll be using to seek you out and incorporate them into your profiles.
Build a LinkedIn profile — Grow your business by tapping into LinkedIn's more than 740 million users and post your insights and success stories regularly. Here you can not only network with prospective clients but research existing ones to find your common interests. Joining relevant groups, asking for recommendations and connecting with media publications that can quote you as a subject matter expert will also help promote your business further. Additionally, LinkedIn offers the ability to advertise your business through sponsored content and text ads.
Offer virtual meetings — Embrace the power of technology to meet your clients wherever they might be. Virtual meetings can be just as meaningful as in-person, allow you to provide valued flexibility and gain an advantage over those who are not as connected. As with meetings in the physical world, keep them short to stay effective.
Measure your results — As with any strategy, it's important to understand what's working for you and what's not so you can adjust accordingly and stay focused on your goals. Look into using software and tools such as Google Analytics that can help you measure website traffic, the time your readers spend on your site and where they're paying the most attention.
Incorporate a blog strategy into your website — Your website acts as a virtual storefront, but an effective blog is what opens the door for clients to come in. Publishing original and timely content on your website will help increase search engine traffic, attract regular readers who eventually turn into clients, and allow you to build trust by giving them a chance to get to know you. Over time, this strategy may eclipse other types of marketing methods like referrals or in-person networking.
What are the most important things to know?
Set realistic expectations — Give yourself at least six months to start seeing some results so you don't give up too early. Even if only a small percentage of your followers eventually become clients, it may still be enough to drive the growth you need.
Make self-development a priority — Learning is a lifelong process and business needs are always fluctuating. Take time to stay on top of the latest trends and developments not only in your industry but also in social media. Whether that means enrolling in courses, signing up for a conference or subscribing to an industry podcast, investing in your own self-development will help you stay ahead of your competition.
Old school can sometimes be the best school — In the mad scramble to keep up with technology, don't forget the importance of the basic skills that build trust in a human relationship. When you do connect with your clients, showing empathy and listening carefully will prove essential.